During this term we have been given a range of group projects to participate and as a final art piece for the autumn term, we have been given opportunity to explore our own ideas. During this term I have visited Sotheby’s Italian Art Sale Auction in London. There I have discovered such artists as Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni. I have explored and looked at works of Zero Art Movement (which was first established by Otto Piene and Heinz Mack).
“a zone of silence and of pure possibilities for a new beginning.” Otto Piene
I was really inspired by these artists and the whole idea of post war modern minimalism art. In Sotheby’s when you look at ‘Superficie Bianca’ by Castelanni and ‘Spatial Concept’ by Fontana, you just feel its complexity, purity and intimacy. I also looked at works of Robert Brennan and his shaped canvases,as well as Molly Gochman who have done series of fabric sculptures.
This became an influence and the starting point for my current art project. I have decided to explore sculpture within the canvas, and the whole idea of using canvas and other textiles as a pure medium for artists expression. Canvas and textiles without being cut or manipulated in any other way (painted in colors) become pure and organic.
My theme for this project became purity through destruction, which perfectly depicted by Zero Art Movement. The recent protests in February 2014 and civil war in Ukraine, which have taken thousands of lives, will eventually lead to peace, changes and prosperity of the country in future. Euromaidan and the events of winter 2014 in Kiev, really changed lives of millions of people and me. This project becomes a reflection of changes that happened in my country. Within these three art pieces visual language illustrates the movement and the peaceful state by manipulation of fabric. The light becomes a major factor for the image that the viewer will see. Shapes and folds come to life with lights on. The work itself changes as the direction of light changes. White color not only emphasizes purity, but allows to show contrasts between white and black, life and death, war and peace. It helps to bring a piece closer to sculpture and shape, rather than the image depicted. It was also interesting to not the way, that piece changes through making, with having a clear idea of the outcome, it’s still unpredictable how it will look at the end.
To bring my idea to life, I faced quite few difficulties as I needed to find a medium which will make a fabric stiff as plastic but not as plaster. I have tried starch, glues on canvases and it just did not work, than I’ve made a decision to use cotton as it will be more flexible, organic, because even canvas boiled did not give the results I wanted. I found a solution in order to make fabric flexible but stiff at the end. I have used aerosol matte finish spray,and then covered the fabric in white paint to make it whiter. The fabric was stretched onto the frame as canvas would.
I would like this idea to evolve in the next few months, as I would like to make a large-scale piece. I will probably change my making process by finding even better solution to express my ideas with stretched fabric and canvases. Through this project I have learned that without trying and failures you can not create art and that the process will lead the idea, but not reversely. This project becomes one of my most influential for my practice, and becomes the first that I really like, and want to continue creating.