Tutorial with Angela 22/10

Reflection on outcomes since last tutorial

At my request, Angela and I focussed mostly on research and writing topics and understanding where and how to position my practice.

We discussed how my current practice includes obliteration, simplification and documentation. It is concerned with the exploration of colour, mental wellbeing issues and the documentation of life/visual diary by using formal aspects (shape, colour, proportion, scale etc.) of what I see to express these. My writing shows that I am clearly concerned with creativity, mental health and wellbeing and the emotional and psychological sides of these.

Mental wellbeing has always been a really key part of my practice (from the twee images I created when I started the MA which created a sense of wellbeing in me, right up to looking at the bigger and wider concerns of mental health). I am currently focussing on links between creativity and mental wellbeing. Bobby Baker http://dailylifeltd.co.uk/about-us/people/daily-life-ltd-team/bobby-baker/ is a key person for me to look at and was significant in pulling together the Wellcome Institute with Mental Health issues. http://www.wellcomecollection.org/whats-on/exhibitions/bobby-bakers-diary-drawings.aspx I need to look at her work and read what others have written ABOUT her.

Angela sent me some links to look at

Animation on Bobby Baker‘s website


Arnold, K. Wellcome Trust 26.2.2009

Elaine Aston transforming Women’s’ Lives: Bobby Baker’s Performances of ‘Daily Life’.

Queen Mary, University of London

In these articles and papers would be the sort of quotes about her I could use and need to look for elsewhere for other artists.

The noticing of my daily colours through the pantone chips/postcards is a METHOD.

Mary Kelly’s Post Partum Document is something to be aware of, but not necessarily go into. http://foundation.generali.at/index.php?id=61&L=1 (p253 of Art and Today). It’s the documentation of her as a mother with her son.


Current projected aims and outcomes

One of the links I had found in my ‘hoarding’ research was a link to an artist who uses her OCD positively as a key part of her practice. http://mentallycreative.wordpress.com/. Hoarding has a more obsessive and collective aspect to it than is present in my own life and the work I did on this was based on creating a feeling of claustrophobia and oppressiveness from ‘mess’ around the house (iPad drawings).

Ensure I am reading in a focussed way. If a book or academic paper doesn’t suit what I am looking for, then look for the references and other links included in that.

Remember that the state we are discussing (and I am to write about in the essay) is what my practice is like AT THE MOMENT not forever.

I am to produce more iPad drawings from photographs over the Christmas period. These do not have to be limited to the house and can be more sweeping statements about society in the long run.

Look more at Susan Hiller – she produced the drawing that are from writing, but which don’t actually say anything – as she also does recording (such as her 10 month series). Read something ABOUT her (not necessarily BY her) that relates to what I do.

Point out the differences between Bobby Baker and Susan Hiller and me (in a triangular format – 2 vs 1 all the way round). Hiller is about psychological concerns and not mental health. Discuss my work in relation to these 2. What have these artists done that allows me to do something I couldn’t have done before their work appeared in the art world? They have opened up the area of mental health and psychology as a valid practice arena.

Consider what to do with the colour diaries. The colours work well when they are squashed together. Abstract paintings? Work like Mann (below)? Quite like the idea of 3d shapes… felted boxes? I’d thought about thin stripes or even drips in the palette colours. Bridget Riley…


Discussion and recommendations

Look at the Wellcome Institute Links attached the Drawing Diaries by Bobby Baker. I have posted these on my blog here https://ameliawilsonblog.com/2012/10/23/mental-health-links/

The iPad drawings are about taking the mess in my life that bothers me and simplifying it and obliterating it to make it more acceptable and palatable (use this statement!). This is a STRATEGY for managing mess/chaos through my art practice. It is a symbolic way of doing it. Symbolic activity has power and meaning. That’s what all artists with the same concerns as I do, do to deal their own issues.

Consider contacting Stig Evans. http://www.stigevans.com/ particularly about his work at Langley Green. http://www.stigevans.com/image_gallery/public-work/langley-green/ . His work in Happy to Angry may also be pertinent to me in the arenas of colour and emotion. I can put any quotes he might give me in my essay. He brings together diary, colour and a contemporary artist and mental wellbeing and it has been APPLIED in a wider arena (i.e. to create public space/art via workshops – Art is a social situation in relation to a REAL person’s needs and emotions).

Also look up Ptolemy Mann http://www.ptolemymann.com/ https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ptolemy+mann&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=yb1&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=TayGUITzBcfL0QWnvoDABQ&ved=0CEsQsAQ&biw=1430&bih=915 I might have even seen some of her work at Origin or somewhere like that. I LOVE this work. The colours sing out to me. I had already been thinking about producing my colour diaries as lines or squares or cubes and this shows me I have valid reasoning for doing this. She works with architects and does emotional colours on exteriors of buildings. They intend to cause an emotional impact, but not in a mental health way. Evans and Mann are both using colour and emotion in a contemporary context. Mentally Creative blog is another change to offer a contemporary reference of another artist looking at the same concerns.

I was also reminded of the Art of Faith programme I saw on Sky Arts this weekend which featured a University Campus chapel (Chapel of St Ignatius in Seattle) that was created for people of all faiths and of none, which has great use of colour in an reinterpretation of the traditional stained glass windows and their casting of light. http://www.stevenholl.com/project-detail.php?id=40

Art and Identity might be a better chapter to look at in Art and Today. If that isn’t appropriate, suggest another book.

Don’t try to make the iPad drawings paintings and drawings as such – in a completed way. Just draw what I see and where that takes me. SELECT some to submit, but don’t send all of them. Work on the same image several times (saving at various stages) to push the idea further. Both the iPad sketches and colour diary are at an idea stage and have lots of potential for further development. The photos with lots going on in them have lots to offer – the tasteful ones don’t.

Make sure the tutors understand what I am submitting and why I am submitting it.

Word for me to develop is DISCERNING. I need to be this as part of my practice. Do lots of experiments and then select the things that have something to OFFER. Put some criteria in place to help make those decisions. The ones not chosen are ‘banked’ for another time. They are not rejected.

Ask myself where I need to be more critical and analytical?


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