'Flowers and Floorboards' 2014
By Freddie Ardley Photography
Some (far) older original artworks/sketches that I found in my personal art blog! The first picture was done about 3 years ago, if I’m not wrong, but incredibly enough I actually kind of still like it.
Yesterday in SoVA lesson we tried our hand at Henry Moore’s method of waxing over inked drawings, before painting the negative space with ink, leaving the waxed area untouched by the ink. I think this is a marvelous and creative method that really makes use of mediums, and shows Moore’s deep understanding of cool insights into the special qualities of various mediums. It’s also a yet another charming example of how art and science complement each other and bring each other to greater heights.
a compilation of original doodles/sketches/pictures from the past couple of months (I think)! I really need to work on actually putting proper backgrounds into art stuff..
the third picture is inspired by Ng Eng Teng’s sculptures and the last one says “baseball” because that’s what my sister said when i asked her to give me a random word
coursework progress..still a way to go, but im getting there!
Recently, for the AEP 30th anniversary celebrations in school (held on august 16 together with the school funfair), I was given the honour of giving a speech as a representative of our school’s AEP students, on my experiences in AEP (though it kind of ultimately ended up as a big Thank You to the programme). To be honest I was surprised and kind of flattered when first asked to do this, though that had all turned to extreme nervousness before the speech giving itself :’) fortunately, the tone set by the previous speaker was a rather informal, open, comfortable one, which made things a lot easier for me.
Below is the script I used for the speech, although I diverged quite a bit from the text during the actual speech-giving itself!
Good morning xxx teachers and friends, today I’ll be sharing my experiences in the past four years as a student in the Art Elective Programme.
Personally, I’ve loved art since as long as I can remember, so naturally I was elated to be accepted into AEP in secondary 1. I remember feeling incredibly excited and hopeful for the programme and what it would entail, and it has never once fallen short of my expectations. Through my time in AEP, I have gained many valuable takeaways, and it’s overall been an enriching experience for my peers and myself.
Support in terms of providing a rich diversity of useful resources for our use
Huge range materials from paper to paints to even wood and cardboard Mac Lab, scanner, printer never restricted by resources Encouraged to experiment with various mediums, expanded our artistic freedom
Guidance from teachers/curriculum
teachers have provided valuable guidance, helping us sort out our thoughts and ideas for artworks, suggesting directions in which we can take our work
Ample room for creativity and individual ideas, personal insight encouraged
especially grateful to this as schoolwork in general can often get kind of stifling and dry AEP provides an avenue through which I’ve been able to work creatively, to put my personal ideas and feelings into artworks, where there’s a lot more than one right answer I clearly remember one incident last year, where we were meant to design cards based on an artist in out syllabus’s works, but I interpreted the instructions for the task quite differently from my classmates and ended up designing a completely unrelated set of cards. When I realised what I had done, I initially panicked and thought I had committed a grievous error, but our teacher actually accepted it and even gave it a very high mark —> this could never have happened in another subject
to contribute back to school, designing logos for lsc t-shirts each year, umbrellas for 95th anniversary celebrations, making chinese new year cards for key stakeholders of school to enter exhibitions/competitions e.g. national day exhibition (watercolour artwork assignment), as well as exhibitions where we can showcase our ideas and artworks, like the SYF and AEP exhibitions
It makes me glad that, although art is often treated as less important than more strictly academic subjects, the school and MOE has still invested so much into helping people with a passion in art to pursue it to further heights.
With the society in Singapore changing to become increasingly art literate, I hope to one day contribute to this change, to be part of this legacy, to help bring the creative arts scene to greater heights, and I think AEP has been tremendously helpful in helping me do so, by equipping me with so much that I hope I can use to positively direct the future. Thus, I am grateful to the school management and MOE for giving us the opportunity to be part of AEP, for supporting our growth as artists and as people, and proud call myself a student of the Art Elective Programme. We are very excited to be part of today’s celebration, and hope you all have a good time! Thank you.
This lesson we were asked to write up a number of things, so here are my responses.
Task 1: describe and come up with a story behind a Mayan Chac Mool statue in 100 words
The sculpture is of a human in a reclining position, with their head facing forwards and outwards, and their hands settled in their lap. The figure is dressed modestly in what appears to be traditional oriental attire, and has an expression of mild surprise and annoyance. The figure looks like someone standing, who is of equal or lower social status, attracted their attention while they were tired or resting or in a bad mood or all three, causing them to turn to face the other party without getting up from their reclining position.
Task 2: Influences on Henry Moore (I was tasked with examining the influence of Constantin Brancusi on Henry Moore)
One source of influence in Henry Moore’s artwork may have been the work and methods of Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi. In the 1920s, Henry Moore had made visits to Europe during which he had been to the studio of Constantin Brancusi, and even met the man himself. It was possibly from this visit that Moore drew influence from the avant-garde simplified and abstracted forms of Brancusi’s artworks, where forms are represented in a simple, abstract, representational manner instead of a naturalistic way. This influence can be seen clearly in Henry Moore’s artwork “Large Reclining Figure”, in which the humanoid subject matter is largely simplified and abstracted, with many details and features eliminated or altered to not be an exact representation of reality. Additionally, Henry Moore was possibly influenced by the method by which Constantin Brancusi made his artworks—direct carving, an approach to making carved sculpture where the actual process of carving suggests the final form rather than a carefully worked out preliminary model, and which Henry Moore uses extensively.
Task 3: Compare the original and re-exhibited displays of “Large Reclining Figure”
The original display of the “Large Reclining Figure” had the sculpture on a brown-gray marble tiled surface, the same as the surrounding area of the ground, and surrounded by a barricade. When the sculpture was re-exhibited, the barricades were removed, and it was placed in a shallow pool of water over a black tiled surface, with sections filled with smooth grey pebbles around the parts of the sculpture that came into contact with the ground. There is a stone path, geometric, simple and modern in its design, passing in front of the sculpture, cutting through the water from one end to another, on which viewers can walk to view the sculpture up close.
Personally, I like the display of the sculpture more after its re-exhibition, because the lack of barricades and provision of a path on which viewers can get physically close to the sculpture allows it to feel closer to viewers. Based on my own experience in our AEP trip to see this sculpture (and others), I think the “Large Reclining Figure” has an immense impact in its huge size and fine contours, and being able to be closer to it let me look more closely at it and better appreciate its massive presence, as compared to if there were a barricade separating me from the sculpture and distancing the sculpture from myself.
Also, the golden color of the sculpture is better emphasized in the re-exhibited display of the artwork, as it stands out in stark contrast against the black surface it is placed on, as compared to the gray-brown surface on which the sculpture had been originally placed, which had less contrast with the golden colour of the “Large Reclining Figure”. Hence, the re-exhibited display of the sculpture gives it a stronger, more intense impact, better capturing the attention and interest of viewers.
Additionally, the inclusion of water is interesting and pleasant to me. For one thing, it is functional in preventing people from getting too close to the sculpture without making a scene, preventing people from dirtying, damaging or even climbing it. But the use of the water goes further than that, as it creates a mood of relaxation, that is very fitting for the relaxed, reclining form of the figure in the sculpture.
However, I feel that the re-exhibited display of the sculpture is somewhat too elaborate, with the many surfaces of water, tile, stone and pebbles adding somewhat excessive details. This opposes the sense of simplicity and purity of essence that so characterises Henry Moore’s work, so in that aspect I think the original display succeeds better. Despite this, I ultimately prefer the re-exhibited version of the sculpture, as I feel it is overall better than the original version.
If I were to put the “Large Reclining Figure” anywhere I want in Singapore, I would probably choose the Marina Barrage. As I mentioned earlier, I like the association of water with the sculpture, and water is something quite plentiful at Marina Barrage. Additionally, it would look pleasantly close to nature/the landscape on the grassy fields at the Marina Barrage, and also fits the modern minimalistic atmosphere of the architecture there.