U1. Contexts

Artist Talk: Katherine Jones

Katherine her work I happened to have seen almost a whole wall of her work at the Woolwich contemporary print fair before she came to talk at the school. Not knowing who she was at the time I was instantly drawn to the scene. The colours of her work are very gentle from a distance, and there is a kind of rocky mineral feeling in it, which looks like a painting from a distance, but is a printmaking when I look at it closely. Afterwards, during one of my unintentional research, I found out by chance that she would come to the classroom to share her work with us.
I was impressed by her suggestion to make a large number of small artworks, and then make prints based on the ready-made pictures to present the images. This approach reminded me of the almost similar approach I used to prepare my graduation work in BA, where I first drew the image on paper with colours and pens, and then I took my finished draft and asked the technician what I wanted to do to present my works in stone litho, so what should I do next. It made me think back to that process of learning exploring and being productive. I should try doing that again.
She mentioned using monoprint, Jelly print, sugar lift, oil transfer drawing, and ink. using them as tools to do a lot of quick painting/print and then move these paintings into the main big print works. Her method of finding inspiration is also to keep a sketchbook, which she mentioned is for observation, practising looking, keeping your eye in. I think this is really good, I should try to do observation practice as well. 
Besides, she used Collagraph technique to create her works, and she showed her many block prints. At that time, I suddenly felt that the exploration of printmaking seemed endless, and I was especially impressed by the concept of add layer in printmaking. It takes a lot of layers to make a rich image.Her printing process involves combining different shapes of cardboard, then inking them separately and printing them together on paper. The cardboard is Environment Cardboard, and you can even add texture to the cardboard such as Glue and emery. Collagraph was the first time I had seen this technique, and she even told me to go to a framing shop, where I might be able to get a free Mount board for my prints.

artist talk: fay ballard

Ballard started painting circles after travelling to Iran and Morocco, she was inspired by the art and architecture of the region, especially the brickwork in Iran, where it was used to get an emotional response out of her. But what impressed me was when she showed that many of the photos she took at that time were about bricks, she said she didn’t know what the reason was, she just wanted to take them. She said, “ Huge bricks, take huge photos, no reason”. It made me think that it turns out that taking a photo doesn’t need a reason at that time, the reason might be found out later. Creative work doesn’t start with a clear idea but develops step by step.
In her lecture, she gave a quote about why she creates that struck me: “Meaning is to exist”. I don’t know why I was so moved by that quote and I’ve had a lot of motivation to create ever since.
In some of her projects about objects, memories I was impressed, as if a door was opened. Because I used to be a little resistant to describing objects, I don’t know why I draw objects, I think they are always like that, when I try to describe objects I feel bored and dull. It was only through her talk that I realised that there is another layer covered in objects: memory. The memories between you and the object, the object and you have time together. Then I suddenly understood why I always felt bored when drawing objects before because I didn’t have the emotions or memories I had of them to put into my creations. I was just coldly describing the object again. 
She also said that one of her projects was inspired by cleaning her room, she came across huge stuff and saw beautiful dust. It is all about memories and her mum (through objects) because objects contain strange memories (a lot of memories from stuff) she likes to start drawing, and then reading. (gathering information).
The advice she gives is to keep going in the process. Boring is normal during the process, but keep going. Also practice every day, even if you don’t have an idea, sit down and wait. For something that might happen, keep a journal and ask questions. Try to figure out why.

Artist Talk: Lisa Chang Lee

Lisa’s work gives me a bit of a poetic feeling in her work Learn to fear, because fear is the greatest bond of all’(pictured left). In this inkjet print, the glowing paint in the dark reminds me of my project, a little bit of hope shining through the darkness, but also like the continuation and rebirth of life. A new energy radiates in the darkness. Hidden and subtle. I think I would like to try to explore this feeling in my future works, removing some obvious visual elements from concrete things, and making the pictures more mysterious and abstract.
In her other project ‘Serenade of the Woods’ she tries to combine nature and technology. During the Q&A session, someone asked what to do if you don’t know how to do the technology, and she told us that she had an idea at the beginning, she told her friend about it, and they had a collaborative project. She also mentioned how to find ways to collaborate: for example, go to Instagram, email, ask people, or take a short course. However starting from conversation and building relationships is important, and accepting I don’t know is a point to start studying.