For my crit, I decided to present a cluster of cows arranged in a regular way and a cluster of sheep presented in an irregular way. I did this to see what my peers thought was the most effective and to determine what route I should take my work next or develop towards.
This is the cluster of cows I presented. Due to a bit of a rush getting work finished for the crit, I didn’t have time to get them hung up professionally and so I used double sided tape which was a mistake on my behalf, I should know better by now but stress took over. I also wish I had used a spirit level as I can notice in the pictures how uneven and slated the pieces are. I wanted to create a uniform pattern to experiment as the layout of my work last term was very uniform. It was harder than I expected to arrange the diamond and triangular paintings as they were all different sizes which made mounting them quite difficult and so I feel going forward that I need to be more creative in terms of displaying them.
This is the cluster of sheep I presented. For these paintings, I wanted them to be completely slanted and scattered to explore layouts snd hopefully get feedback on what works or doesn’t work. I arranged them in a way so that the lines of the enclosures in each piece connected and so it created a link between each piece. I included the painting of three sheep in one enclosure to see if people would feel more sorry for the sheep being cramped in a small space together or separately.
Feedback of my work from crit forms:
- 2 separate works
- Bold colours, contrasting colours, bold lines, solid colours
- Caged animals, animals in captivity
- Mostly unnatural colours
- Farm animals, meat
- Layout on left really inventive
- Cows and sheep
- Animal paintings
- Small scale mdf
- Not displayed uniform
- Patterned layout
- Animal portraits in unusual colours
- Mosaic type presentation
- Triangles, squares and rectangles
Relating work to other artwork/contextual sources?:
- Pop Art – colours used and the combinations/sequences of paintings
- Andy Warhol pop art
- Stained glass windows
- Franz Marc
- Consider taking work down lino cutting due to the blocks of colour used
- Henry Moore’s sheep drawings from observation
Questions about the work, feelings:
- Makes someone feel like the animals are locked in as some of the animals’ eyes look sad and they are staring. Is this the intention of the artist?
- Why are the cows uniform and the sheep scattered?
- Is the colour suggesting something about how people feel about animals in captivity? (it’s unnatural) or the meat industry?
- Someone likes the different shaped works, could there be more and a bigger sequence?
- Do the colours mean anything?
- Why the arrangement of triangles?
- Since the animals are confined, it makes you question if farming animals is ethical
- Why the colour choice?
- Is there a reason why only cows and sheep are shown?
Feedback from Crit discussion:
- Small painted mdf boards, layouts noticed – uniform one side, scattered on the other side
- 2 separate paintings or 11 combined?
- The cows are separated but the sheep touch in areas
- Sheep/cows – different vocal points? cohesive pieces
- Irregular shapes and unnatural colours – surreal, uncommon
- Some of the paintings look like camera filters
- Bright vivid colours show a happier side than black and white
- The vivid colours used show a happier side but the animals gaze looks sad, contrast
- Humorous, not reality
- Cow side is more brutal through the uses of barbed wire
- Sheep are more free, more subdued and pastel colours used
- Cow paintings look like grids that are overlaid
- Intimidation through animals staring at viewer
- Cows reminded people of stained glass windows, mosaics, transformers, power rangers, birds, shaped like an animal
- Not uniform, uneven, lacks precision
- Explore my subject in lino print for blocks of colour
- Zoom in on elements of a cow rather than just their faces
- 3 sheep in one piece makes it look like a happy family – prefer them as individuals
- Sheep look happier than cows – sheep are more free
- Peta/animal rights
- People feel strange about colour scheme, baffled by it. confused by it. Bad confusion, feels uneasy and takes away from actual painting
- Purple cow painting most successful as it is simple but more complex way of painting
- Shows how animals are more commercialized
- Size is successful, no need to go any bigger as it will lose the confined aspect
- Interested in seeing a whole wall of them grouped together, accurate depiction of a group of cows, herd on a wall
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Not about individual paintings, eyes move from one to another in a sequence
- Colours, forms and shapes are important aspects of the work
- Feel sorry for the animals – people can be ignorant, guilt trip, animals vs humans
- Captures your attention, go in more, subtlety is important
Reflection of the crit:
Although initially I was happy with my crit, after the feedback I just felt that nobody understood my work and a lot of people didn’t like it even though I had worked from feedback on my previous terms work and where I was holding myself back. I feel that during my degree I have felt stuck and unsure of what to do, almost burnt out as I feel that the work I do is never enough and that I am always trying to please everyone but myself. I have to learn to change my view and just take it where I want to take it, criticism is there to help me develop and I just hope that I can pull myself together enough to get a good grade for my degree show. I will take all the feedback on board and try to improve my work as best as I can.