CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Making a website

Artist websites provide a way of showcasing your work and gaining an audience with the potential to gain important contacts. Most artists have a website when they start their careers.

A clear menu is vital to provide easy navigation and good quality photos are important for professionalism. The site requires a concise summary and a short artist statement to give a clear idea of what your work is about. 

I have started to make a website on the Wix website which is a free platform specifically for websites. I have included the important pages being Home, Artworks, About, and Contact.

Information about my Wix site

Examples of artist websites: 

Robert Phelps has a very simple artist website with the pages included being portfolios, artist info, contact, shop, blog, and links to his social media. His work is categorised into different animal groups on his home page is successful as it makes finding specific work easier and is less

The format of his paintings being grouped together works well as it shows the similarities and differences between the work and makes it easier to navigate. Clicking on the images enlarges them, as shown in the image below, and includes information about the paintings which works well and is something I would like to include on my website.

Robert Phelps included a photo of himself on his artist information page with a selection of his paintings exhibited on the wall behind him. This image is suitable as it allows his viewers to have an understanding of who has created the work that they are interested in, although this isn’t always needed on artists’ websites as the images can be unsuitable which is why it is important to get a professional photo taken during an exhibition or a very formal private set up to ensure that the photo doesn’t lose professionalism.

I feel that the simplicity of the Robert Phelps website is effective as it allows the artworks to speak for the artist rather than the viewer being distracted by bold colours or distracting titles. It has a professional feel to it and is put together nicely.


Rebecca Haines Artist Website:

Rebecca Haines included these pages on her website:

  • Welcome Page
  • About the Artist
  • Artist Statement
  • Gallery One
  • Gallery Two
  • News
  • Contact
  • Resume

Rebecca Haines is another artist I have done research on for my project and so I felt it would be appropriate to look at her artist website for inspiration. I love the simplicity of her website as the banner of a picture of one of her artworks creates a nice contrast and draws the viewer in. I like that the Welcome part is a different colour to the menu as this again makes an area that pops. Rebecca Haines included a photo of herself in her welcome page which I like but I don’t have any professional artist photos with my work or in my studios so I may put this off until I am able to get a photo which reflects me professionally.

Rebecca Haines included another photo of herself in her about the artist page which is interesting as it shows her with two of her artworks which is good as it allows the viewer to connect the art with the artists and this is something I would eventually like to do when I have finished works. The information she included in this page is a very in depth biography which I find quite overwhelming but I would like to include something like this on my own website to give viewers more of an insight into me as an artist and my general intentions that I can’t put across in my statement.

I like that Rebecca Haines Artist Statement is short and sweet as if it would have been any longer I feel that it may have been overwhelming like the about the artist page. I love that she has included three different images of her work alongside the statement as this showcases her different final products she has created with her ideas and intentions. The artworks all include different animals and have very different effects which I find very captivating.

Rebecca Haines included two groups of work in her website, one called ‘gallery one’ and the other called ‘gallery two’ which showcase different animals and different techniques. I like this idea but I feel that if my works were fairly similar like these works are in context, then I would separate them through sub menus rather than having them have their own page but there may be a method or reason behind Rebecca Haines deciding to do this on her website.

The news page includes any exhibitions Rebecca Haines is currently in or has been in the past, with images which I feel works well in allowing viewers to know what she is up to and where they can see her work in person. It also shows her success as an artist with some articles written about her as well. I don’t feel that I have got much experience with as many exhibitions as Rebecca Haines so I feel that it would be a good idea to leave this out for now and possibly add a page like this once I have more experience.

Rebecca Haines has a quite simple contact page which is interesting. I feel that I would want mine to be a bit more detailed but this format must work well for Haines. I like that she has included a range of her social medias at the bottom of the page for people to go and look at and find out more about her.

Rebecca Haines resume page has made it clear just how little experience I have exhibiting work but this gives me ambition to one day have this much experience and prove to myself that I can make it in the art world.

My website so far:

Home page of website

Pages I included:

  • Home – information about the website
  • About the artist – information about me and my journey with art
  • Artist Statement – short artist statement
  • Artworks – artworks from third year project, need to add second year work
  • Contact – page for people who visit my website to ask questions or make enquiries

I decided to alternate the banner at the top of each page, being the purple cow on the odd numbered pages (first, third and fifth) and the blue cow on the even pages (second and fourth) to make it more visually exciting. I decided to position these banners with the cows eyes being the main focus as I feel that the eyes are a reflection of the soul and allow the animals to communicate with the viewer

Purple cow on odd pages
Blue cow on even pages
About the artist page

I haven’t got an appropriate photograph of me with my artwork to upload and so I decided to make it one of my paintings for now. I also haven’t figured out exactly what I want to write in this section yet but I feel that it will give people more understanding about me combined with the artist statement.

Artist Statement Page

My short artist statement:

I am currently focusing on exploring the ethics of keeping animals, particularly farm animals, in captivity. This topic is so normalised in day to day life through farms and even animals in the countryside which we see when driving to places. I am hoping to give a voice to animals and allow them to communicate how being in captivity makes them feel and impacts on them. Colour is an important aspect of my work to represent how humans are often hypocrites who claim to care about the welfare of animals but don’t actually do anything to better the situation. Subtlety is important to me as I want to make people see through sympathy rather than disgust or outrage from violent imagery, the innocent imagery is very important to me. The idea of humans being regarded as more important than animals has always saddened me as we are similar in so many ways and animals deserve a lot more respect than we give them. There is more to animals than becoming a food for us to consume or a form of entertainment.

Artworks page
Artworks page

Contact page
CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Being an artist – exhibitions

  • Exhibitions – research exhibition specific websites and different art galleries
  • Making contacts in the creative industry – joining an art group of some sort to engage in crits and meet other artists
  • Competitions
  • Selling work – consider what sites to use

Since I don’t have a lot of experience on my CV and I’m not interested in pursuing a master’s degree straight after my bachelor’s degree, I feel that it’s a good idea to focus on getting my work into the real world through exhibitions and competitions which will allow me to make contacts and could lead me to gain some unique experiences/opportunities in the future.

Information about gallery spaces and exhibitions:

When it comes to becoming a self-employed artist, there are two questions you should ask yourself – What are your ambitions? and what are your hopes/dreams? The size of these ambitions matters as they show where you want to end up, which could be within the local art world, the national art world, or the international art world. There can also be crossovers, with some artists going from one to another throughout their careers. Most people begin locally and so this is something to consider, which city, place or practice do you want to start out in?

As well as different art worlds, there are also different exhibition venues including self-hire/manage, commercial and artist-run:

  • The self-hire/manage exhibition venues are very expensive and used by artists making specific work for people they know are definitely going to buy the work.
  • The Commercial exhibition venues include semi-craft shops and galleries in Cork Street. It is vital to be aware of all the different types of Commercial galleries and a good starting point would be to research London based galleries and then go to visit them in your spare time to see the types of art that are exhibited – then can understand if your work fits their criteria’s. Most often with commercial venues, you have to be introduced to the galleries before they even consider you in the exhibition – good idea to establish yourself beforehand and do a lot of networking.
  • Artist-run exhibition venues are often attached to studio spaces and artists collectives such as Two Queens in Leicester. The work in these venues doesn’t usually have success commercially but it allows artists to exhibit on their own terms without being told to change their work to fit a particular space or theme. Artists have also found non-gallery spaces to present their work since most galleries can be picky/closed off or difficult to get into.

Non-gallery spaces include empty spaces which are commissioned. Gardens, outdoor areas, work made specifically to be presented in particular venues. In some places, shop owners allow artists to use their empty shops whilst away to prevent areas from becoming derelict.

Garden exhibition example, Hillsborough

Billboard companies also allow artists to present their work for a cheap price or sometimes for free as this is advantageous for the billboard companies to create greater visibility and remind businesses that the companies still exist. Commercial companies often do things to benefit themselves.

Often using empty shops or other similar venues requires public liability insurance which is incredibly expensive as you are considered a commercial company. Artists are able to obtain cheaper public liability insurance through access which is an arts organisation that publicly buys public liability insurance.

A key area to research is art organisations. The A.N (previously known as the artists’ newsletter) is a good thing to subscribe to for the legality of being an artist and it has a lot of information making it a good service.

A.N has a section dedicated to art assistant jobs – both artist assistants and gallery assistants. It is important to think about your skillset and what skills may need to be developed to suit this job. These jobs are very variated, can be fun or difficult depending on how demanding the person/people you are working for are.

  • Artist assistant – gives you an insight into how the art world works which is important as it is a complex system. This also gives you the chance to build a network of connections that can come in handy in future endeavours. Can involve making cups of tea or sweeping the floor, even making the artist’s work.
  • Personal assistants – sometimes artist assistants can be promoted to becoming personal assistants which involves booking trains or materials for private viewings, sourcing things.
  • Gallery assistant jobs – often through internships, involve a lot of computer work via setting up websites, handling social media.

Finding exhibition opportunities:

Looking into opportunities on the websites Art Rabbit, Art Quest, Arts Hub, Arts Connect and many more will be vital for gaining exhibition experience as well as locating galleries that suit my personal style or do frequent exhibitions could also give me a better chance of being chosen.

Art Rabbit website:

ArtRabbit is a good site to use as it focuses on opportunities in and around Leicester which is convenient for me as I live in Leicester and I have lived here my whole life. I have no intentions of moving out of Leicester anytime soon due to finances so this will continue to be relevant for me for a long time – even after University.

Curator Space website:

Curator Space is a website which has opportunities for both artists and curators, as well as showing what is currently popular in the artworld. Since I first joined, I have found some exciting opportunities to apply for.

Art Quest Website:

Art Quest seems to have a lot more advanced artist opportunities involving science based ideas and activities which I find interesting. However, I don’t feel that I am educated enough on science based subjects and so these probably wouldn’t be suitable for me but I will look on the website regardless. It also included some interesting artist residencies which I will look into and add to my residency post.

Arts Hub Website:

Arts Hub has a range of different opportunities including awards/prize opportunities, calls for artists, photography, visual arts and painting which makes this a good place for opportunities which will build up your CV which is very beneficial for employment down the line.

Applying to some exhibitions:

First exhibition application:

I came across this exhibition opportunity on artrabbit and decided to go for it as it looked like a good opportunity and could be a great way for me to gain experience to add to my CV.

My application

This is my application, I submitted three of my artworks to boost my chances of being chosen, as this isn’t guaranteed. Upon reflection, I feel hat I should have included the pdf explaining my work and concepts as this may not be obvious from just looking at my paintings – although I think it’s a good idea for people to come to their own conclusions. Now I have to wait to see if I’ll be selected for the exhibition in May 2022, I will keep posting updates here when I hear back.

Update about London Lighthouse Exhibition:

Response from London Lighthouse Gallery

Unfortunately I wasn’t successful in my attempt to exhibit at the London Lighthouse exhibition. This is the response I received on Tuesday 5th April 2022. Numbers of submissions and the fact I submitted work near the deadline meant I wasn’t selected. I am aware that my art may not be for everyone from one of my crits so I take this with a linch of salt. It is simply something that happens during the process of submitting your work to exhibitions, you win some, you lose some. Onwards and upwards.

Second opportunity application:

I came across this opportunity on Curator Space where you submit pictures of your work and information about it for the chance to be featured on an Instagram page. Although this isn’t a full on exhibition, I feel that this could help me gain more attention on my art Instagram page and get my name out there more, which could lead to more exciting opportunities in the future. Gaining more visibility could allow me to hear from other people about how my work is going and give constructive criticism to help me develop it further.

The condition of entries was work which relates to the natural/metaphysical world and since my current project involved ideas concerning the captivity of animals, I felt that this was a very fitting idea and I feel that I have a good chance of being selected for this based on this information.

My application

I only wrote a small bio and statement since it specified it being brief and so I was worried about overdoing it so decided to keep it short and sweet.

My application

I haven’t yet finished my artist website, I still have areas to improve and so I decided not to include my website for this reason.

Works I selected for submission

Although it said I could submit 5 images, it would only allow me to upload 3 even though the sizing’s were all correct so I decided to just upload 3 of the most successful paintings from the opinions of my peers during my crit. I feel that these paintings portray my project nicely and could help me to be successful in the selection process.

Information submitted about paintings

I added information about materials used and the titles.

Confirmation of submission

I am excited to see if I am selected for this opportunity and I found it quite interesting to see if I can get my work promoted in a different way than a physical exhibition through an online platform which could have a lot of visibility which could benefit me greatly in the future.

Update of application

Unfortunately my application for this opportunity was denied which I was a bit disappointed about but we move onwards and upwards. It is a part of life and your work isn’t always going to be selected. I just need to keep on applying and putting myself out there

Third opportunity application:

I came across this opportunity to be featured on the ‘Haus A Rest’ Zine, Instagram and Facebook pages for one month or more. Again, like the Instagram opportunity previously, this gives me a chance to get my work seen by more people and allow me to make more contacts which could be very beneficial for my artistic endeavours or future opportunities. The theme for submissions being consumption fits perfectly with my project, as farm animals in captivity often end up being sent to the slaughterhouse so I felt this was very relevant to my project.

My submission
My submission

Update on the Haus-a-rest submission:

Email about my submission

Unfortunately I wasn’t accepted for this opportunity as my work doesn’t fit well with the other work or theme and so they most likely meant a more literal sense of ’consumption’. They encouraged me to follow them back on instagram so that I can apply for future opportunities as they do them quite frequently so that gives me a good sense of worth as they seem to like my work.

Mutual following
Image of their instagram page

Having access to their instagram page allows me to see how diverse their open calls are and the fact that they include a range of different art works and styles on their page which gives me hope for the future.

Another Opportunity:

  • Closing Date – June 12th
  • Location – United Kingdom
  • Artform – visual arts
  • Artists can submit up to four artworks

website for more information –

  • Exhibition will run from 15th September – 6th November and is open to any medium of art
  • £5 entry fee
  • Work needs to have been created in the last two years
  • Short artist statement and websites can be provided
  • Successful applicants will be informed by Monday 4th July
  • Some awards up for grabs (£1000, £500 or £200)
  • Maximum size of entry for 2D work is 200 cm x 200 cm

Steps of applying:

  1. Read guidelines
  2. Pay £5 entry fee
  3. Complete submission form
My payment proof

I payed the small fee of £5 so that I could continue with my application. Usually fees are a lot higher than this so I was quite surprised – on the website it says it has reduced fees from £20 due to the long lasting effects of the pandemic which I thought was a nice gesture as a lot of people wouldn’t be able to afford an expensive fee.

Submission form

This was the start of the submission form which told me exactly what I needed to include.

My artist statement submission and artist website submission

I added my short artist statement and my website link which could come in handy if they see an artwork which they feel would fit in more with the exhibition, widening my chances of being accepted.

My application

This is a screenshot of me adding my artwork information and images.

These are the artworks I submitted. I feel that these are some of my strongest pieces and I hope that I get selected for this opportunity as it will allow me to build on my CV.

Application checklist

The form went through a checklist to ensure that I had done everything which I found helpful.

Proof of submission

I submitted my application form so now I have to wait to see the results. I am happy with my submission and hope to hear good news on Monday 4th July. Unfortunately the timing of this exhibition means I won’t have received confirmation until after I submit my CPS work but I have proof of application and in the meantime will do an online exhibition whilst I search for more exhibition/competition opportunities.

Cons of exhibitions:

  • Fees to enter your work
  • No guarantee that your work will be chosen
  • High amounts of people submitting work
  • Requirements for specific themes so may have to explore new subject matter
  • Can be stressful – lots of preparations involved in exhibitions
  • Sometimes receive negative reactions to your work – have to have thick skin and be able to take criticism (both constructive and non)
  • Amount of people who visit exhibitions vary so only certain people will see your work
  • In a large gallery there will be a lot of works selected and so your work could get overlooked

Although this is a good way of gaining experience for my CV and making myself seen by employers, there are also some cons as a lot of exhibition entries require money for you to submit your work and there isn’t a guarantee that your work will be chosen. In order to afford this, I will need to be making some kind of income which I hope will be through my creativity but I will go for any job to provide an income for myself and build up to a creative job when I get the chance to. There are also some that are free to enter so this isn’t always a concern but it may

Contextual Research CPS 3302 Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Contextual Post – Pat Saunders-White

Artist website –

Pat Saunders-White is a fine artist who enjoys working with clients to create pet portraits. She enjoys making art that makes people happy. By focusing on composition and colour, she tries to capture more than just the physical aspects of the animals. She uses a lot of contrast, black lines and whimsical cropping to draw in the viewer.

I feel that the subject matter of this painting relates a lot to my project as I have painted a lot of sheep and so I felt researching this artist was relevant. Although I wouldn’t expect the colours of the sheep and the red/blue background to work, the black outline breaks the two things apart and makes it effective. I love how the texture of the wool contrasts with the solid background colours. Though abstract it is still easy to identify the subject matter.

’The Four Clucks’ – Pat Saunders-White, acrylic on canvas

The subject matter of chickens for this painting was selected by one of Pat Saunders-White’s students. I love how this painting looks like an abstract drawing as it is really simple but the arrangement, composition and colours used work well. The fact the painting is a diptych also works well as it allows the viewer to spend more time looking and wondering why this decision was made.

‘Green Fence’ – Pat Saunders-White, acrylic on canvas

I feel that this painting resonates really well with my project but this painting is more of an abstract take on it which works really well. I would like to further explore experimenting with colours in my own work to hopefully achieve something similar as it really works and draws in the viewer as the colours work well together yet contrast with the black outlines.

‘Cold Hands’ – Pat Saunders-White, acrylic on canvas

I love the colours used in this piece as they are very bright and work well with the dark outline. Though simple, the irregular shapes in this painting adds to the whimsical vibe and adds more to the overall effect. The eyes make the cow look quite crazy which I find humorous. Though a different outcome, this painting initially reminded me of Andy Warhol’s serial cow imagery which is an interesting link.

How Pat Saunders-White’s work is influencing my project:

In particular, I am interested in Pat Saunders-White’s use of colour to explore animals and bring them to life. The colours used are often bright and abstract which makes them very eye-catching and evokes emotion from the viewers, with the colours being used to possibly portray how the animal is feeling or to show how amazing animals are.

The works above, particularly the last two of the donkeys and the cow in bright colours remind me of my work a lot in terms of animals being in enclosures/captivity and the animals making direct eye contact with the viewer. As this creates a lot of emotion, it is perfect to inform my decisions going forward and could help me to be more decisive about my colour choices rather than being random.

Contextual Research CPS 3302 Home Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Contextual post – Cheri Christensen

Artist website –

Cheri Christensen is a fine artist who does a lot of drawings and oil paintings of animals. Her main focus is conveying the effects of colour and light on form. In particular, she focuses on capturing farm animals which are part of the reason that I decided to research her, as there is a great significance.

I like the way the brushstrokes add texture to the painting and make it seem like real feathers. I also love the colour scheme of this painting as it is very balanced with complementary colours. I always find it interesting to see the way different artists use colour.

Cheri Christensen does paintings of individual-focused animals as well as groups of animals in the same painting which is really interesting and something I hadn’t considered doing in my own work. However, this could take away the sympathy for the animals as they have company so individual animals may be the best idea within my own work. Lots of animals do survive by having company and I feel that Christensen truly captures animals in a realistic and beautiful way. The focus on lighting is very effective and I am drawn to the golden shades of the sun in most of the paintings I have seen.

The playfulness of this painting works well as goats are very playful animals. I feel that this painting resonates with me as I have painted a lot of goats in my project so far. The layers of colours are built up to create a captivating result. Again the colour scheme works nicely even though it is quite simple and I like that.

In particular with this painting, I love how the bright colours work well together yet contrast with the darker areas as it is eye-catching. I like that Cheri Christensen does paintings of zoomed-in segments of the animal as it allows her to capture a lot of small details and create a different effect compared to the full-body paintings.

Cheri Christensen talking about the 2021 show

Things I learned from the video:

  • Cheri Christensen was a part of the 2021 Texas Masters show, she discusses her love for backlighting
  • She does a lot of photography and considers the time of day vital, she doesn’t just go and rim light anything
  • The Colour is reflective, the weather affects the outcome of the lighting. She mainly wants nice sunny late afternoons
  • The fun yet challenging part of her process is finding the animals during that time period as a lot of them are free-range so it’s not guaranteed that they will always be there
  • She enjoys working with cool and warm colours to make her work pop
  • In some of her paintings, she combines using brushes and palette knives
  • When painting roosters in particular she likes to use mostly palette knives as it gives more energy and it’s more realistic as they are always moving
  • She uses a lot of paint as the texture is important
  • She sometimes paints while listening to music to get a rhythm going

Influence of Cheri Christensen’s work on my project:

I am interested in the ways that Cheri Christensen varies her focus on animals in her paintings – doing groups of animals, individual animals and certain segments of the animals like faces. As I explored earlier, doing a group of animals wouldn’t go well with my intentions for this project but I could always try to eliminate that option for my own project. I also feel that it could be interesting to explore doing segments of different parts of the animals that I am focusing on in my work to show variation.

Although lighting is not something I am focusing on within my own work necessarily, I still find it captivating to see and learn from Cheri Christensen how she captures the lighting and how it can completely change a painting.

Cheri Christensen uses a lot of contrast with her colour choices which is an aspect of her work that I am very interested in. The colour aspect of my work is used partly because I enjoy working with colour, and partly to show the irony of people claiming to care about animals in captivity but never doing anything to actually help them. All talk, no action vibes. Although some could consider this making the subject less serious, I feel that it works well when the paintings are grouped together.

In some of her paintings, the animals are gazing directly at the viewer which is something I love to explore in my own subject as a way of making a connection with the viewer and making them uncomfortable or sad for the animals.

Contextual Research CPS 3302 Year 3

Artist Talk – Grace Ndiritu

Grace Ndiritu is a Kenyan artist who uses film and photography in her work. She currently has a show at Nottingham contemporary called ‘our silver city’ created with a group of curators, with some of her work featured in it, favourably reviewed in the Guardian. 

During the artist talk, Ndiritu was asked a range of questions to give us an idea of the ways she works and the thought processes she goes through which I found interesting. Summarised answers to these questions will be listed below:

Question One – why do you work the way that you work?

She has a background in textile art (origin study subject) then went to work in Amsterdam for a postgraduate study where she started making video art and experimenting with different things. This was a key factor, within textiles she felt restricted and knew that she wanted to work with a range of mediums so she bought herself a video camera and was self-teaching.

Family background – from rural Kenya and working-class Birmingham, lots of contrasts culturally and historically in her head, feminist family (political household) which shaped the way she made work from the very beginning. 

After she graduated she started living a double life, rural with wild animals starting to affect art practice but there wasn’t much room for discussions about spirituality in the art world at that time and so she felt people were rude or made fun of it. Doing guru spiritual things as well as having contemporary art shows. 2012 was when her art completely changed direction – started to add spirituality into her work and mix that with the political side of things. 

Question 2 – what is your ambition with your work?
Grace Ndiritu wants her work to always tell some sort of truth, authenticity is key but can have some added humor. Always thinking about some sort of truth. ‘the nightingale film showed at the icon in 2005 was made through a process where she had started to put herself into a state of trance which allowed the performative aspect to be more authentic as she wasn’t focused on acting or being theatrical. That’s how she got into video art. 

Image of Grace Ndiritu in her performance ‘Healing the Museum’

This image is from the performance series ‘healing the museum’ authenticity key in live performance work too.

Image 1 from a live shamanic performance
Image 2 from live shamanic performance
Image 3 from live shamanic performance

These are some images of live shamanic performances with different audiences in museums this aspect of having to tell the truth or be true is vital, comes through in her social practice projects working with different types of people like refugees, migrants, people working at UN or NATO or parliament. Ambition is important. 

Question 3 – who/what are you fighting against in your work?

Grace said this was an interesting question. Depends on what is making her angry at the time. In her ‘Healing the museum’ series she was fed up with museums and felt they were disconnected from the outside world both politically and socially so she came up with an idea of wanting to reintroduce non-rational methodologies into museums such as shamanism or meditation and to reactivate the museum back into being in a way, new audiences and energies. 

This came to a head in one example – a project from the GERT institution who were investigating the restitution of objects back to Africa (debate surrounding that) so a group of scientists, academics, museum directors, actors, and artists were brought together from Africa and Europe and had these close workshops over 2 years – African museum in Brussels, an ethnographic museum in Barcelona, Italy, and France. Idea was to debate and look at this issue, a very complicated issue. What was really fascinating was the interception of the social and the political and spiritual coming together, especially within her practice. 

In the background of this, remember in 2016 there was a thing called the macron report which was given to the French president about restitution of objects and then Merkle she wanted her own report so the gerta institute was involved in this new report, so she’d be involved in conferences in the mornings involving academic opinions and she decided to bring everybody into the general room (a room full of gems, minerals, precious stones, known as blood diamonds as they were materials taken from the Congo when it was colonised by Belgium) she got everyone to sit on the floor including the museum director who had never sat on the floor before so it was a big thing for him to do, but then for them all to meditate in that room together. 

Example of the way they were sitting in the room – not an image from the actual day

 This image was taken in the museum of modern art in Paris – an example of what they were doing, not at the time though) some of the scientists and artists and activists from the Congo who were part of the project started to get very upset as they were tapping into the energy of the horrific nature of how the objects got to the museum and so the whole process became very cathartic and after the performance when we went back into the normal conference mode it made the conversation much deeper because it bonded us and we went through this thing together, so when we were discussing very practical things like the legal ramifications of sending objects back together to Africa, all the practical application of doing it. Been through a psycho-spiritual experience had a group bonding although you had people who were a very anti museum and people who were very for museums in the workshop so she found.

Image from ‘Healing Justice’ project

This image was taken from a project in Vancouver called ‘healing justice’ where we wrote love letters to strangers. Found and formed different methodologies by working with different types of people, for example doing holistic reading rooms where you read texts and meditate. Spent a few years coming up with ways of activating audiences in museums.
Ndiritu discussed how at the beginning of her artistic career she did one or two things a year but recently it has become very full-on (at least once a month).

Question 4 – where do you see yourself in five years? What does success look like to you?

Possibly moving away from social practice as it can be exhausting, she would like to publish more books (first book called ‘…modification’ which is a book of interviews with radical women, a hacker, a photographer, an artist, activists, we talk about everything including sex, money, interracial relationships and the art world. This is a project that is dear to her heart as she began it in 2013 and started doing the interviews self-funded and getting them transcribed one by one but it was really hard to find a publisher for them as not everyone is famous in the book. Found the stories really inspiring, worthwhile conversations)

Recently she started making films, many years she focused on video art

Exhibition of a range of pieces of video art at the Charles Cinema in London

This was a nice, fun evening, retrospective. Showed many pieces of video art at the cinema in London, price Charles cinema – in 2009. Over the years been working with Lux a lot (in London) but now she’s started working on longer films, films with scripts, and working with a team, much more technically challenging but you can do a lot more cinematic things. One of the films is in Coventry at the minute so if anyone is going to Coventry to see the turner prize it is in the same building, worth going to see as it is a lot about social practice and community groups whereas currently, the film is more time based, object-based which is a good contrast in the same building. 

The reason why she would like to continue those two things is that her favourite types of artists such as Mike Kelly, Jimmy Durham who don’t care about what medium they’re using, it’s more about the idea and so she really likes being able to work whether it’s writing, film, textiles or performance.
She likes a more wide ranging point of view.

Textile tapestries Ndiritu has made recently

These are some tapestries that she has recently made, as she got back into textiles her origin art medium.

’Our Silver City 2094’ – Nottingham Contemporary

This is an image from the show at Nottingham where some of her tapestries are and other people’s tapestries are exhibited. Created a space called ‘the temple’ on this wooden structure, kind of a museum display but as a place where we can have spiritual gatherings.

So for the inauguration of that, she did a shamanic performance called ‘Labour’ where she invited ten pregnant women to come in on the second and third trimester to go on a shamanic journey. Called ‘labour – the birth of new museum’ and the idea was to connect with the unborn audience and to think about different generations as obviously the show is set in 2094 ‘our silver city 2094’ so it’s about the end of the century.

All the babies born today are going to be alive and in 94 the world will be quite different. Interested in how to work and tap into that kind of energy and mind focus even now, even before they’re born to see how that develops as they grow up. All women felt the babies very strongly and got messages of what they needed to know the very powerful experience. The nice thing about the gallery, the temple space, is that when you go in you have to take off your shoes, quite a quiet contemplative place where you can sit on beanbags and sit for a while

Success is being alive and being able to maintain her practice and live off of it. Just keep going 

My opinion of Grace Ndiritu’s work and significance:

Although I am not involved in video art, film, or performative art, I found Grace Ndiritu’s exploration of different mediums very interesting and something I can relate to as throughout my personal artistic experiences, I have never been able to just use one medium and I often like to dabble in different mediums depending on my intentions.

I hope to start exploring different mediums in the rest of my third year as I feel that I have gotten stuck in a rut of using the same materials and I would like to make art exciting again.

Learning about Ndiritu’s use of different processes has inspired me and has reminded me that although we have subjects we specialise in, we don’t have to limit ourselves to those and can cross boundaries.

CPS 3302 Home Year 3

Essay presentation

Text : ‘The presence of animals in contemporary art as a sign of cultural change’ – Karin Andersen

Artist: Kate Clark’s human-animal hybrid taxidermy

Things to explore in the essay:

  • How the view of animals in art has changed over time, why
  • Developments of taxidermy
  • Rogue taxidermy group, more ethical approaches to taxidermy through sourcing of animals
  • Significance of hybrids
  • Some of Kate Clark’s work demonstrates racial prejudice… ‘Little Girl’ used in Claudia Rankine’s ‘Citizen’,

I often struggle with having everything such as sources and citations in an organised manner. So, I have created a document which I am adding all of my sources to as I go along with key information such as citations and relevant quotes to make sure I keep an organised approach to make writing this essay an easier process.

Contextual Research CPS 3302 Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Contextual Post – Franz Marc (Colour)

Franz Marc was a German painter and printer who was influenced to create vibrant coloured artworks through inspiration from the cubists and Henry Matisse. Animals feature quite a lot in his work and are easily noticeable even when the forms of animals merge together.

I felt that researching Franz Marc was essential especially due to his abstract colour schemes in a lot of his work as I have started to use vibrant colours in my own work and this will inform these decisions in a contextual sense. Franz Marc uses a lot of complementary colours in his works which I find fascinating as these combinations are one of the first ways I like to incorporate colour into my work.

Information about Franz Marc’s ‘Yellow Cow’ – 1911

Information from the video:

  • Happy picture of a cow
  • Franz Marc rejected the notion of the city, all the sounds of the city and the pollution, the corruption, the materialism. He retreated into the countryside in the Alps to commune with nature. He became very drawn to animal life and spent a lot of his time painting horses and cows as he believed that animals had a god-like presence and power.
  • Marc believed that yellow was a feminine colour embodying sensuality and warmth. While the blues tended to embody the male, the masculine and the intellect, the spirit. A curious combination of these two colours in this painting. All of the experts believe that this is a rather odd marriage portrait as he had recently gotten married for the second time, experiencing the joy of new love. Embodied in the cow

Information learned from video:

  • Franz Marc died on the frontline in World War 1 with his sketchbook with him which had drawings of animals and landscapes with violent lines
  • He liked to visit different museums and learn about different art circles
  • He founded the Blue Rider Group in 1911 (Der Bleue Reiter) which I have done another research page into. The name came from Marc’s love of horses and another group member, Kandinsky’s, love of riders which they combined with their love of the colour blue
  • Marc saw the colour blue as “the masculine principle, astringent and spiritual”
  • Marc saw the colour yellow as “the female principle, gentle, gay and sensuous”
  • Marc saw the colour red as “matter, brutal and heavy and always the colour that the other two must oppose and overcome”
  • The blue colour represented spirituality to both of the founders, something bigger and more powerful than ourselves
  • “On the whole, instinct has never failed to guide me…especially the instinct which led me away from man’s awareness of life and towards that of a ‘pure’ animal…an animal’s unadulterated awareness of life made me respond with everything that was good” – Marc talking about why he decided to focus on animals rather than humans, they are purer and have more harmony than humans.
  • Humanity is corrupted by industry and modern life but animals have a pure innocence. Humans can only access the spirituality of nature through animals
  • He reproduced paintings of blue horses throughout his artistic life are one of the best searches for spirituality.
  • In ‘Blue Horse I (1911)’, the horse replicates the shapes of the hills which allows the colours to create harmony through the combinations of blue, yellow and red. However, ‘Blue Horse II (1911)’ depicts an image of the backside of the horse as if we are seeing what the horse is. The crucial difference of the two paintings is that the view from the horses perspective has no red, no brutal or violent colours which puts across Marc’s idea effectively
  • ‘The Large Blue Horses’ (1911) show harmony between horses and nature. The organic shapes show harmony yet are only different through the different uses of saturated colour
  • The war approaching led Marc to change his art style, becoming more interested in violent outlooks and darker spirituality
  • Robert Delauney introduced him to cubism and futurism
  • ‘The Tower of Blue Horses’ (1913) is more dynamic and violent than his previous horse artworks. This painting was confiscated by the nazis and deemed to be degenerate art which was going to be exposed in a degenerate art exhibition. This didn’t happen due to Marc’s death and the painting got lost at the end of world war 2

How Franz Marc’s work is influencing my project:

I was suggested to research into Franz Marc’s work during my crit to inform my uses of colour in my project which was a good idea as colour is an important part of my project and Franz Marc was a master of colour in his time. His work is very abstract which is interesting to apply to my own work as I am trying to show the irony of people claiming to care about animals in captivity but never doing anything to help them in the real world, it is a subject that is so normalised and overlooked and so I am trying to explore this idea in a subtle way without being too extreme or violent.

My work inspired by Franz Marc’s use of colour:

These are two of my current paintings in which I was inspired by Franz Marc’s use of blue and yellow. I feel that these paintings are very successful and were related to Franz Marc by my peers so I believe that they worked well. I prefer the yellow shade in the first painting but I felt that the yellow shade in the second painting balanced with the purple shade nicely.

Contextual Research CPS 3302 Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Contextual Post – Andy Warhol (Serial Cow Imagery)

Andy Warhol was a Pop artist who is known for his portraits of famous people and the portrayal of American consumerism. He was encouraged to focus on imagery of cows by a pop art dealer, Ivan Karp, saying ‘Why don’t you paint some cows, they’re so wonderfully pastoral and such a durable image in the history of the arts.’

The image of the cow was chosen by Gerard Malanga who was Warhol’s printer. Warhol was a highly experimental printmaker who focused on the range of graphical possibilities in a single image. Manipulating colour to create different levels of contrast was key in his work. This allows him to make typically mundane into something a lot more fun and exciting, such as people suggesting the cow subject was on an acid trip.

The cow image was printed many times for the show at Leo Castelli Gallery in 1966, with a yellow colourway and pasted throughout the gallery – every inch of gallery wall was covered with the printed wallpaper. (rather a shocking experience for viewers upon entrance of the gallery).

“I don’t know how ‘pastoral’ he expected me to make them, but when he saw the huge cow heads ‘bright pink on a bright yellow background’ that I was going to have made into rolls of wallpaper, he was shocked. But after a moment he exploded with: ‘They’re super-pastoral! They’re ridiculous! They’re blazingly bright and vulgar!’ I mean, he loved those cows and for my next show we papered all the walls in the gallery with them.” – Andy Warhol

Although all of Andy Warhol’s artwork is very eye-catching, I am focusing on researching his serial cow imagery as I feel this work goes well with my theme and could inspire me in different ways which could benefit my project.

The vibrant colours in Andy Warhol’s cow prints are fairly relevant to my work as I am starting to incorporate some abstract colours and colour schemes into my farm animal paintings. However as I am unsure of making my work too abstracted as it takes away from the serious topics of my project, the use of repeated imagery could be a crucial area of research for my project. My aim is to create a herd of paintings of goats and sheep of various sizes, no larger than A3 of different colour schemes to demonstrate how many farms there are and to highlight how many animals go through the same experience.

Although Andy Warhol’s cow imagery is the same size when presented on the wall, I feel it still has the same relevance. The use of screen printing to create multiple versions of the same imagery is something I would like to explore if given the chance as it would make my task of creating a herd of paintings easier and it would give me the opportunity to explore colour schemes easily without having to dedicate all the time that a painting would take. I would like to explore other techniques like this if I can’t do screen printing such as linocuts as I already have a lot of familiarity with this process and so I could get started on it a lot quicker.

Information from the video above:

  • Signed screen prints of a cow by Andy Warhol, 1976.
  • Created for an exhibition at the Modern Art Pavilion Seattle Centre Washington, information is printed on the edge of the artwork – exact dates of show printed on the other side of the piece (November 18th 1976 to January 9th 1977)
  • The image was printed again twice in 1971 in a brown colourway and a blue colourway
  • The pink and purple colourway of the piece shown in the video is considered to be the most sought after of all versions produced, seen as most attractive and Worholian in the atmosphere and contrast.
  • Screen printed on wallpaper making it a fragile piece, use of printing rather than painting it was a comment made about the forms of art at the time. Printing onto wallpaper made it a decorative art rather than a fine art
  • Screen printing can create easily multiplied imagery
  • Lots of versions – in 1979, he signed approximately 100 of them with felt tip
  • Iconic Warhol style cow’s head image, the image of a sub staid pastoral art which Warhol filled with vibrant contrasting colours
  • Represents Warhol’s attitude at the time towards the symbols of the art world
  • Most of the artworks are now framed in perspex box frames as that was Warhol’s preference, very evocative of the framing of the late 60s to the 80s of Warhol’s work

Andy Warhol’s cow artwork is featured in the text ‘The Presence of Animals in Contemporary Art as a sign of Cultural Change’ which I have been reading for my Art History component of my CPS module which I felt was quite relevant.

“I consider all that representations focused exclusively on the animal identity, body or eyes, beyond the metaphoric representation; e.g. portraits elevating animal to the status of icona, questioning it as a thinking creature: Cow Wallpaper by Andy Warhol (1966)”- Karin Andersen and Luca Bochicchio

How Andy Warhol’s serial cow imagery is influencing my work:

The subject of Andy Warhol’s cow imagery is relevant as I am focusing on the captivity of wild animals, including cows and exploring my ideas with an intention to create a group/herd of paintings of cows in different poses looking at the viewer in their enclosures. Although Andy Warhol’s serial cow imagery is the same image repeated, there is still relevance there that could be developed to suit my project. As well as subject matter, the colours used are very abstract which is a key component of my work as I am trying to show the irony of people feeling sympathy for the animals in my work when they do nothing to try to help them in the real world. The colour palettes of the serial cow imagery are quite simple yet still effective and this could be a good way to start exploring the colour palettes that work well rather than overcomplicating them.

Ways I am going to experiment in my own work upon reflection of this research:

  • Do screenprinting/lino printing to generate a lot of work quickly
  • Explore a range of colour schemes – including those in the serial cow imagery work to see how it looks in my work
  • Explore whether having paintings the same size or varied sizes is more effective – both have been done with the serial cow imagery and have different impacts, ask my peers what works well
Contextual Research CPS 3302 Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Contextual Post – Henry Moore (sheep drawings)

Henry Moore was an English artist who mainly focused on sculpture but relied on drawings to develop his ideas. He also did some printmaking throughout his career.

Although I find all of Henry Moore’s work captivating, I am going to be focusing on researching his sheep drawings as I feel that they correlate with my project subject very well and could help my methods of capturing primary evidence at farms as I’m usually quite particular about things but Henry Moore’s sketchy approach would be very beneficial to help boost the amount of imagery I have to work with and take further in my paintings.

Information about Henry Moore Sheep Sketchbook – In February 1972, Henry Moore was based in his sculpture studios a lot to prepare for an upcoming exhibition. His studios were based in the countryside and he desired a place for peace and quiet so went into a room where he could view fields where sheep were grazed by a local farmer.

The sheep came up close to the window and so Henry Moore started sketching them. Initially, he only viewed them as balls of wool but as he started to pay more attention to their way of life, the way they moved, the shape of their bodies beneath the fleece, he got more understanding of them. They had strong human/biblical associations – the sight of an ewe with a lamb evoked strong mother and child themes (large form sheltering small form) which has been important to Henry Moore throughout his artwork.

He drew the sheep again that summer after they were shorn so he was able to see the shapes of the bodies properly without their wool getting in the way. With a solid form and vigorous movement, the sheep are captured in a network of swirling and zigzagging lines using a ballpoint pen.

The effect is both familiar and monumental; as Lord Clark comments, ‘We expect Henry Moore to give a certain nobility to everything he draws; but more surprising is the way in which these drawings express a feeling of real affection for their subject.’

Although I know that this is an etching and drypoint piece, it reminds me of a biro drawing which I find interesting. I love the way the wool has been built up with a lot of mark-making as it looks realistic. I find the gaze of the mother sheep effective in engaging with the viewer and having a direct confrontation/communication with the viewer. It makes me think that the mother sheep is having a protective stance over her lamb. The fact that Henry Moore included grass in certain areas is nice as it doesn’t take away from the main subject as it’s not too overpowering.

Again, the gaze of this mother sheep is directed towards the viewer which is interesting and as a result of the sheep being interested in what Henry Moore was doing at the time. The build-up of mark-making makes it clear that the image was done in real-time from life and the different marks being random really emphasises this. The horizontal lines in the background make the sheep stand out and add variation to the piece.

The addition of watercolour in this piece creates a nice effect as you can actually imagine the real-life scene that Henry Moore witnessed at the time. It also makes it seem like it’s a dull foggy day which is interesting in making people think about how animals are outside most if not all of the time and they don’t have the luxury of having a roof over their head. The amount of contrast in this piece is very eye-catching and makes me look at the piece for a long time as the more you look the more details you pick up on. Again, the gaze of the sheep being focused on the viewer is interesting and makes the viewer feel as though they are connected to the sheep in some way, as they matter to them.

How Henry Moore’s sheep drawings influence my work:

Henry Moore’s sheep drawings show the importance of working directly from life as you create more life-like drawings than if you were to work from photographs. This is due to the dimensions and angles that you see in real life while photographs flatten things, making them two-dimensional. The work also shows the importance of mark-making for texture as without the build-up of marks, Moore wouldn’t have created such realistic works. I feel inspired by the way the animals gaze is most of the time directed towards the viewer, staring or making contact as this can create sympathy or feelings for the animals which is something I explore in my own work and something I could take further using Henry Moore’s work as an inspiration. Although Moore hasn’t done any continuous line drawings, the build-up of marks in some of his works remind me of them and so I feel that I should apply that to my drawings of farm animals from life to ensure that I have a lot of good imagery to develop in my paintings. The combinations of mediums allow Moore to create effects that show different times of day/year which could benefit my work in terms of creating sympathy for the animals out in the cold during the night.

CPS 3302 Year 3

Reflection on blogs and reviews from peers

This week we were put into small groups to show our blogs and receive/give feedback so that we know how to develop them further. I enjoyed seeing other people’s blogs as it showed their different approaches and encouraged me to do things differently as well as their verbal feedback.

My feedback:

  • Good range of information on posts
  • Try to break up text with more images, visual content
  • Find relevant articles and journals to add more to my artist research
  • Complete artists talks – ones that are relevant to my practice or inspire me