Easy Vs Hard Labour

When displaying my work for my Crit, I had planned to put up these 2 wall based pieces. I had started my exploration into photographic manipulation – removing information initially by playing with the exposure. This then moved towards the white tiled work which I felt was more subtle. I decided to hang both in conjunction, initially to compare them and then later decided the aesthetic worked well. I also wanted to create a reference to the original image which had sparked my use of a repeated window symbol throughout my work. I felt that if I were to have put my white tiled work up in isolation the weight of the engraved symbol could have been completely overlooked.

Visual display of ‘White windows’ and ‘Manipulating exposure’
Ruth Linnell

However, I decided to bring in my ‘black lines’ work into the studio to photograph it. As I placed it it situ I started to visually embed the piece within the context of the wall based pieces. They started to relate to each other, playing with the same shapes and a monochromatic theme ran through the three piece. The materials I had surrounded myself with in the studio I started to draw into the space, lining a glass panel next to my black line barred painting. This action was very spontaneous but the work seemed somewhat incomplete and almost sat as an ‘add on’. Adding some mesh I had found in the skip as a layer over the glass referenced the ‘barred’ experience of being detained.

Mesh work and ‘Black Lines’ in Visual Display
Ruth Linnell

The work started to reference a very different way of working which was spontaneous and took very little time.  This was a wildly different approach to working which conflicted with my intended aim for the crit presentation. I had aimed for my wall based work to be emphasis the time which I had taken to produce it, the labour being a conceptual core to the piece’s success. However, by introducing these two found elements which had very little/ no alteration, I had somewhat thrown off the cohesive reading of what is now an instillation piece.

I felt these spontaneous additions to my display relate loosely to the Arte Povera Movement which explored everyday materials, and presented these in the context of a gallery to challenge the traditional understanding of art materials.


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