My work has developed from creating and developing around mental illness to actual state of mind. What I found is that focusing on mental illness was largely broad and found it hard to portray through my practice, I now have the confidence to say and to show what my work represents – which is; Difference in state of mind.
My work studies and explores ‘Running Thought’, Focusing on specific subjects; Confinement, Exploration, Growth, Un-Awareness, Structure and Scale. This allows the work to be quite imposing and yet gives it uncertainty. My current practise has developed from repetitive obsessive techniques and even though this may be still visible in the work, it is no longer the main subject, but is constantly present. I have abstract forms within my work that through ambiguity cannot be controlled, or maybe that are too controlled.
My work portrays an individualized perception of built up thought and combustion within the mind, focusing on issues that could build into something much greater, of which there are no limits on scale.
Over the past two/three weeks I have been focusing on four drawings that I am going to be exhibiting in the degree show in June. These drawings take many hours each to compete but will stand freely as a series on the wall opposite my wall installation. I believe that each of my works will compliment each other due to the difference in tone and contrast and imposture that is created.
I have had many comments regarding my drawings in that they look like water marks, ink representations and landscape images at a birds eye view. The fact that I have had such varied response on these drawings shows that each individual will have there own view and opinion of what these drawings may be. Infact, these drawings are my own personal representation of the mind and the thought processes that happen millions of times a day within us, that are out of our controll completely.
These drawings are representations of the running thought that each of us experience thousands of times a day. We cannot control our thought in a way that we could stop it, but we go with it and it becomes our consciousness, our friend. What I wanted to create was a blur of thought, one which doesn’t necessarily have a direction but one which has an apparent meaning. Time plays a large part in these drawings as each one of them did take on average 11 hours to complete. I did these obsessively… getting into a mind frame which distanced me from the everyday norm. I have five of these drawings, I thought about making more but I didn’t want the effectiveness of them to weaken with multiple. The colours that I have used were thought about to reflect the everyday observations. For a while I observed what colours I saw frequently throughout my days and these ones were the best match. They may not complement each other in the typical way that colour should but they do have reason and meaning for being.
5 x A2 Card = £6.50
5 x 4 Ink Pens = £25
Time = 55 hours plus
I find Balkas work compelling in the sense that it makes you question certainty of where you are and what you can see. As you enter this huge, steel box like structure, raised metres high on stilts… you become overwhelmed with the air of silence, smell of felt. Unable to leave the box the way you entered is magnificent in itself. Having the ability to create a piece of work as an artist that makes you question where you physically stand in place to the world baffles me. I love it. The mans who’s experience I have posted below this post talks about how his eyes almost were in pain due to the lack of anything to actually see… does this work take your sight, one of your senses… and replace it with nothingness…
I inspire to create a piece of work that makes the viewer question themselves, this is huge achievement that can be made by an artist. What is real? Making you question possibly your own sanity…
Something about this work is very fitting to the literature that I have previously read called ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’
- You have to loose yourself completley to find yourself
The quote below fits in with the text from ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’
From within the darkest darkness, everything else was marginally brighter, everything was visible.
State of mind.
A Persons Experiance
Through the secondary sources of online photographs and descriptions, I began to form a seemingly concrete image of the piece, a kind of preliminary version of the installation. The future experience of walking into this black void became almost palpable: A huge steel box-like structure stands in the Turbine Hall. Raised from the ground by several metres, it rests on stilt-like beams that allow one to walk underneath the structure. As one enters through the ramp on one side a giant black space looms ahead. It is silent and the air is heavy with the smell of felt
Once inside this dark labyrinth, one has no guarantee one will be able to return the way one had come. The curved corridor continues, until the entrance disappears from view. The darkness is intractable. Then suddenly around another corner a faint light glimmers, the sounds of the hall return and one is back at the entrance ramp.
I doubted that this was the piece Balka had created. I knew that when I would see the actual installation, it would be like travelling to a city which one has only read about. The imagined version of this void would dissolve once confronted with reality, or perhaps it would become a projection.
The former was the case when I went to see ‘How It Is’. From the back the structure looked like a giant container of a freight train. The black steel entrance ramp was the size of one of the walls of the structure and gave off a hallow sound when one walked on it. Stepping onto it was like stepping onto a stage or into a territory where other rules governed. I followed a few people inside and watched their contours disappear into the blackness. For a while they remained barely discernible, only because they happened to be wearing white. There was no smell of felt, the walls were lined with black velvet. My eyes almost hurt because of the lack of anything to see. There was no way of telling how far the back wall was or if there was a back wall at all, but I knew there must be some sort of a boundary to this void.
I treaded slowly, aware how uncertain everything had suddenly become. Then the flat velvet surface of a wall in front of me touched my hand. There had been no labyrinth; the space followed the form of a box. I turned around. What the art critics failed to mention and what I hadn’t foreseen was what happens after one turns around. This, it seemed, was the heart of the piece. The Turbine Hall’s light was streaming in from the entrance defining the floor and the contours of the other people. The space that was so uncertain and overwhelming a few moments ago was suddenly illuminated and clear. From within the darkest darkness, everything else was marginally brighter, everything was visible.