With the subject of painting being rooted in the foundations of my practice, I decided upon choosing the module of Painting Performance in order to give me a greater understanding of what paint can do through a different perspective that I am comfortable with. I wanted to use this opportunity to explore and delve into a subject such as Abstract Expressionism, which is completely different to the way I implement paint.
Within the opening lessons, I was instructed to apply myself to tasks such as the graphite exercises which required us to continuously drag our arms and put our body under strict repetition to let our body become loose and flow. At first I found these task to be rather mundane and laborious, however as we got further into the practice I treated my use of line with less regard, and the repetition allowed me to become less meticulous with my work. This then had a paramount effect in my performance art, learning that the processes involved are just as important as the outcome, as my involvement in creating the work became more about giving myself into the painting. Each mark became a reflection of myself, such as my own emotions being emitted onto the paper. I became besotted in how paint works on the paper, such as the globular masses of mixed mud and paint varied so differently to the viscous swooping of a paintbrush.
With regards to a final outcome, team building played a significant role in how we structured our performance. We all took what it is we wanted to achieve in the piece and harmonised to create an amalgamation of subjects such as my interests in the viscosity of paint, the subject of the performance, and how we would bring the notion of balance and harmony in the work itself. There was ample discussion about composition of the piece, how gravity in the balancing of jugs can let the paint move freely, and how music can influence our choice movements and how we attack the paper.
As a practitioner, the skills I have developed have not only aided my current work, but I wish to sought out opportunities to create performance pieces myself. For the Centenary of the First World War, I had intended on creating a piece which brought together the physical movements of football – played on No Man’s Land during WWI – and the application of paint I had discovered through painting performance. Although the project was deemed to difficult to produce in time due to planning permission, I hope to create other works which will reflect on the subject of painting performance in the future.