Inspiration of the Week – Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford is an abstract painter working in America and is also one of the founders of Art + Practice which is an organisation to encourage engagement into art practice and also to help young people who are coming out of foster care.


The reason that I have decided to look at some of his work is because I am trying to gather a lot of research for my Studio Practice 2 Brief which I am currently planning on looking into maps.

The Tongue in the Middle of the Port

Bradford’s works are normally gridlike and features collage. The way he sets out his paintings reminds me of certain types of maps, and he has used maps in his work before.

'Through Darkest America by Truck and Tank', White Cube Bermondsey - Mark Bradford - 16 October - 22 December 2013 - 74781

I really like these paintings as although the meaning behind them isn’t always clear, they are aesthetically pleasing and interesting to look at and because of his use of colour and the amount of detail he has put into it.

Killing the Goodbye

NB – all photographs here have been taken from these sites which he is featured in:

I do not own any of the pictures on this post.

Although I am not a painter I will definitely be putting Mark Bradford in my sketchbook because of the way he displays his work is just so different to mine, and I will use his work as inspiration to approach my work in a different way.

That’s all for now
Róisín -x


Chapter 6 – The Finished Piece

I really like how my finished piece turned out. It pretty much looked the way I wanted it to and I think the slides and able to be moved quite easily. I think that it also shows my theme quite clearly and it is quite easy to compare other peoples versions of the same map.

And that’s that project all done and now I just need to wait on my grade D:
Róisín -x

Chapter 5 – The Setup

So this post is going to be about the finishing touches and the display of my box.
I was undecided on whether or not I was going to add the map that I asked everyone to fill out, but after talking to my lecturer about it, I decided it would be better if I did, as this would mean that there was still something to look at even if there weren’t any slides in the box.
To attach the box to the wall I added in four mirror brackets to the back of it, two would have probably been enough, but I really wasn’t up for risking it for the sake of two mirror brackets which were £1.50 for a pack of 20 out of screwfix. 

The lights were stuck around the map using strong glue and I had cut a hole out of the bottom part of the frame to leave room for the light’s wire. When I first put my box up I immediately realised that I would need something to secure the wire to the wall for health and safety reasons and also to make it look more professional. The technician suggested I get trucking, which was cheap enough out of wickes, and so I cut these pieces to size and stuck them to the wall as they were self adhesive.
Tune in next time to see how the final piece looked!

Chapter 4 – The Slides

So my slides for my box consisted of black mounting board, black cartridge paper and a map on either acetate or tracing paper.
To make the map to give to my family to fill out, I took some screenshots of off google maps and then edited them so that map was only a black line to mark the roads. After each of my family members filled them out, I traced what they had written on either acetate or tracing paper, these were the maps that were going to go on the inside of the slides. To make them more secure and to protect the writing I laminated them.

I had tried out different methods of making the slides to see what would be the most secure and least flimsy to put on display. I found that cutting a window out of mounting board to be the most secure and suitable albeit it was the most expensive method. For the backing this didn’t need to be as solid so I used black cartridge paper.

The process of making the slides was simple enough, however it was time consuming and was murder on my hands as I was having to be precise with the scalpel a lot of the time. I had took all the measurements to make sure the slide would be in the centre of the box and from this I made a template that I would follow and draw out all the slides from this rather than having to measure out all of the time. From the mounting board I cut out the shape and then the window for each of them and followed this same process for the cartridge paper.

After this was all done I found that to make the slide completely centred I would need to take off 5mm from the bottom of each of them. To do this I just used the guillotine and also used this to neaten and square off the edges.
In the next post I’ll talk about the set up of my box – we’re getting close to the end now 🙂
Róisín -x

New Brief!!

So this week began with the daunting prospect of a new brief. I’ve always hated starting a new brief as initially I’m not quite used to how slow paced it is as the previous few weeks have been fast paced and panicked. And to make matters worse this week, we had 3 new briefs to choose form. These were “Design a New Punctuation Mark” “Newspeak” and “Internal Ephemeral”. So what I’m going to do now is talk a little bit about my initial response to each brief and what one I think I am going to go for.

Punctuation Mark –

So I more or less wrote this one off right from the very beginning. It just didn’t appeal to me in the slightest and even when I tried to force myself to think of things to do with it I only really came up with looking into how I use emojis when texting. For instance if I’m joking in the text in will usually put a little 😛 face to show this. But that was pretty much it and nothing else happened with it and so I just let that brief be.

Newspeak –

This is a concept that comes from George Orwell’s ‘1984’. From what I looked into this did seem interesting, as I am interested in things to do with censorship etc. After doing a bit of research I saw that in the book there were terms ‘goodsex’ and ‘sexcrime’, this concept would probably be an idea that I could do the most with as ‘goodsex’ is a term given to sex that is between a heterosexual couple for the sole purpose of producing children, everything else is ‘sexcrime’. Also during ‘goodsex’ the women should not experience any pleasure on any part of her body. So I felt that this is what I could do the most with within this as there are a lot of issues that I could bring up with this as this involves the LGBT group rights, very extreme Christian groups and also women’s rights.

Internal Ephemeral –
So this is the brief that I feel that I could do the most with. When I did a couple of brainstorming pages with this brief I kept coming up with different ideas and different thought processes. I looked at things that I did everyday or things that I did often, and so this brought out two ideas which were writing down the things that I thought of when I was on the train and then using my ticket for that day as part of the piece and documenting my thought process when I’m choosing a t-shirt to wear in the morning. This was because I really do like wearing different style t-shirts and I pretty much collect them by this point and I also thought that a way to document this was to print my thoughts on a t-shirt or multiple t-shirts. The t-shirt idea also made me think of what things that I collect, which are like t-shirts, postcards/postcard sized prints, train tickets, mugs and playing cards and thought of what I can do with these ideas. The only idea that came of this was that I though of writing postcards to people, and I thought I could write postcards to my gran, but this might be a bit depressing and heavy for me. After researching other things I read a statement that “happiness is ephemeral” and I only really half agree with this, as I do think that it is true, but I also think that all emotion is ephemeral, and I thought I could investigate how we are always trying to ‘achieve happiness’.

So if it wasn’t obvious I think that I’m going for Internal Ephemeral I’m just not sure where I’m taking it. So these are the pages of ideas I have so far.

So I’ll update you next week with what idea I have decided to go for,
Róisín -x

Chapter 3 – The Box

So after my maquette didn’t work I had the idea of making my piece more interactive. So I then set about the design and began to thin about how it would look.
I realised that if I wanted it to be interactive I would need to have some sort of storage for my slides to be displayed on and so tat people could easily put them back so that the slides themselves could be rearranged. I also changed my earlier design of the box so that instead of sliding the slides into the top of the box, you could slide them into the side to make them more easily accessible to more people.

For the storage for the slides I decided to go with a shelf as I thought that this would be the easiest and quickest to make. This also makes the slides displayed more openly so that the viewer can look through them and remove and put in slides more easily.
The box construction wasn’t overly complicated as I used a bought photo frame from Matalan (£5) as the face of the box and added on an extension using timber that my dad had in the shed. The slots for the slides were made from dowling and gave room for 5 slides so that there was an adequate number of slides that could be viewed at the one time and the box wasn’t too bulky. I also had to add a sort of floor to the bottom of the inside so that the slides were centred. 
Stay tuned for next time when I will talk about how I made the slides for the box 🙂
Róisín -x

Inspiration of the Week – Richard Long

Richard Long is an artist who makes his pieces through following routes in landscapes and making sculptures and taking photographs of them along the way.

The reason that I have looked into this artist is that I am currently thinking of carrying on with my maps idea for my final exhibition work. My dad suggested I look into Richard Long’s work for some idea as I’m not quite sure where to take my work just yet.

I really like his work as I find the shapes and materials he uses very organic, so I think this works well as he is                                                                                                             interacting almost naturally with                                                                                       his environment.

In terms of inspiration I think it is a good idea to almost map out a journey through places artworks – almost like landmarks along the way. This got me thinking of orienteering and things like that, ie following a map or route to find different artworks of                                                                                                           mine.

NB – all photographs here have been taken from his site:
I do not own any of the pictures on this post.

I will definitely look to Richard Long for inspiration in regards to my final piece, although I don’t think my works will be as big as his are. I could maybe make his influence work on a smaller scale, and maybe indoors as well.

That’s all for now, if you have any artists you want me to look at be sure to let me know 🙂
Róisín -x

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