Tuesday, 30 November 2010

First-Prize in a Photographic Competition

Last night, four of my photographs came first in a competition within a Photographic Club. They were all pointed out of ten with 8 being the highest that I achieved. My total score was 28 and only one of my weaker photographs scoring just 6. I shouldn't have placed it in the competition but I liked the image. The old adage is right in competition that you should be unemotional when entering them and only enter your strongest images...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Piece for Exhibition

[a piece of me has become immortal, beyond my control] 2010 | Sonny Barker
mixed media incorporating found wood, copperplate, Polaroid Photograph

This week has been a tumultuous one for me, both at work and in life. I won't delve into the life bit for now as that is periphery to what I am focusing on right now. After the Cross-Course Crit that we all had to undertake on last Thursday, I decided to shelve my latest project (to be worked on later) and start a brand new exercise that was kind of on the back-boiler of my mind for awhile.

I have a socio-geographical structural/collage sculpture that I am in the midst of designing. I am working with squared wooden tiles akin to scrabble pieces at the moment and trying to find the best compostion that I can come up with. I've tried braille but the spacings aren't aesthetic enough. This was the idea that I came up with at the CCC on Thursday. It went down well and I think it will form a large segment of my final 2011 piece. For now, I need to buy a large portion of white form-board and paint is a delicious shade of concrete grey. and then the fun will begin with the composing and the laying down of slabs. I may need help from the Architectural School on the seventh floor of the Chatham Building..need proper guidance and some backing.

The architectural work needs planning, researching and some meetings up with relevant people. I am super serious about this venture and I need to tread very carefully, it may make something out of what I may become...

The piece for the up and coming exhibtion at the Link gallery next week and the work that I have just started and finally finished this afternoon is an A2 sized Merz collage that incorporates found wood and copperplate together with a scrawled Polaroid. It is based on the concept of disassociated memory and is entitled [a piece of me has become immortal, beyond my contol]. The title may be ambitious but it took me weeks to come up with a tiltle even though I had no work to attibute it too. For me, The title usually comes first, as well as the subject matter and the finished product evolves over time.

I scrapped the last work because I felt it didn't show what I was capable of and was jusdt a little simplistic..it may resurface again under another guise though.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

new piece for exhibition

Eva Hesse-Hang Up 1966

Eva Hesse _ Untitled 1970

Since researching Process Art, I have come up with a 'new-to-me' artist called Eva Hesse. She finds scrap material and makes art..I need to go to the MMU library and find some books..need proper investigating. After thinking of ways on how to exhibit my work, I have found the ideal way. I want to have my collage at least four foot from the floor to creart unease and tension...
The two images above show the different ways on how to hang work in a gallery setting..


So I managed to get to the cubeOPEN 2010 exhibition, preview night. I went with two other students that expressed an interest in seeing new art on a wet Thursday night. The was wine flowing and I think that at least, picked up on my antennae. I like the CUBE though, they often have good shows on like the A.N.D exhibition last month, the odd exhibition previously when the just had an empty gallery space and the some others that I just can't remember at this present time.

Once again, there was good and not so good work on offer. The collection of hard hats with things attached to the top didn't float my boat, There were just too many of them, it kind of negated the specialness of the concept..very blue-peter. The Vase in the Wall was a neat idea and had me and a fellow visitor perplexed until we started to investigate.

My favourite piece of work was the collection of four A1 photographs of places in Blackpool. They were very engaging to say the least. You could even smell the seaside and it's various aromas..doughnut fat, diesel, rust, piss and sweat.. I'd even go as far as say that these exhibits should win the exhibition and I'd love to own one..and I know which one I want...

The elephant in the room was the huge Tatlinesque tower that had multicoloured boards attached and three television screens. This piece was a training sculpture for foxes. The TVs had a fox gradually making its way up the sculpture..Me and my friend stood transfixed, eagering the fox along. We were then approached by the two artists who made this and brought on the concept. They were pleasent enough..listening to two art students rabbiting on about 'their' work and basically have a good blether. We took some photos, exchanged pleasentries and beavered on.

I'll need to upload some photos of this event soon because they can be sometimes lost in translation.

After stalking out the winner of the previous year, Simon de Ruiz, we had a good fifteen minutes of interaction time. He explained to us his concepts, his background and his reasonings. What I found quite profound was the way he took on board whatr other artists thought of his work and they think what makes other artists tick..is that makes sense.. By being the winner of last year, he got the chance to hold a mini-exhibition and he selected work from several years witrh work he has just been doing. I wanted to find the relationship between the pieces and when I told him my thoughts, he took a few minutes and agreed..

Overall, it was a good night of art watching, mingling and wine drinking..

Thursday, 18 November 2010

new work

I read a book called Rant by Chuck Palahniuk and Liminal Time was metioned within it. I strongly recommend the book, I've read it twice and need to do read it again for my up and coming essay.
My main project is that I've designed an environmental/social collage/structure made from concrete slabs. At the moment it's just at maquette stage with wood slabs. It say [please don not touch] written in squared braille.
What I am proposing to do is to find an open/derelict site and laying out the collage/structure. I want to have some kind of opening event with a band/party/media attention [?].
The 'art' part of the piece is the gradual decline and atrophy of the structure and I'm going to try to document this with film or photography. I'm just seeking a specific site at the moment and the documenting of the location will be archived and shown within a gallery space.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Presentation at a local Camera Club

I have now been going to my local camera club which is situated in Blackburn now since the end of May, this year. It has been a good experience, a regular meet up with non-artie types who enjoy photography and who takes the medium seriously. I have been taken under their wing and shown tips on how to take landscape and portrait photography and took on outings around the local area and to photograph concerts.

There are regular competitions that are taken seriously and I have entered them...the next one are the Presidential Prize..[open colour] and [all things bright and beautiful]. Yes, I have entered this competition and hopefully I'll do better then the last couple.

On Monday, I was given the task to do a 20 minute presentation which I have to get right before next Monday. I have a complete different style as a lot of the guys at the club. This worries me slightly but..a bit of strangeness will charm them, I hope. The photographs I will be showing will be the Demolished Photos, my Shelter Photos, Landscape and the new project, Empty Space. I will also be showing some of the Road-Side Markings. Now, the task is to write up a convincing speech to cement what I am showing.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Exhibition at Bzzz Gallery

The Time In Which Nothing Happens Has It's Purpose [Diptych] | Sonny Barker 2010

After passing a disused Jewellery Shop in Blackburn town centre, I noticed a hive of activity and lo! and behold, a gallery had sprung up. It was hosted by a Bristol Fine Art Graduate, Julia Swarbrick. I didn't really know Julia but I popped in to see what was happening and had a chat about art and the art scene in general. We talked for sometime and by sheer chance I had my portfolio of photographs with me. These photographs were fresh from the printers and I had twenty prints.

I showed her my style and she quite liked them. I had the Lucien Fellowes's Road-Side Markings Collection with me and she gave me a speech on how much my work resembled Fine-Art Photography instead of Photo-Realistic Photography. I was quite happy with this definition and it kind of pigeonholed my creative outpourings. She said that the next exhibition she's having would be one focused on Blackburn and being quite self-promotional, I asked her to involve my two stronger pieces into the show and she agreed.

The ones that I selected was the two that I had on show with the FFAF10 team and as these were professionally mounted and bespoked framed, I thought they'd stand out. The only trouble is that somehow the frames got scuffed [?] and I had to get them cleaned, but the work was essential.

I went to the preview evening and talked to some of the guests about the concept and the background information that holds the diptych together. Some people blinked and moved on but some guests enjoyed the tete a tete. There was a lot of different styles in the exhibition, some realism, paintings, inks and fine art and then some photo-journalism..but they all gelled together. A kind of compendium of art styles within a small cotton town..

so, the conclusion is that I was privileged to have been part of an exhibition in my hometown. I was cheeky enough to put up a front and get my work put up and I have had some exposure. The gallery owner has sent me an email confirming her eagerness to work with me again and I hope to be part of an exhibition in the very near future.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Simon and Tom Bloor

These guys were unknown to me until 17:33 on the 8 Nov 2010. They giving a lecture at the prestigious Whitworth on Oxford Road, Manchester tomorrow. I am looking forward to this talk as I haven't been to any previous ones and this has grabbed my attention. I have been on their website and looked at their work and I an intrigued by their use of graphic design within their output.

In this post I have included to ways on how to present text within art and the neon sign is a prevailing idea that I have had for sometime now and I am hoping to work within the media in the future. I have done research into business that can achieve what I am planning both in Manchester and in Blackburn, the costing is going to be expensive so it will have to be an ongoing practise.

response to process art

Richard Serra | 2-2-1: To Dickie and Tina

John Hilliard | Camera Recording it's Own Condition

Here are two responses to the question that I ask myself, 'just what is Process Art?'. I have twice been told that my work is process driven and twice I didn't really understand what the statement meant and after a third person said the same phrase, I decided that the best thing to do is to do some research. I have only managed a little research at the moment and this means going on the Tate website (where the two images have come from) and a look on the [citation needed] site of Wikipedia...I KNOW that the Wiki site can't be trusted but for preliminary studies, it's good enough.

I have been offered several named artists, both known and unknown to me and some of the work are poles apart from each other...quite bipolar infact. I love the epic work of Richard Serra and I hope in the future that I can work on the limitless scheme that he works on, and I'm intrigued with Martin Boyce and his minimal-unmonumental way of working. Jon Hilliard's Camera (shown above) is mouselike in appearance to Serra cathedralesque installations but is so relevant to the ethos of processing artwork.

I gather, with my shortcomings of integral research, is that Process Art is Art that allows the mark making, workings, emphasis on materials, almost scientific and showing the construction of the piece that has been created. I have also been told that I'm visceral and guttural in the way that I work and I often show the constructions of the pieces that I do make. My conclusion is that I am leaning towards this art-form but I shouldn't rely too heavily on the concept.

Photography and collage, to me , is Process (Art) driven..especially film-based photography...it is all about the process of the final photography..not so much in the digital field. This IS the divide and contention between the two. And if you do step back and think about the concept of Film Photography... you select the image, get the aperture and depth correct, the lighting and then...BANG the image has been collaged onto thefilm...the process of developing and printing is then the process driven part... This is the same with collage, it's not all about glitter, crepe paper and silver stars...weights, textures, materials, composition these are all to decided and thought about.

So, yeah...process driven art works for me, it is very visual and take on many forms. Sculpture, photography, painting and collage; define and refine then construct.

marquettes for final piece | [shelter]

Here are four marquettes that I have made utilising a variety of media including wallpaper, wood, board and acrylics. I have to get some research on what I have found out that is PROCESS ART.