I had always imagined this material in two
parts. The first, a clear, concise, reflection -
exploring the use of the line, the hand on screen.
Drawing on TV in motion graphics, style and form,
The second - in my mind, was to be an exploration
of drawing, and practice, as motion graaphics. If
motion graphics can be drawing.
This question was originally posed to me by
Maurice Carlin. We were talking about reading and
writing - I have been doing reading and writing groups,
in motion graphics, with the MA students. And
this - came from the Art Academy group in Salford. We
had been exploring reading, the reading group -
reading images, as text.
As it happens, and - as I'm learning, life does,
the material I've written reminds me of something
else entirely. I'm going to go with it.
A few years ago, around 2011, I think, I can check,
I went to see the Tracy Emin show at the
Hayward Gallery in London.
It was incredible, one of the most profound, moving,
disturbing, and emotive, well considered,
and technically brilliant shows that I have
ever seen. She is a wonderful artist. Great
skill, emotion and contact with herself. Art -
I think, at it's most powerful - is Tracy Emin.
Art as transformation, communication, in her
work, and using her work, to express what is
otherwise impossible. She is a brilliant
careful, craftsperson, in many different areas,
a great businesswoman and artist - but for me,
it's the contact and connection with her art
that is important. She can use art - to express,
really feel, and evoke in others too.
Her work is raw, immediate. Contact, with the
page, the [unreadable - living], the line.
The curation -
this is what I was going to write about.
The curation of the show was incredible. I'll
write about it and then circle back to my
Downstairs in the galleries (without windows) the
work explored Tracey's past, - I've just used
her first name which is interesting. I can't
imagine doing that with David Hockney -
David's paintings - it wouldn't feel right.
The work downstairs, Tracey's work, was bare,
raw. About her, about the artist. Her past,
her career, and early stages of her work, her
upbringing. Touching, moving, people were crying -
I cried, it was painful, real, tender - it hurt,
physically, it was painful. Gripping.
One of the reviewers in the one of the London papers,
the Standard I think, called the show self-
indulgent and narcissistic. I couldn't believe
it, it seems almost inhuman, and shows no
contact with the work. That somebody who
has suffered, and hurt, and found, a way to
make that real, something that has to be
expressed - work that needs to be made - the
power of art.
Around about the same time, I made a manifesto
for myself, from memory, in January 2011
I think. There were two parts, I'll try to find,
and include it - I have one copy.
The first, and I think this is the right order.
or - an order, I'll write them, in any order.
The points were -
work that needs to be made
work that looks nice
I think that covers it. A reduction, of everything
I had been thinking about, to that point. Using
art to tell real stories, and express something
real, and important. And - allowing, and including,
that it's visual. I love visual seduction,
and want to make beautiful things, that
people can enjoy, and want to own (in any sense.)
I've got to make a few leaps here.
The curation of the Emin show, seemed to have two
parts. Downstairs was difficult and complicated,
turbulent, complex, emotive. And then.
In the galleries upstairs, everything opened up.
This is one of the most amazing creative, and
artistic experiences I've had in a show.
It was a beautiful day at the end of summer.
The galleries opened up, light, bright light
came in through the windows. Upstairs - the
work was professional, Emin (surname) as an
artist, commercial, refined, output, visual, public,
the public face. Her competance, success, visual
seduction. The complexity was, and is, there in
all the work - it's cleaner, more refined - or
And this is how I've been thinking about my
writing. I've included Leonard Cohen. And
everything he represents to me. Gathering, holding,
my panic - with a song - a lyric, the right
word, note, moment, sharp, fresh, fast, a wit.
An understanding. Love. Peace.
Part one, is about drawing, experiments, the
clunky, working things out. In this part, and
it will go round a bit - I want to talk about -
I wanted to explore motion graphics as
drawing. It may be a survey, and surface,
I'll carry on.
Part one finished with a piece of work, created
in response to a piece of audio. Exploring shape, and
form, and emotion.
My notes take me next to Alexander Chen.
An American artist working in motion graphics.
Real, motion graphics research, in-depth, insight,
one of the few designers I know, who is thinking
and working at depth and vigour, in this area.
Strings: J.S. Bach - Cello Suite No. 1 - Prelude from Alexander Chen on Vimeo.
This is my favourite piece. A visual deconstruction
of a prelude by Bach. The visualisation for me,
reveals and slows down the music, reveals it.
The systems - when it looks beautiful, it feels
beautiful. Each note. I love Bach. I love the
edges, the dischord, the moments where it feels
and sounds so wrong, to be followed by the
perfect tone, note, phrase, that somehow
makes sense, refines, adds understanding, to all
that has gone previously. Understanding - in
The other designer that I thought of was Max
Hattler. I will include Aanaat, I think my
favourite piece of his. I'm going to write more
about play, and this work does it for me.
Playful - 'easy' it works, because it just
does - it's important, because it's so simple.
So understated - the music and the visuals, the
form and motion.
AANAATT (by Max Hattler) from Max Hattler on Vimeo.
Just nice for no reason. And very well
accomplished, incredibly well made.
Tal Rosner - set graphics. Projections, theatre,
and show. Responses to music. This all feels
like drawing. In space, in time, on a huge scale,
Physically, and scale - in ambition, idea too.
The National Threatre - I made graphics at the
Cottesloe, for a production of the Black Album -
a Hanif Kureishi play. Transitions, scene
changes. It got terrible reviews, but people
liked the graphics.
I've written - the set garden. I don't know why.
I began to think about the first job I did at
BBC Sport - TV screens - graphics for the set of
Final Score. I wanted to open it up - create
an outdoors, a sky-scape. Stadium. Expansive.
And this - in my notes, is where I got stuck. I got
to 2011 and my manifesto, and then stopped.
I realised that I had made a survey, travelled
through my time in London -
I didn't know, I don't know, and I don't know
how to use, all that this represents - to carry on.
And the next word - is play.
In real terms, and real life, this takes me to
a conversation with Dr. Lisa Stansbie, who is
now supervising my PhD project and work.
Play and the nature of play. My notes say -
Understanding. Narrative. Process. And processing.
The process of drawing, why we draw.
Why do we draw, what value foes it have,
and hold, for the artist, the viewer, the audience.
My notes say -
Draw to - conceal, communicate, express. Foresight.
Knowing more, without cognition sometimes, than
with the brain.
I agree with this. (I wrote it.)
I write all of my notes in pencil, on paper, all of
my emails, lesson plans, essays, tutorial feedback,
everything. There's something in the process, my head
and brain, link directly to each other in a way
that I don't always foresee, or understand.
My hand, the contact with the page, the meaning,
emotion, if it's an email, the person I'm connecting
to - I'm more connected, and the connection is
more true, on the page, than the screen.
Incidentally, or - additionally, I always leave
my mistakes in. When I type up the emails,
cross out the mistakes, restart, leave the typos
in. All the mistakes, errors, imperfections.
Often in them is the most true, most important
my notes finish, with work that plays. I'm
rushing, and running out of time. This work is about
understanding form and process. I think, that I
want to leave my notes raw, there are some
mistakes in it.
I imagined this, as a sort of survey of motion
graphics, and thinking in motion graphics.
Johnny Kelly is my first reference, this
beautiful, compelling, intriguing music video,
for a Swedish band
Forest: Just One Day from Johnny Kelly on Vimeo.
I'm panicking about time, and I'm not doing
the ending to this, any justice.
I'm going to write up my notes, as
they are, and include project links.
The notes finish, with - Go.
This material, notes, thoughts, and ideas,
were written, discovered, spoken about
and shared, over the course of a week, at
the beginning of September 2016, in the
company of John Berger - Berger on Drawing.
I read the book as I made the notes,
referred to it, and had it with me,
when I wrote the final pieces.
From One Thousand Drawings
by Tracy Emin.
Strings: J.S. Bach - Cello
Suite No.1 - Prelude
by Alexander Chen
Aanaart, by Max Hattler
Original Final Score-
Set projection designs.
Forest: Just One Day
by Johnny Kelly