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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.

Learning Agreement and Revised Artist Statement

NUA - weekly MA sessions Posted on Wed, November 14, 2012 20:33:34

It was encouraging to receive some encouraging feedback for my Learning Agreement last week. I have attached a copy below for information:

It was also good to discuss our draft [revised] artist statements; after carefully reflecting on the comment I received I further redrafted it and here is the latest rendition of my Artist Statement:

Richard Brooks is a visual artist who critiques issues of social ethics; as such he has been influenced by writers such as Charles Dickens, and informed by his theological studies. Brooks’s life experience of personal vulnerability has been significant in informing his work. Brooks’s work is predominantly realised through utilising photography and video.

The, apparent, verisimilitude of photographic, still and moving, images resonates with the desire to examine the human condition. A photograph is assumed to be true, it seems to provide evidence of that time and place. Brooks uses this presumption to challenge and raise questions for the viewer.

Although his work explores the human condition Brooks chooses not to make any individual the subject of his images; as this would unduly personalise the work. In the same way the locations of the vistas are not readily identifiable by ensuring that the location is not explicitly disclosed.

His work is contemplative so that the viewer is encouraged to linger and engage with the work and its subject matter. Brooks uses different elements in juxtaposition to create a dialogue between the works which prompts further reflection and questioning by the viewer.

I expect that this statement will be progressively further redrafted and refined before the final MA show in August 2013. I did find it rather challenging to compose when the art work is still very much in progress; I am far more comfortable writing such a stement once the work has been more fully resolved and substantially realised.



Coast 2012 Saturday 27 October 2012

Research Visit Posted on Wed, November 14, 2012 20:03:13

It was good to go to Coast 2012 opening day to see some of the exhibitions at Sheringham and to attend the Art and the Sea Study Day/Conference with Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

There was so much material that I am still digesting it two weeks later!

Of particular interest was the presentation by Artist Fran Crowe especially the discussion of her Saving a Mile of Sea project; this resonated with my own exploration of gathering detritus from human activity on a weekly basis from Nov 2011 to May 2012 along the same 200m stretch of beach. It was also encouraging to learn of the platform that she has set up for artists and writers in Suffolk and East Anglia to share their exploration of issues relating to the coast, as it states on the website, Landingstage:

Landingstage.net is a space for ideas…

We are a growing number of Suffolk artists and writers interested in coastal and climate change.

This website lets us explore these changes and our relationship with our environment here on the Suffolk coast.

The two presentations by speakers from The Crown Estate [Professor Mike Cowling, Chief Scientist, The sea and changes through time; and Professor Robin McInnes, Art and coastal change in East Anglia] were particularly illuminating, so much so that I have subsequently received two of the reports that Professor Robin McInnes was instrumental in producing [A COASTAL HISTORICAL RESOURCES GUIDE FOR ENGLAND; and, ART AS A TOOL IN SUPPORT OF THE UNDERSTANDING OF COASTAL CHANGE IN EAST ANGLIA].

After the conclusion of the study day it was good to be able to view some of the art work in the festival, although I think that the shows could have been improved by giving greater space to a smaller number of works.