• From the surface of the image to the surface of the psyche: A practice-based research into the ontology of painting onto photographs

      Robinson, Carl; University of Derby (National Association for Fine Art Education, 2016-07-15)
      In his book The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard wrote, “The poetic image is a sudden salience on the surface of the psyche”; a phrase that perfectly captures the sensation I experienced when first viewing Richard Hamilton’s artwork Portrait of a woman as an artist (2007). Encountering this image created a sudden salience on my psyche due to, what was for me, the unexpected combination of media employed where the artist had painted the central figure of an otherwise completely digital photographic print. As I reflected on why one would paint onto a photograph, a potential research question began to form, which has become the locus of my practice-based PhD of painting on photographs: ‘To what degree can an art practice of painting onto digital photographic prints illuminate the ontological relationship between representational painting and photography in the digital age’? Curator and theoretician Peter Weibel notes that the first phase of the ‘post-media condition’ has given ‘the media’ equivalence, with the art of technical media, created with the aid of a technical device, having achieved the same artistic recognition as the traditional media of painting and sculpture. However, by painting onto digital photographic prints, Hamilton attempted to emphasize the medium specificity of painting in order to assert that discipline’s superior status to these other practices, with the digital and photographic being deployed by him as a means of underpinning the pre-eminence of painting in the western European tradition. Whilst Hamilton’s agenda in these few works was to foreground painting in its relation to photography and the digital, combining elements in this way chimes with contemporary artworks that embrace a fluidity of media. In particular his working in this way highlights the potential for further interrogation of dialogues between the analogue and the digital. Though contemporary artists such as Gerhard Richter, Matt Saunders, Matthew Brandt and Sharon Core engage in practices that examine the boundaries of painting and photography, painting mimetically onto digital photographic prints still remains a largely unexplored avenue of investigation. My research aims to position itself in this space, with the practice being now in the initial stages of producing photographic imagery onto which experiments with paint can be made in order to probe aspects of the ontological relationship of these two media. It is anticipated that from this juxtaposition the objective properties of painting and photography combined within single artworks, the performative nature of this practice and, ultimately, viewer engagement with such artwork can be more fully understood. Methods for explicating understandings of these relationships will involve self-reflective evaluation of the work in progress in the first instance. The work I present will investigate to what degree the act of viewing is disrupted due to a potentially anomalous combination of mediums, and whether this leads to a more reflective experience for the viewer?
    • Jonathan Vickers and Kerri Pratt

      Robinson, Carl; University of Derby (WordPress, 21/07/2014)
      2014 Jonathan Vickers Award winner Kerri Pratt, her work and circumstances relating to the award.
    • Karri Pratt: Our treasure houses

      Robinson, Carl; University of Derby (Derby Museum and Art Gallery, 2015-09)
      Kerri Pratt’s paintings have references to curious spaces derived from man-made, industrial and urban landscapes. Drawing on childhood memories of growing up in an ex-mining town, when the demise of previously thriving industries of Collieries, Potteries, Pipeworks and Brickworks were all too prominent. Kerri has reconnected with her home county of Derbyshire to produce a new series of paintings referencing remnants and traces of our industrial heritage.
    • PaintingDigitalPhotography: Synthesis and difference in the age of media equivalence

      Hilliard, John; Honlold, Astrid; Robinson, Carl; Rosenstein, Tatiana; Rushton, Stephanie; Simson, Henrietta; Speidel, Klaus; Walker, Jame Faure; Weir, Catherine M; Wooldridge, Duncan; et al. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 01/09/2018)
      We live in a digital age where the mediums of art are inextricably bound to the binary code, and painting and photography are redefined in their interconnected relationship through digital reconfiguration. As digitisation unmoors these mediums from their traditional supports, their modes of production, display and dissemination shift. These changes bring about new ways of creating, and engaging with, artworks. Through this, the innate qualities of the mediums, previously anchored in their analogue nature, are re-evaluated through their connection with “the digital”. Born out of the PaintingDigitalPhotography conference, held at QUAD Derby, UK, in May 2017, this anthology of essays investigates aspects of interconnectivity between painting, digital and photography in contemporary art practices. It contributes to critical discourses around networks of associations by examining where syntheses occur, and differences remain, between these mediums at the beginning of the twenty first century.