my first born creature

Brown Bear by Vicki Reisima (2014). Fabric, thread, buttons and Polyfill. Approximately 40cm tall standing.

Brown Bear by Vicki Reisima (2014). Fabric, thread, buttons and Polyfill. Approximately 40cm tall standing.

This is the first textile creation of many to come in this semesters project. I want to experiment altering body proportions to make the forms feel a little awkward and less common than the usual teddy bear representation. I enjoyed making a toy with jointed limbs, as opposed to sewing them into the torso. This is what appealed to me in the teddy bear form initially. I cant see myself steering away from it now, but we shall see what manifests in the weeks to come. So far, in the experimental stages, I am up-cycling pieces of my fabric stash. I expect them to look quite different, as I use whatever is at my disposal. I believe it may be what gives them a charming appeal.

 

Encaustic Series by Vicky Reisima

The ‘Elements of Random’ series were conceived from my desire to combine the natural world with geometric patterns, highlighting the synergistic and beautiful relationship that can be witnessed between them.

This series of works were created in response to my desire to experiment with encaustic wax. After combining photographs with vector images in Photoshop, I went on to transfer the images onto calico fabric with the Intron Heat Transfer Press. Before fusing them onto wooden box frames, I couldn’t resist passing them under the sewing machine for old times sake. They are currently on display in the Can Print Exhibition in Hastings Community Art Gallery (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand from 21st July-02 August 2014), and available to purchase should you wish to have them adorning your walls.

Holy Bonds of Matrimony

Before I embarked upon my honeymoon with my beautiful new wife, I spent the day creating a self-portrait photographic composite in Adobe Photoshop CC. Soft and dreamy or grungy textured dimensionality. Which version of my ‘Holy Bonds’ do you prefer?

Photomontage Images by Vicky Reisima (2014)

Bill Viola

my e-workbook

The visual/audio installations of Bill Viola communicate the theme of the universal human experience and subjectivity. Viola’s intention is to provoke viewers to contemplate collective and individual conscious thoughts and perceptions of the universal human experience. He explores topics of birth, death and self knowledge with deep influences from Eastern and Western spiritual traditions.

What intrigues me about his work is the vulnerability that he has his models revealing to the viewer.   Not only are they often naked, but also displaying gestures of shock, pain, sorrow and introspection. I am compelled to empathise with the people featured in the works, and as I do so, great compassion and humility is provoked within me.

Reference:

Viola, B. (n.d). Bill Viola. Retrieved from http://www.billviola.com/

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Richard Tuschman

Photomontage artist, Richard Tuschman works with digital and traditional methods of creating imagery, including making overlays from his own paintings and photographs – of which I have begun to do myself. I am intrigued by the way he combines organic elements with distressed and corroded surfaces, juxtaposing the qualities of beauty with decay.

The way that Tuschman also illuminates his scenes with an ethereal light, is a quality that I also want to bring to my imagery, lending to a soft, intimate and dream like aesthetic.

Reference:

Cyr, L. (2009). Art Revolution: alternative approaches for fine artists and illustrators. Ohio, USA: North Light Books

putting my hand to encaustic wax

I want to discover what happens when mixed media is mixed with wax. In its purest form, encaustic painting is as simple as applying melted beeswax onto an absorbent surface – but I want to learn more about how I could incorporate it as another medium for my practice. After researching encaustic artists, I went to Lisa Feyen to observe her studio practice with encaustic. She has spent time researching encaustic methods and products, and was happy to share her knowledge with me and Leanne in a mini workshop. The above images are a result of this session.

Encaustic is a dynamic medium where anything goes and the endless possibilities of what could happen are exciting for me. With practice and patience anyone can develop skills to be a successful encaustic artist.

Before I get to work

In order to be a practicing artist I discovered very early on this month that I had certain needs to be met. I need to be authentic, to feel like I have a purpose, and to nourish my creative impulses.  So ultimately, I had to get really clear on how to meet these needs, because it is my unique voice, what I want to say in my work that will at the end of the day nourish my soul and sustain my art practice.  This was really frustrating to be so ‘in my head’ about it, when all I really felt I should be doing was to start working, like Chuck Close advises see previous post.  But now I’m graciously accepting the process that it took knowing that at least my conceptual foundations have been laid and I have a strong sense of my voice and purpose.

So, what is my voice?  I had no idea until I did an exercise that my tutor gave me, putting together 10 of my favourite artists with intentions of making connections, so that I could see what they all had in common.  I soon discovered that I am drawn to: Illustration, Mixed Media Sculpture, Digital and Traditional Mixed Media, and Printmaking of all sorts (most recently I have been fascinated with Photopolymer Etching as it satisfies the photographer and printmaker in me. See gallery below for the selection of artists that I chose in the exercise.

 

The common threads are works that tell a narrative, feature people or creatures or both, surreal juxtapositions, and a good dose of whimsy.  These connections didn’t surprise me, but what did surprise me was that these concepts lead me down a pathway of quite a political approach to my practice.  Which stands to reason, as I want my art to be a provocation. Using my art as a form of storytelling (another love of mine) and inviting the viewer to consider their own experience of being human, ones place of belonging in the world, and in the body, and also the choice to live consciously alongside our fellow human beings and the other creatures of the planet.

My voice resounds with :

  • humanitarianism
  • optimistism
  • animal and human consciousness
  • philosophical
  • awareness of Self
  • reflection
  • poetics

May it serve me well in the World!