Weekly Summary: 8.8.16 – 14.8.16

by Beauchamp Art

Harry Darlington - Barber Shop - Private View - 13

Though not overly proactive, this week I nevertheless spent some time in discussion with a number of peers about the progression and motivation of my work, alongside more practically sorting through and editing the installation and exhibition photographs from the previous week (and creating a Photographic Portraits album on my Flickr account, as a sort of secondary portfolio, sub-categorising works) as well as documenting Chrissy Leech’s MA sculptures, which also provided another opportunity to go around the show and discuss the works with current and former NUA students as well as the general populous, which was interesting. Alongside this rexamination, I also attended the Asylum exhibition at the Undercroft, which featured a large amount of somewhat expressive paintings, a few figurative sculptures, and various others works cluttered together; the sense of it being ‘over-full’ may have ironically reflected a counter-narrative to the pro-refugee stance in the works; in that the exhibition itself seemed to be at breaking point.

Henry Driver - MA Private View -06

Additionally, I assisted Henry in de-installing his work, primarily carrying materials and supporting boards as they were being dismantled, but still its good to make oneself useful. Whilst undertaking this, I also managed to speak to my line manager and other Media staff about the new term. There should a few upgrades to the equipment and builds of the PCs in Boardman House for the new term, and I should be giving some inductions into using equipment, materials and so forth in the opening week.

Moreover, in additional to my usual skimming of headlines, I have been reading more of Foulcault’s The Order of Things, filling the pages with luminescent post-its, marking quotes to be copied down for some purpose as yet undecided. Although I have been gathering ideas around a few headers, and have been going over a few potential ideas for physical work, I am still in need of serious self-reflection as to the motivation behind my desire too make work, and why I want a creative practice at all. Though, following several discussion with one of my peers, it appears that this ambiguity is still problematic and unresolved. It has been suggested that an MA could benefit this though process, though I do not intend to apply for any further academic study until next year. Nevertheless, despite THIS ongoing reflection, more often than not, THIS blog functions more as a diary than the reflected journal it was intended to be whilst studying. Nevertheless, this in of itself is not problematic, but still is potentially a point of internal contention. In other words, not only do I need to address why it is I wish to continue a creative practice, but I also need to examine why I wish to continue THIS (or similar) modes of reflection.

This does not mean I am oblivious to; not only the circular nature of this enquiry (and the desire to simply be producing work for its own sake, in ignorance to underlying motivations), but this may also reflect a recurrent theme within my practice, that of Interference; disruption in communication, noise, a hindrance to communicate clear meaning. With this in mind, the question becomes threefold in its reflexive feedback; Why do I want to make work / about interference / and reflect on it it through written and verbal discourse? My peer with whom I have been discussing this, Helen, is a minimalist painter, whom, in a manner of speaking, creates work in a relatively expressive mode, as a means of communicating without the comparatively mediating factor of written/verbal language. This may be not totally dissimilar to my own inclination towards making, though often this has resulted in me talking myself out of making anything at all; over-thinking resulting in inaction. However, this may relate to a broader considerations, not only what I want to communication, or how I wish to do so (medium, etc), but why I wish to communication at all; whether for an external audience (to be heard, to be understood; i.e. for my perspective to be validated by others) or for an internal sense of satisfaction (to understand the world/myself/my place in that world better in some way, therefore validated by myself, overcome doubt, etc.)

There are aspects of my production that as more straightforward in terms of their reason for being. For example, alongside composing electronic music (primarily for my own listening; demonstrating my own technical ability or lack thereof; self validation) I also play piano, often publicly in certain venues that have pianos freely to use. This provides the dual function of external validation (by demonstrating to others that I can play) and internal validation (by demonstrating to myself that I can play), alongside the tertiary function of a means of fairly direct means of emotive output. Although I am limited by my ability and technical skill, I can usually communicate a sense of my internal state through the generally improvised music which I play, though only vaguely, and often in a confused manner, its cathartic contribution cannot be overlooked. However, as this process is fairly immediate, it functions in a similarly gestural way to my scribbles/doodles/sketches that vary in quality from pen-test-on-the-reverse-of-a-used-tissue to I-can-see-what-he-is-trying-to-do-but-he-is-no-Frank-Auerbach (a name whom took far too long to recall). This is a complex line of questioning, and may take some time to unpack, deconstruct, overcomplicate, refine, redraft, reflect, before finally reaching a conclusion I will inevitably disagree with as soon as it has been written. However, hopefully this enquiry will result in a progression of my practice, rather than its total abandonment.