Will Lakey - week three - Research Statement

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Peter Doig

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I sometimes wish I had never had to sell a painting. Every painting you make represents the time it was made and how you were feeling and what your influences were. It represents a stage in your development and in that sense, it is unique. You are never going to feel that way again, so you can never repeat it. Because the paintings represent so much, I do sometimes wish I still had them.

I started painting this idea of landscape in London via my memories of Canada, but that didn't happen for a long time, not until I'd been in London for almost ten years. And they were filtered through found images. It was an escape to make these paintings in London, because what was outside the door was so different. The work became a different world. I guess that's always the case, but this was the excitement, trying to find this other place in my head. In Trinidad, the landscape is so present and powerful; it's everywhere, even in Port of Spain. I'd experienced this growing up in Canada, and here it hit me again.

Although he doesn't offer any formal descriptions of his work, these statements express well his underlying ideas and feelings(at least at this point in his life). It is successful at creating a sense of his movements, and nostalgia for past lives, and I believe would enable someone who was about to look at his work from this time to get a better engagement. I like the way he describes his relationship to the work, it creates a sense of a very personal artistic experience. It fails to offer any theoretical context which would be useful for understanding him contextually, but that also makes it more accessible. I would appreciate more information on his process.


Marlene Dumas

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Woman and Painting
I paint because I am a woman.
(It's a logical necessity.)
If painting is female and insanity is a female malady, then all women painters are mad and all male painters are women.
I paint because I am an artificial blonde woman.
(Brunettes have no excuse.)
If all good painting is about colour then bad painting is about having the wrong colour. But bad things can be good excuses. As Sharon Stone said: 'Being blonde is a great excuse. When you're having a bad day you can say, I can't help it, I'm just feeling blonde today.'
I paint because I am a country girl.
(Clever, talented big-city girls don't paint.)
I grew up on a wine farm in southern Africa. When I was a child I drew bikini girls for male guests on the back of their cigarette packs. Now I am a mother and I live in another place that reminds me a lot of a farm - Amsterdam. (It's a good place for painters.) Come to think about it, I'm still busy with those types of images and imagination.
I paint because I am a religious woman.
(I believe in eternity.)
Painting doesn't freeze time. It circulates and recycles time like a wheel that turns. Those who were first might be last. Painting is a very slow art. It doesn't travel with the speed of light.
That's why dead painters shine so bright.
It's ok to be the second sex.
It's ok to be second best.
Painting is not a progressive activity.
I paint because I am an old-fashioned woman.
(I believe in witchcraft.)
I don't have Freudian hang-ups. A brush does not remind me of a phallic symbol.
If anything, the domestic aspect of a painter's studio (being 'locked up' in a room) reminds me a bit of a housewife with her broom. If you're a witch you still know how to use it. Otherwise it's obvious that you'll prefer the vacuum cleaner.
I paint because I am a dirty woman.
(Painting is messy business.)
It cannot ever be a pure conceptual medium, The more 'conceptual' or cleaner the art, the more the head can be separated from the body, and the more labour can be done by others. Painting is the only manual labour I do.
I paint because I like to be bought and sold.
Painting is about the human touch. It is about the skin of a surface. A painting is not a postcard. The content of a painting cannot be separated from the feel of its surface. Therefore, in spite of everything, Cezanne is more than vegetation and Picasso more than an anus and Matisse is not a pimp.

This statement reads more like a manifesto than a statement. Although it fails to give any formal description I like the way it is written and feel it embodies a lot of the character of her work. It could almost be a textual version of one of her paintings, with humour and hints at deeper narratives and double meanings. It touches on issues of gender, appearance, class, faith, fashion, and commodity, all recurring subjects in her paintings. Her style is light like her paintings, not over burdened with heavy words or paint it could be described as casual, but the weight is hidden under the surface. This is one of the more interesting and poetic artists statements I have read and it stands apart.


Rydal Hanbury

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For seven years, Rydal has been captivated by the almost magical process of Drawing. She prefers to draw in an area with a defined boundary, where she can pick up it's daily rhythms, patterns and narration. Her favourite 'draw' is standing in front of the Mansion House, London's Square Mile at 7.00-9.30 am trying to catch the forms and nuances, of the focused early morning commuters as they 'explode' from the many entrances and exits of Bank Station. She enjoys translating this visual feast, from the smallest piece of paper and stubby pencil, to the largest roll of paper, with chunks of charcoal. She hopes to enthuse her students to do similar exploits.

This statement describes well the energy and movement apparent in her drawings of London commuters, but fails to reflect the elegance of line and form she manifests in her work. This statement also doesn't account for her other drawings from different projects that can also be seen on her website. These drawings have a calmer tone that separates them from her hectic commuter studies. She also doesn't offer any contextual information or background which might help to place her among her contemporaries. It seems too brief, more like an elevator pitch.

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