Each year we stage an end of year show featuring work created by our first, second and third year students from some of the modules they have been working on since the beginning of the academic year in October. As always this year’s featured great work, prizes, table tennis and mince pies! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of our students!
Work from second year Ellie Stafford.
“For my ‘Plastic Fantastic’ brief I focused on documenting recycled clothing from charity shops. Charity shops divert an average of 30 tonnes per annum of textiles from landfill sites annually in the UK. I created these images with Kezia focusing on re-using clothes on a budget of £30.”
A post-modern self-portrait created by first year Aleena Hurst.
It is often stated, ‘the company we keep influences the choices we make’, if this is true does the people we meet in our lives influence the way we see the world.
Post-Modernism looks towards other forms of art and culture and take aspects into their own work. In this series of work, I was drawn to images that are distorted and imbalanced. Mainly focusing on Post-Modernist photographer Richard Hamilton. Hamilton had the ability to distort the main focal point of the subject and contrast it against a straight forward image. Stripping down each element which Hamilton does, makes the photo have a more self-reflexive view which was an area I wanted to explore.
Using different elements, I created a narrative behind the portraiture which is something Hamilton includes in his editorial pieces. Focusing purely on the eyes, it provides an opportunity to view the ‘window to the soul’ which influenced my vision of the world. This was often amplified in the abstract construction which Hamilton used by making collages instead of using just one individual image.
In my research of portraiture, I was motivated to create my own unique interpretation ‘the status of a signature and declares itself as an authentic presence of the individual’. This informed a link between my work and Hamilton’s by using two different elements (traditional and past portraiture) and layering them together to create a whole piece.
The limits within Post-Modernism are infinite. The development of the new world has enabled us to combine art sources making a platform for new interpretations of Post- Modernism which is a platform we need as artists to inspire each other.
A post-modern self-portrait created by first year Tiana Walton.
“Rather than offering a conventional image of a face or a landscape, I prefer to take a handkerchief, twist it however I like, and photograph it accordingly”. Antonio Palmerini’s portraits of young women have captured multiple versions of the girls. The images have a sinister feel to them. They seem to show another layer to the subject beneath the surface. The girls have a faint appearance as the movement in the face and body has been blurred. You could mistake them for a ghost. These blurred portraits stipulate split personalities. This concept can be strongly linked to mental health issues such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These effects by Palmerini were created using slow shutter speeds and double exposure images.
Palmerini’s work is classified as post modernism as his work contradicts the restraining guidelines of modernism. Shape, line, texture have not been considered. His images are much more soft focus and relaxed. The movement captured in them is a show of free spirit. No guidelines,
I have created work in this style previously when working on images for an interview brief. I used a slow shutter speed to capture a portrait image blurring across the space faded out to darkness. This created a smooth drag of colour which included defining details of the face allowing the face to be recognisable while movement is still being captured.
I wanted to capture movement. I also wanted to incorporate mixed media which is why I printed out my portrait first and reshot the image, creating this multiple image effect. And I wanted part of this image to be in focus and the other part to be soft focus.
A post-modern informed self-portrait created by first year Wiki Ciesla.
Postmodernism “advocated that individual experience and interpretation of our experience was more concrete than abstract principles. While the modernists championed clarity and simplicity; postmodernism embraced complex and often contradictory layers of meaning.” (Tate Modern, no date: online). An element that postmodernism embraces is subjectivity, as well as being focused on self-representation. With this piece of work, the focus was to create a surreal image that embraces subjectivity, but there are layers of psychological meanings to this image as well which suggest a lack of knowingness about the subject.
Through this self-portrait, I am trying to convey an element of postmodernism whereto it does not portray a clear image of myself but rather creates a surreal image that leaves the viewer to develop their own interpretation of the work. Further, this work builds on the concept as to what extent photography shows the reality, even in the form of a self-portrait. This is shown through the fact that one cannot really tell much about me, the subject of the image. This element of mystery and lack of reality is prominent throughout postmodernism and through my work I want to convey the different ways within which one can observe this self-portrait and raise the question of how much do we really know about the subject.
Postmodernist photography has a role in displaying something subjective and psychological due to the fact that the viewer begins to question not only how much of the image is a reality, but also the different layers that form the image. The subjectivity of the image implies that there is not one, similar way to view it and in this way postmodernist photography stimulates surreal and psychological elements.
As part of the written theory module first years students had to create their own post-modern informed self-portrait and write an artist’s statement to accompany the image.
This is the first post of this work created by Carmel Anderson.
“I thought of the people as puppets who were unstrung, mercilessly disempowered—not preyed upon, but living on the edge and not by choice,”– (Lorca diCorcia, 2014: Online)
Traditionally, art and photography were made to create an illusion. The better the illusion, the better the Image. Artifice within postmodernism does its best to expose how the illusion-making process works. It plays on the idea of being aware of the image and knowing that everything has been staged specifically for the photo. Finding the right balance between the image looking frozen in time and could come to life at any moment, yet making sure the viewer knows every element of the photo has been meticulously thought out.
To me, artifice is about creating a link between fantasy and real life. Seeing a beautifully shot image and being able to imagine it being a moving image, telling a story, but also being able to create your own story and possibly see yourself within that. As the photographer, being able to create a metaphorical blank canvas for the viewer to reflect their own feelings and stories onto.
Philip Lorca diCorcia has been my main inspiration for my self-portrait. diCorcia creates cinematic stills that are designed to evoke the emotion contained in real life situations. The theatrical and ‘in the moment’ atmosphere throughout diCorcia’s work, is what captured my attention the most. I was very interested in attempting to creating a dramatic image that wouldn’t look out if place in a film, whilst keeping in mind the intricate stylings that diCorcria uses.
In the photo above, I have attempted to recreate my own take on cinematic image that matched the theme artifice within the post modernism era.