Janet Tryner Fine Artist

Fine artist and live graphics designer.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Notes from group critique on show presentation

Some of the folds & Anthropocene Polyethylene

Crit response:

At the beginning of July we had an end of show group crit with visiting artists Joanne Masding and Leah Carless, and our tutor Mark Essen. I was the first up. All in all I found it a very useful exercise and I hope we can do more of them next year.

Much of this post was written shortly after the crit and I've just tidied it up for a blog post and added some later realisations - always the duh moments!

Anthropocene Polyethyline.
Since the work was about hand to material relatability - investigating timeless human experience in holding things between finger and thumb, I needed to make the tool more touchable - a sign to pick it up and no method of holding it in place.
People really wanted to touch this work.
If my work  is going to be about the change in how humans relate to touch and material I need to enable touching, or explain the thumb / hand / mark making relationship better / in another way.
I should get the tool dated & report it as a find.
Note: a report has been filed with Scottish Treasure Trove.

Some of the Folds.
The found aspect of this work is interesting to people, although many were stumped or didn't want to engage to start with - I'm wondering if this was due to their unfamiliarity with crits (mine was the first we've had in months and months) and being afraid to express opinions.
My choice of materials and the inclusion of made pages with found pages was found confusing. This sounds negative but inducing a state of questioning confusion is actually good I think - the difficulty is getting people to look and think, and if you struggle to get fellow students to do this then there is a problem I think, but Leah and Joanne did manage to extract some opinions.
Note: 'Pages' is my term rather than one that came up, and I need to look into what I mean and how I could incorporate it. Maybe in a bound edge, or joining the pieces.
The triangular shape made it have more upwards momentum than I realised - it has changed shape since I installed it - which I need to be more aware of. The heat rising from the radiator maybe helps to give it this upwards momentum.

Note: There are formal considerations and material meanings and I oscillated between these as I made it and neither has primary importance. I am wondering now how to, and whether to, make this oscillation more obvious or just accept that it is part of my working process.

'Observation Stations'

Observation Stations' diagramatic reading worked and that it looked finely balanced, as though it would fall over was 'tension' in the work. It would be better to explain that it was made to be reworked and rearrnaged and wasn't fixed. Advice was to make it bigger. This may better bring transience back into the work.

Other useful comments:
'Your art is about actions - pulling, scraping, pressing, folding' Yes - these are the ubiquitously recogniseable human actions. Note: I hadn't thought of my work as embodied but now I see this is entirely important.
'You can follow just one thing' - and I thought I'd edited pretty robustly already! This was probably the hardest thing to hear but at the same time most useful.
Note: I think this is where the majority of harder work will lie. Ideas of what to do next are already flourishing and there is no way I can do them all and allow them to materially intuitively develop as I work on them. It will be a case of editing and simplifying ruthlessly.
The works read from left to right as Future, Present & Past.
Lots of questions about whether they can be read together or are different works - to which I answered both. This shows that I need to press for my work being shown in different places unless reverberation is something that enhances its meaning.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Observation Station - Stevenson Screens

Given my naming some recent artwork observation station I've been considering what I actually mean by that description. So what I think of when I think of an observation station is this: the Stevenson Screen; a sort of secure home for measuring instruments. 

According to Wikipedia the Stevenson Screen was "designed by Thomas Stevenson (1818–1887), a Scottish civil engineer who designed many lighthouses, and was father of the author Robert Louis Stevenson" in 1864.

There's a line of thought linking the Stevenson Screen with lighthouse design: an enduring need for protection against environmental forces entwined with the need to extend perception, to see or be seen, to provide guidance. To be a single point of information and part of a larger network, to work alone but act together. There is also here a 'need to be seen', in that they become activated at the point of use but are constantly in work, busily broadcasting or measuring when no one is looking at them.

Visually, having recently seen the incredible collection of Charles Wade, this open cupboard reminds me of cabinets of curiosity, or wunderkammer. But OS objects are labelled, bright, clean and all sciency, rather than those dark, mixed up, unnamed, dislocated curios all shut away in dark glass-faced memory morgues, however to the uninitiated they could be equally mysterious.

Normally presented on stilts or hung from a single point so that they are level, Stevenson Screens can also look like this: 
CC Famartin 

I like the visual repetition of louvre walls. 

I don't know at this point how this will affect my Observation Station works, but there is plenty of interesting potential in terms of shapes and legs. So far, I've only allowed my drawings of observation stations to teeter on unstable legs as if there is no secure home for them and that may be something that either has to change, or become more clear.

There are some physical similarities to the vitrine and the frame. An ability to read them linearly left to right, to lead perception via pictorial methods of composition, to encapsulate, to be a room inside a room, a box to peer into, a means to understand another person's vision.

I guess my drawings of OS are already pretty unsteady, being as deliberately slapdash looking as they are, they exist only in the virtual plan of the idea; a depiction. To give them even a teetering apparatus to stand on seems hopelessly optimistic, and double visioned, that the depiction, or plan, is walking about on half-formed legs like a wobbling infant trying to make its way in the world. Like trying to make a copy of a painting before the original is finished; an impossible task doomed to failure, which I rather like as an idea.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Undetectable Peices - BRICK

Last summer I dug up a Leamington brick in my garden.

I was curious, and a little googling turned up a brief history of Leamington Brick Company. The location of the former kiln and clay pit is now near the centre of town. I also learned there was nothing left of the buildings and little obvious earth-workings, but I had some spare minutes so I went to see.

Nothing remains apart from a road name: 'Kiln Close'. There's a grassed park, Villiars Street Park; no more than some trees, a circular path and a play area enclosed by housing.

The houses were built with a different brick to mine; lighter, patchy and orange, whereas mine are more uniform in colour, although they vary brick to brick from light pink to blushed red and burnt purple-brown. My place was built in 1957, and, seeing as the brick company ceased to trade mid-century, it's fair to assume the brick I dug up could have been one of the last to be fired.

This is the park:

Panoramic view makes it look bigger and more dramatic than it does in reality, still, it's strange to think of this small park as once being an industrial landscape. It doesn't seem the type; it looks too subdued, and as if it's always been here.

Changing land use is the story of western capitalist progress though. At one time Warwickshire was dotted with brickworks using the clay deposits within the swathe of Mercia Mudstone that stretches in a curve across the UK from North East to South West and which underlies much of the West Midlands. So just West of Campion Hill, there once would have been several large one or two storey brick buildings and at least one tall, smoking kiln chimney. At one time probably notable in the landscape but now completely erased. Perhaps the claypit was exhausted, or the business no longer viable as bricks became available cheaper elsewhere. Maybe it was more profitable to sell the land for housing. 

In the twentieth century much of the UK's manufacturing was replaced by service industry. Land use follows this, for as a park this land now services the leisure requirements of the nearby population.

I'm interested in this town's growth. Since I am witnessing it expand before my eyes right now, somehow it makes sense to trace the story of its growth backwards too. Although little trace remains of Leamington's brickworks, another, at Napton on the Hill, outlasted it by decades. Although it too is gone, the site is visible. Although local consultation is underway for building 80 more new homes on its brownfield-classed site, so that may be worth exploring soon.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Observation Stations - wOrk lOg

Observation Stations (OS) can be understood as being... :

Image result for observation station
Blue Mountain Fire Observation Tower, New York

S t r u c t u r e s
::::: isolated from the observer
::::: that stands out from its surroundings...  ...or is to some degree    hidden.
Weather Station

Spy Satellite
Visible Observation Stations are intended to be continuously functional. Remarkability within their environment contributes to endurance, (helps them to be found within the wilderness) whilst the tenure of hidden Observation Stations may be temporary and possibly self-limiting. Both gregarious and veiled Observation Stations are be static or moving, however secrecy is better maintained by the ability to constantly relocate: such as with the Spy Satellite.

A c t s
::::: of looking intensely
:::::: for differences
:::::: of recording :::::: writing :::::: drawing :::::: making images

Karl Popper: 'looking with a question in mind'
Observation Stations do not draw conclusions; final judgement is reserved for others, but selection is so essential to the act of observing that the act is inherently judgemental.

Observation Stations are intrinsically linked with reporting, judgement, conclusion and decision-making.

S p a c e s
::::: to contain the structure and act of observing
::::: a place, or a person e.g.
a speed camera
a private investigator
a weather station
a studio
a bird hide
a surveillance vehicle

A c t o r s
Observation Stations are mindless means of amassing information. Contained within organisations that perform other functions, their natures become obfuscated by the actions and reputation of the organisation. This leads to a certain wariness within the general population as to the character of Observation Stations. Examples of Observation Stations being actors are: 
::::: newspapers
::::: DVLA
::::: lookout posts
::::: artists
::::: politicians


Frequent visits from human handler.

Comments encouraged.

Silver Houses - Work

(Persimmon) Silver House

Silver House. Photoshop.jpg v2
Polar B&W created from original, then mask filled with photoshop transparent background pattern firstly in grey and white then black and white, transposed with Silver House in Pantone 572 with Observation Station in Pantone 163.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

New work: Some of the folds

After two weeks gravity did its job beautifully...

Improbable domestic incidents that actually happened. Dot, dot, dot, art inspiration for the future.

No. 1.

I dropped an egg behind the washing machine. It tumbled out of my hand, literally bounced along the counter then silently disappeared down the gap between the machine and the wall. Now yolk is sliding down between the machine's tubes and cables becoming intimate with dust and chrome.


My partner moved the washing machine and the egg was retrieved. Simply cracked and not broken as I imagined. A case of Schrödinger's Egg perhaps. I rather preferred my invention of yolk running barefoot but at least there was less cleaning to do, and we found a collection of lost items and detritus. Now the washing machine is back in place a new collection is already growing.

Enough domestic excitement.