Scientific research shows that emotional unavailability toward ones children or closest dependents equates to proximal abandonment. There is physical presence but there is no emotional interaction. I would like to equate this phenomenon and apply this notion with substituting “parents/care givers” with our politicians or those in a position of power or trust and “young children” as “us”, i.e. members of the community dependent on these leaders as my subject matter. I have been involved in community campaigns to attempt to prevent the UK's largest ever waste incinerator being built in my community which, as recent official figures show, has one of the worst records in the UK for ill health, unemployment and economic deprivation. The initial approval for this horrendous incinerator scheme has been shown to be one of short term political ambition and corporate get-rich-quick schemes and does not have the best interests of the communities, bio-diversity and local environment affected at its heart. To me this equates to the “Proximal Abandonment” phenomenon.
Further reading: “Psychiatric Tales” a graphic artist's battle against depression/anxiety and his work in mental health care. BBC R4 interview – All In The Mind, 25 th May 2011. Excellent interview.
Ian pritchard fmp presentation 0611
Ian Pritchard Proximal Abandonment (investigating imagery within this psychosocial phenomena) BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma Art & Design - Fine Art Pathway
What I intend to make (and how this relates to my Pathway Stage) <ul><li>My Pathway Stage focused mainly within areas of using art as social commentary, which I feel, reflects my strongest viewpoints. I enjoyed producing a series of works based on the word ‘aspiration’ which included my own slant on the word using various sociopolitical sources to inform the work. </li></ul><ul><li>From having produced work in this area I now intend to go on to make a more in depth investigation to produce works based on the psychosocial phenomenon of abuse known as ‘Proximal Abandonment’. </li></ul>
What I intend to make (and how this relates to my Pathway Stage) <ul><li>Research shows that emotional unavailability towards our children or closest dependents equates to proximal abandonment. There is physical presence, but emotional abandonment from the parent figure, they are physically present but non-interactive with their dependents. I would like to equate this phenomenon and apply this notion with substituting our politicians or those in a position of power or trust as my subject matter. I will use the language of art to symbolically convey my ideas, views and feelings on these issues. </li></ul>
Influences, Research, Sources and Ideas <ul><li>In order to begin my assignment I intend to gather research, produce mind maps and gather ideas from a variety of artists and designers, that I find influential such as Andy Warhol, Terry Setch, Max Ernst, Jamie Reid and Banksy. </li></ul><ul><li>I particularly like the way in which these artists subvert imagery and use juxtaposition to convey a message, and how by using a mixed media approach pleasing unexpected results may be obtained. </li></ul><ul><li>I feel my work could be influenced further by researching; newspaper articles, museum and gallery visits, blogs, libraries, psychological experiments, case studies, Facebook forum discussions and internet sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Initially, Warhol’s ‘Mao, 1973’ is a work I feel I can utilize in particular, in addition to found objects, my responses to journalism, advertising and consumerism giving me potential ideas to develop, through photography, collage, mixed media and drawing. </li></ul>
The Science bit! Pioneering child psychologist D.W Winnicott said that fundamentally two things can go wrong in early child development; a) when things happen that should not happen. b) when things that should happen do not. The first category is the traumatic abusive and abandonment experience suffered for example, by children of addicts. The second category is the lack of presence of the emotionally available parent or primary carer – just not being available due to societies stresses, short term priorities, and so on affecting the parenting environment. Psychologist Allan N Schore called this “Proximal Abandonment” - when the parent is physically present but emotionally absent. I have entitled the first of the three of my chosen final artworks based on Winnicott's second fundamental principle.
Techniques, Processes and Timetables <ul><li>Ways in which I can interpret local political issues using the language of art are: </li></ul><ul><li>Producing a range of initial ideas and sketches for potential outcomes and I will evaluate the development to see if the message I am hoping to convey is effective. </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying the most successful ideas and refine them, again using drafts to help prepare for the development of my artwork. </li></ul><ul><li>I intend to use photography, collage, mixed media sources and found materials and experimentation using these sources where relevant. </li></ul><ul><li>Utilising the layering technique that the artist Terry Setch used, I will explore how materials convey ideas and release feelings about social and political abandonment. </li></ul>
How I intend to assess the success of this project <ul><li>I intend to comment on developmental issues and the completed project by the following methods: </li></ul><ul><li>A personal evaluation of the developmental stage might help assess work as well as a final evaluation at the end of my assignment. </li></ul><ul><li>At certain key stages during the development work I will assess my work by annotating personal comments/ brainstorm pages on how well or badly certain work has gone and how I might be able to improve. </li></ul><ul><li>I will write an evaluation at the end of the development stage and at the end of the complete project, questioning the successfulness of the final artwork and if my ideas have been conveyed effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>There will be a peer group critique where we will present our work to seek feedback. </li></ul>
ACTION PLAN <ul><li>Week 1 through week 4: Begin research including searching websites / news media / research books; also developing Drawings / Photography / experimenting with materials / Other source material. </li></ul><ul><li>Week 3 & 4: as above, includes Easter recess. </li></ul><ul><li>Week 5: Development of concept. </li></ul><ul><li>Week 6: Experiment with visual ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Week 7: Initiate final project work. </li></ul><ul><li>Week 8: Complete final project work. </li></ul><ul><li>Week 9: Evaluate / Half-term. </li></ul><ul><li>Week 10: Display work. </li></ul><ul><li>Bibliography: </li></ul><ul><li>BBC TV documentary The Brain: A hidden History Ep3 “Emotion”. Documentary Film ‘Zeitgeist – Moving Forward’. Facebook discussion forum in ‘Covanta Incinerator Objection Group’. Merthyr Express newspaper and WalesOnline website. Online essay about Dr Allan Schore original theorist of ‘Proximal Abandonment’. Banksy. Wall and Piece, Century, London, 2006. Fay Godwin, Our Forbidden Land,Jonathon Cape Ltd, London. </li></ul>
Some influences <ul><li>Fay Godwin – book “our forbidden land” </li></ul><ul><li>The British landscape is under threat moreso than ever before from government policies: industry,agri-business and powerful interests while our historic rights of access are increasingly denied. Fay Godwin uses a combination of her photography and words and selected poems and quotes to reveal a deep rooted commitment and respect for the land. She uses haunting, penetrating photographs and text to fuse aesthetic perception with realism, documentary and irony to form a rousing passionate appeal for the land us as citizens can no longer roam. </li></ul><ul><li>I want my FMP works to contain a similar appeal and substance to that of Fay Godwin's. I want to produce a passionate and thought provoking series of images on how I feel we as people are having our rights infringed and health endangered by those supposedly in charge but who put their status and careers in front of their duty of care and what should be their primary concern – us! </li></ul><ul><li>In the following slide, I took the 35mm B&W photograph of the crowd with my camera, outside of the welsh government's Senedd building in Cardiff bay. It shows part of a demonstration day we had planned showing community strength of opinion against the proposed Brig-y-cwm incinerator. </li></ul><ul><li>I scanned the negative and manipulated the image in Adobe Photoshop. I made a negative of this, resized it to suit and mirrored it for printing. I created a surface on a large polystyrene block using pva and acrylic paint mixtures. I laser-jet printed the image onto paper and used translucent bathroom sealant to transfer the image onto the dried white line. I used a similar method to transfer an image of premature infant, baby Freya-Grace. </li></ul><ul><li>I call this piece “Left By The Wayside”. </li></ul>
Some influences <ul><li>Development piece is called “Left By The Wayside” </li></ul>
My development piece is called; “It takes one politician and a truckload of shite to begin a generation of misery” and was transferred using translucent sealant onto green masonry sack.
Some influences <ul><li>My intention initially was to take inspiration from what Andy Warhol did with the image of Chairman Mao in 1973. It had background acrylic on canvas with an ink print of the portrait printed in the foreground. I wanted to take a similar approach with a canvas painted with an everyday scene and print a contemporary figure or image I the foreground using the inkjet/acetone transfer/decalcomania technique. </li></ul><ul><li>I chose to satirize Ieuan Wyn Jones of the Welsh Assembly government in this recognisable way. I see him as someone who has jeopardized the health and environment of everyone in my local area due to his dealings with American corporation Covanta, </li></ul><ul><li>This company plan to build the UK's largest ever waste incinerator in an area already acknowledged has having a population with extremely poor health and the highest rate of pulmonary/heart disease in Wales. I see him as a figure guilty of political abandonment of those in need, in favour of short term gain. </li></ul><ul><li>I have become increasingly angry at the hypocrisy of our politicians. Recently Lib-Dem MP John Hemming became a champion for free speech, this coming from a pot-bellied serial cheat and love rat who fathered a child with a mistress and who used taxpayers money to part-fund a private business. I wonder if he'll Tweet that? </li></ul>
<ul><li>For research and for the purpose of inspiration, museum visits and galleries I have attended are: National Museum of Wales, Aberdare Museum, St David's Hall Cardiff, Bay Arts Gallery and Cardiff Bay Crafts Gallery. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the more relevant artists to the project I had in mind that I felt most inspired by included established artists such as John Piper, Terry Setch (especially Landfil 2010), Dave Brook's plaster and pigment work (Tract11 & Tract 12) and newly qualified artists I viewed such as Nicole Thoss' copy transfer ceramics (Scream No.1 & No.2 and Kidnapping), Dawn Dupree (It's Never Black and White) and Vicky Shaw (various). The Nicole Thoss copy transfer works were especially interesting to me as this,prior to any gallery visits,is the technique I had been researching, along with investigating various materials to transfer onto. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Terry Setch, Landfill, 2010 Mixed media on unstretched tarpaulin. </li></ul><ul><li>Terry Setch RA, studied at Sutton & Cheam School of Art 1950-54 and Slade 1956-60. He lives in Penarth, Wales and draws inspiration from his surroundings. He employs diverse materials and explores tensions between society and nature. His large scale works use painted surfaces amplified using found materials articulating an atmosphere of turmoil. His work, Landfill, that I viewed at a gallery in Cardiff in April 2011, draws attention to waste dumped in the environment, the hidden image of a boy playing football in the detritus speaks to me of children playing in the bombed out streets of the Blitz. I'm sure if one were to examine the psychological aspects of the work certain aspects of the artist's personal life and history would be there. I also wish to reflect these aspects in my chosen artworks for my FMP. </li></ul>
Influences <ul><li>A particular influence has been the following passage “Parental adversity (how tough or easy life is) is passed on to the children whether through depression or parents' bad temper because they've had a bad day or because they're too tired to be bothered at the end of a hard day. </li></ul><ul><li>These are powerful effects of programming early child development. But that early sensitivity is not an evolutionary mistake, it even exists in seedlings! </li></ul><ul><li>For humans, our early adaptivity is to the QUALITY of SOCIAL RELATIONS, i.e. are you growing up in a world of ill health or violence, where every morsel has to be fought for, where you must learn not to trust others... </li></ul><ul><li>or are you in a society where reciprocity, mutuality, cooperation are valued, where empathy is important, where security is dependent on others?” </li></ul><ul><li>A graffiti image by artist Banksy called The Claw, has influenced me while I was compiling my photo montage in the development stage for one of my final works, shown here. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Other influences include “How to spot a monkey trap and avoid it” by George A. Ricker and “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance” by Robert Pirsig. In summary, the text was an allegorical tale of how short term thinking /planning, fear of decision making and greed can lead to fatal consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>In my works I utilise not only paint and canvas but I implemented use of my multimedia toolkit, such as newspaper clippings, digital images, photographs, a computer (PC or Mac), found and recycled items (including sacks, fabric, rust and dirt), nail varnish remover, decorator's caulk / sealant, a laser printer, inkjet printer and a photocopier. </li></ul><ul><li>The possibilities of photoshop image processing and manipulation allow me to create high contrast tableaus and to make endless variations to utilise with the copy transfer methods I have discovered and experimented with. </li></ul><ul><li>I regard myself as an observer and my subject matter has mostly been influenced by the societal, psychological and political ills I have observed both locally and nationally. </li></ul><ul><li>I want my work to convey my identity, ideology, imagination, conscience, character, humour, rage, status and culture, the zeitgeist. </li></ul><ul><li>DEVELOPMENT FINDINGS: Once I had experimented with the contrast settings and so on for this image I took my experience from work on my Pathway Project artwork entitled “The Thick” and double transferred the image onto “dries white” decorator's caulk (using an acetone transfer method) to give the image a blurred photographic quality that I think makes the viewer unsettled? </li></ul><ul><li>The fabric I used is the type used to stop weeds growing through patio slabs, I prepared it with coloured acrylic paints, PVA and distressed it with a heat gun. </li></ul><ul><li>My work was partially influenced by this humourous graffiti by Banksy. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The little girl in the image I have entitled “I am someone too” is Gwen. She attended a demonstration march on the county hall with her Mum and baby brother and a little over 200 concerned residents of this town of several thousands. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite her age she fully understood and was frightened by the thought of a huge incinerator polluting the environment in which she is to grow up in. </li></ul><ul><li>I purposely wanted the message of the placard blanked out to avoid it becoming illustrative, to leave this message for the viewer to interpret. It actually said; “Merthyr Council Don't Sell Us Out!”. </li></ul><ul><li>I used photoshop to experiment with the contrast of the original photograph I'd taken. Initially I experimented with transferring the photoshopped image onto weeding fabric. I was very encouraged by this development piece. </li></ul><ul><li>The canvas I transferred the image onto is an old broken masonry sack I found on a B-road on the mountain leading to the proposed site of the incinerator. Someone had fly-tipped the sack and it's contents. Taking inspiration from Terry Setch and Fay Godwin, I thought this would make an ideal surface onto which I could transfer my images. </li></ul>
Evaluation <ul><li>Have my ideas been conveyed effectively? </li></ul><ul><li>The materials I've used reflect pollution and waste. The idea of using found objects embraces the modern age dilemmas and fears society is faced with. </li></ul><ul><li>How successful have the final artworks been? </li></ul><ul><li>Responses from viewers I've tested reflect the view that the pieces convey my intentions from the outset. </li></ul><ul><li>I wanted to produce a passionate and thought provoking series of images on how I feel about the subject matter. Have I managed to do this? </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing critique, tutorial and discussion has tested my outcomes and indicate that I have succeeded in producing a passionate and thought provoking set of images. </li></ul>
<ul><li>I believe my work draws reference from a varied range of sources; autobiographical, literary, philosophical, political, landscape, photography, abandoned objects, urban and semi-rural environment, collage, montage and mark-making. </li></ul><ul><li>I have manipulated hand-drawn and photographic images, merged and printed a range onto nylon and other surfaces, and a mixed media of textures and textiles. </li></ul><ul><li>My ideas have inspired me to experiment and introduce new materials and media and even use heat to partially dissolve these materials. </li></ul><ul><li>I've enjoyed this as a learning process. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The three artworks I have chosen to represent my final works in this project are deliberately displayed in the following sequence; a) “Things that should happen, but don't”, b) “I am someone too”, c) “You've fallen for the monkey trap. This is because there is a narrative quality that I wanted to convey to the observer. </li></ul><ul><li>The three parts come together to show the phenomenon of Proximal Abandonment beginning with the authority figures and their rush for a quick fix to the problem of residual waste management and the promises of a profit hungry American incinerator corporation homing in on an already deprived ex-coal field community, a place wherein some areas have the lowest male life expectancy in the UK. The chimney stack has a phallic/foreboding representation of ego, the claw represents threat/menace. The loudhailer exudes an authoritarian/Orwelian “do as I say…” metaphor. </li></ul><ul><li>Secondly onto the sombre, yet defiant figure of a young child protesting. I convey that she has been abandoned and her rights discarded or ignored. She represents us and our future generations, I hope to evoke and convey ideas and release feelings about social and political abandonment using the sack cloth background. </li></ul><ul><li>Thirdly, the image of man's closest cousin, the chimpanzee, in a contemplative, possibly mocking pose. This echoes an allegorical passage from “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” on short sightedness and it's many fatal pitfalls and begs the question are they making monkeys of us all? </li></ul>Final outcome