It has been a very busy two weeks since last I wrote - Firstly I'd like to apologise for the time it has taken me to upload this text as promised - The time has flown so quickly whilst here. When having fun the time moves quickly. Three weeks in and I have been busy creating many sketches and writings, formulating ideas and bringing together research that I have done so far. I have been learning Spanish and slowly it is sticking - I feel a little part of my mind creating a special area and finally can start to see how the words fit together and how the grammar works. It takes a while but once you see how it fits together then it sticks in the mind. It is exciting when things begin to click... practica makes perfecto.
I have been visiting many museums and galleries in and around Malaga and soon I will be travelling further a field to explore Sevilla, Cordoba, Cadiz and more to finalise research on La Historica de Espana for the intended murales (mural).
I hope to begin the actual piece from Lunes 10th March - at which point I will be in the room most days from the afternoon through until the late evening. I am itching to make a start - but I need to research a little more the region of Andalusia and its history/ mythology to form into the images that I proposed to produce.
Currently I have been taking lots of photos, although I do not rely on photography to create my work - mainly I use my sketches and memory - drawing and painting the variety of objects and observations I have made so far.
Vallo from EstoniaOn Saturday 22nd February we visited Grenada and the Alhambra - WOW! Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to take many photos due to circumstances out of my control - though thankfully a pencil and a sketchbook is generally all I require and my memory too. The day was amazing and the opportunity to visit Grenada with the other artistas and estudiantes de Malaca Instituto was an great opportunity to know many I had not yet had the opportunity to converse with before.
One of the problems with drawing though is not keeping up with the rest of the group and in this case I managed to lose the group on a few occasions and towards the end of the visit too - which was embarrassing to say the least - although it all worked out okay in the end, but it was still an event I do not wish to repeat again. The moral? Draw fast without looking at the paper, bring spare batteries for the camera and stick with the group. ;D
The Alhambra is amazing and no words can really describe the experience of standing before such a great piece of work. The intricately designed and constructed geometric designs are simply breathtaking using Nasrid Proportion. The amount of work and time put into the majesty of the palace is overwhelming and begs for several visits to absorb everything. Even so, with the reality that all of the work was made by the hands of people and not machines is something I am sure is not possible today, due to the loss of skills and/ or the cost involved in producing something on this scale.
The geometric designs reminded me also of the Celtic designs from my home county/ country of Cornwall (South West England). The way the lines interweave between one another, connecting elements of various areas into a cohesive whole - creating form and shape; like frequencies of sound creating form. This abstraction brought a sense of the hidden reality or realm beyond our normal vision. I equate it to how the world might seem if we saw the world without the mind which brings form to the vibrational patterns of energy. Here the Islamic design makes apparent a reality that both exists and informs the material, without relying on 'recognisable' imagery of people, animal and nature - yet in the design the forms of nature come through the intricacies of the Nasrid designs.
Through the images and observations I have done thus far I intend to experiment with applying the techniques of the Nasrid Proportion to my piece in some way - although firstly I will need to research and create work exploring this style of proportion. I will apply elements of nature to the design, using the many flora and fauna I have accumulated over the last three weeks and in my final piece/s on the wall (Pared) I will apply this proportional technique to the structure of the design, as this appears to be an underlying architectural and artistic reality to Spanish design from the past - the Islamic influence within the culture of Spain and a clear demonstration of how cross-fertilization of ideas, design and artistic creativity enhances the creative culture in the region of Andalusia.
Throughout history we observe the way 'outsiders' influence and enhance another culture - using the best of both to form new synthesis' of artistic creativity, in turn pushing the evolution of art, design, architecture and ideologies into new areas of investigation - leading towards a new cultural enlightenment. As a maker of 'stuff' (artist) I respond to this form of energetic creativity and it is one of the key factors for travelling to other countries, exploring at first hand the influences of the past upon the present and the seemingly indeterminable future.
IMAGES OF IDEAS
Below are some sketches I have been working on. In these you can see that I have over-laid many images, creating a saturation of information from various subjects. Each intersects and connects with one another, abstractly, from various 'eras'. This exploration in the effects from the past and how it relates to the contemporary is key to my research, as well as using elements from the environment that I am currently surrounded by and taking part in through observation of space, forms, ideas, cultures, learning Spanish and its history.
I am also influenced and inspired from the local landscape via abstracting colour and form from local rocks - something you might have seen during my time in Cyprus. In a sense my work becomes a form of history painting, set within the style of the collage with an interconnectedness between different eras/ times, through chance elements and intellectual rational. My goal is to seek a synthesis between the past and the present and how these influence the development of our identity and our relationship with the past. More on this later as I develop this line of inquiry.
To finish I will also be exploring the use of a limited colour palette - introducing black line work, bringing a mix of drawing and painting together, using the colours influenced from what I see in Spain (Grenada and others). In this case the colours will be: Red (Rojo), Green (Verde), Gold (Dorado), Blue (Azul) and the tonal values of Black (Negro) and White (Blanco). Again, more on this in another posting.