In my first year at the Cambridge School of Art, I predominantly study sculpture. I would spend days and days in the studio, covered in plaster (my chosen medium – typically, the I chose the messiest media to work in). We spent most of the early days, carving designs out of a block of plaster. These sketches below, are some of my initial ideas of what I was going to sculpt, based on organic imagery from nature books.
Plaster is actually a great material to carve into. You have to be really careful, because it is so fragile, but you can get some great results, from the diverse textures you can create.
I don’t know if was because we were studying the work of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth in my Art History classes, that my work seem to channel an inspiration from them.
Usually looking to create more mess, I studied a couple of images that I liked, using my fingers as my brush (or mark-maker, as we sometimes referred to it in class – I liked the idea of Marc-making, the best). Never wanting to waste any paint (or a perfectly paint-laden finger), I would often make crappy pictures in the back of my art books. This one particularly made me smile…as judging from the picture on the left hand page, it might be easy to work out what film I had watched the previous evening!!
A couple weeks ago, I saw the play “The Pitmen Painters” – it was so fantastic (can’t recommend it highly enough), and what I loved most, was it took right back to my Art Studio days. The play is about art, and the nature of what it is, asking; What makes art, Art? Whilst they mused and discussed the work of Moore and Hepworth, amongst others. As artists themselves, they would sit in their studio and critique each other’s work, again, taking me back to the countless art crits that we had to do.
We had a few seminars on “What is Art?”, and we came to a similar conclusion as the play did…But what about you? What do you think makes art, Art? Let’s debate…leave your comments below.