Love & Hate
Our brief was to create a body of work which transformed our 'hate' (Damien Hirst) into a 'love'
using the photographs above in photoshop the following images were created
In the Studio Space
My ‘hate’ was a work by Damien Hirst: God Knows Why, my initial reaction on seeing this piece was one of revulsion, a disemboweled sheep hanging in cruciform on an upturned wooden cross. As with many of Damien Hirst’s ‘formaldehyde’ works he confronts the human fear of death. By preserving animals he recognizes the finality of death and challenges the viewer to confront their own mortality. It is human nature to find comfort and refuge from the inevitability that one day we are all going to die, this often takes the form of religious beliefs in an afterlife and the power of the almighty to conquer death. Hirst challenges religion in this piece of work, the cross and sheep are symbolic of Christ on the cross, Jesus being the lamb of God; however they are turned upside down, to me, representing a turning away from religion and a questioning of the true meaning of life.
I found the idea of transforming my ‘hate’ into a ‘love’ quite a difficult concept. I began by looking again at the work of Damien Hirst; it is not his work in general that I do not appreciate just this one particular piece. I feel initially I was trying to approach the problem too literally so I began to examine not only the meaning behind the work but also different aspects of the physicality of the work. I looked at the idea of reflection and entrapment, the idea that humans become trapped within a false reality. How does one escape from this altered way of being? Following the artist talk given by Jenny Wright I began to consider the use of portals in art especially the work of Franz Ackerman, in his paintings he portrays cityscapes in bright colours with portals or windows into a ‘heaven’ like place of peace and tranquility. I took this idea and considered how I could relate this to my work. The idea that individuals become trapped in the fakery of social pressure and religious beliefs is very real to me, how does one escape to a place where one is free from constraint? Of course one has to consider given human nature if this would actually be a good thing or not…
Having also been to the Frieze Art Fair I also looked at the work exhibited there by Jim Lambie, the pieces he had exhibited entitled Vortex (florescent) and Vortex (Dali) gave the viewer and feeling of being ‘sucked’ into the work could the vortex be considered a portal? His work Untitled 2012 used a large mirror with collage of eyes. The use of the mirror automatically temporarily transports the viewer into an alternative reality, trapped in the resultant image… he also uses eyes in this work often considered to be the windows to our souls a direct portal into our minds and our way of thinking.
My final presentation consists of two images manipulated using Photoshop. The images, one hung on the wall and one on the floor, represent the struggle to gain control of ones life and escape the constraints of society and organized religion. A direct link to the Damien Hirst piece is the wooden cross. This cross was made from driftwood found on Cornish beaches a direct link back to my previous work using found object in my project ‘Lost at sea’ and nailed with three nails not only to represent the nails used to nail Jesus to the cross but also the holy trinity.
I feel the concept behind my work has a direct link to the Damien Hirst piece however I have focused on the ‘escape’ the portal as a metaphorical means of transportation from one reality to another, leaving behind the cross, symbolic of religious beliefs and societal control.