My submission for assignment 4 consists of this page and sub-sections of the blog menu ‘Assignments – Assignment 4‘:
- Development of work: Assignment 4 – Painting through Skin
- Assignment 4 – Contextual Notes: Considering a wider context and artists informing my assignment work.
- Assignment 4 – Reflection: Self-evaluation against assessment criteria
(for a full list of submitted items please refer to the content list)
Vibrant Matter of Skin
‘Vibrant Matter -Touching my Skin – Stretching my limits.’
- by clicking on one image a lightbox opens incl captions to view as a slider
- the large view that makes it at times impossible to fit the entire image of the work (2nd and 3rd one) on a e.g. laptop screen, is intentional. The lightbox view reduces the dimension, though.
My Reflective account
It happened that I really didn’t have an idea what to make for assignment till the moment I explored through elements of chance the versatile material of latex, e.g its resistance to blend with plaster. Actually, my tutor mentioned it after the last assignment, but I was quite unsure whether to use it just as a paint or as a rubber. Finding it a too literal material.
My exploration of latex as paint (mixed with acrylic paint), a dense opaque paint contrasting with my earlier ideas of transparency, was more of a material interaction, or as Petra Lange-Berndt stated, ‘to be complicit’ with the material (Lange-Berndt, 2015), but also to stretch literally its condition and being.
Latex as material has various cultural connotations, especially when black or red with erotic and when white or natural with medical. Further, it is a natural rubber material derived from rubber-trees, what could give the work another twist in interpretation. And the possibly more mundane use is in latex wall paint.
I tried to avoid those obvious colors, and shapes as it could have led too early and too much into certain direction. This time, I wanted to be interactive with the material and to find ways to give space to both the material as well as the negative space around it. One reason for doing that, was to avoid generalisation, a comment my tutor made after assignment three. And to avoid overthinking of possibly interpretations. Nevertheless, informed b my reading for my critical review and parallel project I was seeking the surface of latex rather as skin, a paint skin, as solid body but also as fragile surface. And searching for ways how opaqueness could also convey sense of transparency without being just a thin wash of watercolor or oil paint. My prior project works informed that possibility.
The work should speak through itself, that was my aim. Was it successful? To some extent, although I might have considered as well to translate it further into a more durable painting. One of the open question left: how could I have embraced the ephemeral aspect of the material more? According to some Information, latex starts to break down chemically after approx one year. I already noticed in an earlier project work, that the tension of stretched latex diminishes after a few weeks already. How could have this aspect been more embraced? Either to move onto a painting informed by the latex work (transformation, and going back to canvas?) or the embrace the vulnerability of latex in a work, that can continued to be meaningful when loosening tension and starting to break down (e.g. the revisited work from project 2, re-installed as an hanging ‘skin’ or fold).
(word count: 450)
- Lange-Berndt, P. (2015) ‘Introduction / How to Be Complicit with Materials’, in: Lange-Berndt, P. (ed.) Materiality, Documents of Contemporary Art, London: Whitechapel Gallery and The MIT Press, pp. 12 – 23.