Assignment 1

Creative Arts 3 – Body of Work: Assignment 1

Reflection

Identify relationships between your two creative activities.

The six strongest pieces of work I’ve chosen are:

From Art History 1:  My written Review; The Norwich School of Painters

In this piece I looked at the work of the Norwich School of Painters and this led on to my self-directed project on the Landscape Photography course. I gave a brief overview of the School but looked particularly at the work of John Crome and John Sell Cotman. In the review I tended to reflect what others had written on the subject but started to form my own opinions as I annotated the paintings by Crome and Cotman. I think that the analysis and annotations of works of art on this course helped me in considering several aspects of my photography including composition, lighting and the use of colour. This course seemed to be the start of my interest in combining Photography and History of Art in Creative Arts as at the end of the course I switched degree pathways from Photography to Creative Arts. I did this as I felt that I could learn a lot from studying the two topic areas alongside each other. This project could be extended to further consider landscape portrayal by members of the Norwich School, something that I did to a degree in the self-directed project (Asssignment 6 \Photography 2- Landscape).

From Art History 2:  My Critical Review; Was Edward Burne-Jones a Great Religious Painter?

https://light-writing.co.uk/arthistory2/index.php/2016/12/13/was-edward-burne-jones-a-great-religious-painter/

This was probably the longest piece of writing I have done on the various courses. I enjoyed the research a great deal. What I have learned from this assignment is that I need to start to form and propose my own opinions much more firmly rather than simply report those of other critics. My interest in the topic was stimulated by a visit to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery where I saw The Star of Bethlehem. I followed this up with a visit to Tate Britain and other galleries to see other Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood works. I can take from this my enjoyment of researching topics that interest me. I enjoyed seeing the work of Julia Margaret Cameron at a recent exhibition at the V&A. Study of the PRB and development of photography by and since then is perhaps an area to consider.

From Art History 2:  Project 7; A Creative Variation of an Eastern Work

https://light-writing.co.uk/arthistory2/index.php/2016/02/27/project-7-a-creative-variation-of-an-eastern-work/ 

I really enjoyed this assignment, I looked at Chinese ‘boneless’ painting, particularly their representation of flowers. I learned a great deal about their technique, composition etc and then tried to apply this to a photographic interpretation of their style. I think that there is great scope for combining the two subject areas of Photography and Art History in this topic.

From Photography 2 Landscape: Assignment 6 – A year in Toll’s Meadow

In this assignment I tried something new, taking a statement from David Hockney about the limitations of photography, particularly with regard to its use of single point perspective. He describes conventional photography as being like “looking at the world from the point of view of a paralysed cyclops–for a split second.” (Tate s.d.). I tried to produce an image which challenged this statement by creating a montage of multiple shots. This again is something that I might be able to follow up in considering combining research and Body of Work.

From Photography 2 Landscape: Assignment 5 – Self-directed project

This assignment furthered my study of the Norwich School of Artists. They were known for shunning the ‘idealised’ landscape popular at the time, instead portraying what they saw in their immediate surroundings. Bottinelli (2013 p59) believes that the artists “captured the life and look of the City of Norwich” and this was something that I attempted to do in the Assignment. I chose locations painted by Norwich School artists, but simply used this as a starting point  and, instead of trying to produce a variation of their work, I produced my own portfolio that I believed “captured the life and look of the of Norwich” today. There could be scope for developing this work further combining a study of Norwich School artists with contemporary landscape photographs of th area.

From Photography 1: Context & Narrative: Assignment 5

https://light-writing.co.uk/candn/?p=538

This Assignment involved constructing a stand-alone image. Again I borrowed from my Art History learning and looked at an image made by William Hogarth called The Politician. It was election time in the UK when I was undertaking this Assignment so I constructed my own version of the image which I called The Politician 2015. This assignment showed how I was starting to look at combining my learning from History of Art with my photographic practice. There is scope for further development of this.

REFERENCES

Bottinelli, G. (ed.) (2013) A Vision of England: Paintings of the Norwich School. Norwich: Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Tate (s.d.) David Hockney: 60 years of work – Exhibition Guide | Tate. At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/david-hockney-1293/60-years-work (Accessed on 25 June 2019)

Items of Potential Interest from these 6 pieces of work

  • Research of art history and production of photographic images informed/influenced by research
    • Chinese flower painting
    • Landscapes of Norwich School painters
    • Pre-Raphaelite paintings and photography
  • Challenging conventional photographic representation, e.g. Hockney’s ‘paralysed cyclops’ comment on single point perspective
    • Look at different ways this has been approached in other art forms and attempt to produce photographic images to achieve the same aim – e.g. cubist approach.

Personal Creative Voice

  • I don’t think that I have a personal creative voice which is different for the two subject areas. In my most recent Photography module the Assessor’s comment was that “There is a sense of you trying to articulate your voice across the assignments, but as you move to the next level it is important that you continue to develop a stronger sense of your personal interests and sense of invention, with a clarity to your intention.” 
  • Perhaps what is starting to differentiate my photographic work from that of others is a willingness to go beyond a traditional approach to a subject and consider how it can be both represented and presented to an audience.
  • How do I produce my work? So far this has been digital photography, but in my initial reading for this course I have been interested by cyanotypes and collagraphs so there could be scope for including this.
  • What are the most interesting aspects that I can take from each subject area?
    • The way that art from the past has influenced photographic practice
    • Challenging accepted photographic practice in representation of topics
    • Allowing study of other art forms to influence my photography
  • How can I integrate these aspects? Following discussion with my tutor for the Research Module I would like to attempt this by considering Japanese Art and its influence on the West (Japonsime). I would choose a specific time period, e.g. 1830-1940, and consider how the art forms have developed and influenced each other in Japan and the West. In undertaking this research, I would look at how images of flowers were portrayed over the period and consider influences and areas of difference.
  • In response to this research I would produce a Body of Work of my own photographic images of flowers with an analysis and reflection on how they had been influenced by my studies.
  • I would hope to produce something more than a simple image of a flower, looking also at the threats to their survival, such as climate change, insect pollination, etc.
  • In this way my two topics of Art History and Photography would combine to produce a single body of work.

Theme of Topical Importance and Integration with Research Module

My research proposal is for a comparative study of images of flowers produced by artists in Japan and the West from the late-Edo Period to the outbreak of the 2nd World War (c1830-1940). The study will consider images of flowers and how they may have been influenced by major artistic events in this period, including Japonisme, Orientalism and the invention and development of photography.

My chosen theme is images of flowers and the threats that they face. This will differ from traditional flower images in that to illustrate both the flowers and threats may require multiple images and/or a combination of media. The Research will influence my own practice in the Body of Work module; I will produce a series of images of flowers that will have been influenced by my studies of Japanese and Western artists. In producing the photographs, I will not only learn from artists of the period, but it will also inform my Research. It will give me a better understanding of how some of the images (particularly photographs) were achieved in that I will have tried to produce versions of them in my practical work.

Work Plan

As a start I intend to study the work of different artists who have produced images of flowers and to then make my own responses to their work. This isn’t meant to simply copy their work but to study in depth the images they made, analyse them and then allow that to influence my own work.

For some of these exercises it may be appropriate to look at the work of certain photographers who worked outside of the time frame specified in my Research module as this will give further ideas on my approach to the final body of work.

I have already started to produce work in response to the photographs of Karl Blossfeldt and propose to look at the images made by:

  • Anna Atkins
  • Kazumasa Ogawa
  • Imogen Cunningham
  • Yasuhiro Ishimoto
  • Betty Hahn
  • Takashi Tomo-oka

Having been through the process of making my own images in response to investigating the work of theses photographers, I will then produce a Body of Work on my chosen theme of flowers and the threats that they face.

Timescale

TASK Deadline
Assignment 1 – Reflective commentary, integration of Research and Body of Work, outline of theme, work plan, personal statement and mind map. Examine work of Karl Blossfeldt  

Review and amend following tutor feedback



End of December 2019  
Assignment 2 – Revise personal statement and work plan Send initial creations and reflective commentary. Examine work of Anna Atkins and Betty Hahn  

Review and amend following tutor feedback  
End of March 2020      

End of April 2020
Assignment 3 – Creative work and reflective commentary. Revised personal statement and work plan. Examine work of Imogen Cunningham and Yasuhiro Ishimoto  

Review and amend following tutor feedback  
End of July 2020      

End of August 2020
Assignment 4 – Continue creative work and send evidence of peer to peer critical review, revised personal statement. Examine work of Kazumasa Ogawa and Takashi Tomo-oka  

Review and amend following tutor feedback  
End of November 2020      

End of December 2020
Assignment 5 – Send final portfolio of work, revised personal statement, reflective commentary, self-assessment of final work and integration with Research  

Review and amend following tutor feedback  
End of February 2021  

End of March 2021

Initial Personal Statement

I am interested in the influences within and between different art forms, in particular the mutual influences between photography and other art forms. My research work involves a comparative study of images of flowers that were made in Japan and the West in the period c1830-1940. This involves examining the effect of Japonisme in the West. I am studying the work of Japanese artists such as Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige as well as the photographer Kazumasa Ogawa. In particular I am looking at the influence of Japanese art on the flower images of Vincent van Gogh and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I am also studying the photographs of Anna Atkins, Karl Blossfeldt, Imogen Cunningham and the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe. As well as looking at the way in which Japanese art influenced the West, I am also investigating the influence that Western art had in Japan.

This research influences my own photographic practice as I examine the work of the individual artists and the styles that were used in the flower images that they produced.

My chosen theme is images of flowers and the threats that they face. This will differ from traditional flower images in that to illustrate both the flowers and threats may require multiple images and/or a combination of media. The Research I undertake will influence my own practice in the Body of Work module; I intend to produce a series of images of flowers that will have been influenced by my studies of Japanese and Western artists. In producing the photographs I will not only learn from artists of the period, but it will also inform my Research. It will give me a better understanding of how some of the images (particularly photographs) were achieved in that I will have tried to produce versions of them in my practical work.

Mind Map