Exploratory project / Week 11

Thoughts on Exploratory project

For this task I continued working on my current research and tried to apply new methods and explore different areas on what I have been working on up to this stage.
Sketching: As a first step I worked on my sketch work on a small scale. Then I started working on big scale initial in order to be able to see in practice how this could be realized (sometimes something that works on a small scale does not necessarily work when you go bigger). After a few unsuccessful attempts I thought of changing my initial approach and experiment on a small scale again (going from 150×150 to 30×40) and also using colour. So as a first step I made a few sketches trying out several techniques and ideas and then went back again to big scale.

Further exploration: Another diversification that I wished to attempt is to use a bit of science in my work, in terms of trying to “solidify” the coloured water that I got from soaking almonds. Working with liquids can be quite challenging but I will attempt a few experiments to see how that would work – did not actually work. Also another area that I will attempt to explore is to crush almond hulls and shells and then separate the different components, going from dust to bigger pieces. Also I used the ink pens to produce works with oil paints (reference to CY Towbly and Gerhard Richter).
Through these processes I intended to explore the various ways that the almond hulls and shells may be used in such way that will have a direct link with the landscape of Cyprus. In terms of visual result whether images may be created that will have a link with the landscape as well a reference to the historic value (as a memory carrier, time referencing, collective memory etc) and whether a viewer will be able to recognize the connection between him/herself, the land and the almonds.

Up to this stage I have adopted a variety of different approaches and strategies. The basis is the product, and how this may be used as the medium in a variety of forms. I intent to continue doing this and pushing my research and experimentation with of the almond shells and hulls and to document the results.
The personal risks are a big question mark because most probably is through risks that you will get better results and develop your work further. I think that taking risks are a difficult part of a project because most of the times I do not get the results that I expect and I think that I have reached a dead end, which might indeed be the case or not. In past work I have used plexi glass, which I like as a medium and method of displaying/framing work, but from now on I would like to use it less and only when necessary – to push my self to adopt different ways of displaying.
When working with unfamiliar material the challenge is to “control” the medium. Also when doing a 3d-work the mechanics of construction are always a great challenge – it must not fall apart, be safe to hung or stand on its own.

Exploratory project / Week 9: – crushing the almonds


This is the first of a series of experiments in a process of crushing the almonds, the shells and the hulls to the maximum. In this experiment I crushed almonds and placed  them on paper to see whether they will leave oily marks on it. Next step will be to apply Roth’s techniques, mentioned earlier, in mixing organic material with chemical mediums eg. plaster.

Exploratory project / Week 9: almond oil

Using the almond oil as the medium/ creating patterns on paper and placing the paper against light. I put the initial small scale experiments (40x30cm) against a warm light/oval lamp shade, as a reference to the heat and light required for the almonds to grow – this being a common aspect in all places in the world producing almonds. I then tried to work on a bigger scale (150x150cm) – the patterns work equally well, maybe better than the small scale/ bigger gestural movements, but the day light gives a “colder” effect.

Dieter Roth (1930-98)

Roth was mentioned by Michele Whiting during our tutorial and I did some research on his work. He used organic materials as the medium in his work, like cheese and chocolate.

Dirk Bobke and Thomas Kellein, Dieter Roth: Books + Multiples: Books + Multiples – Catalogue Raisonne, published by Hansjörg Mayer; Har/Com edition, 2004

Exploratory project/ Week 8: why don’t you have a go at something you hate?

Why don’t you have a go at something you hate? A title of an article on the OCA’s Weekender E-bulletin that caught my eye. I started cutting a piece of work that I made  a few days ago. First, in large shapes trying to follow or go against the patterns already created on paper. Then I started cutting rectangular pieces. I had no plan in mind. Then I remembered a comment by Angela about the circularity of the valtz so I cut more circular shapes, trying to make them look like almonds.They looked more like eggs. Then, I cut thin strips of paper which I then put together in circular shapes, trying to visualize the movements of  the valtz rhythm.

Using the almonds I scratched an oil paint surface to create imaginary landscapes. Predetermined outcome? Not much of an exploration? Most probably, but I enjoyed getting my hands dirty with paint after quite sometime.

Exploratory project / Week 7: Bibliography – Cy Twombly

http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/10/cy-twombly-humanist-upbringing   (accessed 10.03.2017)

(from point 32) The series, Poems to the Sea (imagebelow), of 1959, makes manifest Olson’s demand that humans must find their proper relation to nature and look to it for the principles of formation that ceaselessly advance from it. In 1957 Twombly described a ‘synthesis of feeling, intellect etc. occurring without separation in the impulse of action.As Olson would have liked, each image is a site of activity – of sensate energies transformed to intellection, then action. As a group, we see serial experimentation and a succession of phenomenological states. An open architecture of knowledge emerges – instinctual, emotional, abstract, logical – all formed from nature organically, if not always coherently or smoothly.

Cy Twombly
Poems to the Sea 1959