Gabrielle Spooner (she / her)
MY ARTIST STATEMENT:
My practice considers the visual study and understanding of both digital and traditional painting, exploring the reproduction of techniques that can be utilised in both. The manipulative qualities between physical paint and the artist’s hand can be imitated digitally, whilst methods of digital art are also capable of being portrayed traditionally. Through the use of softwares such as Procreate and Adobe Photoshop, I am able to explore, alter and plan compositions I intend to take out of the screen and onto a physical material. All pieces created start digitally, either building spaces from a blank screen and using a software’s painting tools to build a composition, or distorting and manipulating photographs I take myself. The final digital piece rarely takes exact replicated form when reproduced with traditional painting methods. However, with the focus of certain graphic image qualities such as the boldness and flatness of colour, duplication of photographic imagery and inclusion of harsh line, a connection to the digital can be reproduced through traditional approaches. I aim to disorientate the spectator’s understanding of what is physical painting and what is digital through exchanging methods and applying them to the other, creating paintings that appear perhaps computerised, and printing digital work that appears perhaps traditionally painted. Through embracing both methods of painting, I challenge popular mindsets that the rise of digital art is a threat to conventional methods and instead seek to reveal how each can be used to benefit and push the limitations of the other.
An inclusion of hyper realist objects in my work, completed with oil paint, are inspired by the Surrealist movement and the works of artists such as Salvador Dalí. The use of found objects and their considered placement within my work encourages a sense of unsettled familiarity as the spectator recognises the object through it’s realistic qualities, gravitational consideration and three dimensional features, yet it’s positioning within the painting and association to the setting is somewhat unexplainable. This juxtaposition of object to setting is inspired by narratives of psychoanalysis and the dream-state studied by Sigmund Freud. The mental experience of dreams often relate to our observations and experiences of day to day life, influenced by all elements digital and not, which I portray through the fanciful placement of suggestive object in spaces that do not entirely appear to be real. The combination of abstraction with realism creates a composition that challenges reality through a lack of realistic qualities combined with hyper-real elements.
The consideration of auto-theory within my work is further vital to its purpose. I examine personal experiences and thoughts, applying them to larger discussed opinions and movements. The state of uncertainty was rife following the Covid-19 pandemic, altering my belief in control and inducing complete isolation to me for the first time. Following research of Freud’s psychoanalysis, I began to explore my visual reasonings behind my attraction to certain motifs, such as the use of the room and an enclosed space. This reflected on my feeling of confinement, encouraging me to create spaces that restricted but also questioned a state of familiarity. My pieces seek to spur an intimate connect to self-reflection; a ritual both peaceful yet arduous. The inclusion of isolated objects and points of singular focus intend to bemuse and attract the spectator’s gaze to consider the relationship to reality the compositions exert. The liminal evocation I push to discuss in my work is through creating spaces that appear transitional: the use of surrealist elements in their ability to imagine and create a space that subverts our understanding of reality, whilst also adding a disconcerting feel of solitude in unusual and isolated object inclusion. The combination of the liminal, meditative yet daunting point of discomfort and self-reflection echoed in my own experiences of isolation, are aimed to be expressed in the incongruities of my compositions.