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AIC215 Art in Context. Description and Process of three paintings from “Breakdown of Communications.”

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”


I believe indirect inspiration for my work comes from artists I admire such as Hockney, Bonnard Van Gough, Modigliani, Katz, Kandinsky, Rothko, Munch and Klimt. I enjoy expressive use of colour. However, from a research perspective, I have looked at artists I was previously not aware of, but whose work has similar roots to my own. In this respect I found P Clough 1919 – 1999, C Still 1904 – 1980 and an contemporary artist, Kayo Albert Shido.

Kayo Albert Shido says she is influenced by C Jung and endevours to pain “Emotional Landscapes”, stating she wants to “trace what is beneath in many different levels, buried as memories, dreams or flashes of images and ideas.” This rang true for me, as I will endeavour to describe below. She claims her work is “a bridge between physical process and mental or spiritual state.” Albert has been showing her work since 2014 and has been included in over 60 exhibitions since then. I have included four of her pieces.

While thinking about what I needed to bring the concept of my Art in Context piece “Breakdown of Communications” together, I knew that the table signified family unity, but I needed to have something to show the inner pain I felt. I mulled over this for quite some time, when eventually the resolution came to me in my subconcious. Three distinct paintings of equal size showing “Silence, Pain, Nothing.” The shape of the paintings, the colours and the areas which could be viewed easily and those which are covered all came at once. They made perfect sense to me and I scribbled them down in my note book as soon as I woke up.

The next part of the work was trying to understand how I could physically make what I had envisaged. I tried several iterations and test pieces where I explored the vibrancy of the colours I needed. They had to be incredibly intense, as intense as my feelings, but also strong enough to withstand the multiple layers of colour I needed to pile on top of them.

There was also the size of the canvas to consider. Eventually I decided a metre square would be right. I needed them to be substantial. I worked with our technicial M Tyson to saw, plane, join and stretch each canvas. It was a long process as I had only stretched the canvasses before, not attempted the woodwork.

Once happy with the depth and vibrancy of colour, I made some smaller – to scale -pieces so I could test out slight modifications.

The first painting I tackled was Silence.

The next stage was in preparing the gold line down the left hand side. I had been watching a film about medieval guilding techniques and how they put a thin layer of red clay down before begining to gild as this added to the depth of colour once the gold leaf was applied. I decided to adapt this and paint as vibrant a red as I could for my base. I then began covering the rest of the canvas with the layers of paint which symbolise how feelings and emotions are “hidden” to the outside world.

I was very pleased with this stage of the development. The panels I had covered looked bold against the covered areas.

Close up showing the red underpainting and the gold top coats.

Hanging in my studio space

After completing “Silence” I moved on to “Nothing” Again I built up the base layer of colour first, then measured and masked out my key areas.

The final one was “Pain”

Close up showing the under painting and the impasto layers I built in to it. The extra bulk on the canvas is to symbolise the added weight and roughness of the pain.

I enjoyed each step of the build up of this piece and had I not envisioned it as part of a triptych I would have been content to leave it at any of the stages shown above.

Shown below are the three paintings in isolation.

Thinking critically about my work, these three paintings are ones I am most proud of. They are an expression of a terrible phase of my life, the depths of which I am now out of, hence the addition of the golden aspects of the pieces. I enjoyed each step from initial concept through developing the colours and the technical side of it as well as the opportunity to actually make the stretchers as well as apply canvas to them! It has been a complete start to finish project as part of the complete Art in Context module.


Published by stweddle

Living in Newcastle I have access to great landscape; sea, urban, country and city which I am continually inspired by. Starting my artistic qualification in my 50's allows me the benefit of long years admiring others art and a burning need to create my own.

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