Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Two Ideas...

In my origional project proposal I stated how I wanted to create a series of work, which created a critisism of societies attitude towards recycling and waste. My aim was to show a different side but also to teach myself about the matter through creating the work. After finding a set of maps on the enviroment agency which highlight areas near your postcode that are on record as being landfill sites I made the decision that these sites would be the location of my images. After further research of the areas in London I started taking photographs and finding more out about the sites - one of my initial questions was 'Where does London's waste go?' after finding that no one in my flat understood the ideas of recycling or reducing waste - something which I am not use to. After asking this question I made the decision to just look at the landfill sites in London - these sites being the site of Surrey Quays shopping centre, The O2 Arena in Greenwich and Wapping/ Shadwell. After photographing these areas I discovered that they were in fact the old docks from the 19th Century. This sparked more research into the docks and their use.

So far my research into the docks and to the disposal of waste has been: watching 'Peter Ackroyd's Thames' (2008), Patrick Keiller's 'London' (1992) and 'Robinson in Space' (1997), reading Black Dog Publishing's 'Recycle: The Essential Guide' which includes a number of case studies on recycling and waste management and also walking around and looking at the streets around the areas of the landfill sites.

From my research into Recycling I found a lot out about the different types of recycling, waste sites and also about ideas on how and what should be done to tackle the problem - a problem which many do not reguard as a problem. Through reading the preface and intordutcion of the book I learnt how many industiralised areas like shopping centres, golf courses and childrens areas are shaped by landfill if they can. To me this came as a shock but after looking at the idea more I'd quite like to create images which form a a neutral look on the situiation.

What I've come to understand, through this research and finding out that the park and play area that me and my two sisters grew up on is in fact a landfill site (from 1950 to 1962 (see this link)) is that as much as the land was filled in the first place at least it is being re-used and re-developed. At first I had a very negative view on the situation but now I have an understanding. It is not that I want to critisise the actual landfill sites which have been built on but instead to either highlight or to crisisise the sites of the landfill and to show the audience of my work what they are doing by littering and no recycling is creating more oppertunity for this to happen again.

Ramble over, two basic visual ideas are:

1.) Create an aerial view of Surrey docks out of found recycling and waste on the shopping centre site. Disgusing it with elements of nature - as rubbish is often hidden in these places. Personally this is an idea I want to go a head with but I feel as though it doesn't answer the brief of 'Modernism'.

2.) Create 3 images which highlight the area at home where the landfill site changed into the park complex for children and their parents - eg. capture these areas in a modernist fashion - playgrounds, golf courses and industrial areas like shopping centres.

Ramble two over... need to develop my two 120 films from the weekend. I'll scan in soon and post!

British Rubbish: Sue Webster & Tim Noble

Dirty White Trash (With Gulls), 1998 - Webster & Noble

Webster & Noble are an english colaboration based in London whose work is collected by Charles Saatchi. They met on a Fine Art degree course and both graduated from University of Nottingham. Their work looks at taking objects of an ordinary nataure to create self-portraits and sculptures of detail and beauty. The work from their body of work 'Britist Rubbish' is the work which is most relevant to mine but other bodies of their work does have links.

The image above of their 'Dirty White Trash' sculpture is one of the best known work from this series. The basis of the idea is the way the disguarded waste, scrap metal and in some cases the taxidermy animals are transformed into recognisable images. All the items which create the sculptures is all collected from around London and then pieced together. The transformation of the waste into recognisable projection comes from the idea of perceptual pshycology, which is a form of evalualtion for pshycological patients. Before creating the work they were both aware of this process of how people evaluate abstract forms.

From the way the image has been composed the first thing you see is the shadow at the back so I don't think it has the same effect as it would if you saw it in a gallery. When I first found this image I thought that it was all done on Photoshop through image manipulation but u pon further research found that it was in fact a sculpture. Personally I think this work is a strong example of how artists can reuse objects to recycle in their own way.

In the way of this image itself I think it is one of the most sucsessful. It is a self-portrait of Noble and Webster and reflects the time they spent together, not only as a couple but also as a colaberation. Collecting and creating the works of art that are part of their 'British Rubbish'. The rubbish they collected for the piece consists of many different elements of municipal waste and recycling - reflecting the idea of the waste in London but also reflecting their ideas of how people evaluate form. Transforming not only the figure of something which people disguard and forget about into something of detail and beauty but also an attempt to transform peoples views on the ideas of waste and waste disposal.

From this work I want to try out the idea of manipulating certian factors in my images - like the found waste and objects that I find when shooting. Manipulating the images to create something recognisable. Perhaps looking at discreatly creating the layout of the old docks at Surrey Quays within my images.


Whilst at the science museum looking at their 'Pshycoanalysis: The Unconsious in Everyday Life' exhibition and I came across another Noble & Webster sculpture. What I was saying in the text before about when you see it in a gallery you just stare at the actual sculpture and not at the shadow is exactly  how it happens. When I first saw the sculpture I just saw the fingers and phallus's that the model is made up of, almost transfixed on how it made the shadow behind. The sculpture is truely amazing to see in a gallery and really makes me want to see their rubbish series.

The blurb about the work talked about how they work with self-portraiture and the idea of Freud and how we analyse objects. This statue too is a self-portrait in the the fingers are moulds of Webster and the penis being a cast of Noble's. The rest of the exhibition is also worth a look with works from Arnold Dreyblatt, Mona Hatoum, Joseph Kosuth, Grayson Perry