The Millennium Gallery

This week I decided it would be beneficial to visit The Millennium Gallery which is located in the heart of Sheffield city centre. I’m hoping this visit will inspire me and give me some ideas as I’ve felt a little deflated and un-motivated this week.

Here I Am

The Sheffield-based creators of Here I Am, Neil Conroy and Lesley Sanderson created this exhibition to mark twenty years of collaboration as Conroy/Sanderson. Through drawing, photography, sculptures and videos, the exhibition explores the ideas of place and displacement.

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Here I Am sculpture

Conroy and Sanderson uses self-portrait to challenge racial and cultural dominance. This exhibition debates and questions the relationship that the act of looking has between individuals and their culture, ethnicity and gender. The juxtaposition between the physical and the portraits, helps to suggest fragility and menace which in turns helps to evoke the feeling of the world being out of kilter.

As soon as I entered the room I was immediatly drawn to the huge photographs that were situated on my rigt hand side, drawn instandtly I began to explore and take in my surroundings. I was flood with various emotions but Conroy’s and Sandersons work made me think and feel about loneliness and isolation and what that means in this day in age. After reading the information sheet and learning that the artist were exploring displacement I realised that my feelings were valid as I think lonieless and isolation are some of numerous things that are entertwinned in displacement. The artists has used a lot of photography throughout this exhibition and I think it would be a really good avenue to explore further in the next stage of my project. Photo manipulation and experimenting with exposure, distortion and development of the photo’s could create some really interesting outcome. The photo could set the scene of the environment and the manipulation could express the emotion.

Hope is Strong

Hope is Strong is a collection of work that explores the power of art to help raise questions and awareness about the injustices within the world we live in. This exhibition features work by Conroy/Sanderson, Ashley Cook, Kate Davis, Ruth Ewan, Jamie Fitzpatrick flyingleaps, Mona Hatoum, Sharon Kivland, Goshka Macuga, Ciara Phillips, Keith Piper, Olivia Plender, Hester Reeve, Sean Scully and Artur Zmijewski.

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Collection of work exploring the slave trade.

The exhibition includes work that aims to question social and political structures that highlights the power system that we may take for granted. Other work within the exhibition aims to expose injustices that have and still are occurring. many fo the artists have taken inspiration from activists and protests that have happened, this suggests how we might relate to them today.

I was extremely inspired by this collection of work, it uses a wide array of different mediums which helps the audience to engage and encourages reflection when thinking about our own lives and the society  we live in. It demonstrates the importance of questioning the status quo, why it is significant to encourage debates and open conversations, and taking action in the hope of bringing about change. In the image above the artist uses multi-media including sculptures, typography, photography and paint to build this layered affect which is really affective and helps the audience explore the complex and social issues in a really interesting and engaging way. I think it would be a good idea for me to explore multi-media artists further and see if  this avenue creates more intricate and interesting results.

The Ruskin Collection

The Ruskin Collection was created over 130 years ago, and was designed to help inspire creativity and be a place of relaxation from ordinary work life.

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Blake Quentin (writer and artist) coloured pencil drawing.

 John Ruskin was a Victorian writer who passionately searched for beauty in the world. He often explored nature from the tiniest pebble to the largest landscape, he examined art from the daintiest brush stroke to soaring architectural structures.

Although the majority of this collection (predominately paintings and drawings) isn’t something I usually do in my day-to-day practice, I do appreciate the art form and understand that it would be constructive for me to explore this area further. There was one artist that stood out and inspired me and that was the work of Blake Quentin, children’s author and illustrator. His work is easily recognisable as he has a very distinct style, strong, colourful and packed full of personality with strong rendering. Blake explains that his technique is “…freewheeling sort of drawing that looks as though it is done on the spur of the moment. However even a single drawing needs a certain amount of preparation and planning.” He goes on to say how he places a sheet of watercolour paper on top of a light box and “what happens next is not tracing; in fact it’s important that I can’t see the rough drawing underneath too clearly, because when I draw I try to draw as if for the first time; but I can do it with increased concentration, because the drawing underneath lets me know all the elements that have to appear and exactly where they have to be placed.” Over the next couple of weeks I have challenged myself to practice illustration focusing on colour and rendering techniques.

References

Blake, Q. (2016). How I Draw. Retrieved from https://www.quentinblake.com/about-drawing/how-i-draw.

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