For the last twelve weeks or so, I have been working on a body of work for my university Masters study. This study of making works, has taken me on an interesting journey. I have been looking at different artists who have influenced the way artists choose to complete, or leave a work incomplete. An essential question in my study, is 'Who/what decides if an artwork is complete?'
I began looking at my experience teaching and how when working with different students, we often see significant differences in students behaviours, motivations and skills. I then reflected on myself as an artist - specifically within my current degree. I felt so overwhelmed that I would not be producing the quality of work necessary to complete the course to the appropriate standard - or to my own benchmark standard. I wanted to do well and prove to myself and my mentors and tutors that I have what its takes to tackle this head on and not fail.
My collection of work looked at the Gladiolus flower, and its floriographical meaning 'Strength of Character'
Whilst reflecting on this idea of personal 'strength of character', I began looking at artists as a collective. Visual Artists, Musicians, Composers, Singers, Designers, Architects and so on .... and how they manage their connection to their works. As an artist it can often be hard to show others your work. You do it in confidence, like showing a friend a controversial new theory that you've thought of. People will like it, be polite about it, be scrutinising and criticise your work until you can't bear to bring it out of its draw again. This is why it was so important to choose a flower that represented the strength that artists have to 'bear all'.
The works were presented as a body of work that was exhibited (briefly for assessment) in the Liverpool St Gallery in Adelaide. I presented the artworks in-between plastic sheets, to give the appearance of biological specimens between slides used for scientific study. Similar to how we scrutinise and explore a new discovery, this is what viewers do to artworks. It is my challenge to explore this idea further.
Abbey is a practicing Visual Artist and high school teacher.