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Richard Brooks - Reflective Journal

About the Artist RWB Journal

My work is informed by my personal faith, sense of vulnerability, bereavement, and, my personal experience.

My practice centres on addressing social justice issues of the human condition. I avoid making work of any individual person; so that neither, is the individual stigmatised, nor is the work unduly personalised.

Since January 2012 I have used this blog as part of my reflective journal.
Included in this journal is some of my documentation of my research; the underlined text provides links to web pages etc that have formed part of my research.
The Research Visits category includes some responses to gallery visits.

Nature Art & God: “What’s in a Face?”

Research Visit Posted on Wed, October 31, 2012 12:11:01

This was another excellent study day at ECAT led by the photographic artist, John Williams

It was stimulating how JW made photographs that were in themselves 3d artefacts.

Chris Burden then led a thought provoking discussion on the act of seeing – how by seeing merely the surface something deeper, emotional is also perceived/ communicated. He went on to observe that our viewing is pre-conditioned and organised through our native culture.

He went on to liken the vocation of artist and priest to being that of seeing and haring – to see things and people as they really are and to share these insights – to lead others out of Plato’s cave. This I found very affirming and encouraging as it seemed to resonate well with my aspirations for my own practice.

In the afternoon we built and experimented with simple camera obscura; and it was enlightening to see how a small slit rather than a round whole can be used to distort the image. This has really intrigued me and I have noted this as an avenue for future exploration as, at present, it does not seem to be a relevant process for my current work. I was interested to see how this effects the way that other animals will see, such as cats that have [slit] elongated elliptical rather than circular pupils.

However, the thought of being able to distort the image, as it is either made or projected through a slit, does seem to have potential to critique the blinkered distorted view of the world that most of us have. We see it from our own viewpoint, which is distorted by our own preconceptions, experiences and interests and perhaps even of how we would either like it to be or fear that it is.

A Context for Practice: Art, Theology & Social Ethics

NUA - weekly MA sessions Posted on Wed, October 31, 2012 11:41:42

I realise that I have omitted to share the mind map that I made as part of my preparations for the second weekly session on 11 October. This provides me with a good umbrella under which to frame my ongoing practice and research:

How important is an understanding of context, in the development of your practice?

NUA - weekly MA sessions Posted on Wed, October 31, 2012 11:27:18

The following question was suggested for my reflection:

“How important is an understanding of context, in the development of your practice?”

Having reflected over the last six days on this question of context here are some thoughts:

I accept that context is important to my work.

I am aware that my personal history, my research, both general and specific, and my world view from a faith perspective, all intertwine to inform and inspire my work.

The associciations with how the work is displayed also impact the reading of the work, and I think it is good if the work is able to transform the space in which it is located, or to at least engage with it.

However I also realise that the viewer will also come with their own context or “cloud” and this will impact on how they receive and perceive the work.

Thus I think that the context can be changeable and ephemeral, depending on the preoccupations of the maker or the viewer at that particular time. The context of making and viewing is a complex multilayed changing sea that I find, is advisable to try and assess; however, I do not think I will ever be able to truly fully understand it.