This has really opened my eyes to the whole thought process behind how we react, feel and and see with symbols and signs.
Its a complex structure when it comes to breaking down the concept between just one simple sign or symbol but when you strip back the layers it becomes far more than a word.
There are two systems that are used when it comes to representing either sound or indicating the same word but not necessarily having the sound.
Phonetic alphabet e.g. the letter ‘A’ corresponds with a particular vocal sound.
Ideographic system uses symbols to represent a thing without indicating any of the sounds.
There are many categories for signs and symbols, but as a society we subconsciously see, hear and speak these symbols and signs but don’t see how we get to that stage and why we have recognition for these signs and symbols.
Iconic signs: they look like the things they actually are. Indexical signs: these refer to other knowledges, natural signs maybe. Symbolic signs: having a meaning only due to convention. These are the main areas in which signs are categorised.
Its an important system to be familiar with as one simple avert can have a paradigm that you may not realise you are actually picking up on, a cultural signification.
The industrial revolution was the birth of modern society.
This lecture really made me think about how far we’ve come as a society and how brands started and still dominate what we see and consume in modern society.
In 1848 WHSmith opened its first bookstall and the first free library opened in 1852, which gave more and more people the chance to progress with reading and learning no matter what their class.
Karl Marx quoted ‘objects were not valued to their ‘use value’ but increasingly for their ‘symbolic value’. This basically meant cheap brands vs expensive brands.
Two phrases that are still relevant in today’s society are:
Conspicuous Consumption: to show everyone how much money/power they have.
Conspicuous Leisure: sending others out to spend money (wife), this was evidence that the family were earning large amounts of money.
A persons identity became increasingly tied to what and how they consumed material goods. The phrases above were then used to describe different forms of wealth and class of people.
This was one of the most important era’s for our country, societies and different classes as it has moulded us throughout the decades. This was the start of brand domination.
We took our group to two different locations which we all decided on the Bear Pit and Castle park. We then decided on a time and day to carry out the investigations.
Before going out on location we all grouped together and completed a Risk Assessment form and from this we decided that both sites were safe to explore.
First Visit: The Bear Pit (Stokes Croft)
Our first stop is a well established location in Bristol. As many people who are local to the area now that the Bear Pit does hold a mixed reputation! but like anywhere else in large cities, we as a group just needed to be aware of our surroundings.
With this said myself, Annie and Anna enjoyed exploring the vibrant area, as this was Anna’s first visit to the area. I think that its a good idea to familiarise yourself with this particular place as its not just a main route through the centre, its a vibrant base for street art.
Whilst on site we noticed the local market which offered fresh fruit stands, book and jewellery stalls, amongst all this there was colour and graffiti art on nearly every wall and underpass. It had a huge impact on how you portrayed the area, so many opinions and political views that were coming through the street art.
Being an open area the weather does play a huge role for the outdoor galleries that are held over the year. I did notice a large billboard advertising and outdoor gallery over Sept/Nov called ‘How does an activist eat potatoes?’ this advert was positioned towards the traffic coming in and out of Bristol!
Overall i found that this site is an natural hive of creative activity. It has people passing through at all times of the day, market stalls every week, its a naturally busy place. This would be a great place to hold an exhibition because its location is central, busy and a good size.
The only negatives would be the noise of passing traffic and the fact that its not a well lit area, I feel these factors would determine when you would exhibit your work!
Second Visit: Castle Park
Even though this was another outdoor location we felt that this was a completely different contrast to the Bear Pit. As our group discussed a few weeks earlier, Annie had an idea about photographing parks in Bristol and Hong Kong and capturing how different but how similar they would be.
When we visited the site we all immediately said it was not exactly the best place as it was getting dark late afternoon, the park only seems to be lit in limited areas.
Anna also said that it was really muddy which had an impact on the overall experience. The park does have a small cafe and areas to sit but the weather had the biggest impact. We all decided that if there was to be an outdoor exhibition then spring/summer would be the times to do this.
Cyclists frequently use the park so i found this slightly off putting when walking through as well as taking photos.
Overall i have enjoyed teaming up with different members of my group because its refreshing to hear different opinions, views on art and generally just getting to know others. Thanks to Anna and Annie.
This particular seminar really made me think about the values and beliefs behind my work, as well as thinking about other artists, sculptors, photographers work.
We explored the meanings behind connotation (the message/meaning behind the art not just what we actually see) and denotation (this is simply what we see visually as a viewer)
IDEOLOGY: Dominant Cultural Values
Karl Marx (German philosopher) is a name that is associated with the concept of ideology. As Karl Marx once said “economics determines our culture”, i found this quote very interesting because i’ve never really thought to that depth of how much our social circles, religions and even class have a sense of quiet control of how we interpret and see the world.
I like the idea of having to look more than once at something, looking deeper into the meaning and story behind even the smallest of paintings.
Peter Kennard: Santa’s Ghetto 2006.
This picture was displayed in a shop window in London. This allowed interaction between viewers, as well as giving the message of self imaging and personal identity.
Barbara Kruger: Your Manias become Science 1981.
Barbara Kruger is well known for her digital prints with large iconic phrases with black and white backgrounds, visually they have a strong impact but portray more of a deeper message than what you see.
This particular artist creates his work by collecting rubbish from the local dump!
Leo Sewell has always been fascinated with junk, therefore he found a way to recycle. Constructing pieces with brass, aluminium, plastic and wood. I love the way you can see a sculpture rather than just old rubbish.
Floating felts, this is the idea behind this fabric piece. The artist uses wool, metallic threads and other fibres, to create an abstract textile wall hanging.
Land of Love and sea
The use of bold strokes and colours is the main focus which caught my eye. Caroline Bailey usually paints landscapes and enjoys layering colour with texture.
I found that most of the paintings seem to create an atmosphere which draws in the audience.
Gillian Carnegie uses oils on canvas. (English Artist)
This particular piece has been created using oil paints which are layered up to give a sculptural feel to the overall painting. The artist has used black oils to help give different dimensions to the piece.
Oudia Touchon, is a mexican artist who concentrates mostly around printmaking.
The main focus around most of her work is based on observation and sharp edging, this helps create a clean, bold print. The use of colour is something that makes most of the pieces stand out.