Visit to Peggy Guggenheim

I have visited Peggy Guggenheim collection today and happily the entrance was free for us students in the Academy, so saved myself some money…

Going into the museums its incredibly different than the general sights around it. There is a beautiful garden and a beautiful Palazzo over looking onto the great canal. Peggy Guggenheim was really living the dream during the 30 years from 1949! We enter the beautiful building and its so open, and I cannot believe that these rooms were Guggenheim’s bedroom or her sitting room! There are plenty of interesting art works exhibited in the museum from Kandinsky to Picasso and also having the opportunity to view the Jackson Pollock exhibition with his astonishing works.


The works that really caught my attention were:

Lucio Fontana: ‘Concetto spaziale’ 1951


Lucio Lucio

I really really REALLY like the idea of the canvas being cut into it and thus creating a reversed incision. The triangular shapes really add to it. Fontana worked with the gestures in his paintings with the use of a knife slashing the canvas creating a space within it. Challenging the meaning of painting. Personally I really like the technique and its final outcome. There is something precious about it even though the painting has been made through gestures.

Maurizio Nannuci: ‘Changing Place, Changing Time, Changing Thoughts, Changing Future’ 2003



A more contemporary piece of light and words. It is displayed outside on the wall opposite to the museum shop. The words are massive and make a massive statement. From not reading much about the artist and his work what I feel is great connection to what I think about changing places. It relates to my situation right now and the words Nannuci used are perfect example of how changing place works like a domino and end up changing your future. It could be an artist statement that inspiration comes fro changing the scenery which is very true. I really like light art and the words really stand out even when the sun is shining and you can’t see the artificial light.

Also seeing a 3D print in monochrome of Pollock’s painting that emphasises the surface and how he worked with his paint is extra ordinary. It really shows that you can even use high technology to advance art and even though that isn’t a piece it really could be in my eyes. It really represents a new way of painting, and who knows maybe one day someone will 3D their image flat and call it a painting….

3d pollock

Here are some of the other pieces that I found interesting:







Reflection on Erasmus – Venice

Where do I start… As this experience is coming slowly to its end I cannot help but to reflect on it. There were ups and downs without a doubt. Frustrated, confused, sad, excited and happy are couple of adjectives among others that describe the feelings I felt throughout this experience.

I have mentioned before how difficult it was getting adjusted here and to how this academy works. I have never experience anything so unorganised and confusing. Sometimes I happen to think of my university in Cardiff being unorganised at times but it really isn’t! At first I was surprised to find out that not many people spoke English in the university and that was not stressed to us by the erasmus leader. Then another surprise was that we had to find who the teachers were and what they taught and go up to them and ask to join their class. It was at times very intimidating and stressful. But it did make me go out of my comfort zone and communicate with professors I’ve never met and some who did not speak English. We were left to ourselves to figure out what was required in which module and how many credits it was worth in order for us to achieve the maximum credits of 20 (equivalent to 40 in Cardiff). It was stressful and for the majority of the first month I was so confused about what was going on! I was baffled by how little help we were getting in the academy. But I started to realise how much I really appreciate Cardiff! The school of art and design is amazing, and the resources we have are exceptional. Which makes me more motivated to make the most of them next year. The academy here really proved that university is more than just single modules and making art to pass. It’s an institution that is made up of great lecturers, resources, people and inspiration which I have not found here. I feel that the modules here are lacking the excitement and creativity.. or maybe I just haven’t came across it. There are no personal tutors, you are left with no help, no ideas to gain from professors. They do not inspire you or make you look at particular works. I feel that its more traditional here. Don’t feel people are going out of their comfort zones as much as I have experienced in Cardiff.

Doing three modules Woodcut,Photography and Anatomia Di Venezia was not difficult to partake. These sessions ran twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Although after having done the exam in woodcut I have realised that the professor wanted more than I’ve showed him. Meaning he was not happy with how unclean my prints were but personally I thought they were more interesting that way. I don’t even know what to expect from Photography! Firstly the professors was quite surprised about erasmus people in his group, half of the people did not understand his lectures.. lectures, well slideshows. I still am unsure what is required for this exam. He doesn’t say much. But I guess I will find out next week when I show him my photographs. Which is a shame because I can’t communicate with him due to my lack of Italian and his lack of English.

Looking at the city itself it has been a great experience. Apart from a scam that happened even before we arrived in Venice it’s almost forgotten about now. The city is beautiful and it’s architecture and interesting location makes me really appreciate it and experiencing it as an artist is a dream come true! The people I’ve met were great too and the food is just phenomenal! The city has really got a lot to offer and having lived here for four months I have really seen a good bit of the Venetian life, from acqua alta, siestas, aperatifs to getting lost in its streets. Having this beautiful architecture and life style surrounding you 24/7 it’s crazy. Having a keen eye for details I have experienced this city in a way that it will inspire me forever.

Being here during the Biennale has really affected me as an artist. I had an opportunity to view an important event in the world of art and how these exhibitions are being set out and who are the current most wanted artists. Being so close to experiencing it was inspirational and a drive for my work. I am grateful to have been able to not only spend 4 months in Venice but also seeing some incredible and inspiring works that not everyone gets a chance to.

I must say that even though the academy here has not driven me as an artist or expanded my visions it has though showed me how to appreciate where I am now because some people don’t get to use the same equipment we do.

These four months here were crazy bipolar but I know that if I said no to coming here I would regret it and right now having done this I definitely do not regret anything because it has built me as a person. Even coming back to Cardiff now with lack of inspiring work I have made I am definitely going to come back with tons of inspiring memories, sightseeings and experiences that may influence my work in the future. I have been here alone, living in a foreign place and at the beginning I believed it would be so easy because of my past of ‘nomadic’ life style. I was wrong and I found myself wanting to go home and give up at times. But time proved me wrong and I began to understand and enjoy myself. Now that my flights back are booked and my mum coming to see me tomorrow and my boyfriend the following week and with only couple of days left I will feel somehow sad to be leaving. This place is beautiful and memories have been amazing,too. But at the same time I do feel ready to go back and begin some work and writing and become a better artist. Because that is what Venice taught me to be, to be a better artist.

Field – Overall Reflection PDP

Overall reflecting back at these two fields I am very pleased to say that I have experienced two totally different modules which have pushed me out of my comfort zone as well as informed me about my own artistic values and thus encouraged more ideas.

In Language Environments I was introduced to the idea of creating an environment through any means and mediums. I have never truly examined how an environment can be created through for example – opposite words – obviously presented in an informative way. But in my case I was introduced to book art and installation work which both were foreign to me. This module has really made me realise how affective it is to create an environment if you use the right tools and convey feelings within your work or how you install it. This module has encouraged me to create a book (I wanted to create something physical that an audience can touch) that was nothing else but frustrating. Having the audience physically and mentally feel and see its limits was the main aspect of the installation. I was really glad how well the installation went and how I have achieved to learn new skills including typography, paper making and the use of senses. I am 100% sure that if I hadn’t chosen this module I would have definitely not done an installation this year which would definitely be a shame.

In the second module – Art and conscious mind – I have definitely gained new ideas about consciousness and looking deep into what we are. How the theories and ideas discussed in the sessions have left me thinking about them after the sessions and even having discussions with people outside of the module. Theoretically I have been inspired to do more writing on the subject of senses and visual indeterminacy. How spaces and light can stimulate our senses. These ideas were definitely encouraged after seeing the work of Craig Thomas and how although this module has not particularly inspired my subject work it has though been the key to my dissertation research. Saying that this module has not inspired my practical work in subject does not mean it will never. I am planning to keep my dissertation connected with my practical work in subject next year.

I must say that even though the sessions were long I feel that I would never had an opportunity to discuss these important and still baffling ideas.

In the future I definitely plan to work in installation and with the ideas gained from art and conscious mind.

Now that I can relate both fields together I see that they both have a potential to become a piece together in the near future. As I plan to make spaces that affect our perceptions it means I am creating some kind of language environment.

To conclude, I am glad to have done these two amazing modules and I can definitely see them influencing my work in third year.

Field – Art and the conscious mind PDP

When choosing this module for my second field in my mind I had hopes to be a part of something that would influence my academic writing as well as my subject practice.

Looking back at this module I can see that there was plenty for me to get inspired from towards not only my dissertation proposal but also my subject.

The theories and ideas discussed in the 3 hour lectures were very intense but very insightful. In the sessions we have discussed plenty of topics, ideas and supporting theories that I don’t think I would have ever had a chance to discuss if I didn’t pick this module. I really don’t think I have ever been a part of a project that insightful in such short period of time. We analysed consciousness and its situation in our body, visual indeterminacy, self-reflection, spiritual art, hallucination visons, the unity and rationality of the consciousness mind and plenty more. These were followed up with questions to make us think of what is what we are analysing and seeing how different theories compete each other in very high level of understanding. These questions were most likely the only thing in those lectures that were interactive with us students. Which is a shame. But I guess this lack of interaction was lifted in the workshops that were set up each week for us. From meditation to unseen art and to my favourite workshop with Craig Thomas and his installation called ‘Labyrinth’. I was truly inspired by his ideas and his works. I really got into the idea of installations and their manipulation of consciousness. How we see the formless and our consciousness makes it up into forms. That is why light and space art is so great because it plays these roles in their works. This links up to the lectures by Robert Pepperell where we were discussing ‘visual indeterminacy’. These ideas made me realise that I want to have an intention to make people feel the intention. I am interested in body and mind and how you can’t separate both away from each other.  These insightful lectures and workshops made me look really into the retrospective art and artists such as James Turrell and Robert Irwin. I have ideas gained from this module that I want to explore in my future work and link my practical with my academic writing which I am doing right now.

Overall I do realise I have chosen a module that was lacking practical and personal work. I really do wish we had more time to really discuss ideas and perhaps do work that could practically influence my subject. I feel that this experience will definitely influence my future work in Cardiff but at this moment my academic writing has influenced the most from this, hopefully soon I can put these ideas into my own practical work.

Anatomia Di Venezia – Reflection and final pieces

Taking this module was an interest of mine from the very start of being here in Venice. I wanted to concentrate on doing something about Venice and this module was perfect for it. It was set up for erasmus students only meaning meeting more people on the same boat as me.

It is called ‘Anatomy’ which originated from the original course running in the university about pure anatomy of the body. What an interesting module to be part of the academy. Unfortunately for us erasmus students it’s difficult to be doing an exam on terms and descriptions of anatomy in Italian. So this module has a twist on it and requires the anatomy of Venice.

I must say that this module was not demanding at all. The sessions were on once every two weeks on a Wednesday. These sessions consisted of watching films that were set in Venice one of them even being the movie ‘The Tourist’… I am still unsure how these films were supposed to inspire us or educate us. Or maybe they weren’t supposed to? Nothing was analysed afterwards, watch a movie and that was it. I do think watching the movies in Italian with English subtitles did encourage the learning of Italian, so that’s at least a plus.

The requirement for this module was to make a video about Venice. Our professor showed us some of the last year videos and I knew I did not want to make a collage video made up of photos. I  have always been interested in video and editing and this was a great opportunity to go out there explore and do what I enjoy, putting it all together.

This video that I made is a contrast of still shots of Venice at ‘peace’ and then the story is followed by time lapses of the people and boats to enhance the fast paced city.

Lacking the equipment to video, I was very pleased how the video has come out in the end considering I have videoed everything on my iPhone 5s. Obviously having a better resolution would be much better but there is something about having this rustic and rough feeling about the video which I think really adds to its atmosphere and the city of Venice itself.

Here’s my video:

Along with the video I began some book binding and made a mini ‘Venice Book’ that includes some sketches of Venice and woodcut prints. I wanted the video not to be the only memory of Venice to bring back but also something physical like a book.

I have done my exam today and my professors was pleased with my work and really liked my book binding. Giving me a full score of credits!

Overall I have enjoyed this module in terms of it pushing me to go out and record the city. I have learned more about Adobe Cut Pro CC which will benefit me next year and nothing can take away those memories I have recorded from me.

Field – Language Environment PDP

I was really excited to start this module at the start of the term. I was looking forward to working outside my discipline area and working with other people. I have never done any installation work nor any performance writing. I found the workshops very broad and each week we were introduced to different ideas and ways of working which have broaden the ways in which we could base our final piece on. I have enjoyed all of the sessions/workshops and Camilla Nelson was definitely very helpful and informative in order to help us be creative and think deeper into what is language environment and how we could create our own. Each week we attended different workshops consisting of experimenting with different languages; sound, book art, body performance, nature, etc. After finding out what I would want to base my final piece on it became rather easier than harder. I was sure I wanted to do something that I have not done before and being introduced to book art and its artists I was very excited to start it and think about what I want to convey and where I want to install my piece. I have never worked with book art and that was definitely outside of my comfort zone but having helpful tutorials and people around the school who know how to do book binding was extremely useful for me. I really enjoyed spending my time in Typography room letter pressing my books, doing interesting research, book binding and planning where to install my book.

The piece that I have created was aimed to be frustrating inside(content of the book) as well as the outside(environment/elevator). Looking at how I wanted to create my language environment, I concentrated on the emotion my book wanted to convey and the location I wanted to pick. I wanted everything to come together in one and connect, did not want anything being anywhere randomly. My purpose of the book was for the audience/readers to feel it, take it in their hands and read it. Read it like a normal book. But I wanted to add things to the environment for the viewer to enhancer their experience. Therefore my book was installed in the elevator in the B Block and the content of the book involved the viewer to be ask things to do that were impossible thus making them frustrated thus creating a language environment, eg. ‘Meow like a dog’ or something physical as ‘Tear this’ and attached was a piece of metal.

I feel that Language Environment was a great module with a lot of possibilities. A the end of week 2 and our workshop sessions I had a lot of to choose from which is very important for us students as we don’t want to be stuck doing something we don’t enjoy or we don’t have a choice in choosing. Also these sessions pushed me into the typography room and paper making. It meant I was doing something completely new and therefore I am grateful to have done this module

Overall the sessions were very well delivered and I feel I have really engaged in them all and importantly in a new field of study which was Book Art.