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Time to reflect: 2015

As I sit and write this I am back in Falmouth with the rain and wind pounding at the window. This year has been one of real highs and lows. It also seems to be a year that has gone on and on. I started the year of 2015 pushing myself and throwing myself into my practice. This meant early starts in the print room at Wellington Terrace. However it is through doing this and pushing myself that I have learnt so much about a process I am able to lose myself in.

I would say from the start of the year I was learning a lot but still lacking in confidence when it came to really knowing what I wanted to get out of my practice and the reasons behind why I do what I do. All I knew was at that point it was the one thing that made me content. It gave me a reason to get out of bed each day.

Fast forward to the end of May and I had my end of year show. I thought that this would give me some resolve. However in all honesty at the end of my course I was not very happy. At the time I didn't even know why. I received a distinction for my hard work, however this didn't really mean anything to me. I was just happy at being able to share my work with people and see the work of others around me who had worked hard throughout the year.

I now realise I was burnt out. Those 8 til late days for 4 months straight took it out of me. However this didn't stop me. I applied to several internships and work experience opportunities to keep myself busy. I have always been one to self analyse and reflect throughout. However I think it was getting to a point where I didn't really know what I wanted anymore. Art has been a huge part of my life and is what drives me, however it is also the thing that kills me a little bit inside because I give so much of myself into everything I do.

At this point I need to start something just for me and not feel any pressure. This is where starting my blog and writing came in. I had always been inspired by hearing about other artists practice. Having an ability to talk about your work is fundamental within the art world, and I wanted to use this as a chance to share people's work and learn about their ways of working.

I thought I would re-cap and share with new readers some of my highlights of my blog since starting it in June. It is through writing and Instagram that I have come across some of the most inspiring people I have ever met. Seeing their work and approach to their practice always continues to motivate and drive me to work harder in what I do.

Joanna Hulin

I first came across the talent that is Joanna on Instagram. She graduated this year from Falmouth University where she studied Fine Art. Coming across her work when I did helped me a lot at the time. I was all over the place with working, making work and genuinely having time to enjoy anything I was doing. There is something about her work I find very grounding. The use of media and how it is applied to create a sense of merging and drama hits me overtime I see her work. There is just so much rawness and emotion in her work. While her paintings have seen her exhibit in London, it is her drawings that I adore. The sense of fragmentation and mark making within them makes me want to try pencil in isolation to other media. It is seeing her way of working that has made to take a step back and really appreciate what I am looking at

Sophie Eliza Chadwick

The collage queen that is Sophie is the next person I'd like to share with you. While printmaking is my process; seeing the work of Sophie got me back into collage. I would say that on reflection a key word that could be used to describe my practice is 'fragmentation'. This is why collage is some pertinent to what I do. It is using imagery and giving it new meaning and a new narrative for the viewer to appreciate. The thing that struck me about Sophie's work was the use of colour and shape to create these bold pieces of work. The combination of found imagery and application of media is very strong in creating new and exciting pieces of work. I would say that in recent months her work has influenced me a lot due to the nature of picking up collage and doing it as a way of calming down and easing anxiety. Learning about her process and work lead to a collaboration in the summer which saw us combine print making/mark making and found imagery. This was pivotal to my practice and the direction it is going in at the moment.

Key features of her work that I think people can relate to is the idea of repetition and structure within her work. It is very calming to the viewer.

Esther Cooper-Gittins

Joanna actually recommended the work of Esther to me through Instagram. Our work and ways of seeing the world seem to be very similar. This got be excited as it is always great to talk to someone who shares a similar visual language. I saw Esther's dissertation which was titled 'burying the fear' and talks about the idea of repetitive mark making and the meaning behind this. I contacted her asking if I could read it and we chatted about our process and ways of seeing. Reading her dissertation was also a real turning point for me as it helped me understand myself as an artist and showed me other people who work in the same way. Her work is very calming and the use of repetitive mark making and obsessive way of working conveys this to the viewer. The fluidity of her work and delicate use of mark is simply beautiful and the idea of viewer interaction is very inspiring. It requires the viewers full attention and going up close to the work to appreciate the craftsmanship.

Millie Elliott

Last but not least is the fabulous Millie who is currently studying photography at Falmouth University. Millie is one of my closest friends and I came across her work on Instagram and wanted to write about her practice. She is very clever at using props within her practice to completely change the narrative of an image. There are many levels to her work and this is helped by the use of textures and lighting. She composes pictures very well and makes full use of the space and her surroundings. I am excited to see how she progresses in her practice in the coming year. She is looking beyond just using photography within her work and this is very exciting.

Within my own practice this year I just want to continue to grow in confidence and continue to collaborate and learn. I hope to continue to do this through my blog and Instagram and share with you my own work more.

Thank you for the support and kind words I have had about my blog. I hope this year is even better than the last.


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