Category Archives: Research and reflection

Assignment 5 – tutor reports and comments

1 August 2016

Textiles 1: Exploring ideas, Assignment 5: Personal project


Tutor report:

My tutor Report for Assignment 5: Personal project can be found by clicking on the link, which will direct you to a .pdf document located in Dropbox.

 

My response:

I worked hard to demonstrate progression of my ideas through sketchbook and sampling to finished piece, so I’m glad that my tutor recognised this in my submission. Once again, she also commented on my developing creative voice, which I am delighted is apparent within my work.

The main learning point from my final assignment is not to be frightened about working intuitively. My tutor recognised it as having the advantage of making sure my piece was not too tight or fixed in expectations. Although I naturally tend to find uncertainty unsettling, I need learn to be more relaxed and see the strengths and benefits of a flexible, intuitive approach.

My tutor correctly identified the importance of sketchbooks to me as part of the creative process and suggested that I draw regularly. She also highlighted some particularly effective stitched samples within the sketchbook which have possibilities for further development using different materials and layering.

There was a suggestion that I should present my samples in a presentation box for assessment. I am in the process of making a presentation frame/box for this purpose.

 

 

Assignment 4 – tutor reports and comments

30 June 2016

Textiles 1: Exploring ideas, Assignment 4: Contextual studies


Tutor report:

My tutor Report for Assignment 4: contextual studies can be found by clicking on the link, which will direct you to a .pdf document located in Dropbox.


My response:

I feel comfortable with researching, analysing and summarising information, so I was pleased that my tutor recognised my submission as an “excellent body of considered research materials”. Most gratifying, were her comments regarding expression of my personal voice through reflection and opinion, and recognition of the connections I’d made to my own practice.

One of the pointers she gave me for my final assignment was to keep my project work tight and focused. I am aware that I have the tendency to get carried away with sample making, and make perhaps too many. This can lead me to a “conundrum” as to which to develop, with many promising lines of enquiry and too little time to engage them all. Maybe a different division of time is needed, with less sampling and more time allocated to developing an idea? (At present I give roughly 50% to each) 

My tutor has also picked up on my lack of confidence, and told me to “have faith in my own discernment and selection”. Confidence is an area I need to work on. Sometimes I have a tendency to be afraid of producing a poor visual outcome, and I certainly do not want this to inhibit me from taking risks.

The final point I would like to discuss is the suggestion that I might like to “play with scale”. I am particularly interested in area scale and, this being a line of enquiry which I have touched on in my sampling for Assignment 3, and which I would like to develop further.

 

The sculptures of Cornelia Parker

19 July 2016

I was watching TV and chanced upon a trailer for an upcoming BBC programme about artist Cornelian Parker. The similarities between her “suspended sculptures” and the effect I had hoped to achieve with my final piece for Assignment 5 were striking. Parker works with fragmentation and the arrangement of found objects in 3D or 2D space. Her sculptures are site specific installations using space and light to create a feeling of movement frozen in time. 

Examples include the 3D piece “Hanging fire (suspected arson) (1999)” in which Parker arranges actual pieces of charcoal from an arson attack. In the piece, the charcoal fragments are arranged to form a pattern reminiscent of fragments of shrapnel dispersing during an explosion, suspended a few inches from the floor and extending to the ceiling, they are fixed using wire, pins and nails. The occupies the space of a rectangular cube 144x60x72 inches.

A second example, and perhaps the most famous of her sculptures of this series, is “Cold dark matter: an exploded view” (1991) . This piece similarly occupies a large 3D space and consists of the suspended fragments of a blown up shed – it is as if the explosion is suspended in a moment in time – there is order in the size of the pieces and the distance they have travelled from the point of detonation. Also there are changes in their density (closeness together) as they eye moves further from the detonation point. What I particularly like about the image in the link I have included, is the lighting; each fragment is duplicated several times as shadows. Of course, each shadow is different, and distorted from the original shape, so whilst there is a degree of unity, there is also diversity. Tonal variations in shadows give further interest.

This photograph of the shadows created by my final piece was taken in natural sunlight. I’m sure it would be possible to make even more interesting shapes and tones in a gallery setting using multi-directional spotlights, as has been achieved with Cornelia Parker’s suspended sculptures.

Personal project – Reflective commentary

9 July 2016

 

Textiles 1: Exploring ideas, Assignment 5 – Personal project

Reflective commentary

 

Working through this assignment has been an extremely positive experience. I started by  reviewing my sketchbook work and sampling, looking for successful techniques and outcomes, and seeking those with the greatest potential for development. Seeing all my work together helped to pinpoint which are the most fruitful approaches to developing ideas.

I find that sketchbook work is an especially effective way of stimulating my creativity. Drawing using different media, making models and abstracting ideas, establishing links with other artist’s work and my own work from previous assignments. For this assignment, I made a dedicated sketchbook on the theme of ‘trees’ which references and expands on the concepts of assignment 4 (reveal and conceal). It gave me a firm foundation and point of reference as I worked through my personal project. As a consequence, I felt much more secure in the process and confident in my selections as I moved through each stage of sampling.

I have been surprised by the amount of synergy between the work which I have done to date (both practical and contextual), and this project. It feels as if the visual vocabulary which I have been developing is finally starting to behave like pieces in a jigsaw and coming together to form an overall picture. 

At no time in the assignment did I feel ‘lost’ or ‘lacking direction’. This is in measured contrast with a year ago when I was completing my personal project for Textiles 1: A creative approach. Then (I now realise), I was experimenting rather than sampling, concentrating on technique and technical skills rather than visual outcomes. Consequently, I had not done enough sampling to lead and focus my attention towards a finished piece.

The biggest difficulty I encountered with this assignment was having to make the final piece without being able to test all my ideas thoroughly through sampling. This was because my early samples were comparatively small, so it was not possible to test the colour interactions and composition due to difference of scale. In the event, I used a combination of sketching, further sampling and informed trial and error (i.e. I drew from my knowledge and experience to determine approaches which might improve the rhythm, tension and dynamics). I am pleased with the outcome of the project, if not somewhat surprised that it works better against a black background under natural outdoor lighting than against a white background under artificial lighting (i.e. in a gallery setting), as I had originally envisaged.

On 25 June, I attended a study visit at the Sainsbury’s centre for the visual arts. The exhibition: “Giacometti: A line through time” charted the life, art and influences of Giacometti and also, interestingly, work by artists who were influenced by him, including Elizabeth Frink, Francis Bacon, and William Turnbull. A particular aspect of his work which I am keen to read across into my own practice is the use of asymmetric placement and negative space to suggest tension.

 

Personal project, Assignment 5 questions

10 July 2016


This blog entry records my responses to the following course note questions: 

 

1. Can you see a clear line of progression from source material through to finished piece? Was there enough information in your source material to stimulate your imagination and sustain your enthusiasm?


This experience has been so much better than the final project I did for Textiles 1: A creative approach. I have understood and followed a process which has given me a firm foundation, confidence, and a series of samples to draw from and fall back on when work didn’t go to plan. I can actually see a clear line of progression and I am very pleased with how much easier it has been for me to made decisions at each stage.

I elected to make a new sketchbook for this assignment. This was because although I wanted to use ideas from ‘reveal and conceal’, I felt that my assignment 4 sketchbooks were not sufficiently targeted. By developing a new sketchbook dedicated to the theme of trees, I was able to make a truly coherent set of related drawings, analogies, experiments and samples. Unlike samples I had made in assignment 4, I felt able to pick from, and use them together because they were all related to theme. This gave me plenty of source material.

 

 

2. Do you feel you made the right choices and decisions when selecting at each stage of the project? If not what would you change and how would it alter the outcome?

 

I do feel that I made the correct decisions. However, it was difficult to have to put aside promising samples at stage 3 because they didn’t fit with the focus of the work that I wanted to take forward. In particular I am thinking about the core-spun wire (sample FP7 below).

 

The only decision that I might wish to reconsider is the colour that I painted the frame. In my initial thinking the frame was to be insignificant (merely a support to hold the fishing line vertical threads, which I envisaged being attached floor to ceiling in and art gallery installation). However, as I was making the piece and photographing it in different settings it became apparent that it worked best against a dark (black) background. In this case, to make the frame ‘disappear’ (or blend into the background) it would have been better to paint in matt black. In the event, I quite like the framed piece and the fact that it has analogies with a window pane and broken glass. It would be easy to cut out pieces of coloured card to ‘test’ the effect of different coloured frames, or ‘crop’ out the frame using photo-editing software to simulate the effect of no frame. 

 

3. Are there more ideas you would like to pursue that have come out of this project? Are they similar in feeling to the direction you took, or different? Note them down for future reference

 

There are several ideas which I would like to follow up as a result of work done on this project. Some are early in the project, for example sketchbook work in which I designed a fabric pattern (see below)

I would like to make this design suitable into a repeating pattern and then obtain samples printed onto sheer fabric. The idea, if successful would be to make scarves which I could sell. Perhaps a soft pink and orange colour-way could be explored as an alternative too?

I have already done more work on sample FP7, by making my own batt and core-spinning a longer length of wire.

 

The photos below show the sample arranged in different configurations on white card:

I find the shadows and negative spaces very appealing, as are the different forms into which the sample can be arranged. It would be interesting to take the idea further by contrasting with thin or smooth threads, and exploring how the sample could be wrapped around objects, so as to interact and form a visual relationship with them. 

Finally, from the idea of using oak leaf shapes. Although these shapes did not give the best visual outcome for my final project, I feel that there is merit in taking the concept further and in a slightly different direction.

My photograph reminds me of botanical specimens, or taxidermy (such a Damien Hirst’s ‘Last Kingdom‘), in which superficially identical (but subtly different) animate or botanical objects are arranged in rows or columns of the the same species.

There is scope for developing the idea of a ‘display case’, drawing on the idea of how each object is subtly different and none are perfect. It could be referenced to topics such as identity, how disability is viewed by society, and stereotyping based on gender, race or nationality.

 

4. Which stage did you find the most exciting? Which stage was the most arduous and difficult to get through?

 

Although demanding, I find sketchbook work the most exciting. It is at this stage where I feel the most freedom and a huge amount of excitement as ideas often generate unexpected results and a completely new direction.

For this project I found stage 6 ‘planning and making the final piece’ the most demanding and stressful. Although I had made several small samples, because these were only 9″x12″, it was not possible to test how my idea would work on a large scale other than just trying it out on the large frame (30″x42″). In the event, I had to supplement my work with more sampling and think long and hard about the best way to introduce excitement, tension and rhythm. Not knowing if I was going to be able to achieve a good outcome was stressful.

 

5. Do you like your finished textile? What are it’s strengths and weaknesses?

 

I do like my finished piece. I think it’s strengths are it’s feeling of depth and three-dimensionality. It’s weakness is that it’s visual effectiveness is very dependant upon the configuration (light and background) in which it is viewed. Whilst this might not be a disadvantage if it were a fixed installation, as a student it is difficult knowing that assessors will not be able to view my work in the conditions that I would like it to be presented.

Giacometti study visit 23 June 2016

23 June 2016

The study visit took place at the Sainsbury’s Centre for the Visual Arts in Norwich. The tutor was Hayley Lock.

The exhibition, entitled “Giacometti: A Line through time”, explores the impact of Giacometti on his own generation, especially British artists, and coincides with the 50th anniversary of his death.

Giacometti was born in Switzerland in 1901 into a family of artists. When he moved to Paris in 1912, he quickly settled into the arts scene and cafe culture. He became one of the most important and distinctive artists of the 20th century, whose work includes drawing, painting, printing, and of course sculpture.

For the pieces which I would like to discuss from the visit, I have chosen once piece by Giacometti, and two inspired by Giacometti.

Man crossing a square (1949) 

This piece is a sculpture made by Giacometti, and owned by the Alberto Giacometti Foundation, Zurich. It was made in 1949, in Giacometti’s studio in Paris, shortly after the end of WWII. The period is significant, because there were still economic difficulties and a sense of anxiety, pessimism and nihilism due to post-war trauma, which led to a fundamental re-evaluation of the depiction of the human figure, meaning and representation (1). Cast in bronze, this three-dimensional figurative sculpture is one of an edition of 6 (2).

In “Man crossing a square” there is an air of man’s fragile existence in the almost painfully thin, elongated limbs and the fragility of the casting, which appears barely thick enough to hold together in places. In common with almost all Giacometti’s male sculpture figures, the man is engaged in activity (walking). However, there is an feeling of the figure being frozen in space and time and is a sense of determination which can be gleaned by the figure’s posture, because the head is upright and he is looking straight ahead. In common with other similar works, it is believed that the walking man is the artist’s self portrait (2).

The sculpture was inspired by the elongated figures of Etruscan art created between the 9th and 2nd century BC, which affected Giacometti both stylistically and emotionally (1). Perhaps relating to the emaciated figures emerging from the concentration camps, both physically and psychologically, the sculpture suggests isolation and reflection. Whilst the limbs and torso appear thin and vulnerable, the hands and feet are disproportionately large, which draws attention to them. Perhaps intentionally, this gives the figure a distorted perspective suggestive of a shadow-like appearance, again indicative of fragility and vulnerability.

The relationship between the figure and the plinth on which it stands is also important. The space that the figure occupies is not central, and he is walking diagonally, which gives a feeling of tension. The size of the plinth relative to the figure is overwhelming, again emphasising it’s fragility. Because the limbs are so thin, the negative space between the legs and arms and torso take on a special significance. In contrast with the body, which is loosely defined, the face shows minute and precise detail, which enables the facial features to be discerned. What I love about this sculpture is that in common with Henry Moore’s bronzes it looks completely different depending from what direction and angle it is viewed.

In common with Giacometti’s bronze sculptures of this period, the surface is rough and textured. Giacometti was known to work intensely for many hours, fashioning clay models from which moulds would be made. He used his fingers and thumbs to remove material, so there is a feeling of intimacy and connection with the artist.

In the exhibition, the sculpture was placed inside a glass case (probably for protection and security reasons. Whilst this detracted somewhat from appreciation of the surface texture, it contained and constrained the sculpture in a way not dissimilar to the open cast bronze cage in one of Giacometti’s other sculptures, “The cage” (first version), 1950, also in the exhibition.

 

Study of a nude (1952-3)

“Study of a nude” is an oil on canvas painting (59.7×49.5cm) by Francis Bacon, and is housed in the permanent collection of Sainsbury’s Centre for the Visual Arts.

The painting shows a solitary male figure, viewed from behind and appearing to stand on the edge of an open-sided box, or space frame. Although attributed as “a device of Bacon’s own invention” (3), the space frame and the composition of the painting owe much with Giacometti’s sculpture “The cage” (first version). Indeed, from 1962, the artists met frequently to exchange ideas, both Giacometti and Bacon believing that the closest representation of actual fact could be obtained if an artist strived ‘to give the nearest possible sensation to that felt at the sight of the subject’ (1). The study of this single figure contained within a space frame box in isolation and of undefinable scale shares many of the themes of Giacometti’s post-war work, which also asserts that what appears to be small may in fact be monumental (1). The space frame is a theme which appears in many of Bacon’s work including “Pope I” (1951), Marching figures (1952) and “Figures in a landscapes” (1956).

In common with many of Bacon’s works, “Study of a nude” is dominated by a dark background, against which the pale figure and white space frame seem to project. The source of the figure is the photography of Eadweard Muybridge and his book of “The human figure in motion” (1887). The muscularity of the figure shows the influence of Michelangelo. Also in common with “The cage” (first version), the figure is placed centrally, but on the edge of the frame, feet arched and arms raised, as if ready to dive into the abyss.

 

Figure (1954) 

I wanted to mention briefly, this sketch by William Turnbull which I found especially interesting. I have not been able to find out much  about this drawing, nor a link to a photograph. However, I did make my own sketch which is shown below:

This sketch clearly references Giacometti’s figure sculptures with oversized, paddle-like hands. Like his sculptures it alludes to detail on the face and very little visual information available for the rest of the body. I find the contrast between the vaguery of line in some areas compared with detail and intensity in others very engaging. Whilst I am drawn to search for features in the tangled lines shrouding the face, I am simultaneously forced to interpret the ‘missing’ lines from the body and arms. This way the sketch appears both ghostly and transient, intense and menacing.

 

Conclusions:

There are many aspects of Giacometti’s work which can be read across into my own practice. His use of asymmetric placement and negative space to suggest tension, the accentuation of specific features to draw attention to them, his reference to art forms from different times in history and culture, and his use of grids and space to suggest a moment frozen in time.

In addition there is a valuable lesson about self-belief. Giacometti famously kept reworking his pieces, insisting that they were unfinished, resulting in a reluctance to make them available to potential purchasers. Luckily, Lisa and Robert Sainsbury were insistent, and managed to gain his confidence and and acquire work for their collection.

 

References:

1. Sainsbury’s centre for the visual arts (2016) Giacometti: A line through time. London. Bloomsbury.

2. Southerby’s (2007) Description:Homme travers ant use place par un matin de soleil. Online. Available from: http://www.sothebys.com/fr/auctions/ecatalogue/2007/impressionist-and-modern-art-evening-sale-n08314/lot.28.html [Accessed 28 June 2016]

3. Sainsbury’s centre for the visual arts (2015) Francis Bacon and the masters. London. Fontanka.

 

 

Visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park

1 June 2016

Yorkshire Sculpture park (YSP), which opened in 1977, is a 500 acre site near Wakefield for the production, exhibition and appreciation of modern art and contemporary sculpture. 

As well as several indoor galleries, the parkland has carefully designed vistas, hosting both permanent and temporary sculpture exhibits, which include some of the leading figures of the 20th century art and sculpture; Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Joan Miro, Anthony Gormley, Magalena Abakanowicz, Elisabeth Frink, Andy Goldworthy and Jonathan Borofsky. 

Whilst visiting, I was lucky to also see major exhibitions by Not Vital (21.05.16 – 02.01.17) and KAWS (06.02.16 – 12.06.16 Longside gallery, until Dec 2016 open-air), as well as “At Home” (19.03.16 – 17.07.16) an exhibition highlighting over 40 works of home and domestic objects from 1930-2010. Also in the galleries was the major exhibition “Eduardo Paolozzi 2016” (12.03.16 – 12.06.16) whose approach is widely viewed as a precursor and driver of the British Pop Art movement. I also had the opportunity to view Roger Hiorns work “Seizure” (2008); an empty council flat (originally in Southwark) whose interior had been pumped with copper sulphate to produce a sparkling blue coating of electric blue crystals. 

With so much to see, and without the luxury of living close enough to make a return visit, I focused on visiting as many of the exhibits as possible, recording them photographically, collecting as much information as I could through boards, leaflets and official publications.  

“Ten seated figures” (2010), Magdalena Abakanowicz 

Magdalena Abakanowicz’s, sculpture, “Ten Seated Figures” was of particular interest because she was one of the artists I had researched for Assignment 4, Project 1, and consequently I knew something of the artist and the background to her work. Born in Poland in 1930, to a Polish-Russian family, her practice reflects Issues of war, post-war oppression, the concept of crowds and loss of identity.

The sculpture consists of a series of ten giant figures (less heads and arms), each seated on a bench. Although currently at the YSP, they are on loan by the artist and Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg, Germany (2). The period of the loan is not known. Made in 2010, the sculptures are typical of a series of works made by Abakanowicz from 1974, when she started to make seated figures, first in Burlap fabric, and later in metal. (6)

I have not been able to find out the exact dimensions for the figures, although I estimate each is between nine and ten feet tall and maybe some 4 feet in width and depth. Made from cast iron, they are positioned in a row, one iron “seat” directly alongside the next, forming a corridor along which the viewer is invited to walk. 

The fact that each sculpture is resembles the human form means there is a figurative element to the work, and because heads and arms have been omitted, this also points to it being a reflective piece. Knowing the background to Abakanowicz’s work and the themes that she likes to explore, allows me to suppose that she is representing the anonymity of the figures, and asking us to question their identity (particularly to contrast their similarities and differences). Indeed it is characteristic of Abakanowicz’s work, is that whilst each figure initially appears identical, close examination reveals that each is in fact unique, having subtle but discernible differences in surface texture and form.

In common with much of her work, I feel that these pieces are are very much concept-led. Ingot (6) has likened her work to the sculptures of Wladyslaw Hasior (which were also headless and seated), and Josef Szajna. She believes that the fragmented and multilateral body forms are metaphors for Abakanowicz’s own wartime memories (her family were subject to a Nazi assault). Further, it is readable that these sculptures explore not only the physical injuries, but a degradation of human dignity and loss of personal identity.

 

“Moon” (2015) Not Vital”

Born in 1948 in the small village of Sent on the boarders of Austria and Italy, Not Vital now lives an almost nomadic existence, choosing to divide his time between residences and studios in Sent, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro and Niger. Despite being recognised internationally as a leading sculptor, the YSP is his first major exhibition in the UK and reflects the diversity of his work including paintings, works on paper, as well as indoor and outdoor sculptures in a range of materials such as plaster, silver, gold, marble, glass and coal. His work is informed by both his rural and secluded upbringing (mountains, animals, snow, the Alpine environment), and the cultural elements derived from his travels.

Choosing one piece to discuss was extremely difficult. Although I found his outdoor sculptures the most compelling, I also particularly liked his handmade paper pieces in which he had sculpted the surface (either using his hands during manufacture, by tearing, or by embedding objects within the fibre itself – see example below from the “Laos series” (2016), frog permeating handmade paper)

 

I chose the sculpture “Moon” (2015) to discuss because I found it the most awe inspiring. It consists of a large sphere of polished metal featuring depressions or “craters” within it’s surface. The reflective qualities means that it acts a spherical mirror, both reflecting and distorting the environment around it. In the photo below I have included my 9 year old son to give an idea of the scale of the piece.

Situated on the gallery lawn of the YSP with a backdrop of clipped yew hedging, the piece reflects the horizon, sky and long lawn and path of this area of the park. Thinking back to Pointon’s remarks (3), this artwork exemplifies the importance of location and juxtapositioning because of it’s reflective surface. By comparison, a similar but smaller sculpture by Vital, “Moon” (2011) looks very different when photographed in the environment of a workshop/studio. According to Sperone Westwater’s website (4), the moon sculpture is one of a series of three. “Moon” (2015) was displayed on it’s own at the YSP.

“Moon” (2015) has a diameter for 300cm (5) and was fabricated by skilled craftsmen in China using chased steel. Each crater was made individually then welded to the main structure (1). This use of skilled artisans (whose expertise has been acquired over generations) is a central feature of Vital’s practice, and often brings positive financial benefit to the communities.

Partially materials-led, and partially conceptual, the highly polished surface and the reflections it generates seem to suggest Vital’s own way of absorbing the nuances and peculiarities of the places he visits. Reference to the moon, and the size of this sculpture make us think about it in a similar to the sun and sunset (also themes of Vital’s work), as a reliable constant in a changing world. 

 

“Small Lie” (2013) KAWS

Before visiting the sculpture park, I was only vaguely aware of KAWS large sculptures and knew nothing of the background behind the artist or his work. I didn’t have high expectations – I was anticipating a frivolous display of large, whimsical plastic characters, which at best I might have found slightly amusing. Instead, I discovered a deeply moving series of work, exploring emotion through body language (especially posture). KAWS uses the medium of pop art, cartoon characters, advertising/consumerism and the influences of American and Japanese culture to convey his ideas. 

KAWS (Brian Donnelly) is an American artist whose early work included graffiti and modifying advertising posters. The exhibition at YSP surveys sculptures made over the last ten years representing his trademark characters Companion, Chum, and Bendy, all with soft skull and cross bones and crossed out eyes.

“Small Lie” (2013) is the most massive of all the sculptures in the exhibition. At 10m high and made from Afromosia wood, the scale of the piece and beauty of the material contribute to it’s impact. The sculpture is a character, which sports the buttoned breeches, braces and gloves of the early Micky Mouse cartoons the nose of Pinocchio. It is the reference to familiar cartoons which contributes to a feeling of intimacy and association with the emotions that this sculpture conveys. It is shown with a stooped posture, it’s head hung in shame. As if despondent, a child who has been reprimanded for telling a lie, yet not quite understanding what has happened to it or what it has done. 

 

 

Undoubtably figurative, the feelings conveyed by the character make the viewer feel that it needs consoling, or comfort, yet the scale makes this seem at the same time impossible and the character somewhat distant, helpless and out of reach. This only adds to our empathy and heightens our emotional response to the piece.

Although inextricably linked with Pop art, KAWS work takes the movement on into the 21st century, by drawing on popular culture and blurring the boundaries between fashion, art and design.

It was interesting when reviewing photographs in the exhibition catalogue (7), that very different moods and interpretations could be given depending on the weather and light conditions. “Good Intentions” (2015), for example, appeared warm and comforting when photographed in bright sunlight, yet sad, subdued and almost dejected when photographed with a covering of snow.

The YSP setting was the first in which a group of several large KAWS sculptures had been shown together. The artist commented that when grouped, the sculptures “change from being a pea into something massive” (7), i.e. that interplay between them adds an extra dimension, increasing their gravitas.

By referencing popular culture, toys and consumerism, KAWS work reaches to a wide audience including children, youths and those who may not normally associate themselves with the type of art seen in galleries. In this way, by breaking down the boundaries between fine art and design/fashion/advertising/consumerism, KAWS is able to transcend high and low art and avoid elitism.

 
References:
  1. Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2016) Not Vital. Leeds. Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
  2. Yorkshire Sculpture Park [n.d.] Exhibitions: Magdalena Abakanowicz. [online]. Available from:http://www.ysp.co.uk/whats-on/open-air/magdalena-abakanowicz [Accessed 3 June 2016]
  3. Pointon, M (2014) History of Art. A student handbook. 5th Edition. London and New York. Routledge.
  4. Vital, N. (2011) Moon [stainless steel]. 150cm diameter. [online]. Available from: http://www.speronewestwater.com/artists/not-vital#8 [Accessed 3 June 2016]
  5. Vital, N. (2015) Moon [stainless steel]. 300cm diameter. [online]. Available from: https://galerieursmeile.com/artists/artists/not-vital/moon-2015/workdetail.html?cHash=c383a08ca7d09beeffea9f10f8e04ea6 [Accessed 3 June 2016]
  6. Inglot, J. (2004) The figurative sculpture of Magdalena Abakanowicz: Bodies, environments and myths. California. University of California press.
  7. Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2016) KAWS Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Wakefield. Yorkshire Sculpture Park.