Scholarship painting exemplars - 2014

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Outstanding Scholarship

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Panel 1 (JPG, 158KB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 211KB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 234KB)

Entire Folio (JPG, 476KB)

Sample Workbook pages

Sample page 1 (JPG, 2.7MB)

Sample page 2 (JPG, 2.5MB)

Sample page 3 (JPG, 2.7MB)

Sample page 4 (JPG, 2.6MB)

Sample page 5 (JPG, 2.6MB)

Sample page 6 (JPG, 2.8MB)

Sample page 7 (JPG, 2.8MB)

Sample page 8 (JPG, 2.7MB)
 

This Outstanding Scholarship Painting submission presented a beautifully paced enquiry, based on Nagasaki pre and post the Atomic bomb, 9th August 1945. The candidate considers the idea of her relating to this history and makes images that create and in some sense document this relationship, as stated in the workbook, This is part of who I am. I grew up here. This is a real-life proposition.

The outlook is incredibly mature and the subject matter is dealt with sympathetically and with sensitivity matched by high-level painterly and conceptual thinking and application. Compositions are developed that combine symbology and metaphor into interesting and complex imagery. The candidate seeks motif and image through thorough and lateral research, translating found images into their own through drawing and by taking photographs of required poses, which are then utilised as layers within the paintings. The workbook documents the decision-making and analysis that occurred in the composing and assembling of these works. The underlying rationale and discussion is well notated and outlines practical as well as emotive and personal reasons for how these images come into being.

The paintwork is economical to the point that subtleties in composition and content blend in ways that mean the image is constantly being revealed to the viewer. The paint stroke combined with the colour palette is incredibly well handled, ie. the transitions between zones or layers in every work on the folio are carefully constructed and technically seamless.

Iconography is drawn from everyday life and utilised to operate as a series of motifs that are rendered in a range of ways to produce poetic visual puns and signifiers, eg. the hydrangea petals (representative flower of Nagasaki) are used to make the shape and silhouette of hair in one painting and then in another, the atomic bomb mushroom cloud. In the last portrait the hydrangea becomes a net. This is clever manipulation of form and pattern and signification. It positions a strong intent on the part of the candidate as well as interesting and perceptive commentary.

The workbook offers comprehensive backdrop to the folio work. It acts as an extensive reference library that supports the picture making and visual vocabulary that the candidate has identified as the means to explore their topic. The approach is sophisticated and knowing and details extraordinary ownership and lateral use of paint media to create an honest and thoughtful body of work.

Scholarship

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Panel 1 (JPG, 876KB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 800KB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 797KB)

Entire Folio (JPG, 2.4MB)

Sample Workbook pages

Sample page 1 (JPG, 2.9MB)

Sample page 2 (JPG, 3.1MB)

Sample page 3 (JPG, 2.9MB)

Sample page 4 (JPG, 2.7MB)

Sample page 5 (JPG, 3.2MB)

Sample page 6 (JPG, 2.9MB)

Sample page 7 (JPG, 3MB)

Sample page 8 (JPG, 2.5MB)
 

This Scholarship Painting submission develops a series of paintings that are inspired by their Great Great Grandfather’s role as an ambulance driver in World War II. This is coupled with an interest in memory and memorialising and how it is that we might understand the horrors of war from a distance through photographs and artefacts.

Still-life vanitas is used to introduce the study and set the scene as a kind of resource, but also a portrait of what can be understood through the material items and ephemera the family has in their possession, such as original photographs, letters and medals. This is combined with the candidate accessing other objects such as a uniform, authentic to the time, to assemble source imagery. This approach to creating an image bank is further reinforced by role-playing, ie. assuming a character that has been injured in a battle, which brings accuracy to the image making and potential compositions.

Early works maintain the stance that the candidate is seeking information. Compositions depict the subject through images of the photograph or a portrait with a medal. Artistic reference is used to guide the exploration in ways that keep the investigation open and always enquiring, eg. the reference to Audrey Flack’s shrine-like compositions. These images convey the idea that the candidate is in the process of looking for evidence and understanding.

The works transition between various paint media, collage, water colour and acrylic—and develops a synergy between linear and modelled form, often leaving spaces in the painting to reveal the paper beneath. This contributes a sense that the candidate is always searching for understanding, and also suggests that aspects of how it was, what actually happened, cannot be fully understood today. The gestural painterly approach provides an emotive quality and allows a propositional element to enter the dialogue.

Overall, this submission transitions between the real and the imagined, the contemporary and the historical in order to try to make visible the horrors of war and the suffering of the individual. The final works return to compositions compiled of material and imagery generated throughout the enquiry. In this way, they act as memorial images and collages of the fragments of the candidate’s journey and the narrative that they have created from recollected story and found artefact.

 
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