How can the texture of painting offer a different kind of engagement to the texture of design? Slickness of digital media VS craft, materiality of paint.

My work is currently dealing with how design co-opts art, and the notion of sublime painting in reference to advertising and our digital world. I’m attempting to plug into our throwaway, consumer culture through the use of found furniture & sculptural objects as new substrates for painting.¬†

I realise design is about purpose, it’s about communicating something specific you can culturally relate too. This way it can influence my work by bringing more physicality into it, making my work more iconic, focusing on specific relatable objects.

This idea led me to research items of furniture, which I could potentially replicate, or apply my style to.¬†Looking at an everyday object and changing it’s personality. I’ve been researching the arts and craft movement/ Bauhaus (my current work feels more decorative). Also looking at contemporary design agencies/designers as research points; The Beautiful Meme, Made Thought, Matt de Jong, as examples.

I’m interested in the idea of blurring the boundary between medias.. Is it a painting, or a sculpture, or a free standing design object that could go in an office space?

Room dividers & rotating full length mirrors were in my mind at the start of term. I ordered some ugly room dividers off Ebay, & painted on the cheap nylon fabric to see how it would look. Really bad, is how it looks, but ideas have formed from continuing to look at it. Could play more with folding in other works, or hiding something behind a piece. I played around with the presentation of this object (below). Room dividers reflect an incompleteness, lingering in a room, are they hiding or separating. I’ve also been looking at screen-like structures, reflecting the digital. I’d like to construct my own set of dividers, at some point. I had wanted to achieve this during this term, but I got distracted by a new idea to work on steel, curved shapes.

From working on furniture, I’m focusing on blending together design objects with painting. I’ve been doing this quite literally, by taking an element from my painting style (slashes/lines) and appropriating my own gestures in a design sense, on to the shape of an object. Through this method, I’m creating a new language for my practice by becoming less expressionist. This is pretty against my normal self-indulgent desire to express my varied/extreme emotions on to a canvas through large areas of colour, gesture, line and layers. I’m editing my style to figure out how to make it more modern and communicative to an audience. I’m editing it down to a very basic shape and style. There’s an impersonality to the abstract expressive technique at present –> I hope to come back round to my expressive nature with more attitude, but I need to go through this reduction process first. It’s all new for my practice, all an experiment at present.



Abigail Moffat