4RT4U - Antifrieze #1: Broke

Updated: Oct 1, 2018

4RT4U, an initially online platform designed by past students for emerging artists, took the opportunity to take the transition from just an online platform to a RL, physical creative space. This open exhibition opportunity seemed an appropriate place to begin my final year of university and my first blog post.

The exhibitions theme was Broke, to be interpreted however deemed appropriate by the artist. Largely, a lot of my themes within my work of the past two years seemed appropriate, however, I decided to revisit my first year work where I happened to focus on a conversation more prominent within todays media, our wasteful consumption and particularly, the use of take away coffee cups. Whilst people often considered this an innocent and fashionable act of drinking take out drinks, over time it's become more apparent that given the complex material make up of the product, they are particularly difficult to recycle, thus contributing hugely to our landfill problem.

In my work, Consume, Waste, Resume, I explored the relationship between two dimensional and three dimensional, combining familiar acts of making with the less familiar (for myself at least). I chose to display the work in a repetitive layout of four pieces, the consistency in presentation and the layout of the images of lips within the work gives the suggestion of repetition frequently used within the Pop Art movement. The bold use of block colour within the work and the use of the subject of lips is meant to encourage the viewer to challenge the connotations of the work, red and lips having sexual, desirable connotations but also juxtaposed with the litter and act of eating that the lips appear to be taking place in.

Displaying this work was something I pondered over. Whereas previously when exhibiting it casually at college, the works were simply attached to the wall using tape in their original format - wide edged and raw. Initially, I had considered making a frame where all four pieces could be displayed together, however, as time got less I realised the logistics of this display were not as feasible as I had hoped. My final choice was to buy four square box frames of which the work could be attached onto the glass of the frames, making them poignant and proud. Whilst the format and composition of this work gave a greater sense of professionalism, I think improvement is still possible. Due to the dimensions of the frame, I think the work was perhaps trimmed to a size that wasn't entirely complimentary of the print. Had I have given more time to the display of the work, I could have found or produced different frames of which were slightly more rectangular as to compliment the format of the print. Additionally, greater preparation could have meant a larger scale of repetition. Whilst I have more of the works available to display, I did not allow enough time or inform the curators of the show of having a potentially larger area available. Preparing for this could have formed a stronger sense of concept, thus, a more successful response from the viewer.

This proved a valuable experience that encouraged me to consider how to display less conventional works and be more aware of the time that is needed to prepare a work for display. Whilst often it is tempting to try and display a work on a budget, ultimately it often pays too spend more time, and potentially money, working out the logistics of exhibiting.

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