ABOUT WEBSITE: The Green Lights is an annual exhibition hosted by the graduating fine art students of Minerva Art Academy. It serves not only as an assessment during which the students aim to get their ‘green light’ to graduate, but as an opportunity to independently create a public exhibition. Faced with the challenge of bringing together 55 unique practices, we’ve based this year’s Green Lights around the Art Spectrum, a compass navigating different positions, approaches and cultures within the fine arts. Where do we stand? What does it stand for? These are the questions we raise rather than answer as we try to materialise the complex and diverse ecosystem of the art culture.
ABOUT THE ART COMPASS: The Art Compass is based on the well know political compass, as it provides four extreme artistic positions as the boarders of the fluid space in between. On the horizontal axis the attitude of the artist toward their practice is defined as between craft and concept. These two well known and often scrutinised labels have in this case a more suggestive nature, indicating whether the concept, idea, message is prioritised over the technique, medium, skill or vice versa. The vertical axis defines the position of the artist towards the art world. From the white cube, gallery culture and the art market making up the inside, to alternative non-art spaces and practices challenging the boarders of art from the outside, the artists occupy positions based on how much they conform to or rebel towards the established art institution.
The interaction of the axis creates four areas - inside concept, outside concept, outside craft and inside craft - each representing an artistic subculture in which specific values, opinions, movements and artworks exist.
Although seemingly opposite, the two directions of each axis are more often than not intertwined, and so the artist might assume different positions along the axis at different times, in relation to different works, or they might assume a wide area of the spectrum within which their practice exists.
Asleep on the Train is a painting made from a photograph I took on the train. On reflection of the creative choices I made turning the image into a painting, I feel that feeling I was trying to capture lies somewhere between the peacefulness of the sleeping figure and the old romantic notion of the freedom railways bring.
Light and reflection are important in my work, after all light reflecting off surfaces is all we really see. The darkness behind the window helps to enclose the space and the emptiness of the carriage contributes to the calm atmosphere.
This was started during lockdown so wearing masks on public transport is mandatory, despite it not entering into my intentions with this piece, I opted not to remove it. After all the measure of an artwork is the summation of all the interpretations endowed on it by the audience. (Plus it brings a topical spin)
I am not the sort of person to have a grand plan to show something new and amazing to the world, I have just loved making pictures since childhood. Now I have started taking my art more seriously, although still informed by spontaneous intuition to select my subjects, I have noticed certain feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality emerging in my painting.
I believe that Art includes all of the little creative things we do and all the problem solving decisions we make, from the songs you whistle on the way home to the way you pack your suitcase for holiday and everything in between. Actively pursuing and nurturing my artistic technique taught me to look at things properly, appreciate new perspectives, and not to only take things at face value. These are important lessons that everyone could benefit from.