Art Talk

Which way up

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of having someone want an artwork of yours so much that your willing to part with to the be asked upon their receipt of it ‘Oh wow thanks it arrived today, I love it’, then send you a pic of it hanging the wrong way up then read on…

So far I haven’t had that experience as the few pieces I’ve parted with have all been figurative works thus far. Being an amateur who hasn’t found any niche or style I want ditch all others for I rarely part with mine unless I’m either asked by a friend as a special treat to do something for them or the piece is one I would rather be consigned to the bin. I keep them, as much as anything as a record of my experiments and journey.

I am about to venture into to some abstracts though and I suspect I’ll come across artists who have heard had that question of ‘which way up is it supposed to be’ along with ‘what is it’ quite a lot. I’ll still be doing figurative work but for now want to experiment more without the burden of worrying about perspective, accurate drawing or getting fine details right.

Abstract work gives me the opportunity to explore other elements that make Art interesting, stimulating, inspiring and diverse. On my list of things to try are colour combinations I’d never thought of, making marks in different ways, playing around with different shapes, line, contours and mark making tools etc. Really going for it in other words.

Abstract art is often done by zooming in or out of your subject so that it ceases to be recognisable in that form and becomes something else which may or may not be recognisable. If you use a camera and zoom in on a hand, dies it stop being a hand when all that’s left in the picture frame is skin? Is it no longer skin under a microscope?

Abstract artists enjoy exploring perception, playing with it challenging it, but perhaps they should then be surprised or offended when the viewer does the same when they hang their work upside down. They viewer has seen something the artist did not is all that has happened and when they want to own that work because of that, is it less valuable? Has it lost any of its technical ability?

For me no artwork is completed until it’s audience has experienced it. If art is about anything it is about our responses and reactions to what we experience and view.

The artwork for this piece took me five minutes to produce and I really didn’t like it, but I’ll not part with it because of what it’s taught me. By rotating it, and zooming in and out to discover elements I do like, just as we do with out cameras, I now love it… Well some of it one way up or another. Which way up would you have it.