Monday, December 17, 2012

Graduate Exhibition - Documentation

After all the hard slog preparing, the Graduate Exhibition was a great success.  We had a great opening night, standing room only in many areas of the buildings.  Approx. 750 people responded with an RSVP and that seems about right.  We also had a great many through during the rest of the exhibition.

Thanks to my fellow artists, RMIT staff and all who contributed and made it a great opening and great exhibition.  And thanks to friends and family for coming to see the show.

Here are some documentation shots of my works in the show. 


 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Entry Point Plus Construction
Acrylic and vinyl on wall/floor.
 
 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Entry Point Plus Construction
Acrylic and vinyl on wall/floor.
 
 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Entry Point Plus Construction
Acrylic and vinyl on wall/floor.

 
(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Entry Point Plus Construction
Acrylic and vinyl on wall/floor.



Installation view of Graduate Exhibition 2012
With Tape, Yellow Towards Left, Fold Out and Entry Point Plus Construction.


 Installation view of Graduate Exhibition 2012
Primary Space Informed by Brush and Orange Structure on Fold Out.


 Installation view of Graduate Exhibition 2012
With Tape, Yellow Towards Left, Fold Out and Entry Point Plus Construction.



Friday, November 23, 2012

Getting Ready for the Grad Show

A quick catch up post about preparing for my Graduate Exhibition.

It was an incredibly enhausting time. We emptied our studios of all furniture, painted endless walls and floors and began setting out work across many rooms and booths. There were lots of challenges to hang a cohesive show, combining the work of over 50 artists into the one show was an incredible undertaking and not without it's stressors. I was alotted a space to install my work quite late, which was a huge challenge for me. Normally I have days to prepare, to sketch and do colour experiements, but I almost had to enter the space dry. I found this so hard.



Here I am, about halfway through the install.





Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blue Cubed

This work was born out of a series of drawings and paintings on paper and I wanted to see them in large scale.  Often when working on paper or sketching, the works don't feel complete until I can walk into them at large scale.  So I was keen to get this one on a wall.

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Blue Cubed (installation view)
Acrylic and vinyl on wall.


 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Blue Cubed (installation view)
Acrylic and vinyl on wall.

 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Blue Cubed (installation view)
Acrylic and vinyl on wall. 
(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Blue Cubed (installation view)
Acrylic and vinyl on wall.

As so often happens, the work changed when translated from sketch to wall.  I extended the lines from the cube present in the blue form, to further interact with the features of the space.  Although I left these lines incomplete, they operate as an illusion, suggesting the presence of a cube.

I love this space because of its 'ugly' architectural features; the ducting, the pin board, the pipes.


Blue Cubed from Naomi Nicholls on Vimeo.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Structure into Pink and Blue is complete


Installations are hard to photograph.  I always find it tough.  Straight lines warp through the camera, light is hard to capture (for the novice photographer), and you can’t shoot around corners or capture two elements of the installation that talk to each other in the same frame.  I usually find solace in the fact that I take as many photos as I can from as many angles as I can, trying to focus on the sweet spots for reading the installation, or at least where I think the sweet spots are.  It was suggested to me a while ago to start filming my installations, as a way of capturing the spatial experience of moving through the work.  It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely something.  I have been doing this on and off for a while.

Here is the video (now in 2D!!) and the installation shots of the finished work.  (Note: there is no sound)


Structure into Pink and Blue from Naomi Nicholls on Vimeo.



(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Structure into Pink and Blue (installation view)
Acrylic paint, paint pen and vinyl.

 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Structure into Pink and Blue (installation view)
Acrylic paint, paint pen and vinyl.

 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Structure into Pink and Blue (installation view)
Acrylic paint, paint pen and vinyl.

 

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Structure into Pink and Blue (installation view)
Acrylic paint, paint pen and vinyl.
 
 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Structure into Pink and Blue (installation view)
Acrylic paint, paint pen and vinyl.
 
 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Structure into Pink and Blue (installation view)
Acrylic paint, paint pen and vinyl.
  (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Structure into Pink and Blue (installation view)
Acrylic paint, paint pen and vinyl.

This work, in signwriting vinyl, acrylic paint pens and acrylic paint, has again allowed me to use multiple materials to build the installation.  I love that.  It just doesn’t feel right unless there are number of different mediums being used.  Perhaps it doesn’t feel enough like a collage or that I’m truly building the work.  This, when you think about it, is heavily related to the content of the work – building structures in space that are related to architecture of a site.

I’m pleased with the illusory qualities of this work.  However, if you try to step into the rectangle across the floor and wall, it vanishes and becomes lines on the floor.  Perhaps this is something I can push further.

The glossy finish which the vinyl gives, is fantastic.  When it’s paired with the matt finish of the acrylic paint, it creates a kind of ambiguous spatial effect, highlighting the possibility of a fold in the wall.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Structure into Pink and Blue - Work in Progress








I am behind on posting what I’ve been working on.  That never happens.

Here are some photographs of a work in progress.  Working again in a hallway; there is just something about those spaces.  Availability of the space does play its part, as well as the constant flow of traffic, which adds content to the work and gives constant readings to the work.

This installation uses signwriting vinyl, acrylic paint pens and acrylic paint.  It has been challenging to work with such a large piece of vinyl.  Application had its problems, wrestling with the vinyl that wanted to curl and stick to everything.  As well as not being able to stand back and look at placement as I applied it made it hard.  I had tacked it in place before I started peeling off the backing, so I was reasonably sure of the placement as I was applying it.

A ‘happy accident’ presented itself while I was painting it in.  I ran out of blue house paint.  When I ordered more to be mixed and returned to the painting, I found it had been mixed a little darker than the sample and darker than what I had painted in.  I considered painting over all the blue of the shape again in the darker blue, but settled on just covering what I had to and making another shape of random brush marks.  It adds more depth and, I think, adds more questions about what space the work takes up.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Upscaling Didn't Quite Work


Sometimes things just don't work.  Many times I have painting things in small scale and then tried them on a large scale and it just flopped.  That happened again recently.






It was the first time I attempted those random and deliberate brush marks in a large scale.  I had plans of linking the shape together and unfolding an installation across the room, in a similar way to these works on plywood, but the upscaling did nothing for the shape.  To me it just looked like the beginnings of a graffiti mural, which is not the content I want to bring to my work at this point (if ever).  As with before, it seems the problem was the size of my brush in relation to the size of the shape.  It may have worked if the shape had been half the size.  Or if it was filled in, which I have since started to do.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Painting Experiment 3 (Yellow, Blue, Red)



(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Painting Experiment 3 (Yellow, Blue, Red)
Video still

This still is from my latest painting experiment, this time with red, yellow and blue.  Are you seeing a theme with primary colours recently?

This is the most successful yet.  I was able to get the lighting right, a good camera and edit properly.  I'm learning a lot about the video process.  However, as you learn more about making video, you find there is so much more to know.  I enjoy making videos, but for the moment, that's not where I want my focus to go.  So, they might just appear in my work now and then.

This work will form part of my assessment this semester and may turn up in some exhibitions in the future.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tweaking Primary Colours - works on plywood



(c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and acrlyic paint pen on board
 (c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and graphite on board
 (c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and graphite on board
 (c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and graphite on board
(c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and acrylic paint pen on board


Here are some more works on plywood board.  It's a wonderful material to work into, as it comes complete with a spatial or atmospheric kind of 'background', because of the wood grain surface.

I'm focusing on primary colours with my colour choices.  I think in terms of starting with red, yellow, blue and tweak them slightly.  The blue may become a light blue or royal blue.  The red I turn slightly to a hot pink or magenta by adding the tiniest bit of white or yellow, or go all the way to a fleshy tone.  The yellow I turn, either slightly or a long way, in the direction of orange.  There's also some random green in one of these works, thrown in for good measure but unrelated to primary colours.  However, I must say, I think that work is the least successful in terms of colour palette.

I'm finding these adjustments are a great way to deal with colour.  The relationships between the colours are still largely based on primaries, but it alters my thinking about them and my fear of primary colours, inspired by art history's fear.  While not quite 'complementary' colours, they still operate in a really illusory way.  Complementary colours naturally work amazingly to create optical illusions, because they are truly opposite colours.  These tweaked primaries have something at play also and I am deep in sorting it out as I go along.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Green Reach

This work has its origins in those random and deliberate brush mark developments.  I love those shapes.  The following relates in particular to the ones in the lower half of that earlier post. 

Wanting to put some reference to my body in the work, I worked out a way to use my reach.  I planted my feet in a spot close to the wall, near the corner and used one hand only to paint.  I began to build the shape with the aforementioned random brush marks, but only what I could reach with feet planted.  The arc of my arm meant the shape took a circular structure. 



(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Green Reach
Acrylic paint on wall (installation view)

 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Green Reach
Acrylic paint on wall (installation view)

 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Green Reach
Acrylic paint on wall (installation view)
 
 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Green Reach
Acrylic paint on wall (installation view)
 
 
This shape has a strong relationship to the architecture of the room, to the body of the viewer (at least if you're my height).  It has quite spatial qualities and hovers.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Random and Deliberate Brush Marks

Incrementally throughout my recent works on wooden boards I have been experimenting with random and deliberate brush marks.  When you paint something, like a house or a piece of furniture, you use brush marks in such a way as to get good coverage but it's also quite random.  Noticing this in my own work, I have sought to be more deliberate in my use of this.  (It's a further development in what I was trying to get at with other tests with brush strokes.)




It started appearing in various tests.  And I wanted to take that randomness and try and use it in my work.


I used it alongside straight edged shapes, trying to figure out in what capacity it could fit into my work.  But didn't feel really attached to the rough a scumbly edges.



I started to fill in with a sharp edge the shapes the brush marks created.
Suddenly, these wonky shapes started appearing amongst the straight edged ones. 




These were still random and deliberate shapes that were part of a line of unfolding architectural shapes (as above).  But I also started to play with the shapes as their own beast.





These are still tests.  I haven't made any resolved works out of them, but they are good to have cooking along in the background.  I feel they still have a very strong relationship to architecture and space.  So I expect there will be more of these, perhaps in a wall installation capacity.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

'Is the tape part of the work?'

Grand plans, that's what I had.  It was going to be the first of a series of works on wooden board and I already knew what I wanted to do.  But then came the suggestion 'Is the tape part of the work?'
Gosh.  No.  It's not.... wait.

Ah, the eyes of other people!  They see other things.  I had taped the edge of the wood to protect it while I was working with it.  However, as the tape is a vibrant blue, it played off the colours I was working with on the board.

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Is the tape part of the work? (detail view)
Acrylic and low-tack painters tape on wooden board

 
(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Is the tape part of the work? (side view)
Acrylic and low-tack painters tape on wooden board


(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Is the tape part of the work?
Acrylic and low-tack painters tape on wooden board


For the moment, it stays.  I think they were right.  It is part of the work.
Makes me giggle every time I see it though.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Analogous to Orange



(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall.



(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall/floor.


(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall.

 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall.


 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall.

 
 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall.


Using a hierarchy of analogous colour and scale, this painting installation comes complete with a suggested order of reading.  The brushed yellow and grey line on the floor is the point of entry, start there.  Up, it beckons, to the illusory space on the left which suggest a kind of interior and draw attention to the light above.  Webs of wool shapes interrupt overhead space, joining left to right wall.  On the right a series of forms and illusory shapes have a closer relationship to the body moving through the space, being of a similar size to the body and closer that the afforementioned shapes.  Then an interruption to the rambling shapes and a leap to a single geometric form painted on the floor. 

This work took quite some time for me to be satisfied with.  Every time I create a work, it's a learning experience.  This has been no different.  I am pleased with the use of the architectural space of the hallway.  It's an area I'm pretty familiar with and have made a couple of works here before, so I am no stranger to it.  The layout of the work in the space is kind of an outplaying of how my eye takes in the space when it's empty.  I wanted to guide others through it as I see it.  As well as to use the dominant forms on the upper left to push people back against the opposite wall to influence the way people walked through the space.

An interesting development is that the elements which were painted on the floor were walked over, not stepped over or walked around.  I guess this is indicative of how one walks in an actual thoroughfare - this is not technically an art space, so people continue to barrel through as usual.  Something I could consider for future works - do I want to do something to interrupt their normal barrelling through spaces, or allow their walking over the work to change it?