24.12.2013 – Internal Critical Model

by deanmelbourne

Working with my mentor has challenged me to take a good hard look at my practise, my progress and my critical thinking. He has challenged me to re engage with critical thinking and challenged me to find an ” internal critical model” . A simple notion that sits as an over arching framework that all of my work fits into. Not a statement as such but something that ties all of the threads of what I do together.

I have always tried to work this way, from the inside out that its, rather than choosing issues or concepts to male work about. It feels the right way round for me. This way of working has its pitfalls though. Self indulgence, sentimentality, cliche are all potential problem areas I have strayed into. I now see that recognition and awareness is all that is required.

My research and exploration of areas of interest have lead me to come closer to understanding what it is that drives the work and forms my decision making framework. This has allowed me to form a more precise diagnosis  of areas of dissatisfaction in previous work. In concept, process and realisation. Below is an attempt at setting out a guiding principle for the first time outside of a notebook. I imagine there will be many iterations.

I use drawing,painting and printmaking to observe, record and reveal my psychology. To make myself the subject of research. To once remove myself from the effects of my drives, motivations and idiosyncrasies. Although I will still use the effects as visual code my wider over arching concern is the slowly  emerging causality. In simple terms, I will make paintings of nature at night, but underlying this effect should be an exploration of internal conflict, repetitions, parallel thoughts, fetishes, primal drives and social or cultural conditionings.

By noticing the way i respond to both internal cycles of thinking and external influences and using the code of art making to reveal my understandings to the world I hope to uncover and comment on not only the stimuli but on the more deeply rooted motivations.

In likely hood my work i hope will only slowly reveal these changes as I understand that slow evolution is better than any forced revolution.

My first two new bodies of work will explore my interest in our more primal urges and the ways in which we blur the line from human to animal. These new pieces will reference the british landscape tradition of symbolically employing nature to reveal something of our condition. The other will explore similar idea but from a contemporary angle. Revealing how when faced with new technology humans are inevitably driven to use it to meet their primal urges.

The blog for the next couple of months will be a place to posit thoughts and progress in my thinking as i begin to create new work with this framework starting to take shape.