Formerly DEJA MOO. A Contemporary artist exploring the sciences through the medium of art. Creative Designer & all round Supergeek. I also love animals.
My art work is a study between both the realm of reality and the ideas of the future, examining such themes as the environment and the existence we know and live. These themes themselves encompass many issues and dynamics that I took inspiration from when looking at the film Delicatessen (Dir. Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet ,1991).
‘Delicatessen is a French black comedy film. It is set in a post-apocalyptic apartment building in a France of an ambiguous time period. The story focuses on the tenants of the apartment building and their desperate bids to survive. Among these characters is a newly arrived tenant, who arrives to replace a tenant whose reason for departure is initially unclear. The butcher, Clapet, is the leader of the group which strives to keep control and balance in the apartment building.’ –Wiki encyclopaedia (2005), Delicatessen, [19.01.11]
I found and began to develop ideas on key issues of interest within the film such as; disintegration and the effects of social decline in the degrading world from which the film was set, perhaps visions of the future or our future where problems we as a society have today could progress into something broken down or decayed?. Taking further inspiration from the work of artists, such as Dylan Cole (b. 1973) and Martin Bland (b. 1977) who look towards incorporating the same issues and ideas then they use this to suggest and create visual manifestations of the future or alternate worlds in a surrealist manner.
Another main influence in the development of this premise is Saskia Olde Wolbers (b. 1971) who uses forms of a narrative in her ‘other worldly’ creations.
I’ve began to imagine my work creating a sense or meaning of destruction about it, where it would visually show disintegrated or decay in something that we recognise and it is for this reason I plan to incorporate methods of a drawing that will literally represent this, an image or series of images that will correspond to the feeling of something separated and shattered.
Issues & influences
‘And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminium can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminium cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: “Look at this God-awful mess.”
- Art Buchwald (1970) online Article [19.01.11]
This quote describes a sense of feeling towards man and the environment. Throughout, much of my work there has been interest in the environment. Where it becomes apparent that it is a constant underlying theme, although not always directly imposed it is a foundation of what my work stands for. This raises questions such as: How does the world and environment we live cope with the expanding population and the demands it sets? What are the results in the future these strains on both society and nature will cause? What will the outcome look like?
Looking at the post apocalyptic surroundings portrayed within ‘Delicatessen’ where the world they live is torn apart by famine and social decline i began to become influenced by the destruction it possessed. That these issues of desperation and separation from normality could form this environment where humanity was questioned and the world, however dysfunctional it seemed, was continually falling apart.
It was the idea of a broken down world that led me to look at the work of artist Martin Bland (b. 1977) who explains: “The world’s political climate as of the past few years has been ‘on edge’. Those fears have a natural tendency to slip into what I’m doing.” – (ImagineFX magazine, 2007, p38)
Much like my thoughts of how disintegration and destruction can be linked to the environment and our surroundings, he explores this form of relationship which is to question what causes this breakdown. And then incorporates it within his work.
The work of other artists Dylan Cole (b. 1973), Ryan church (b. 1971) and Saskia Olde Wolbers (b 1971) i then began to look at and find similarities between my work and theirs. Carrying on this idea of looking into the realm of what could be or thoughts of another world these artists take this concept and visualise it within their art. Whether it is the conceptual work of Dylan Cole (b. 1973) or Ryan church (b. 1971) that both architecture cities and worlds of the future or the narrative based creations of Saskia Wolbers (b.1971), their ideas and outcomes reflect mine.
Not only by taking influence from the strong feeling towards the environment and my concern for its state i also take great inspiration from the ideas of science fiction that explore this aspect to. Such as Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ that is now an iconic image of how the world of science fiction can depict and encourage ideas of the future within a dystopia, and simultaneously question the thought of what it means to be human in the same context. The writer Isaac Asimov’s short science fiction story ‘The Last Question’ has also helped to shape thoughts and feelings within my art, possessing again an iconic status within the realm of the sci fi genre, they impose not only ideas of the future but stand to question how we get there or if we do?.
Within my art i want to express ideas and themes in a somewhat cryptic sense, where the observer can question intentions or possibilities, and perhaps evolve the already existent themes and issues into something more. I want it open for interpretation and ideas yet still contain visually the theme of disintegration and decay within a world.
Concepts and Intentions
The main focus is to present a sense of a world being disintegrated. Where there is a feeling of it falling apart, being separated or broken down from what we know to something which may seem unrecognisable. Within the process of doing this the work examines the suspicions and theories of my own as to what would cause a world to do this, why would the environment we live become this separated?
Sigmund Freud said that: “Civilised society is perpetually menaced with disintegration through this primary hostility of men towards one another.” – (qtd. In Freud A-Z, Sharon Heller, 2005, p47)
I see my work reflecting this statement in many ways, from how in society or characters in ‘Delicatessen’ develop, they themselves had become accustom to cannibalism yet its their very relationships that broke down and fell apart gradually and caused the inevitable end to their plans and means of getting food or ‘meat’ they longed for. Then throughout the film the surroundings and landscape from which they lived took my concepts further, where it was visibly decayed and run down amplifying the whole idea and essence of a world once recognisable to something destroyed and disintegrated. So it was this role of the film and the relationships within this small society but the physical elements too that made my transition into creating a piece of work that would capture the element of a world falling apart an intention.
Taking the traditional method of recording my ideas within a sketchbook it began as a distinctive layout of brainstormed ideas and thoughts of how to produce an outcome for the concept i wanted to construct. Research into crucial issues and themes began where they were not only artwork and artists, but theories and opinions making it possible to formulate Initial sketches with the ability to capture a starting point for me to work from.
Mostly city skylines or worn down urban landscapes were a reoccurrence at this point which then developed in a digital style with adobe Photoshop, so that the sketches could become pragmatic and have an element of realism. Experimentation with photography editing has created a decayed atmosphere of buildings i explored. (Fig. 6)
It was at this stage within my development that I questioned if this as an outcome could produce or relate to my ideas of disintegration in the way I wanted it to? Looking more closely at the way an invented idea on the page as an image created meanings, was the purpose to express a message and conceptual intention. Researching the artwork of Saskia Olde Wolbers (b 1971) began to dissolve these ideas of being direct in the work and leaving more room for something questionable in itself. Working on developed ideas and sketches it became more fluid, it was no longer about the idea of realism but counteracting that with abstraction and obscurity. Not so much so that the image became entirely unrecognisable, but using mechanisms such as pixilation and the re configuring of random sections of the images with one another, it became a further creative experiment that allowed for this concept of disintegration and decay to be not only an idea within the work but to physically express it visually.
Disintegration as a concept or premise led a diversity of subjects and themes to be explored and processed, where constantly questioning ideas and connecting new ones was part of the creativity. Through doing this within the process of creating i try to indulge the evolution of the outcomes, changing constantly as experiments, leading the ideas and work into further development. It is how my ideas are processed and how i create within my art.
“The artist need not know very much; best of all let him work instinctively and paint as naturally as he breathes or walks.” – Emil Nolde (qtd. In Voices of German expressionism, 2003, p37)
Essentially, within my work I rely on instincts of my own interpretations rather than follow a pre-conceived idea. I see creativity as having the ability to explore imagination naturally and to let the ideas represented define the outcome.
Through early stages of the work I asked what would the outcome need to express? It had to relate to the themes of disintegration, and of how a world can be so degraded it was unrecognisable. Whilst containing those underlying issues that developed in thought, such as separation, social decline, destruction and ideas of how it would be defined physically that i wanted to express.
Fragmented and created from a series of smaller images, then constructed together to form one, in the materializing of a disintegrated expression it creating the feeling of it falling apart and being separated in itself.
Details such as the canvas coated with a gloss so that the permeable ink set as if it had been scratched or worn away was to emphasise that idea of degrading. The image itself is a depiction of a city. Not complete, it represents an outline or figment of something that once was but faded or disintegrated into what only appears as a shell. At a glance it can only just be determined as to what it is, focusing on a single fragment however symbolizes only something random from one person’s viewpoint. It’s the idea of the viewer stepping back and seeing ‘the big picture’ that I imaged would create a sense of realisation and understanding of its concepts.
The Most significant area of the work was the initial inspiration from the film of a ‘broken down’ or shattered world, this has been a constant notion throughout the duration of the concepts and progressively to the outcome itself. Further strengths and significant areas that proved successful are;
What became difficult throughout the work was;
Although the final outcome should have gained further development, where it could have visually been represented better and create a further meaning of destruction, it was the conceptual ideas that i grew an affinity with and their relationships between the themes and ideas represented.
Through this project I have gained new thoughts on the issue of the environment and how it can be explored further in my art work, perhaps more instinctively in the future? or looked at from a different perspective conceptually. Where there is less constraint in what the outcome possesses visually and a balance between concepts and the development. Creating ‘disintegration’ has opened up areas of creativity for me, where i want to experiment further with methods, materials and ways of making art.