I’ve been thinking about how little you learn as you get older and how difficult retaining any new information is. Generally repeating an action whilst paying attention to it will result in an increase of expertise, in the acquisition of skills there are four stages to this. Unconscious Incompetence, Concious Incompetence, Concious Competence and Unconcious Competence. Personally I think painting and drawing bash their heads against Concious Competence and bounce back into Concious Incompetence on the rebound before gathering to go again. It often feels as if I’m getting worse at the things I’m doing every day.
Hence the desire to teach myself to paint to explore my lack of ability.
lebrun bather (one)
lebrun bather (two)
lebrun bather (three)
lebrun bather (four)
The four paintings are all the same figure, copied from a LeBrun by painting freely, no drawing or plotting – apart from squaring up on the third one. They get gradually worse I think. Anyway I have a way forward that I’m going to pursue.
In the meantime I’m reading a book about Sissinghurst I got for Christmas and continuing to learn about Unity and VRTK while I develop the garden project.
The video shows that I can pick things up now and make doors that you have to open!
And I’ve continued to produce a sketchbook drawing a day.
Draw Every Day – December
Daily Drawing for December, this month alternating left and right handed drawing, starting with ...
In preparation for the effort that will go into the VRD Gardens piece – I’m increasingly against the ‘et in arcadia ego’ working title (too pretentious even for me) – I’ve been working on a small world I use as a test bed for learning about Unity and 3ds Max modelling. I found that the frustration involved in working with the technology is best spent on things that aren’t as significant, if it fails and I lose it all I feel less upset.
miro world map
This video takes a brief walk through ‘miro_world’ in it’s current state.
I’ve continued to research for the VRD gardens project, which has now been acknowledged as eligible for funding by ACE (this only means they will now consider it and, it being a resubmission, I would have been surprised if they hadn’t), and I came across the online exhibition at the Garden Museum – gardenmuseum.org.uk
“I walk in this garden holding the hands of dead friends…” i
This is the start of a poem in one of Derek Jarman’s garden notebooks. This page, and a few others are reproduced on the Garden Museum website as part of the first exhibition dedicated to his garden at prospect college. There is a nice reading by Julian Sands heading this page.
When you carry your past with you as any conscious creature must it helps to have a place to lay it down. This is what Jarman did with prospect cottage, creating a space defined by the horizon geographically and physcologically, allowing patches of memory and the ideas they spawn to seed and grow as they could in the shingle.
There is nothing for me as dramatic as Jarman’s motivation but the desire to contain an essence of oneself in a space is palpably universal. The garden serves of course as itself and has a personality that dominates with its presence when you are present. It causes you to contemplate whether you wish to or not and visit and revisit aspects of yourself. Whether working or relaxing the space is redolent with shadows cast by your thoughts and memories.
i Garden Museum. (2020). Derek Jarman’s Sketchbooks. [online] Available at: https://gardenmuseum.org.uk/jarmansgarden/derek-jarmans-sketchbooks/ [Accessed 28 Nov. 2020].
Before I get really into this new piece I’ve been tying up the ‘geranium project’, I started with a map and plotted the pathway through the different spaces now that I’ve rendered them as separate with their own weather, and introduced doorways to the next level. I’ve also registered as a developer on Viveport and submitted the VR world as an Art & Design App for review. If it’s accepted it will be available for free to anyone with a Vive and will also allow me to point people somewhere to get it when I enter competitions and look for exhibitions. I had to develop a visual identity and supply all sorts of images as well as filling in lots of forms and uploading a zipped build file. Fingers crossed.
Map of the Geranium Project
geranium viveport thumbnail
geranium landscape image
Gardens Project: Preamble.
For a while now I have wanted to make work that explores the philosophy of the garden. Artists as varied as Joan Miro and Derek Jarman have had a strong attachment to garden spaces, not to mention Monet, Cezanne, or Ian Hamilton Finlay. It seems to me that as a person matures whilst they retain their breadth they can seek to contain or centre themselves in a more defined space. This is not generally a place to hide, it is rather a high point from which to view the world.
I have begun thinking about a mixed reality artwork built around a series of gardens and hung around an autobiographical framework. The piece will present a ‘player’ with a pathway through different locations in a virtual world built for HTC Vive and Occulus(?) that represent particular times historically; 60’s, 70’s, 80’s etc., and particular times of life; early childhood, teenage, young adulthood and onwards. The separate gardens will contain evidence from my history and the wider world in the form of photographs and headlines, and be soundtracked by contemporaneous music and news sources. Each garden will be accompanied by a physical sculpture developed from these sources and each of these will act as a trigger for an Augmented Reality piece elucidating the sources.
I am interested in the way we build ourselves into our spaces and our spaces into ourselves as we age, and through this what the environments we choose lead us to and from.
I’ve been reading for background and I’ve put a bibliography at the end of this piece.
This is a video of a draft I made to put forward for exhibitions and funding.
David Edward Cooper (2011). A philosophy of gardens. Oxford Etc.: Clarendon Press, Dr.
Jarman, D. and Laing, O. (2018). Modern nature : the journals of Derek Jarman, 1989-1990. London: Vintage Classics.
Miró, J., Yvon Taillandier, Lubar, R.S., Lippert, K.C. and Reeves, J. (2017). Joan Miró : I work like a gardener. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Young, D. (2019). Philosophy in the garden. London ; Minneapolis, Minnesota: Scribe Publications.
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