Uncertainty Evaluation

The concept I choose for Beyond Photography is something that is very personal to me. I felt I needed to express the importance of a supportive network. It maybe personal to me but is not unique in the support of all people affected by the disease. I felt I should raise awareness of the disease. “Experience is about responsibility. Having an experience is taking part in the world. Taking part in the world is really about sharing responsibility.”  Cited by Olafur Eliasson. Olafur Eliasson makes me question why I have chosen the subject but on my journey through this Beyond Photography project, I found Eliasson to be the most inspiring, perhaps in a multitude of different ways. “Does it matter if I am in the world or not?” The concept of Ellisson’s work greatly resonates with me as it made me realise why I felt inspired to create this project. This is not something that just affects me, I feel that I should teach people with the insight I have gained, which subsequently gives me the experience and foresight to educate them about this disease, thus bringing greater awareness of the disease but also for the viewer to take what they want from the work. I feel this concept was the right choice for me in the field of Beyond Photography, as it could be part of a self-healing enterprise but also to feel I am able to help others to feel inspired with my photographic practice subject.

I’ve been able to use all the skills I’ve learnt in the practical workshops and have incorporated them into this project. The theory taught in the lectures has been an excellent resource to help guide me with the understanding and increased knowledge base, it has taught me how and why hybridity is used in photography and in doing something personal to me I have found ways of exploring new hybrid forms. It has helped me learn other ways to utilise this feature in my future projects, I feel this is very successful and provided a steep learning curve.

This project may be hard to comprehend without the underpinning of experience, but it is not something that has a cultural barrier it is universally a disease with global statistics. The majority of people are affected by some form of cancer and therefore this project can be quite distressing for some viewers, therefore the emphasis has to appear abstract and minimal for the audience, so that they are empathetic, though perhaps as a consequence they feel a distant sympathy. This may provoke feelings that effect their own individual lives.

As the project is personal to me because it affected me on a unique level, I feel that the project has successfully evolved from the concept I originally planned, the proposed ideas, and how I was going to execute the finished result, however it transpired that I had planned far too much and was overly elaborate in the time available to me. I therefore had to re-evaluate the plans on the vast majority of ideas I had proposed. In the beginning I thought perhaps this would limit the project’s creativity and it would lose the depth that I had hoped, however I realised that a minimalistic approach is far superior to thousands of ideas, therefore in simplifying the idea it can deliver a stronger projected impression.

I researched the project extensively and managed to establish the underpinning of the concept but the majority of ideas I did not explore, as they were superfluous. One of the things that originally inspired me was a rapper who made a song about his lymphoma; other ideas were the stories of lymphoma patients, the symptoms of the disease, drawing links to other illnesses that have similar issues. I also looked at many artists but they ended up being unused as they didn’t fit the final outcome for concept execution. Much of the research I found from artists; in books, the Internet or TV programmes. I found that the vast majority of the artists I looked at really resonated with my personal experiences or displayed similar thoughts and feelings, this provided inspiration and a supportive mechanism, therefore supporting my practice tremendously. I first drew inspiration from journals of people who suffered with the disease, immediately, I begun to be strongly influenced by the research, this prompted me to look at other artists which subsequently provoked a different response in me this eventually helped to support my creativity and made me look at other methods that perhaps developed my concept and eventually changed the outcome of this project.

I had a very methodical plan in which to achieve this project but unfortunately due to personal changes and progression of my disease, the planned ideas became interrupted at times, but I found that, on reflection this time lapse actually helped, allowing me time to realise the shortfalls in my concept for the project and investigate other means to achieve them that, in fact, proved to be more fluid and cohesive. I found the delay was fruitful and I felt it was pertinent to use to my advantage. This provided the means to execute much of the ideas.

I was able to use many work ethics to achieve this project and I was actually able to be more hands-on with creativity, this naturally helped fuel the energy to look at alternative methods of how best to achieve the outcome. During this time I spoke to many peers who helped me through this project, inviting new perceptive and challenging my ideas, thus inspiring the need look at alternative methods, these took the form of either personal conversations or tutorials, at times this helped enormously in sparking new ideas and even though most of the ideas were never utilised they provided a formal pathway to the eventual outcome that told my story. I did several test shoots until I found the best method for this project these included; eight hour exposures on an analogue camera (similar to Martin Newth’s work) however there was hardly anything visible on the filmstrip and so I abandoned this plan and looked into digital practice, also attempting eight hour long exposures. I found that the digital camera’s battery life terminated after just three hours and therefore this wasn’t the best method to use, two reasons became apparent; it picked up far too much digital noise on the frame which appeared red and I didn’t feel this would benefit the project so I had to look at an alternative method to create less noise but provide just as much impact as an exposure throughout the night.

I looked at Francesca Woodman’s work and I felt inspired as it provided me with the eventual idea of how I could achieve this. This resulted in a minute long exposure using two blankets and a very small ring light under one of the blankets, I tried rotating and moving the light around for a minute and moving my body concurrently under the other blanket until I created the desired effects. I spent quite a lot of time experimenting with different outcomes photographically, which I felt achieved the desired outcome. I looked into many different colour spectrums and methods to use colour for example; solarisation, in this aspect I felt strongly inspired by the work of Catherine Yass. I feel that the outcome I achieved was potent enough to draw attention to both the danger and the coldness of fear.

The transfer prints on to the bed sheets proved to be time consuming, I had to use a lot of trial and error in order to achieve the outcome, and the materials used didn’t appear to be working as effectively as I had hoped. It appeared that the hot press was too hot and therefore this would change the colour balance on the prints and therefore this resulted in me using an iron to achieve the end result, even though the images still had a slightly green hue to them. I had to explore many methods for the best outcome for my miniature bath tub idea as it seemed to be a challenge and proved to be infeasible, especially in the proposed timeframe, therefore I had to resort to using a projector however I feel this achieved the best outcome for the purpose I had chosen.

I used visual language to tell the story but I also feel that the viewer would need to do their own research as this should provide a train of thought and processing of ideas that I hope will prompt or encourage investigation of the disease. I provided contextual language to reinforce the message I was trying to convey to be informative to the audience, a text format established a means to enable the visuals to be greatly emphasised and impactful, this style was inspired by the work of Ron Mueck.  I looked at many inspiring artists, books and attended lectures l found this very helpful and informative, it increased my knowledge base and my knowledge of why in contemporary practice it is highly important to understand the use of hybridity.

I am pleased with the outcome of the project, as it achieved my main objectives, it has included many hidden metaphors that relate to me personally or sufferers of the same disease. I have used traditionally obvious metaphors that are easily interpreted therefore, I feel I’m satisfied with what has been achieved. I feel happy with the place where my work will be exhibited. The placement and location, the dilapidated environment helped me to achieve the metaphoric suggestion I wanted to be in the correct manner of execution. I deployed all the adjustments that were required, I felt many aspects were ultimately out of my control due to changes in my health; however these alterations would only be minor and would mainly focus on more background text to underpin the visuals of my project. I was unable to explain my work to viewers as I was unable to attend the exhibition. I have many things I would subsequently like to explore, perhaps look at new materials, printing processes but keeping the idea of transfer prints, maybe try new transfer paper or experimenting with different temperatures so that I could have the correct colour balance in the images when printed.

Uncertainty Concept

The concept for this project is to encapsulate a simulation of symptoms linked to lymphoma; this will be my own personal story but relatable as the symptoms are universally recognisable with the disease database. The project will be called uncertainty, it will be a collection of metaphors which will use combined multimedia as it will embrace the senses, this will ultimately create an unlimited depth in which you gain a sense of empathy, I hope that in order to feel part of the experience and become intrigued by what it entails, I hope you will want to gain understanding and then that will engage a degree of your comprehension. I am trying to give greater awareness to this disease and provide a sense of enlightenment and hopefulness.

I would first like to experiment with liquid light or mould a photograph within an acrylic bath tub. My photography could also become part of a projection onto object such as a bath, the idea is to simulate the effects of water, with the use of flickering coloured lights. The effect will be enhanced by lighting the base of the bath tub to create the illusion of fire. This should represent a multitude of different meanings, the audience can interpret this individually but the message I wish to convey is very much the essence of my simulation of lymphoma. The fire like appearance would represent the burning/crawling sensation felt when itching. I almost used to wish I’d be able to bath in lava so that I couldn’t feel it anymore, as my skin would start to burn, but at least it relieved the symptom for a few minutes. If projection is the idea I choose, then I believe a photograph of myself in the bath whilst looking distressed, relentlessly scratching myself will illustrate the story in its most obvious graphic form. I would perhaps also like to display flickering candles to simulate a fire like experience and perhaps the fan I will use will be suggestive of speed and the rapid onset of the symptoms and hopefully represent the intensity of the symptom as it gets stronger with increased dominance, eventually becoming unmanageable.

I want to make a real life sized bed. The use of a bed will present ‘sleeping’ although insomnia is characteristic of the disease and is representative of permanent fatigue. This can be caused not only by sleep deprivation but is a general symptom of the disease. A bed also represents somewhere the worst itching took place. I would like to incorporate this concept by using felt as it has a rough texture but is also a texture which literally made my skin crawl during the disease process. I have found any form of wool irritated my skin at the time but if this texture doesn’t work, when printed upon, I will look at alternatives like cotton.

I want to photograph three images that represent the main feelings I felt: firstly an out of bodily experience, as I felt out of control of my body, the disease is dominating and determined, at the time the disease made me feel almost like a monster without any power, mainly from the continuous itching.

I want to comment and depict the coldness of emotion that I felt from others and I will suggest this through the colours used in my photographs. I would like small sections of my body to be visible to give a minimal ‘hardly there illusion ’, this will represent an almost inhuman nonchalance. I want to create a ghostly ambience, a feeling of structured facets, cross layering by the use of blankets in long exposures, the rotation of light through the blankets I will display hues of blues and reds, and this will represent a sense of danger and coldness induced by fear. I want the three photographs I create to simulate all the abundant feelings and place them stegically on the folded sheet, emulating the strict formal way in which they would be folded on a hospital bed.

I want to simulate links to hospital bed as a hospital bed represents somewhere you can spend a lot of time as the cancer progresses and you become increasingly disease ridden or ill.

If I was to print onto white cotton sheets, this would be most like a hospital bed; cotton will also lose less detail. I want to simulate the way that the hospital bed would be precisely made and also perhaps use a hospital blanket as it is both rough to touch but also make it look most realistic as a hospital bed.

The pillows shall have images of my grandmother (thus using the transfer print method on all the images printed on to the bedding) as I believed there was a link between the two blood cancers. This belief was dispelled when I was first diagnosed, as I later realised it wasn’t inherited through my family and in fact has not got any link, as this is a personal story I wanted to include this as I often get comments by my family members that I look most like my Nan, my Nan is also one of my biggest role models in life. This link shall also combine archived photographs.

I would like the work to look hyper realistic, as it will categorically simulate the experience in the way that I personally felt it. I will alter the perspective of some of the realistic objects so that they will be a focal point drawing attention and seen to be part of the many underlying metaphors. By having some life-size objects, I hope to create obstacles in the way in which they can represent part of the illness but almost create a maze and ultimately stopping you getting too close but if you chose you’re still able to achieve your objective, much like how the support mechanisms (family and friends) can feel at times when watching the disease sufferer. I want to deploy a heater near the bed to represent the night sweats I had when trying to sleep.

I’d like my work to be shown in an abandoned building with a certain melancholic feel; this would help portray the dark meaning behind my work as it should look distressing. I would like my work to be shown in a public space which is very open as this will highlight the lack of privacy I felt when having this diagnosis imposed upon me. I want the work to be the first thing you see as you walk in the door as this shall represent how the person with the diagnosis feels, how they can feel devoid of their identity and personality; essentially left to be just a shell of a human with an illness.

Ultimately I want this project to look minimal but in fact have a profound depth when appreciated to its fullest extent. I also wanted to offer a celebration of the triumphant ability to reprogram the human body as well as the mind in order to cope with this disease.

Nick Veasey


X-Ray (2008)

Nick was born in London in 1962, he starting in an advertising career. Nick embarked on photography before experimenting with X-Ray imaging; he started photographing mundane objects and the human body. Nick’s work provoked interesting responses. The influence subsequently made Nick intrigued by the perception of society only viewing the face value of an image and yet we impose an opinion to which we then consider factual.

The X-Rays immediately removed the superficial layers this radically altered the appearance and reduced the interiors of the objects; focusing on another dimension, this created new meanings to the mundane objects and bodies. He wanted to highlight that we are under constant surveillance, we can be viewed multi-dimensionally at any time, and therefore his work almost adopts a dystrophic principle. In 2008, he published a book about all the X-Rays he had studied.

“I like to challenge this automatic way that we react to just physical appearance by highlighting the, often surprising, inner beauty.”

This work empowers me to create a metaphoric approach in my photographs, I wish to adopt the same principle “we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” there needs to be a wider scrutiny and greater investigative work before forming an opinion, therefore creating depth. I thoroughly enjoy the way of Nick looks into how society becomes obsessed with the face value of self and instantly if you were to see somebody with lymphoma, the preconceived notion of illness would suggest that you would not notice anything is wrong, closer inspection shows the greater depth of the disease.

This concept intrigued me, the idea of emphasising the surveillance and scrutiny deployed by a person’s perception of illness. There becomes a subsequent loss of privacy and an inevitable lack of dignity that evolves over time. This is something that Nick explores in his work and I would like to place emphasise on this too. I wish to convey this idea by placing my objects in an open environment, inviting everyone to explore and therefore create a platform of intrigue and perhaps constructive criticism. I want the work to explore the depths of disconnectedness that illness projects, I wish to display the connotations of losing the physical presence of the human and exhibiting the body as a mere hint of their existence.


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Martina Mullaney


Turn In (2003)

Martina Mullaney was born in Ireland in 1972, she is a documentary Photographer, and graduated from her Master’s degree in 2004. She worked with many homeless communities across the world.

In 2002 Mullaney was intrigued by the mundane environment of the soiled beds in hostels in Cardiff where the homeless were imprisoned. It metaphorically communicates an image of the perceived conception of alienation and detachment from normal society. Though they are subtle in nature, they are deeply domineering in power. It helps the hierarchical human existence to understand the intense solitude that can subsequently lead to depression, the absence of funds and the lack of empowerment to change the situation. This engages the viewer as they feel a part of the image but are an invisible presence. The narrative is apparent through the focus of highlighting the sweat and urine stains, amongst the creased sheets and the sunken mattress. The impact of discontentment that so many homeless people experience, and feelings that they have when they have few options or hope for a better lifestyle. Mullaney felt empowered to make this series due to the loneliness that many adults face in the society, though many would say it is their preferred choice. It can also become extremely lonely, disconnected and is greatly intensified in the homeless society she embarked upon this concept and explores many examples worldwide.

This work influences me and I wish to show the connotations of loneliness, alienation, isolation, solitude, anxieties and depression that you can feel whilst having cancer. I would like to use the vernacular nature of the work and the same composition of the bed set up, I will use long exposures, in a night-time setup and use the unrecognisable human features to emphasise these factors. I am selecting a bed to be the chosen object and subject in the location as it conveys the messages sufficiently well, I suffered from insomnia and this illustrates this symptom well. I would find a bed in the middle of a location, haunting to view and inspiring an eerie feel, to draw upon the most emphasis, therefore creating the sufficient ambience that is paramount to the storytelling aspect when combining the hybridity features I am choosing to embed in my work.


Sources –

Martina Mullaney – Turn In


Francesca Woodman


House (1976)

Francesca Woodman was born in Colorado in 1958, Woodman lived and worked in New York and Italy, following her death at twenty-two, her work was exhibited extensively, her work depicts eighteen rare vintage black and white photographs, a collection once owned by Woodman’s boyfriend. This collection has hundreds of photographs, emphasised and exploited by the minuscule 6×6 CMs medium format. Woodman had a, maverick, unique style and variety of innovative techniques. In some photographs, Woodman merges with the contours through her vigorous manoeuvre theatrics. Woodman’s syntax often creates a depiction difficult to distinguish but creates a despotic feeling between the extremities of figure, self, substructure and world. From the onset, her body was both the subject and object in her work.

Woodman’s photographs demonstrate many influences, that use forms of hybridity and remediates some of them: from symbolism to surrealism that become a product of fashion photography to a radical documentary and maybe even a Baroque painting. In combining both performances, Woodman uses play and self-exposure. Woodman’s thematic placement permeates her photographs which segregate individual body parts immersed with carefully manipulated props, sometimes submerged in vintage clothing, Woodman typically corresponds with sited dilapidated, empty rooms or utilizes sparse antique furniture, dispositional by textured surfaces, traumatised mirrors; this creates disturbing psychological and claustrophobic ambiences.

Woodman uses dynamism through obscuring her subjects, she promptly displays that photographs distort, never conveying unabridged truth about a subject. Woodman’s photographs have a timeless superiority that is ethereal and Woodman is a promoter of avant-garde. Woodman’s photographs are unconventional because they explore issues of gender as she explores the boundaries of the bodily experience and it encapsulates self-displacement. She distorts her physical features making them congruous and this makes representation of the body as a form of constitute of the surroundings. This underlying isolated, ghostly presence alters her material identity and conveys her vulnerability. The rival of intemperate presence and absence of debate thus values the evanescence of her work.

Woodman influences my choice I feel that I should find a similar location Woodman exhaustingly tracked down for photographs, as it will hold the same stark connotations. I would like to recreate heavily poignant photographs achieved with long exposures. This will highlight profoundly metaphoric stories of self, much like Woodman. The idea of segregating individual body parts is something that inspires me to create a similar theme such as obscuring myself into the contours of the photograph, not exposing my physical self but my mental self to the viewer. The depiction of Woodman as unconventional I find incredibly strange because I find it astonishing that there is so much beauty in such melancholic photographs yet it is actually quite similar to Pre-Raphaelite era. I would like to replicate the beauty within melancholy that I sometimes feel. I feel deeply inspired by the uniqueness of Woodman’s creativity. I would also like to embark on avant-garde style by using hybridity and remediation within my work.

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Yang YI

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Uprooted (2007)

Yang Yi was born in Kaixian 1971, Chongqing, China and currently lives and works in Chengdu. The majority of YI’s family had been highly interested in art or had a career in art, though YI never considered pursuing career in art when he was younger, his parents encouraged the artist from within but also gave him freedom to do as he wished. A very relaxed view for a Chinese family.

Yi studied Graphic Design at University; once he graduated, he set up his own advertising agency in Chengdu from 1993 to 2004 but later felt disheartened by commercial market. In 2006, Yi decided to go to the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts for a year and study a course in photography. Once he completed the course, he found it benefited his artistic vision and practice. It made him realise, the immensely powerful tool photography can be in helping to combine all the senses.

In 1994 the river Yangtze’s dam floated, which sadly submerged entire towns and cities under water. As The Yangtze River is a motif of creative expression it comes as no surprise that many artists were subsequently drawn to create a response to the disaster, artists such as Edward Burtynsky, Chen Nong. Of course being that Kaixian is Yi’s hometown, one of the many areas, eventually eradicated by the floods especially were in close proximity to the river. Yi would of course have to create the series ‘Uprooted’. Yang Yi wanted to document a tragedy that affected the lives of millions, but also a disaster that describes Yi’s identity and magical memories of childhood bliss. The Chinese government decided to plan a construction along the Yangtze River to transform the methods they used to produce the countries energy. The Three Gorges Dam Project was very controversial but got the go ahead to help stop the heavy flow of water as Yangtze River floods frequently due to high level of pollution.

Yi felt inspired by his dream to make the photographic series in 2008, though Yi was not present at the time of the flooding and was therefore unable to witness the damage done as he had moved away 15 years before this period due to his career. YI found it very distressing on the return to the town he loved so dearly, so full of joy and life it was no longer the place he once called home, destroying his childhood memories forever.

In 2006 when Yi started the series Uprooted he was not entirely sure of the emotions he felt about the series and so in 2007, it became hard for Yi to pinpoint if they were evocative of emotions of youth, infused with the grief of losing his childhood home. Retrospectively, he found that he cherished them more than ever. YI found that he wanted to embrace and cling on to everything in the pictures. Yi felt eternally indebted to, not only this town, but also the people whose roots were there. Whilst sleeping Yi had a terrible dream, Yi was back in his hometown, drowning in the torrent of the Yangtze River. The prophecy he had experienced fulfilled, and his home was lost forever.

“One morning, I don’t remember when exactly, I woke suddenly in a sweat, my heart pounding in panic. I remember just a hazy memory of my dream. In the dream, I was clothed, walking up and down familiar alleyways. I revisited my old school and was in a sense blinded by the dazzling light radiating from the cinema; I visited the riverside where I used to swim, the rooftops where I would retreat for a breath of fresh air, the winding pathways… Everything was eerie and shrouded in darkness, deserted; no friends or relatives were anywhere to be seen. In my dream, bubbles were rising and objects floating: where were they coming from? It became more and more difficult to breathe, I desperately tried to grab hold of something, I screamed but no sound came out…”

YI foreshadows an evocative moment expressing how the dam will eventually engulf everything in its path silencing it into a destitute ruin. YI captures and evokes a subterranean echo of its former self a seemingly beautiful quiet town inevitably forgotten. Photographing the last few inhabitants of the city, he conceptually submerges them in water, displaying the vernacular, daily settings, a hopeful sign that these memories will linger on. As a distinctly nostalgic: ethereal quality in the bestowed captured image. The photographer’s subjects wore diving goggles but he shot the various aqueous effects separately in a water tank, before marrying the two in Photoshop.

Yi completed the majority of the work between 2007 and 2008. It took slightly more than a year to finish the project. Yi attempted not to emulate any particular trends or styles, but tried to work with a variety of techniques. Yi instructed the models to wear diving goggles, and shot the scenes in medium format. The river water subsequently shot separately, light and air bubbles indicate the foam, creating the look with a transparent fish tank and the use of a digital camera. Subsequently Photoshop was the preferred mode used to combine both elements.

I think that it is extraordinary that Yi had already seen within the photography branch that you could combine all the senses to make such a statement through photographs. YI looks at his own identity through his hometown, lost forever. A profound tragedy to lose such magical memories in such a short period. I feel extremely empowered by YI enabling me look into my own identity, how my lymphoma could become part of my defined identity. I want to challenge the tragedy within myself and turn it into an inspiring uplifting story hoping in some way it should be therapeutic to me and to others.

To tell such a horrific story I would like to take inspiration in the use of submerging photographs underwater, to add rotary effect overlays on top of still photographs. I feel I could achieve this with the see-through bath, water and a projector so that I can capture the essence of this work but with my own twist therefore relating to my own personal story, much as YI has done. The way in which Yi looks at the daily life makes me want to draw attention to distinct vernacular objects, lymphoma is so hard to depict as a disease process as it is essentially a normal process that over reacts and therefore becomes abnormal. This is something I would like to incorporate in my work, I would like to display the hidden stories illustrated within my work.


Post-photography : the artist with a camera – by Robert Shore – Page 234-235



Catherine Yass

Corridors (1994)

Catherine Yass was born in England in 1963 and still works in London today. In 1986, Catherine received her B.A. at the Slade School of Fine Art, from 1988-1990, she studied her Masters in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College. Some of the major commissions that Yass’ work has been featured in vast exhibition sites, worldwide.

Yass, sought after for her idiosyncratic style in her film based photographic work. Catherine Yass is highly experimental with her techniques as she uses solarization, which involves manipulating the subject matter by overlaying the photographic film’s positives and negatives. The process where dark areas can be converted into light and lighter areas are subsequently inverted into dark. The reminiscent visions of Yass’ poignant past with heavily colour-saturated images emanate a coldness (also very similar to X-Ray) that communicates artist’s feelings and voice in a story she wishes to tell the viewer. The evocative qualities, the psychological atmosphere created in her photographs, beautifully systematized through the choice of claustrophobic subject matter: sinister corridors, staircases and empty cells. Yass reveals the skeletal structure of the architecture, the hunting ghost that lurks beneath the subject matter, yet it still feels like a realistic sense of space inside hospitals. Yass likes displaying her photographs in light-boxes when she exhibits, this adds to the luminous feeling, which combines otherworldly and surreal quality to her photographs.

Yass thoroughly inspires me to use a colour scheme, complimentary of both cold and warm tones as they both have separate connotations. I feel this is very significant to Yass’s work but also my own. The use of fire looks magnificent especially as it is been through a solarisation process and therefore the colour is faded. The process enables the human eye to store the colour. I would like to replicate this within some of my work I would like to use fire to represent and incorporate a meaning within my own work. Yass seems to tell a similar story to my own, especially as she has used corridors within a hospital environment, this should be something that I either replicate or use to inspire my photographs to tell my story. Yass inspires me to use film as part of my project; I can achieve the great amount of sharpness but also capture the naturally beautiful grain within the analogue process. I would also like to capture the high-intensity of the saturation that Yass has used as I feel this will create an instant magnificent impact on the viewer. I would perhaps also like to display my work similarly to Yass by using light boxes to illuminate the colour intensity.

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Ron Mueck


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In Bed (2005) and Dead Dad (1996)

Ron Mueck a photo-realist artist, who was born in Australian but currently, works in London. Mueck much sought after for being inscrutable in personality but also for his sculptures. Mueck worked on children’s TV shows for 15 years, and then progressed to special effects in films such as Labyrinth in 1986. Mueck started an adverting company where he would make photographic models to be or used in advertising. Keeping many of the dolls, he made in this period. He started to notice that the sculpted objects felt as if they became an apparition all by themselves. Mueck fascinated by their presence; this ultimately led him to believe that photography terminates any physical presence that the sculptures may have. The obvious answer to Mueck was to reintroduce him to fine art and sculpture.

Mueck used his skills he gained in the commercial world of special effects, model making, and animatronics to shift into a new movement as an artist. Whilst he was in advertising in the early 1990s, Mueck was commissioned to make a sculpture that would be hyper- realistic. Initially Mueck was unsure of the materials to use, in making a realistic model; He tried working with Latex, but shortly found it was not the material for him, so he tried fibreglass resin, as it is much harder and more precise. He also worked with silicon and acrylic in his career subsequently casted them with clay.

In 1996, Mueck made a figure of Pinocchio, which The Saatchi Gallery saw and instantly wanted the work exhibited in the gallery. Once Mueck finished making Pinocchio, he then started working on Dead Man in 1997.This was a model of his late father, this work was also part of the Saatchi collection. Dead Man brought him international success shown in the Royal Academy of Arts in London, even a record-breaking price paid (by the National Gallery of Australia) for artwork of a living artist in Australia at the time.

Mueck certainly is not procedural with the multi-staged process when it comes to making his conversion into the accurate life-like sculptures. Mueck uses many different techniques; such as modelling software to create the base point for his ideas of the design. Mueck still uses the standard traditional methods, enabling him to be spontaneous, making discoveries whilst experimenting. Whilst designing the models he will make many adjustments, this is paramount to his uncanny and eccentric vision. Mueck is masterful with his control but also allowing the freedom to create one off pieces, adapting himself  to different materials all displaying their own unique qualities, both in the models and used materials.

Mueck thinks that if he were to make life size figures that it would spoil the concept of his work, the viewer he feels would not question the sculpture and would lose the emotional and psychological impact, the audience would feel a sense of normality and would lose some of the object’s appeal. Mueck simply listens to the outside world, never speaking whilst he is working.

Mueck does not think of his sculpture as just as mannequins. He believes the entire object has an ability to captivate the human nature but also the human soul and yet they still work as object in their own right. He aims to make you question if they are living beings and he likes the confusion it can bring to the viewer. Mueck makes a variety of different sizes when it comes to his models; his disposition is for them to be in crowded gallery spaces, making the work do all the talking for him. This enhances the intimidation the viewer receives, so that it withholds the most poignancy. The idea is that the exhibition becomes a trap for the viewer due to the folds of skins, hairs, toenails and sweat visible, the viewer will question the models and the reason why they are important and purpose they serve, but also enables the audience  to value the sheer beauty of artwork created.

The agitating responses via the viewer are transcendent of an uncanny question of realness that will make the viewer examine the vast detailed surface. Mueck’s has a vast array of skills. More interesting is a discussion of his standing in the history of figuration. His ability to show graphically and yet still displays a clean and fresh extremity, visualising clarity and acute observation that can distinguish him from his contemporaries, who also explore strategies of realism. Mueck is a master at orchestrating the lines between the vision and reality. His figures invite the audience to interrogate the subject layer upon layer of subject matter, “warts and all” so to speak. A journey through the undulating images every aspect on close inspection only illuminates the beauty of the captured details.

Mueck continues throughout all projects to be spontaneous, this dramatically inspires me to do much the same, trying new or traditional methods, or experimenting with more unique methods may potentially suit the project best. The sense of scale is something Meuck takes into significant consideration. This is something I want to take into consideration myself when planning to exhibit my own work. I feel life-size a bed would create the right depth and atmosphere but much like Mueck in thinking my other object should be altered to not look so lifelike/realistic so that the viewer will question it, hopefully forcing them to understand the meaning behind it. Like Mueck I feel like objects are very captivating in presence, and shall say more about the story, I’d like to tell not just use photographs alone, I feel I would benefit from using realistic objects. I feel that there should be a confusion towards my project as a viewer, as it should be a metaphoric reference but also so that the viewer is completely captivated affording greater time trying to understand it. Freestanding objects and photographs will allow my work to speak rather than a section of text on the wall explaining it. I would also like to explore hyperrealism but still be intimate and fragile much like Mueck’s work. I would also like my work investigated by an intrigued viewer.








Olafur Eliasson



Your Body of Work (2011-2012)

Olafur Eliasson was born in Denmark 1967. He studied, from 1989 to 1995, at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He has had many highly successful exhibitions that are some of the most visited in the world. In 1995, he moved to Berlin and founded Studio Olafur Eliasson, he had by then aspired to become a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Eliasson directed the Institute for Spatial Experiments for a five-year term as an experimental programme in art education in his studio. With architect Sebastian Behmann they created ‘Other Spaces’ (this looks at interdisciplinary and experimental building projects within a public space), an international office for art and architecture.

This core idea of art not being a picture Eliasson said, “The idea that art can actually evaluate the relationship between, what it means to be in a picture, and what it means to be in a space.

What is the difference? The difference between thinking and doing. I think it makes a difference whether you have a body that feels a part of a space, rather than having a body which is just in front of a picture.”

In 2011 he installed, ‘Your body of work’ engaged with three institutions. This one is an experimental installation for the viewer’s experiences revolving around colour perception and spatial orientation. He looks at temporality and he feels that most of today’s exhibitions do not facilitate temporality and become momentarily timeless. He feels it should be relevant that the process is part of the experience through all of your senses. “Experience is about responsibility. Having an experience is taking part in the world. Taking part in the world is really about sharing responsibility.” This work is a labyrinth engulfing you and inspiring you to use all of your senses to feel the experience. It should make you question your body to the very core of existence, how you are entrenched in the notion but never questioning why. It should make you appreciate the physics of doing. He cited “to sort of find itself and to navigate and to get lost and found” this should make you question that you haven’t lost your natural senses, just you need to refine your method of getting lost and if we lose our sense we get new ones to solve the problem. If you become stuck in your way of feeling lost, you often will not want to find the solution and therefore you are stuck in the space. The audience drawn into a situation whereby they have to modify and reorganise their skills thus questioning the reality. To reproduce ourselves, much like the colour scheme is the support mechanism he has used to become lost as colour is confusing but the colour responds to movement and changes colour in order to guide you to focus on the singular thing in front of you.

Eliasson’s art is determined through his interests in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self. Eliasson likes to highlight concerns of art and make them relevant to society using: sculpture, painting, photography, film, and installations.

Eliasson’s work inspires you to think you are an assembly of parts, one who questions the reality and provokes a determined question of what reality is. Eliasson puts the viewer into a tangible space (sense of dimension) with objects with certain connotations (enabling you to judge the time and therefore the distance between) which becomes part of the process of art and with art does it become a kind of responsibility? Eliasson likes to configure the relationship between space and body. How do we configure them to make a difference? If so what consequences does it have? “If I have a sense of the space, if I feel that the space is tangible, if I feel there is time, if there is a dimension I could call time, I also feel that I can change the space and suddenly it makes a difference in terms of making space accessible. One could say this is about community, collectivity. It’s about being together.”

He questions how do we create an idea, which is tolerant to individuality, and responsive to the collective, without separating the two into two opposites? He finds art and culture, incredibly interesting in contemporary times, his work has successfully proven that one can create a kind of a space which is both sensitive to individuality and to the collective,

Eliasson looks at the space as a part of the photographic production, devoting the viewer completely into an experiment though all their senses. This supports the idea of making a story with intense depth. This concept is something I feel my work would benefit from; inevitably, it could be the sufferers, who truly understand the reasoning behind the chosen placement. Much like Eliasson where the viewer is taking part in the responsibility, I would like to force the viewer into a whirlwind of emotions but mainly awareness it is the viewer’s responsibility to address the issues. Like Eliasson it will make you question the whole existence and why things happen, how we can prevent atrocities. Like for instance the intense feeling of loss you feel when viewing Eliasson’s work, I would like to channel a lost feeling within my work but using a slightly different method. The idea of a reality machine to reprogram and organise. It will allow you to modify your whole being, which is how I would like to represent the positives in my story as you quickly modify your whole self into personal understanding and ultimately helping yourself evolve into a better person. The artist exhibits work about his own experiences and feelings of self, which, make them relevant to society. This is something I want to place huge emphasis on within my work ‘Uncertainty’ but also like Eliasson I’m happy to use any medium to achieve the results. Eliasson displays you with objects with associated connotations in a tangible space, thus enabling you to truly “live and feel” the story. Eliasson looks at the togetherness of a community and this is something I feel is very important, in my story as it should be understood the story it is trying to convey gaining support from each response. Eliasson looks at something, either collectively or individually. I want a direct link to this concept, I wish to deploy this idea in my own work either to the sufferers of the disease or if the viewer has experienced similar ill health.


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