Last week I finally got to see the Martin Creed exhibition at Quay arts on the Isle of Wight. I did work experience there back in May and helped to design a gallery guide for this exhibition, and I’ve been trying to get over there all summer to see it and I finally did.
Martin Creed is here as part of the Artist Rooms tour and it’s great to see a Turner prize winner here on the Isle of Wight. And I love that here his work sparks of so much debate.
Looking through the comments book things that jumped out at me are comments like “I like all art, but I just don’t get this” and “how is this art? I could this”.
First of all people say that they like all kinds of art but they don’t get this…that means you don’t all kinds of art. And that’s perfectly okay. You probably don’t like all kinds of music and books and films and TV shows either.
Now, the question “how is this art, I could do it?” kind of winds me up a bit. If people just left it at “how is this art?”, that’s an acceptable question. But, then there are those that just always have to add the “I could do it” bit. Yeah you probably can, but you don’t, and maybe that’s the point.
I was actually volunteering as an exhibition steward and I noticed that kids that came into the exhibition seemed to like it more than a lot of the adults. Martin Creed’s work often does have a childlike sensibility to it, and so maybe kids like it so much because it IS something that they can do, and probably not too dis-similar to what they are doing in art at school. It shows them they don’t necessarily have to be great at drawing or painting or whatever to be able to be creative. It just seems to be that as we get older we get it drilled to us that if you’re not good at something then you shouldn’t do it.
But why? if you enjoy doing something and it’s not hurting anyone then why shouldn’t you do it? You might not be as successful at it as others but that’s not the point.
The thing about art is that’s not necessarily about the ability to be the best painter or sculptor or photographer, I mean there are plenty of artists throughout art history that can paint or sculpt etc. superbly, but they’ve chosen not to. Art is about the ability to express something. And everybody has the ability to do that. Whether it’s through art, writing, music or speech, it doesn’t really matter. Whether the outcome is good or bad is always going to be subjective. The point is your doing it.
So, if you’re ever in a gallery and you think, “well, I could do this”, then do! Who’s stopping you?
I’ve just discovered that “McCullin” has been added to Netflix (at least in the UK, which means it’s probably on there in other places too). If you are at all interested or passionate about photography I highly recommend you watch this.
I will say though, that Don McCullin’s work is not always for the faint of heart, but he is a legend so if you have Netflix check it out.
The company I work for owns a nightclub so I’ve been doing some night club photography there for the last few weeks.
I have to say I really enjoy it. Most people are more than willing to have their picture taken, in fact a lot of the time I’ll be constantly getting taps on the shoulder by people wanting to have their photo taken with their mates.
It was a bit tricky as the club has high black ceilings so there is nothing to bounce the flash off of, and there’s lots of different lighting effects. Not to mention I don’t want to take a decent camera into a night club because the risks of it being damaged are quite high, so I use my old Nikon D80 which really doesn’t have much in the way of noise reduction at high ISO’s so whacking the ISO up really isn’t an option. But, I like a challenge and I’m starting to hang of it more and more as I’m slowly learning what settings work and what doesn’t and where the best places to stand in the club are to make the best use of the ambient light. I’m seeing better results every week which is great.
I really love this one. I think it really makes you look twice at what it is. It’s a small animal of some kind made out of clay. There were a lot of stuff, like little pots and houses and church all made out of the same stuff, They were pretty crude so we’re guessing they were made by a pretty young child.
Photographed close up though this really looks sinister. It looks like some kind of grotesque pig or cos or something that’s deformed or been mutilated. The more I look at the more even I get creeped out by it and I know what it is.
Had some fun in the studio yesterday doing some more experimentation for my set brief project. I was trying to make the objects appear like they are large rather than small by photographing them slightly below. I’ve taken inspiration from Hiroshi Sugimoto’s mathematical forms, where he photographed trigonomatretic renderings and mechanical devices I a way that makes them look like they could be huge structures.
This project is looking at objects that have been dug up in my Mother’s garden. We found a small structure buried there and loads of objects buried inside it. We’ve had historians look at it and they believe the objects are from the early to mid 20th century. I love the mystery behind it, and it was hard to tell what some of the objects are so I want to try and create that same sense of mystery by photographing the objects in a way that you can’t really tell what they are, and upon first glance might question what you are looking at.
I have such respect for this man, he is one of my heroes. I had the absolute honor of meeting him last year when he did a talk at the Photographers Gallery. I didn’t know what to say to him. What do you say to someone who has seen the things he’s seen?
I know a few people that tell me how much they want to go and photograph wars without really thinking through. They rally need to listen to Don McCullin talk about his work and the things he’s seen.