My initial aim for this project was to explore the use of abstract gestural painting to communicate one's subconscious. Inspired by Tracey Emin's talk at Tate Modern in early 2019, I wanted to create paintings that are as much about the action of creating them, as the outcome.
As this project progressed, it became more about questioning myself with the meanings behind my ideas and exploring a wide range of techniques to achieve an abstracted piece of art. I created two shoots, one on 35mm coloured film and on my DLSR camera for the female nude. I have studied, drawn and used the female nude figure to strip down and to expose a vulnerability within myself, creating the paintings to be confessional.
I wanted to explore the idea of there being many different ways to achieve abstraction within art and alongside this project. I created a short documentary which is still in development, interviewing my fellow art students from a range of art practices to answer questions and discuss their interpretations and ideas of what abstract art is, what the female nude in art represents to them in the modern era and about how or if they communicate themselves through their work.
I wanted to abstract the figures in a way that would allow them to still be recognisable in form but cause them to gradually become more and more intertwined with themselves and ultimately be presented as a mound of distorted flesh. After completing trials of gestural abstract painting techniques and my first few paintings of single figures, I decided to start overlaying the images from my second shoot to achieve this intertwined body visual. These give me compositions for my final paintings, drawing in many influential artists of the gestural abstract movement, such as William de Kooning.
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