Considering the use of process, performance, colour and material, using inspiration from Katherina Grosse and Oliver Herrin, I’ve investigated how to connect paint and material with architecture like Grosse and how to create a connection between colour and skin from Herrin. Both artist use processes that aren’t conventional painting tools, Grosse using a spray paint machine and Herrin getting his models to use their mouths to spit food colouring. Looking into ways to use paint through the use of co-opt tools, for instance a spray tan machine, which is a piece of equipment that I use to create many of my artworks, making my work all about experimentation and the process itself, with action painting being a key motivation within my work.
Within Colour Contact, powder paint was used unconventionally, not using it to mix with water and make the paint paste, I instead used it to throw onto the skin of the model leaving the material as its raw, original form. Adding harsh sounds with every burst of colour, creating a more unrealistic representation of the original soft grain of the powder against the skin, adding to the impact of gestural performance. I projected my video for the Winter Cabaret Show onto a wall in a small space, creating an intimate atmosphere to encourage the audience to be more aware of their own skin whilst watching the model being distorted with colour and texture, unable to be in control of the situation, conveying vulnerability. My art practise consists of many dimensions, including performance, video and documentation, making my work not just consisting of one form but multiple to broaden my experimentation and processes. I carried on this process within UV Ultrasound, for this piece I used UV paint under a black light and created a video with clips of paint spraying and flicking onto a model’s body. This created a more uncomfortable experience, not fully able to see what’s happening but bursts of vibrant colours covering a close-up shadow, the unknown in this piece gives a contrast to Colour Contact, however I decided to move away from the human form and consider textures and materials instead.
Continuing with co-opt tools, I used a spray tan machine to spray paint within my final piece Colour Undone. Originally this piece was going to be in the form of a performance at the Degree Show, however having to do this piece outside of the art studio, being limited for space and having to create a video to exhibit instead, I have had to make compromises. I started this piece by thinking more about textures and how paint reacts differently on different surfaces, taking inspiration from fashion, I considered garments by designer Moncler, where texture and volume are key features with Moncler’s ballgowns resembling sleeping bags, using wadded linear stitching from top to bottom in shiny nylon material. Advancing with my work from using the skin as the canvas, I wanted to use material to be another way to capture the performance, with the garment also becoming its own artwork. I used duvets to create my garments and added more linear stitching into it to extenuate its wadded textures and transforming it into a gown. Unlike skin, paint can’t wash off clothes, the notion of a ‘one of a kind’ original dress being altered with paint, considering the idea of not being able to ‘undo’ what has been done is something I wanted to play around with. Inspiration for this came from Alexander McQueen’s finale design in his RTW Show (1999), in which McQueen used a pure white dress to be sprayed onto in paint, shocking the audience with his distortion of his design and giving all the control to a machine. As my final piece was no longer just performative, using editing software I decided to create something that is not possible to do in reality. Creating an ‘undone’ effect, I used my garment as the canvas and used the spray tan machine to cover the dress in paint, then reversed this to allow the dress to transform into its original state once more.