Casper Heinemann is an artist who is a self-confessed “anarcho communist poet, twinky butch mystic, ex-ex-punk, and trans as in transitional demand”. Instead of explaining a chronological progress of their work, Heinemann read some poetry. This poetry was incredibly performative and personal in its nature, detailing the nature of their personal sexual relationships, opinions of themselves and of wider society in relation to feminism, marxism and queer theory. Dealing with themes of queerness in relation to sex and sexuality, as well as an explicit description of mental health issues, I found these poems very touching in their confessional nature, yet jarring in their use of repetition and pacing. I was interested in the way Heinemann used writing as a key part of the artistic process, coming before the making of visual works, and the way in which this inspired me to think of art as whatever you find most personally fulfilling.
Having previously researched the work of Caroline Achaintre, I found her talk very interesting, as I was able to gage an understanding from the artist herself about the processes and intentions of her works. I find her methods of display particularly interesting, as she uses custom built cabinets which fit with the surroundings of the space in which to display her ceramic works. In my own work, I would like to explore custom methods of display which both highlight the work, as well as acting as a form of art-object in itself. Achaintre viewed art and craft as similarly important, and I was refreshed by her lack of hierarchy when referring to both her tufted and ceramic sculptural works. In addition, I was very interested in the wide range of references that inspired Achaintre’s tufted and ceramic works; inspired by everything from hardcore rock music to medieval circus costumes to African masks, her works display a distinctly personal reaction to the wealth of information surrounding the artist within the time of the contemporary, allowing her to create multifaceted works with layers of meaning, which need to be discovered by the viewer.
Deidre O’Mahoney’s talk widely referenced her connection to the environment in which she lives in. O’Mahoney lives near the Burren in the Irish countryside, a place of great beauty and distinct heritage. As such, her work revolved around the industries of the environment surrounding her, such as farming. Her work had a community focus, and as such the public were a key part of the completion of each project. Her work, X-PO focused upon the redevelopment of a local post office into a community art space, whereby the first exhbition was one focusing on the life of the building as a post office within the community, as well as the life of the postmaster who used to work from the site. I was interested in the way that O’Mahoney interacted with the community in order to produce socially-engaging works which rejected the commodity-fetishism of most mainstream works. In addition, much of O’Mahoney’s work centred around food and produce, so her work also had a wider message when engaging with society about the pitfalls of waste and contemporary farming.
Although perhaps, as I am not painter, I did not find Tim Stoner’s paintings to my personal taste, I was very interested in the way in which he showed us his development as an artist through his levels of education and experience. I found this very enlightening, as he talked about the way in which his views towards art making changed as he undertook different levels of education and different artist residencies. I found Stoner to be a very honest speaker, and as such he gave an interesting and informative portrayal of what life for a working artist is like. I did appreciate some of his earlier works, for their use of repetition and light, and the way in which he stressed the importance of a personal connection to the environment of the painting.
I found Evan Ikekoya’s performative talk incredibly interesting, as she used the format of the speech to show us how she is currently thinking through both visual and auditory ideas. The sound was littered with strange pieces of dance music, cut in between pieces of personal poetry which depicted her role within society. As the music pulsed with an intensity perhaps not suited for the environment of the lecture room, one was transported to her poetic version of a dance party, and the sexual and romantic actions that transformed and led the view of the environment for her. In addition to the sound works, she exhibited videos of sea creatures, oscillating in their liquid bodies – perhaps an allusion to the sexuality expressed within her poetry. Overall, I enjoyed the experience of the talk, and was interested and inspired by the way the viewer had to make connections between the video and auditory works, and therefore could form their own opinions and links based upon the artist’s personal experiences and choices.