Thursday, February 23, 2017

Portrait Exhibition 2017, Candid Arts Trust

Untitled (FJ, 26-1-2017) in situ, Portrait Exhibition 2017

The private view was well curated and had a high attendance.

Untitled (FJ, 26-1-2017)

The sitting for the portrait lasted two hours.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Abstract Drawings

In between teaching art practice and theory, submitting works for exhibition and consultancy projects for the Museum Sector, I have revisited abstract drawing. Previously, the main medium was graphite on cold pressed paper. However, the current drawings are completed on Bristol board.


Untitled (abstract drawing/ study for painting 5)- February 2017, brush and ink

The drawings serve as propositions and proposals for larger paintings.


Untitled (abstract drawing/ study for painting 2)- January 2017, brush and ink

The method involves similar considerations to composition, brushstrokes and tonal balance as that of painting.

D van Eden

Brush and Ink Study


Untitled (abstract drawing/ study for painting 1)- January 2017, brush and ink

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Life Class Archives- figure drawing 2013/14

Adrian 14-10-2013, 16" x 23.4"

Philip (detail) 16-3-2014, 18" x 8"

Philip H 15-1-2014, 15" x 10"

Rosella 15-4-2014, 13" x 14"

Maria 19-4-2014, 16.5" x 23.4"

Barrie 13-4-2014, 16.5" x 23.4"

Lucy (detail) 19-5-2014, 16.5" x 23.4"

Thelma 10-8-2014, 11" x 7"

Life Class Archives- portraits 2013/14

Alexis (detail) 7-10-2013, 16" x 5"

Eddi 10-10-2013, 6" x 5"

Thelma 13-7-2014, 7" x 10"

Matthew (detail) 9-6-2014, 9" x 8"

Rosella 15-4-2014, 13" x 14"

Philip 31-8-2014, 9" x 7"

Joanne 4-5-2014, 16" x 11"


Life Class Archives- still life drawings 2013-15

Pineapple, two lemons and a pear (detail) 22-8-2013, 16.5" x 23.4"

Valentin (detail) 7-3-2013, 16.5" x 23.4"

Cast: J Mallon 25-1-2015, 8" x 7"


Monday, January 26, 2015

To Question the Unquestioning- exhibition catalogue and rationale



‘The veracity of the portrait is questionable, whether it is presented photographically or via the medium of drawing. It is undeniable that the portrait has retained much of its social relevance throughout the ages from Antiquity to the present day. At the crux of the portrait may lie aspects of narcissism; literally an attempt to ‘possess’ ones own likeness, reaching towards a reflection that becomes detached, fragmented and discontinuous as soon as it is grasped. The myth of Narcissus serves as an apposite analogy for the portraits presented in this book. The ‘perfect likeness’ seen by Narcissus proved to be an illusion. Therein lies the lack of fulfilled promise ultimately leading to profound pessimism.’
Extract from the preface of the exhibition catalogue, ‘To Question the Unquestioning’


The drawings are derived from documentary film footage captured from digital broadcasts. I ‘froze’ and advanced at least two frames to create a slightly disjointed effect that reflected my own subjective viewpoint. By looking over hours of video footage, I became increasingly aware of the shift in my response to the documentary ‘evidence’ presented through film and image. The live drumhead court-martial and subsequent execution of Elena and Nicholae Ceaușescu indirectly led me to view the show trial and murder of Liberian president, Samuel Doe. Both broadcasts (they were circulated to international news agencies) show atrocities perpetrated against individuals responsible for the loss of lives of many. Both broadcasts, in some way, demonstrate the reversal of the roles of influential principals. Knowing the pain and suffering inflicted directly or indirectly by such individuals didn’t make viewing their own personal suffering any easier.



Hitler

Trujillo

Banda

Each selected image is a representation of a person who has used mass media and technologies of mass production to progress an idealised idea of the said entity. A complex process of inspiring and gaining unquestioning devotion, loyalty and praise (the ‘unquestioning’ of the exhibition and catalogue title) leads to the establishment of a cult of personality. I present the subjects in various states of psychological, physical or symbolic vulnerability. It was sometimes difficult to obtain footage clearly illustrating such states (for example, the above images show Adolf Hitler emerging from the Führerbunker for the final time, Rafael Trujillo broadcast in a damning documentary, Hastings Banda protesting during a televised interview). In the case of others, such as the mob lynching of Muammar Gaddafi, the state of vulnerability is more palpable.

D van Eden