This has been a great journey, I really believe that I achieved a lot more than I expected from my MA, this whole experience has had a huge impact on both my professional and personal life and I am really grateful for this.
Doing this final Assessment feels like doing a vivisection on a very large building/living thing in order to understand what it is made of and what kind of beings inhabit it.
1. Present a resolved body of original creative practice that has evidenced the systematic enhancement of your knowledge and understanding
When I arrived in London, I was exploring the image on 3D environments, at that moment I was trying to find a way to create 3D canvases in order to paint over them.
I was quite excited about using a 3D printer for the first time, I made a piece called “a walk through ambiguity” but after doing a bunch of prototypes I realised that 3D can be pretty tricky and there are a lot of restrictions to make big scale pieces.
Sculpting was a big deal for me as my brain was still fixed on this idea about me being a painter, I had tried sculpting in the past and it was a disappointing experience; I wasn’t good at depicting the 3D human figure and clay was quite heavy and unpredictable material. 3D modelling helped me to start over as it allowed me to realise the digital image’s potential to become a 3D object.
After doing research on sculpting materials, I choose styrofoam; it is light, non-biodegradable, and user-friendly. I used it to make two pieces (Landscape#9 and Self-portrait#4) for the Interim show!
Around that same time, I finished a VR roller coaster project; a long tour through a tunnel made of digital images from Camberwell College, This was my first digital piece and allowed me to deepen my knowledge about image extrusion in 3D environments, this also encouraged me to do research on both UV Mapping and Photogrammetry.
For a painter, putting an object in the middle of the viewer’s space is quite frightening and raises a huge amount of questions, around June 2016 my painter’s brain was having a huge struggle so I took a step back and created two sculptures to be hanged on the wall (landscape #10 and #11).
On September 2016, I made my second digital piece, It was a collaboration with artist Jennet Thomas where I made several animations of photogrammetry models including a weird chicken walking towards the viewer. This project allowed me to learn a lot more about photogrammetry.
Around December, I went back to the physical sculpting, on this occasion I wanted to explore 3D portrait painting t by merging a series of three-dimensional images on a single object.
Between February and March 2017, I had the opportunity to showcase my work on the Tate Exchange event, for this, I created a piece called “Landscape #12”, a VR experience where the user was invited to wander around a 3D digital replica from a painted/sculpted landscape, for this project I had to do more research on photogrammetry and VR navigation.
After the Tate, I had the opportunity to do a residence on Wimbledon College of Arts, this was a great opportunity to reflect my use of VR and to continue working on my final piece.
The piece for my final exhibition was a big challenge, both technically and conceptually, I believe that it fully represents my general ideas about the META-IMAGE and hopefully, it will allow the viewer to experience visual reality depiction in a unique way.
Every time I go back to take a look at my previous work, I feel that I have always followed the path of an image maker that keeps challenging the boundaries of visual reality depiction in both time and space.
2. Analyse and critically reflect coherently upon your own practice and its context
Through my MA, I was able to get a deeper understanding of the fact that I am an image maker. Although this might sound quite simple, it allows me to set the context for my practice and also to understand why I need to express my ideas through images.
As a painter, I have always been attracted by naturalistic representation, especially by painting and drawing. Thanks to my research paper, I learned how flatness and linear perspective systems became embedded in traditional Western painting. I also learned that photography has perpetuated our acceptance of the flatness as a valid formal value of reality depiction.
Printing systems, the Internet and screens have facilitated the proliferation of both digital and printed images beyond any prediction, we had become image consumers, we like them cheap, fast and in abundant quantities, a daily updated never-ending flood of visual stimulus. This poses a unique challenge for dose who create images on a slower pace.
Naturalistic painting keeps being important as an artistic practice, and a good amount of contemporary painters keep pushing the boundaries of composition and materials in many different directions, I do my research mostly on Instagram and I have to say that flatness keeps being the #1 rule for painting, however, and thanks to cross-disciplinary practices it is possible to find a few examples of artist whose work is challenging the flatness in their own way. One thing worth mentioning is that so far, I have not seen painters exploring the use of 3D environments beyond Tilt Brush.
During my MA, I had visited several museums including TATE Modern, Tate Britain, National Gallery, British Museum, El Prado Museum, Reina Sofia’s Museum and Picasso’s Museum, looking for references to the META-IMAGE, I have to say that I have found some presence of it on top and inside Sarcophagus, over ceramic object, jewellery and various artefacts including altarpieces and in Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten’s peep box, however, I have learned that in almost every case, the image followed function so most of them look like well-decorated objects.
3D modelling and 3D animation are quite popular disciplines nowadays, game and entertainment companies are quite big producers of this three-dimensional digital content and a lot of digital artists keep working on their artistic practices whilst taking 9 to 5 jobs inside these industries. Photogrammetry is becoming increasingly popular as 3D scanning technologies become cheaper, however, creating high-quality 3D scanned models involves a well-structured knowledge around 3D modelling and UV mapping, I learned that over a 4 moths period whilst trying to optimise the polygon structure and remap the image textures for my final piece.
VR is a very popular technology at the moment, and many artists are integrating its use into their practices. Regarding image making, one can argue that most of VR pieces are related to this process, however, a closer inspection on practices like painting and drawing, photography and moving image, reveals that VR is in a quite early stage and apart from people playing with Tilt Brush, only small number of practitioners that are serious about its use.
Another important fact about this technology is that there is a lot of people that had not experienced VR yet, this will also change with time, however, as an artist you might have to be very careful because most people have this game related expectations and the design of the controllers really gets in the way of the artistic experience, this is one of the reasons I decided to get rid of the controllers for my final piece. One thing to mention is that at some point, I was thinking about doing a projection instead of a VR experience as I felt I needed to retain control over the piece, but thanks to my last tutorial with Jonathan and the fact that I was assigned a unique space, I was able to put everything back together.
Through my work, I challenge the flatness and framing of the image by creating META-IMAGES, I believe that they allow me to represent visual reality in a way that comes close to how I really experience it.
I believe that there is a huge unexplored territory for the creation of META-IMAGES and I think that digital technologies combined with image making techniques might allow me to move freely through this new path.
3. Summarise and evaluate your overall progress and formulate a constructive plan for continuing Personal and Professional Development