Monday, 30 May 2011

Atelier – An Explanation

Atelier
Atelier is a durational performance presented in an art studio, the intention is to create sculptural forms with the aim of developing an installation within the space, but shown in its entirety in a live context. Artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Francis Bacon amongst others have since their death, had their studios archived and displayed for the public to view them as they were supposedly left by the artist. This idea that an audience is able to interact with an artist’s space which was not intended to be viewed by the public, this causes a voyeuristic response from both the audience and those responsible for making the studio public. However from an artistic point of view what appears to be significant is the action of performance created by simply opening these spaces up to be viewed, the notion of both performance and installation is presented without the artists acknowledgement. At the same time the idea of how the artists lived and worked but in a biographical sense is highlighted by exhibiting the studio rather than just their work and written texts being available about the artist.
Why Birds?
In previous works I had been working with ‘still life’ as both a concept and a medium, in order to achieve this I used dead birds, in particular pheasants. Despite them being dead I found myself developing a relationship with them as I spent time creating and planning the work specifically for a few birds or one. Therefore when the time came for me to either pluck them or lay them down I found myself feeling moved by this, (interestingly causing an add on discussion on the issues behind artists being precious over their work).
As a result of working in this way I developed an understanding of these animals and noticed such habitats in the woods where I have made most of these works. This is when I realised the similarities between the importance of the ‘home’ for both humans and birds. The use of the bird from a feminist perspective is highly significant also and so it made sense to continue to use this medium, however the need for them to be dead didn’t make sense and would have in fact possibly caused the piece to be theatrical which is never my intention. The next step would be for them to be alive as it is not just about the ‘home’ or the ‘artist’ but about maternal instinct, hence my experience of working with the dead pheasants. I was and still am very dubious about working in this way as it is naturally a chaos element and something I won’t be able to control but I feel that this is a step I should make for the development of my performance practice.

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