I began this project knowing I wanted to focus on how I felt as a woman living in the 21st century. I also knew how the weather and nature play such a huge role in how my emotions are formed, therefore, wanted to combine these two aspects to represent how I could express my thoughts.
My main concept is centred around how randomness affects my life as a woman and the constant fear of random events. The key element here is the unpredictability of a force that cannot be tamed (whether that be the perpetrator or, in this case, the weather). Chance also plays a huge role in determining how myself and other women feel on a day to day basis. I therefore wanted to express through my Uni work using weather as the uncontrollable medium to portray the chance element. There is a somewhat danger and helplessness when you cannot control a situation or its outcome, so using wind and rain to disrupt this portrays my feelings perfectly.
I then began to think how I could further this project on and painting is something I knew I wanted to trace back to. I began painting over top of the chaotic alcohol ink pieces I had already completed and used this to represent women taking back the control they may have previously lost. Although I do want to show women taking back this uncontrollability, I am still keeping the beneath layer of the ink to show how the fear and threat, which is embedded into our consciousness, will always be prevalent, it will never go away.
Using circular canvases predominantly allowed me to echo the curved nature of the elements and weather, rather than being boxed into a rectangular piece. Although there is still somewhat of a restriction, further on in this project I am going to experiment branching out and expanding outside of my canvas possibly onto gallery walls. This may imitate the vastness of weather (stormy skies, huge landscapes etc.) but also the breaking of the patriarchy and escaping the restrictions women have been placed into.
In my crit, there was an idea mentioned that my first set of circular canvases were almost like an optical illusion, somewhat like how your eye views a landscape. So fixating on this idea, possibly blurring out the eyes of my canvas could be interesting or something more intriguing to me would be to expand out of the canvas as mentioned previously.
There is a contrast between the alcohol ink being so free which represents the freedom women want to have, however, have the uncontrollability of the perpetrator and the feeling of being unsafe instead. This compared to the more tight, restrictive oil paint over the top representing the reclaiming of control and not having to leave things to chance anymore.
I also wanted to play around with the idea of power and control within men and women by using a controlling element to resemble this e.g a shape or stencil. I will experiment using masking tape and masking fluid to see which works the best as well as testing out lines, shapes and curves to do the same. The concept is to allow the randomness/uncontrollability to only happen in a specific area (hence the masking fluid). Using sharp lines juxtaposed the fluidity of the alcohol ink better than using curves therefore this proved more successful. I am still using the wind as the uncontrollable medium, however, nothing is completely random/free therefore actions are usually influenced. For example, as the artist, I choose the colours of the ink and the shape of the canvas but I let the wind take the control out of my hands. Below are some of the restrictions using masking fluid I have attempted so far in the project:
Using my own personal experience with harassment and what I have experienced in my day to day life fuels my work, I want to create work that has a meaning and that other women can relate to or associate with. The concept is almost more important than the finished piece of art as, throughout this project, I have become much more involved in wanting to express my own experiences and opinion. Portraying what it is like to live in a society where you are not only constantly in fear of the unknown, but also how one random attack can influence every day of your life.