RACHEL JESSIE-RAE

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ANALYSIS OF VISUAL LANGUAGE and IDEAS



1. 



1. Cut out shapes from hand made paper in bright yellow, red and pink are pinned to a large white wall, smeared with brown paint and fluorescent pink scribbled texta. The limbs of the figure are not really there. The hair is modelled from a large cut out, with a pink square in it, and some folded paper dolls. The bikini is made from big bits of cut paper. There are several cut up bits of paper made from cut paper and prints, there is a white cross in a shape that makes a reminder of a sheild perhaps, an anglo saxon type one? The white wall adds to the ‘whiteness’ of this figure that wasn’t as strong a part of the original image. Its features are similar to the drawing in a way. It’s quite messy. The work is made from old paper making artwork made when I was young (probably 19, or 20) at art school in Canberra. The paper is 100% rag paper which I hand made from cut up old bed sheets

The wall drawing has a much more assertive and aggressive feeling than the drawing, which I think is due to the cut paper shapes and the expressive sort of violent zigzagging of the pens and paint on the wall below. There is none of the softness of the original sprayed gold colours. (Lisa had suggested to spray watercolour on the wall but I had used a brush instead, also I was quite emotionally charged in the first week at VCA and anxious and this came out in the work I think also). The yellow paper is also a lot more solid and heavy than the fluro colours in the original drawing. The white of the wall is too stark also adding to a feeling of violence and contrast. The proportions are off, as it was hard to upscale, in cut paper. If I do this gain I’d use a projector perhaps to get the shape the same. Actually, this whole thing could be projected and then it wouldn’t really matter.


2. Two texta sketch drawings featuring curvaceous female figures. The first one is drawn on paper sprayed with spray paint, the figure is drawn so the darker cross hatching pushes the image forward. The green and brown cross hatching gives it a shadowey aura, there was no real shape that was determined but it does have a form of sorts. The second drawing is another version of this kind of figure but it is much less childish and more womanly as it has larger hips where the other has larger shoulders. The figures have been drawn so that the edge of an oversprayed horizon sits at the bottom of the legs. These details make me think of water or mud. There is a muddiness also present in the wall installation. The figures have a relationship to the space or a sort of pictorial ground for these reasons. 

Links in the work:
This was a sketch I did to try create a more ‘painterly’ way of drawing. I was inspired by Ella Kruglyanskaya paintings, especially Bathers XII, 2012 egg tempera on panel. I liked the curvaceous-ness of the figures and the exaggeration of the curves. I could see a resonance in the way she draws and puts images together to the way I draw and collage.  I wanted to tackle using the figure, and in an article in Vault magazine, (issue 21), she is written about say that using the figure in art “is like the elephant in the room”, and that she’d used masters study to tackle using it. In a way I have made the image reflect an, ‘elephant in the room’ kind of feeling in the contrast of sexy and strong but also making fun of something. I think looking at it, I was also trying to sketch out ideas for inflatable drawings, and this reminds me of Christopher Langton work, such as Twins, 1997 who’s work I have long admired.
The image itself looks really playful, it sort of seems submissive because of the cute facial features but also the large arms make it seem strong. Its short hair is balloon-esque also, actually the whole figure looks like it could be a balloon,and so has some connection to perhaps a celebratory feeling. It has a feeling if it were life size that it would be much bigger than a person. The colours used are garish, and the stencil of fluoro paint gives it also a feeling like party lights might be falling on the subject. The figure appears on the page out of a darker green background that just surrounds the figure. The way the marks have been made give the whole image a transparent effect.

And also makes me think of an earlier painting i’ve done where a bunch of dots are all tethered down.
If this paper image were a balloon, then what is the meaning? I think it would talk about a breaking from tradition perhaps? Female sexuality and my own identity, and family (heteronormative paradigms).


Interpretation/So What?
I abandoned this trial before finishing it, as I was still digesting the video we’d seen on structural oppression, critiquing empiricism and art school critiques, and outlining the indoctrination of all of us and our biases into the cis-hetero-white-spuremacist-capitalist-patriarchy. This lead me down a path to research white supremacism.

Freaked out that I’d just made a giant red haired defensive woman on the wall in the first week and how that was being read I took it down to have a further think. Read up on sturctual oppression more, consider my positionality and what I want to say in the artwork, and trial some other ways of creating ‘painterly marks’ with the paper and think about the other directions covered in the chat with Lisa.

Returning to review this image again, i see a large silly sort of projection, and the little bodies i have folded are like casualties. It has a sort of send up quality about the idea of empire perhaps. The cut paper lines remind me of towels, waves and flags. The cross in the negative space was incidental. It needs to be reviewed and better excecuted. This character could be worked up in a range of scenarios that satire the silliness/the stupidity and empty hollowness, uncaring and unreal quality of white supremacism, while acknowledging the horror of it somehow.

SO WHAT?
Definitely some links about being young/mature woman and what that means
Bubble like forms are potentially about the parade of life, or I could make it about the parade of life like big blow up forms. I want to go big but not sure about the energy and time it takes, baby steps. 
The ‘ground’ is important, what kind of ground are you standing on and why? What is the figures relationship to this ground? eg: Mud

There is something in the work, i think its the trasparency of the texta ink, where I feel if could be also be translated effectively from light/projections instead of paper?


2. 




3. This first artwork is predominantly made from paper. It is hung on a picture rail with a bulldog clip and a rail hook. The main form holding the piece together is a handmade paper circle with white paper, a red X through the middle of it. The red X has rough edges and little splatters of the paper pulp are interspersed around the edges on to the white areas. Pinned ontop of this with butterfly clips are red comic shaped lips, just the top lip and a row of 5 white teeth cut from paper tucked below the lips. Tucked below the teeth is a strip of gold streamers that (go to the floor). Behind the white paper circle are a variety of paper cut outs in pink, black and red. The shapes are organic, with a few straight edges in a curved style of a smaller sized shape than the other shapes in the work. These cut out pieces are all layered up behind the bottom of the circle.
    This work makes me think of some sort of mass of energy, the red and pink make it feel very passionate, that are blocked from being said. What the message is unclear. The gold streamers could be a stream of ‘gold’ positivity, or because of the cheap nature, could be ‘fake gold’ ‘fools gold’ something that is not authentic that is being said. The white teeth make me think of nourishment, and also ‘barring your teeth’ which is also defensiveness. The gold streamers could be vomit as well, which then maybe could mean the mass behind is that which is gagged back up. The cross emphasises that there is something inauthentic or wrong with what is being said/swallowed/or vomited.
    This work could have more meaning if the elements were more defined, eg: the paper behind actually looked like food, or had some allusions to communication (text/writing) or shapes to give it meaning. The reading of the work would also change within another context. The work could also be about when you feel one thing but say something else. It is about mis-communication and positive/negative feelings mismatched potentially in a heated moment?

4. The second hanging piece shows a paper doll shape with an upside down ‘A’ hung from its neck. It is situated ontop of an orange and white square, the cream square has the orange square inside of it. The orange square is linear only but a very thick line. At the bottom of the square are two yellow double drop like shapes. There is some other smaller random cut out shapes behind it on the outer sides and in the centre below there is three squares red/black/red and then orange and blue striped strip hanging down. 

There is a range of ideas that might fit a reading of this experiment. It feels like a school crossing sign, but the yellow drops could signify anything, urine, yolk, pus, or flower petals even. Urine is for fear, a release, a cleansing, a letting go and for sterilisation. Yolk is richness and potential for life, pus is an infaction but in this case its being released, flower petals can be new beginnings and spring, or marraige like flower petals strewn on the ground. 

The way it makes me think of a school crossing sign, makes me think that perhaps i was making these artworks about going to uni again. And two sides of feeling about that. The first a kind of deep passion, and then the cross well that was incidental, and the gold a perhpas pride, competition, but also this as a negativity. Surely it has reared its head now anyhow. The one that is like a lollypop sign is perhaps a more gentle and generous image form 

SO WHAT? 
I think in here there is some potential for a visual language that I can use, the mouths, the piss like streamers, gold and yellow are colours that feature a lot in my works. As does red, orange and pink. I think i need to be using these much more consiously, and formally to push the work forward.  The kinds of visual language I was sorting out early on, such as the streamers, spew forms, eyes that are smokey or black and white etc which i will talk about more later on. Types of curves that are reminiscent of hair eye lashes etc. 






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Image removed.

5. This second image shows a large piece of brown kraft paper that has been folded with origami folds that is flattened out and pinned to the edge of a white wall that looks as if it has brown smears of paint all over it. Pinned on top of this cut out paper shapes in all different organic shapes. The shapes are arranged with cut out curvy but tightly zigzagged and these are at the top, in this cluster there are a man and a woman paper shapes joined together but folded over, the woman is in front of the man, there is another paper man symbol in this area. There is some fluoro red paper in the back ground of this area also. There are paper cut out shapes that are formed to make eye like forms, including a cream piece of paper cut to make an almond eye shape. Other shapes fit ontop of this, including shapes cut from painted black and white paper as well as pink cut out shapes. There is some orange paper in this section but to the side and the piece on the left, has a serated curvy zigzag edge, with the other side in the top corner is a piece of joss paper.  Hanging from the eyes are strips of purple, red and black paper. There is a cut out red shape in the middle of the page that is curved, with two bumps on the top and a flat bottom. There are lip shapes that are cartoon like and curve upwards. Below this are teeth sticking out. There is a toothlike formation sticking out of the top of a bottom lip that is cut from pink paper. Below these arranged shapes is a small red half circle and to the left and right black areas that create the negative space like a cup. On the right hand side of this face like assemblage, is strips of yellow paper, as well as a organic shape mass of a pink tounge like shape intertwined with a curved lemon shaped form made from cream paper. The eye shape assemble on the right is again made from paper pieces similar to the left hand side, however the strips of purple and red and black paper are thicker and the stripes a bit larger hanging down from the face.


This work creates a face like structure, the face has angry expression to it. 
I saw Christian Macarlay’s “Scream - Split Centre” at White Cube in New York last year. And i think this is related to that, wanting to make anime style faces. But i think its is risky to potray or appropriate other cultures, eg: the use of origami - though this is widely used across the world originating in Japan?
There are things i this again using figures as a couple and a single, much smaller than the larger face. Something dominant and something much smaller, minorities. A lot of chaos, energy and  anger in the work, there is also the inside of a computer keyboard. A nod to typing, trolling, texts, and peoples writing on the net even perhaps. (Where i was doing a lot of reading about WSCP) The orange hair like cut outs, made me think of Trump links, and also red heads which have other links there also... The yellow stripes which in this could refer more to a flag like shape perhaps? A telephone??? 

SO WHAT???


I think if this kind of piece were more crafted to actually depict a mobile phone, it would work a little better, this kind of face could directly relate to texts I find on the internet with articles and the comments made, or blog roll posts. I kind of love madness also,  something here about going ‘postal’ the madness of that, and also ‘posting’ which ties into ‘post chairs’ video i did and the contemporary moment. Also the intense negativity held within some of the commentary is highly charged and i find a kind of energy (anger) from the comments, though it is also sickening and its all a confusing and there seems to be a lot of anger and miscommunication and conflicting views, and white fragility.



ARTWORK SERIES IDEA: Paper faces based on blog comments/insta posting/anger

ARTWORK IDEA: GO POST  - Post on instagram all day for a day at timed intervals (tiring)



5. 


Performing Paintings

A large purple rectangle painted with spray paint, attached to the surface with pins are a variety of paper shapes both cut and made from poured paper, all handmade. There is a wonky X in the top left corner, and other formal shapes mostly squares, crosses and lines, a few cut our wriggles, an ornge dot, a fluro orange diamond made from sprayed cardboard and other cut out off cuts, they are all pinned and leyered to evenly fill the top left hand side of the purple picture plane. There is no apparent structure or cohesion just a regularity of rythym and some performative nod to abstract expressionism.  
https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/abstract-expressionism

The other images, a yellow hexagon and a green hexagon use a similar technique but with different aesthetic outcomes. The yellow hexagon has predominently black shapes that repeat uses of repetitive zigzag lines, there are also a pink cresent shape, a pink wiggle, a red foil star burst, some tan cut out shapes and a hand shape. Lisa had said she saw a bumble bee in this work, and i can see the elements in there, stripes, the red foil star a sting

The green one mixes elements of text, and cut out shapes, including lip shapes, and much smaller wriggling shapes like teeth and eye lashes. There is a frenetic energy to the work and the pieces of paper look like they will fall off the canvas. If a relationship to brushstrokes here is made then there is some idea about unmaking or rearranging. 

The works seem deranged in a way, becasue of the bright youthful colours and the manic placement of the cut out pieces, that don’t seem to have a thought or logic to them. 

There are some ideas here that could be interesting to follow, and that is to find posters and images of old paintings, and cut the brushstrokes out to make new images. I really like this idea beacsue it ties into failure, and unmaking/remaking.

This could be done digitally, as well as through hand collage.  

6. 



This is such a strange image and something that I haven’t tried to analyse much yet. I’ve been stuck in the moment looking at it as documentaiton instead of an artwork in its own right.

The photogrpah shows a pin board, sitting on a formica bench, a plastic tub in the foreground and cut bits of paper, streamers coming off the main face on the pin board, and streamers hanging down. There are pins in the streamers. A can of purple SUGAR brand spray paint is at the bottom left, there is above that a orange and gold garmet hidden out of view. The pin board is the main focal point and it has a chaotic, trippy style face pinned on it made from paper. The face is evident mainly becasue of two paper cut out eyes, with large pupils which are made from spray paintcardboard, this gives the eyes a look as if smoke is in them, this smoke theme is mimiced by the white streamers which are pinned up off the ‘face’ and a dilapidated floppy ciggarette suggested by the negative space in a more decorative cut out. The extreme pink of the face trigges an emotionally charged feel to the image, which is heightened by the two drips of glitter under the eyes which might suggest tears of sadness or of pain, if it is smoke in the eyes. A few other elements are stuck to the board to add to the texture and chaos of the piece... 

The image is like a reckoning, or a beckoning, its sort of really sad looking, shameful and perplexed. Its like a mirror perhaps. 

Something about the way some of the card board is cut makes me think of a shark in water, i know this is a stretch but, man eater? And could also be something then about sexuality and gender. This is further played on with the two smaller blue and pink toys on the face under they eyes. There is something about also decoration, and perhaps being on the side lines... as a wallflower?




7. 






These works work really well as textures and for world building. 


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> Have had a few ideas for this which is actually from a sketch for a clip where you see a big baby puppet eyes, and you pan out and then the eyes flick open - could use the famous sound clip from a horror film,
> The next scene is a woman screaming head down between her legs as if screaming at her vagina
> Next clip looks at a close up of Luna Aquatica’s face, flirting at the camera
>Then the manic dancing in my room clip
>Then maybe (Luke?) in the painting costume 

https://www.inverse.com/article/7517-the-10-scariest-sounds-in-movie-history

https://www.soundplanning.co.uk/blog/iconic-movie-sounds/

12. 




I made this becasue of a design i created, it was called ‘Awkward Projections’ and i wanted to capture the kind of insatiable hunger that base emotions like competitiveness, anger, suppressed emotions like fear can create. This is a design that has become a costume. In my mind i repeatedly see this being hit by a car, its a really strong reoccuring image, so i think i need to do that. Other ideas I’ve had are the nose comes off, and i thought then i could be painting with it. Then another image with the nose being replaced with a smaller cute one. the tounge can be replaced also. 


13. 


Video piece: Objective description

The video frame shows a woman of caucasian descent, in a black and white printed top, white with black speckles on it. She has long brunette hair, and underwires clipped in her hair. She is wearing purple metal frame glasses and is wearing red lipstick. She is facing the camera inside a largish room, the corner of the room faces the camera so we can see in the background a set of shelves with some smaller boxes of things to one side, and a large white cupboard in the back with several doors. On top of the cupboard in the corner at the top of the frame is a red suitcase. On the wall to the side of the cupboard is a print hanging from the wall on a clip, one side falling forward. The artwork is an indigenous print in blue and pink. There is a bed we can see behind the woman, with a large gold frame, two printed pillows in orange, light blue and purple and yellow block patterns with pop art style graphics. A doona cover is also on the bed with grey and pink stripes and a red and pink blanket. There are some books and folders in the room also.

In this first scene she is singing out of tune, ‘i want to call your name and making the tune as if she doesn’t know the words.

The clip cuts to view of her now with the breast area of her top stuffed with something to make it all lumpy and large. She bounces these new ‘breasts’ the cupboard doors are open.

The scene cuts back to her in front of the camera reading and trying to sing the words, still out of tune looking at a mobile phone with a silver glitter cover. She sings ‘ you never said, you never said…” there is no music. The video cuts to her singing along, more in tune now to the (Nia Andrews Call Your Name) song “and in the waking game… pretending you don’t think of me’. As she goes to sing ‘I d..’

It cuts back to her near the cupboard stuffing the ‘boobs’ into a sports bra worn on the outside.

The next cut sees the woman close up looking past the frame clipping the underwires into her hair, there is a double cut here where it shows her struggling with this twice. We can see her teeth are covered with lipstick.

The next cut we see her pacing up and down in the room thinking, and her eyes are quizzical at one moment listening to the song.

The next cut sees her back infront of the camera looking at her phone, the song is playing on the phone, and there is a moment where she raises her hand over her heart as the words of the song say ‘pretending you don’t think of me’, the clip cuts to her now crying, infront of the camera the song emotes and the woman closes her eyes in response tears dripping from her face, her face is a bit more red in this moment.

The camera cuts, she is now side on, in a jacket with the boobs all padded up it exaggerates the profile. She looks into the camera and say ‘yeah good profile, in an mock voice

The camera cuts again to her throwing a poncho on, she has a floral jacket ontop of the first jacket, it has yellow and purple flowers on it. she turns and looks at the camera, and says, poncho? I don’t know what a poncho would do for my profile? In a mock aussie ‘bogan style’ accent. The hood of the poncho is on and she is looking out of the poncho and hood. She has a mock grown up voice on.

The next cut, she is now speaking in a more childish voice, and being more silly. She has a bright red and blue scarf wrapped around her head. She looks out of the frame facing the camera to the same bottom right area, and pulls the fabric of her head in a slightly English style accent says, I can’t get the signal, if the wires aren’t in the right spot.

The next scene she is looking through two slides, one up against her eye with the white side out, the other with the black side out, she looks through it into the front side of the camera again.

The camera cuts to her dancing in the room, waving her hands up in the air, near the other side of the bed near the cupboards.

The clip then cuts to her with one of the pop art printed pillows, wacking the pillows into her head repeatedly and being thrown around the room.

The next clip shows her now putting the underwires up her nostrils, pushing her nostrils outwards. She has been crying and her face is still a bit wet. She shows her profile from the side, her nose is more elongated this way. She turns back to the camera, the underwires in hand, we can see the lipstick smeared on her face, she dangles the wires from each side of her mouth.

The clip cuts, she is in the same position, she turns to look to her right and picks up a book and holds it in frame. The book is Rug Hooking Made Easy, by Charlotte Kimball Stratton. The moment is still as she holds the book in frame, the music changes to the end of a song that is quite calm.


Subjective Interpretation

This piece is obviously something intimate, about bedrooms and maybe relationships and love and identity, this is known as the words of the song that are sung imply some kind of longing. It’s out of tune, making this seem a very ordinary moment for someone, though the woman looks young she is not that young so it might mean there is some barrier to her getting what she wants.
There is a theme of self improvement and trying to be better, bigger, more

The room looks generously sized, she has possibly been on a trip as there is the suitcase, and there are extra boxes of things in the room. The bed does not look overly lavish, but the gold frame makes it seem like some indicator towards wealth or culture. The indigenous print also looks like something belonging to someone who would have an appreciation of culture. The books on the bed and folders also support this aspect of the person. The person is also the artist of the artwork, so the piece is potentially some sort of self portrait.

She opens singing ‘I want to call your name’ - the question is who’s name is it she wants to call?
The scene early on after this singing she has big boobs, and bounces them up and down, this makes me think of something a child might do, dressing up as their mother, or because the person in this film is not a child, some sort of experimenting with a more womanly figure. The way she bounces is more playful than anything sexual so potentially she is more playing around with the first idea, doing an impression rather, though it’s probably a mix of both these things. The red lipstick she is wearing also reinforces this womanly stereotype and dressing up like a woman.

We see her singing again, ‘So can you hear me when i call your name, you never said you never said..’ The words of the song, but they are cut, perhaps she wants to call someones name but they never said who they were, was this love an imaginary person or a brief flirtation?  ‘you never said you never said’, there is also some implication here about something that is not said, but because of the love song context felt instead, this out of tune aspect makes me think that this is a feeling that doesn’t have a place yet, the next clip where it is now in tune with the song on the words are - and in the waking game pretending you don’t think of me’ implies that the feeling has found a place but it is in a dream and not real or acknowledged, or a person she didn’t meet properly.
She doesn’t have the padded boobs in this part of the clip and so this part of the narrative of this clip is potentially about something that is real in this persons experience.

The cut where it goes back to her putting on a bra over her top and the boob stuffing, she is preparing herself somehow, giving this imaginary womanliness more support. The clips where she is now putting the underwires on her head suggest maybe the support she needs is more mental, or intellectual, or some sort of strange beauty make over. Something about trying to communicate with esp or not being able to articulate or understand something.
She’s then pacing around as if trying to work out what it is, repeating listening to the words on the phone, there is a moment you see where she feels in in her heart on the words ‘pretending you don’t think of me’ , perhaps there is an unacknowledged love, or that in that moment realising in her imagination or this imaginary person, she is not being thought about. This fantasy projection is very painful. We see her then genuinely crying, deeply upset, the song goes on ‘I didn’t call your name, the texture of the music is more gritty and the chords of the music emphasis the emotion of the moment, has she been caught up in this fantasy, and music or is it real?
The next moment she is back again but all dressed up, powerfully sticking her boobs forward, say ‘Yeah, good profile’ in this context I think about the profile, a more powerfully womanly profile, as well as ‘instagram’ profile or other online profile, even a dating profile. She throws a poncho on - what would a poncho do to my profile? She is trying out different identities (I dent tities??) we can see through her use of voice, and silliness towards picking up a signal on the underwires.

> TO DO: Need to recut and edit out last bit. 


So What?
There is again in this work two types of women presented, a silly type and a more serious one. Or a childish version and a grown up one. It makes me wonder about the awkwardenss of humans and also awkward emotions: jealousy, projection, fear, hurt, embarrassment and also perhaps how do women learn to model them selves through their mothers, music videos, music, the internet and the gaze of men. This is also a similar theme from ‘babespace’ where it is about the male gaze but also creating a safe space for women to exhibit artworks. 



Feedback from Lisa was that it was good, and there are some nice moments of real awkwardness. The 3.5minute film is good becasue it relates in format to pop songs. She agreed the end could be cut also, it was repetative of the first parts. That it was nice the themes about self improvement, always trying to get better at something which is relatable to everyone, or many. That with the singing bits the sound needs to be clearer, even creating a second track that has the sound on it. 

We talked then more about chaos and the performativity, and just remixing these ideas.