Analogue Dreaming

My main passion as an artist is Modernist architecture, in its original context as a positive utopia for future living, and its current state as overlooked and somewhat failed. Photography is the medium i most often employ and have developed a distinctive personal style over the past few years, but i am also in the process of exploring other media such as painting and collage.
My photography blog can be found at http://paths-and-angles.tumblr.com/

i also have a passion for 20th century culture, particularly the '70s and '80s, and much of my artwork executed in my spare time draws on illustrative Pop styles of these eras. i have also recently completed a project in taking this into a fine art context, in particular exploring fan culture in relation to the '70s glam rock era.

Currently i am taking a year out of study to spend time creating work and re-applying to start my degree. This blog will serve to document self-initiated projects and work created during this time, and in the future.

i am also hoping to sell prints of my photographs and if you are interested in a custom commission then please don't hesitate to contact me.
*** NOW OPEN TO COMMISSIONS ***

I am now taking commissions! If you would like your own custom artwork, complete with your own personal choice of colour scheme and size, then do not hesitate to get in touch.

The abstract pieces such as those shown above are created using a logical yet completely improvised process, so each work is unique, and no two pieces are alike.

If you would like to order a photographic print of one of my images, then please let me know, as I can provide a custom service of a 15x10” print of your choice on great quality glossy paper for just £15 + postage. 

If you would be more interested in a fashion illustration or architectural-themed work, then, again, just drop me a message and we can discuss pricing and further details.
Please contact me either on my personal blog at ultra-pulp-images.tumblr.com or on my Facebook page.
Many thanks,
Robin

For both the first painting of this series and my first architectural painting in years, I felt this was a good start. Unlike my previous collage works and drawings, I did not aim for a flat image in block colours, rather I wanted to depict the different tonal qualities present in the structure’s brickwork, as well as light and shadow in other aspects of the design. I felt quite confident with painting small, accurate geometric shapes, but felt the need to use the permanent marker where necessary, to define smaller areas and in some cases rather to “hint” at a shape and evoke slight shadows, than to create a flat image overall. Despite a few small issues with perspective, I feel that this was quite a successful piece.

Drawn collages - Barbican and Churchill Gardens estates. Biro, felt-tip and permanent marker.

Work-in-progress of Serco Illustration Prize entry.

Here’s what I’ve been busy with over the past few weeks.

I was delighted to hear of the Serco Illustration Prize 2014 with its theme of “London Stories”, in association with the London Transport Museum. With recent research on the Festival of Britain still fresh in my mind, as well as my abstracted architectural drawings, the piece tied in well with myself-initated project, and I decided to go with the idea of illustrating the story of London’s Southbank, where the Festival itself was held and is now home to some of my favourite buildings, including the National Theatre and the Hayward Gallery, and not to mention one of London’s most famous landmarks, the London Eye.

Inspired by the Modernist art and design movement, I feel my work pays homage to those such as Man Ray, Abram Games and Edward McKnight-Kauffer, whose own images adorned London Transport’s ephemera, stations and signage in the early 20th century, and signalled a bright, modern future.

Acrylic paint, china marker and biro on mountboard, A1 size. A lot of hard work over the past few weeks, but certainly worth it. Fingers crossed … 

Prints for Sale

I am currently saving up whatever I can to help fund my future studies and living in London (hopefully!) from September 2014 onwards, and fortunately I have a lot of screen-prints to spare from my final major project in my second year of college.

Individual prints are £4.50 each, or you can buy two for £7.50. Postage is extra.

The prints are not quite all the same size, most are just smaller than A4, as this was how they were cut up at the time. The coloured prints are on sugar paper, and the pure white ones are on a thicker cartridge paper.

If you are interested in buying any of these prints then either message me directly on here or contact me via Facebook, and we can organise a payment. please don’t hesitate to contact me also if you have any enquiries about the prints. Thanks.

analogue-dreaming:

Spontaneously got the urge to do some painting over the weekend, so over the past few days i got on with this. Drawn from an image of Jerry Hall from a photoshoot by Norman Parkinson for Vogue, 1975. It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad, and i’m fairly pleased with it. This as my first time using canvas textured paper, and it was a little challenging at times, but bearable, and best suited to the medium. Not sure why i did it, purely because, well, i felt like it, and i’m not sure what to do with it, but either way, it’s done. Not sure the photo quite does the metallic background justice though. Acrylic on paper, 20” x 16”.

I am selling this painting for £30, please message me if you’re interested.

The Festival of Britain was a national festival centred on a public exhibition situated at London’s Southbank from May to September in 1951. It was initially planned as a kind of follow-up event to the Great Exhibition of 1851, but in a new, modern context. The aims of the Festival were to introduce a post-war nation to innovations in modern design, architecture, science and technology, but to also celebrate Britain itself, and to provide pure pleasure, relief and enjoyment to a public who were feeling the depressive effects of a war-torn homeland, and the event proved to succeed in all of these aims. It also succeeded in fully integrating the seemingly divergent fields of science, fine art and architecture. One of the chief figures of the Festival, Misha Black, reflects that it aimed “to show that painters and sculptors could work with architects, landscape architects and exhibition designers to produce an aesthetic unity.” It could be said that their involvement with the Festival raised the profile and status of people of these professions.

The Southbank site was comprised of several exhibition structures, including the Dome of Discovery, the Lion & Unicorn Pavilion, and the Land of Britain pavilion, as well as the sculptural Skylon structure, a tall, futuristic illumination, and the more permanent Royal Festival Hall. Architecture was overseen by Hugh Casson, and was influenced largely by the Northern European modernism of Germany and Scandinavia (the latter’s Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 was seen as a model for the Festival). For many of the Festival’s visitors, this innovative, bright and modern environment was a world away from the ruins and remains of the older, grey atmosphere which dominated the nation – but the Modernist optimism of the event pointed towards the new direction architecture would take in the coming years.

Despite being promoted as an apolitical event, the Festival shared many concerns of the Labour government of the time, providing a vision of a new Britain committed to social welfare and Modernism. The Festival was an ideal opportunity to introduce the project of reconstructing the nation in such a way to the public. Ralph Tubbs, architect of the Dome of Discovery, believed that urban planning should consider the wants of the ordinary family, and such beliefs of those involved in the Festival project could only confirm the event’s distinctly left-wing flavour. The introduction of the new Modernist aesthetic to the public was also a very radical idea, as the style opposed even middle-class tastes, which were at this time still firmly rooted in more traditional, embellished aesthetics.

The Festival successfully caught a balance between transmitting wider public information on scientific and technological matters, and all-round fun and pleasure. It combined an educational and informative experience with one of delight and entertainment that could be enjoyed by many. Most importantly, it brought about a sense of wonder and positivity to a nation damaged by a horrific war, and pointed towards an optimistic future. Despite only existing for a matter of 5 months, the Festival left an extensive legacy which is still felt today. Its innovative modern energy paved the way for the radical cultural and social changes to Britain that would occur in the 1960s, and its aesthetic sensibility would influence many areas of British art, design and architecture throughout the remainder of the 20th century, reshaping the daily lives and landscapes of Britain.

Of the major national events of the early 1950s, the Festival often seems to be dismissed by the public memory in favour of the Coronation of 1953. Better suited to the succeeding Conservative government, the latter event draws on the tradition of British events that tend to be more memorable in the public eye. But the Festival should not be forgotten, despite its temporary, ephemeral status. After it closed, the Southbank structures, excluding the Royal Festival Hall, were dismantled and demolished, the site cleared and left dormant for years on end. But the laying of a foundation stone for a new National Theatre on the site hinted towards a new potential cultural hub on the Southbank, and the development of several venues (built in the then-modern Brutalist style) on the site throughout the 1960s and ‘70s ensured that the legacy of the Festival would live on for newer generations. Today the Southbank thrives as a cultural centre, including the National Theatre, the Hayward Gallery and the British Film Institute, and the debts owed to the planners, designers and innovators of the Festival are many.

My research into the Festival of Britain has left me thoroughly inspired. Such a modern, architectural milestone at such a time would sufficiently catch my attention, but the Festival’s integration of a socialist agenda and conscience is particularly fascinating, given my own political views. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the event is indeed its context, that it was conceived and executed shortly after the Second World War to provide enjoyment and relief for the nation, something to inspire and astound, and for people of all classes and positions to enjoy, with an aesthetic that discards the negative connotations of the traditional, pre-war Britain, with its inadequacies and inequalities. In regards to my own creative practice and outlook, the Festival proves to be an encouraging muse in terms of the links between left-wing politics and the Modernist agenda. Having researched the inner workings of the Festival and its endeavours, I am equipped with more references to look to for motivation and ideas. In my own work I feel I have already harnessed the optimism and progressive thinking of the designers, architects and artists of the post-war era, and I hope to take this further. 

Southbank abstractions, exploiting the abstract qualities of Brutalist architecture found in London, using my own photographs as reference images. White pencil on black card.

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