So, do you think a painting should be powerful enough to affect the space it occupies? My immediate reaction is Yes! Of Course!! This should be a prerequisite to art work!
I like to think of this in people terms - when a person enters a room their energy or ‘aura’ occupies a larger space than the outline of their physical body and whether you agree with the holistic terms or not, everyone can admit some individuals have charisma and ‘light up a room when they enter it’. I think paintings should have much the same effect. When you walk in a room and observe a painting on the wall it should immediately project a feeling, vibe, or emotion. So it literally changes the atmosphere of the room, and even the mood of the person observing it.
In the same way a person’s aura projects the essence of who they are and what they are like as a person, a painting projects it’s personality also - through line, tone, colour and form. This acts as a powerful conduit to speak to the observer and transmit the essence of the painting energetically. We can all identify with a time when a friend who is effervescent with charisma has lifted our own mood; well a painting should be able to transform our mood too. Of course this can bring us up or down depending on the subject matter just like some people can have a draining effect on our own mood. So isn’t it interesting how paintings can literally affect the space they occupy just the same way people can!
With my Exhibition only 4 weeks away I have been thinking about this very subject a great deal recently. I have been planning where my paintings will hang and how they will work together in unison, creating a story and also how their dynamic impact will affect the gallery space. Like a group of people in a room, they interact with each other and have an effect on each other. If the wrong painting is placed next to another it can be a disaster! Paintings like people can clash, and others can literally bring out the best in each other! So it is a real balancing act, and something that takes time and contemplation.
Recently I held a planning meeting with my Ambassadors and I shared the complete set of work for the Exhibition with them. I set two rooms up because I literally couldn’t fit all 17 paintings in one room alone. This had an interesting effect. Both rooms took on completely different personalities. The first room had more traditional paintings in it, and felt much calmer, almost as though the paintings were having their own intimate moments independently, but were happy to co-exist because they were individually so content playing out their scenes. The second room however was much more dynamic. There were larger pieces, vying for attention, and it almost felt quite overwhelming entering the room as an onlooker. The exercise demonstrated how a painting should indeed be powerful enough to affect the space it occupies, and I hope that my paintings will evoke a reaction in both their surroundings and people observing them on the 8th November! Welcome to Emotive Art…
To Shock or to Impress?
Last week I visited the Royal Academy in London for their Summer Open Exhibition. I spent 3hrs looking at the array of work spread out among several rooms. Walls encrusted with little gems and also big monstrous pieces…walkways scattered with sculpture and weird and wonderful appendages hanging from it’s ceilings. These are my refections from the visit.
Some of the paintings amazed me, some I liked enough to maybe live with…but not for the price! A few inspired me and some appalled me! So here is the dilemma of the Artist - are you creating your work to shock, to inspire, to make people feel good and fall into your world or just to show off your technical ability? I suppose in an ideal world you would do a mixture of all these things, not necessarily in the same painting but as threads running throughout your work genre. Or, you may choose to deliver on one criteria alone.
With this said, it still surprises me how some paintings ‘seem’ to exist purely for the shock factor alone. I could understand this if the aim was to communicate a potent message but when that isn’t the case and the work is in such a simplistic style (I think you know what I am getting at) is it really appropriate to include it in an exhibition of this stature?
Now maybe that is the point…I know the intention of the exhibition is to give everyone a chance to exhibit (not just the known artist) but I challenge this because surely it is somewhat disrespectful to those artists who have trained for years and studied their field to be next to work which has clearly been produced with little skill? Or, is the skill that of being so naive that the result is close to a child’s drawing?
There is certainly an innocence in this type of work which is very hard to create as a conscious artistically trained adult and I admit myself, I do find this intriguing at times. So what do you think? Do you find it annoying that some paintings can appear so immature and find themselves on the walls in a Royal Academy or do you find it reassuring that they have encompassed all walks of art from all walks of life?
I suppose the bottom line is to know what your ultimate intention and message is when producing your own artwork and being clear who your audience is, then staying true to that intent. I know my intention is to create art which inspires people to feel an emotion, connect with a part of themselves they may have lost and want to be reminded of that feeling by feeling able to live with the piece and enjoy it for years to come…
My working ethos is 'Play & Revelation' where I continually explore new ways of working, sometimes even destroying works to transform into new!
From February 2019 Sonya will be selling her collections at 'Leaf Creative' in Huntley, owned by Peter Dowle. This beautiful garden centre specialises in unusual shrubs, acer trees and hand selected plants. The perfect place to showcase her leaf inspired ceramics!
Sonya is pleased to announce that having been a provisional member with the Cotswold Craftsmen during 2018, she has now been accepted as a permanent member and invited to be publicity officer on the committee. Sonya will be exhibiting her work at a number of County Shows in 2019 - watch her events page for more upcoming details.
Sonya is now offering 1 day 'Pottery Workshops' with a national craft course provider. Start 2019 learning something new! In 1 day attentive tuition with Sonya you will learn throwing, coiling and hand-building techniques.
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