Whilst I was thinking about possible themes for my proposal, I certainly wanted to go along the theme of nature within art, as it’s a theme that is ongoing in my own practise and something I have always had interest in. Growing up in rural Shropshire, the British landscape has always been so important to me. When it came to deciding what we were going to propose, I struggled to think about what aspect of nature I wanted to write a thesis on, as I knew this would be ongoing for a year and I wanted to make a good decision. I was slightly disheartened that I hadn’t used my time very wisely and left the reading till the last few weeks, but luckily it’s a subject I am interested in so I got into it quite quickly. After a few meetings with Jon, I decided that looking at landscapes would be an ideal subject to talk about.
The British landscape has been portrayed by humans since time began, it interests me because a landscape shows life at that specific moment in time. A landscape is ever changing due to human intervention, and Jon explained to me how the St Ives artists in Cornwall achieved a breakthrough in abstract expressionism within the landscape. I began to look in the library for contextual research in the form of books and journals. Although, I struggle with the literature side of reading and writing I found background reading relatively fun because I enjoy learning about the changes in art history. Especially in abstract expressionism as I don’t have much knowledge on how it came about and why, from reading I have found some really interesting concepts within the abstract landscape which I want to talk about in detail in my thesis.
I decided to think about how to plan out my dissertation, and how I want to go through my key concepts and ideas within the abstract landscape in Britain. I am glad I am talking about the St Ives artists in Cornwall because I think the Cornish landscape is breath taking and there are so many landmarks which make it unique and exciting to paint. The main key themes I will be targeting within my dissertation are those of naivety, cubism, abstraction, symbolism and lastly but most importantly experience. I feel this is the most important in terms of abstract art because it gives us so much more to paint other than the visual, by remembering your thoughts and feelings when visiting a place we are able to express those on the canvas. Aspects of landscape like the weather as well can play a huge part to an abstract piece, recreating ones experiences within a place means thinking about all aspects of that place which makes it site specific. Throughout my dissertation this will be my ongoing argument that the psychological and physical experience of the place and the relationship that place has with the artists, makes a landscape what it is and allows the viewer to share those feelings and experiences.