Homage

Coursework 1.2, Creative Arts 1.2 Creative Arts Skills, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 1: Identify, Locate and Plan

Homage in art refers to the act of paying tribute or showing respect to a particular artist or artwork. This can take many forms, such as replicating a famous piece of art, referencing specific elements or techniques used by another artist, or simply acknowledging the influence of a particular artist on one’s own work.

One way in which homage is often seen in art is through the use of appropriation, in which an artist takes elements from another work and incorporates them into their own. This can be seen in the use of ready-made objects or images and the incorporation of techniques or styles from other artists. For example, many modern artists have appropriated the styles and techniques of the Impressionists or the Surrealists, using their techniques and styles as a starting point for their own work.

Another way in which homage is often seen in art is through the use of tribute or reference. This can be seen in using specific elements or symbols associated with a particular artist or artwork, such as a particular colour palette or a specific composition. For example, many artists have paid tribute to the work of Vincent van Gogh by incorporating elements of his style and techniques into their own work, such as the use of thick, expressive brushstrokes or the use of bright, bold colours.

Overall, homage in art serves as a way for artists to pay tribute to the work of their peers and predecessors and acknowledge their influence on their own work. Whether through appropriation, tribute, or reference, homage is an important way for artists to connect with the art of the past and to pay respect to those who have paved the way for their own artistic endeavours.

Homage originally meant a feudal ceremony in which a man acknowledged himself as a lord’s vassal (Merriam-Webster, 2018). The root is homo from the Latin meaning man, with the vassal being a king’s male subject officially becoming the ‘king’s man’ through this ritual known as a homage. It was a very public declaration of respect, with a bond forged between the king and the vassal.

In the creative world, this idea of respect is still evident and has the public declaration aspect too. The term refers to “a painting, movie, poem or other creative work where the maker adopts the recognisable content or features used by another practitioner, or a particular work, often as a way to demonstrate admiration, sometimes as a critique of a particular issue” (Open College of the Arts, 2022).

Examples of Homage

Some famous examples of homage in painting include:
“The Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dali: This surrealist painting, which features melting clocks and other strange objects, is often seen as a homage to the work of Marcel Duchamp and the Dada movement. Dali was heavily influenced by Duchamp and the Dadaists, and many of the elements in “The Persistence of Memory” are references to their work.

Salvador Dali paid homage to Marcel Duchamp in several ways throughout his career. One of the most notable ways in which Dali paid homage to Duchamp was through his use of surrealist techniques and motifs, which were heavily influenced by Duchamp’s work and the Dada movement.

Dali was heavily influenced by Duchamp’s use of ready-mades or ordinary objects presented as works of art and often incorporated these elements into his own work. For example, Dali’s painting “The Persistence of Memory” features melting clocks and other strange objects, which are reminiscent of Duchamp’s use of found objects in his artwork.

In addition to his use of ready-mades, Dali also paid homage to Duchamp through his use of Surrealist techniques and motifs, such as the use of unexpected or irrational elements in his artwork. Duchamp was a key figure in the Surrealist movement, and Dali’s work was heavily influenced by this movement and its ideas.

“The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh: This famous painting, which depicts a turbulent night sky over a small village, is often seen as a homage to the Impressionists’ work.

“The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh is often seen as a homage to the Impressionists’ work, particularly the work of Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Van Gogh was heavily influenced by the Impressionists and was particularly drawn to their use of bright, bold colours and loose, expressive brushstrokes.

One way in which “The Starry Night” pays homage to Monet and Renoir is through its use of colour. Like the Impressionists, van Gogh uses a vibrant, bold colour palette in this painting, with bright blues and greens used to depict the night sky and the trees. This use of bright, expressive colours is reminiscent of the work of Monet and Renoir, who were known for using bold, vibrant colours in their paintings.

Another way in which “The Starry Night” pays homage to the Impressionists is through its use of brushstrokes. Van Gogh’s brushstrokes are loose and expressive, with thick, textured strokes used to depict the swirling clouds and the rippling surface of the village pond. This use of expressive brushstrokes is similar to the techniques used by the Impressionists, who sought to capture the fleeting, ephemeral nature of light and colour in their paintings.

“The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli: This painting, which depicts the goddess Venus emerging from the sea, is often seen as a homage to the work of the ancient Greek and Roman sculptors. Botticelli was heavily influenced by classical art, and many of the elements in “The Birth of Venus” reflect this influence, including the use of classical poses and the depiction of the goddess as a figure of beauty and grace.

One way in which “The Birth of Venus” pays homage to classical sculpture is through its depiction of the human form. The figure of Venus in this painting is depicted in a classical pose, with her arms extended out to the sides and her body turned slightly to the left. This pose is reminiscent of the poses used by ancient Greek and Roman sculptors, who often depicted their subjects in graceful, elegant poses.

Another way in which “The Birth of Venus” pays homage to classical sculpture is through its use of ornamentation and decorative elements. The painting features a number of classical motifs, such as the shells and seaweed that surround Venus, as well as the use of classical architectural elements in the background. These elements are reminiscent of classical sculpture’s ornate, decorative style.

Look back – Look now – Look forward to the Skills Hub

Coursework 1.2, Creative Arts 1.2 Creative Arts Skills, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 1: Identify, Locate and Plan

Completing 1.1 Experience Creative Arts was quite a battle at the end, due to time frames and my own procrastination. Yes, I had a lot going on in terms of family commitments, work, travel etc but I need to be more disciplined going forwards and carve out some time. I have noticed, it is a tendency I have where I love to start new things but when the going gets tough I fold a little under pressure and put things off. I think partly it is a fear of failure and wanting to be perfect, something I battled with in my learning log for 1.1, but I am determined to start 1.2 Creative Arts Skills on the correct footing again.

I have started to complete my Personal Framework Document. I cannot yet complete the sections on assessment as I am yet to apply, I will be going for the January window when it opens as I missed the Autumn session.

One thing on this course I am very excited about is the skills hub. I have struggled to narrow down my choices as so many of them appeal to me but I have currently selected:

  • Project 2 – Painting with Colour
  • Project 4 – Creating Characters
  • Project 6 – Typography and Layout

Painting has been a long-term interest of mine and I wish I had created more painted creative responses in 1.1, so I am looking forward to focusing on this in 1.2 for a while. However, another big interest is characters and storytelling, through painting, video and written work so I am looking forward to working on ‘Creating Characters’ too. Finally, I feel typography and layout are such fundamental skills that can be applied across a range of disciplines and so I feel rounding out project 6 with this will be hugely beneficial.

I think these three courses are across a wide range of disciplines and so I am intrigued as to how I bring them together in an interdisciplinary practice throughout the entire course. At the moment, I am very open-minded as to how this might happen and want to go with my creative flow and see what ends up being produced.

Research in Creative Practitioners

In order to start thinking more deeply about the skills hub choices, I have done some initial research into practitioners who use these skills in their work.

Painting with Colour

Made with Padlet

Creating Characters

Made with Padlet

Typography and Layout

Made with Padlet

Assignment Eight: Creating an Archive

Assignment 8 - Creating an Archive, Creative Arts BA (Hons)

After experimenting with padlet, a website and a presentation, I wanted to create a creative archive in a video format.

I wanted to focus on the place of Newgrange but also the concepts of Irish mythology, spirals and a collection of people’s thoughts about Newgrange and the myths.

Nothing is explained in detail, it is a snapshot of different visuals and audio including traditional Irish music, Celtic musical background, Images of Ireland, oral storytelling of the Irish myths, an interview about Newgrange, and snippets of a documentary.

I don’t give any specific links between the material, the viewer is left to make their own links.

Exercise 3: Plan the form of your archive

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 8: Creating and Archive

There are a few ideas I experimented with before settling on the idea of a film.

Website

I did consider making an archival website that could be an ongoing project in which I would come back and add material to.

I started to draft out a layout:

However, I decided this would become too static and like a presentation of facts rather than allow me to be truly creative with how I presented the archive.

It is still something I might come back and do in addition to the film at some point.

With a website, people could follow their own journey and focus on the areas they are interested in, which might appeal to some people viewing.

User Guide

One idea I do like is to create a user guide to go alongside the film I am making. This might be in the form of a pdf or website to accompany it. This would allow me to add extra detail, not in the final film, full versions of the creative writing pieces and more images than I end up including.

Reflection

As soon as I started making the website it felt like it wasn’t the right final idea for me. Since the start of this course I have been inspired by Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and the film that went alongside it. I do want to focus on film over a website.

Newgrange is a very physical process and I like the idea of collating the information digitally.

Exercise 2: Create an Inventory

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 8: Creating and Archive

How will my archive be navigated by others?

I am going to create a documentary-type video about Newgrange. It will contain readings of creative writing pieces about the people who made it, maps, video montages, and still images set to music. I want it to be in the same style as the Spiral Jetty film that was made to accompany Robert Smithson’s creation.
People will watch the video to navigate it.

Materials in archive

ItemFormDetails
Map of Ireland showing the locationDigital imageZooming in on the map to show where Newgrange is
Images of NewgrangeDigital collageVoiceover descriptions added
Stories of people who made the spiralsPiece of writingCreative writing piece – excerpts read out in the film
Video footage of people making the spiralsVideo clipsVideos will be sourced from modern stock footage but made to look like they are the people making the spirals
Video of myself making spiral artVideo clipsClips inserted of real spiral sketches
Myth readings and poemsPieces of writingExcerpts read out of myths associated with newgrange

In making a film, the narrative is chosen by me. I can decide the order people must view the final piece. They cannot wander around the archive and decide on their own journey. It is dictated to them. It will allow me to interweave fact and fiction in a convincing way.

Exercise 1: Gathering your archive

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 8: Creating and Archive

Event – the making of the Newgrange Spirals

I have decided to start gathering material for my archive on padlet.

Padlet link: https://padlet.com/claire5279411/spiralarchive

Reflection

What types of material do you think will be in your archive?

Photographs, maps, fiction stories, timelines

Are you going to gather physical or digital items?

Digital but with some physical elements recorded digitally

Will the actual material gathered, and the way you present your archive be the same? For example, you might choose to gather fabric samples, but present them as a digital collection, or collect newspaper cuttings, but present them as/alongside creative writing.

Any physical items will be recorded digitally

Will your archive be solely factual, fictional, or a bit of both?

Both. I like the idea of extrapolating the factual into fictional stories too.

Will you acknowledge your own subjectivity as the creator of this archive?

Yes, as this period is so unknown, there is always going to be a degree of subjectivity.

Who will this archive be for? Is it to be used as a research site for others? Is it artwork? Is it for personal use?

I like the idea of it being a jumping point for other people’s research but also a chance to do some creative writing and exploring ideas personally.

Walid Raad – The Atlas Group

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 8: Creating and Archive

Raad’s archival practice follows this idea of fictionalisation and raises questions about what is fact and what is fiction when looking at archives and records of past events. Born in Lebanon, Raad’s practice often focuses on the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990), and is a good example of how a creative practice can archive an event. Raad often presents his work as ‘research projects’ by ‘The Atlas Group’, and the work often adopts the form of documentary film and photography, literary artefacts, conference presentations or lectures, and archival dossiers. All of Raad’s work is rich with examples of how a creative practice might use or invent archival material.

OCA website

Walid Raad often makes work concerned with the representation of traumatic events. Base don his past of growing up in Lebanon and having to move to the USA in 1983 due to conflict in Beirut.

The Atlas Group is a fictional foundation that he created to accommodate and contextualise his growing output of works documenting the civil wars. It addresses issues around infrastructure, and societal and psychic devastation wrought by the wars, which he then re-dates and attributes to an array of invented figures. All of his work is processed digitally.

His work blurs the lines between fiction and reality. He often says different things at different times about the collective. Sometimes saying they were formed in 1967, other times in 1999. To build on this idea of fiction v reality.

My Neck is Thinner than a Hair (2001)

Picture from moma.org

My neck is thinner than a hair: Engines explores some of the thousands of car bomb explosions that occurred in Lebanon during its wars. Raad presents photographs from newspaper archives of the engines that were blasted out of the exploded cars. Though the engines rarely served as evidence in investigations of the violence, he notes that politicians often posed next to them to suggest that they were doing everything in their power to solve the crimes. In probing some of the lesser-explored aspects of the wars in Lebanon, he highlights our readiness to accept as facts the photographs and official narratives that are presented to us.

Let’s Be Honest, The Weather Helped (1998)

Image from http://www.stedelijk.nl/

In Let’s be honest, the weather helped, he shares his perceptive, critical, politically engaged, and often playful perspective of the complexities of the Lebanese wars and the current boom of contemporary art in the Middle East. Raad works in a wide variety of visual media, complemented by performances and essays.

Reflection

What I really like about Walid Raad’s approach that I want to use in my own archive is that he takes a real event like the Lebanese War and tells the story in a thought-provoking way but uses fiction and creativity to do so. We are left questioning, what is real and what is added on. Is the reality better or worse than the vision Raad shows us. It asks us to look at news reports in a critical way as particularly during wars they are fictionalised too to promote the propaganda of whichever perspective they are telling the story from.

References

Grrr.nl (2019). Walid Raad – Let’s be honest, the weather helped. [online] http://www.stedelijk.nl. Available at: https://www.stedelijk.nl/en/news/lets-be-honest-weather-helped.

MoMA (n.d.). MoMA | The Atlas Group/Walid Raad. My Neck Is Thinner Than a Hair: Engines. 1996–2004. [online] http://www.moma.org. Available at: https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/walid-raad-my-neck-is-thinner-than-a-hair-engines-1996-2004/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2022].


Case Study: Karenjit Sandu, Poetic Fragments from the Irritating Archive

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 8: Creating and Archive

Poetic Fragments from the Irritating Archive is a multimodal text by Karenjit Sandhu which brings together poetry, found language, objects, sound and performance. 

What do you notice about the form of the work and how it evolves across the fragments? 

There is a general theme of irritation and feeling uncomfortable across all the fragments. The fragments are put together in such a way that they induce this feeling of panic and irritation in the viewer which seems counterproductive to what an artist would normally want to do. Historically art was made to make us feel comfortable, have an aesthetic pleasure and something that people would want to spend time around. This is different.

At which point in the work do you find yourself irritated? Or do you experience another type of feeling?

I’d say my overall feeling is one of uncomfortable and unease rather than irritation.

Does your experience of the work change as you are led through the fragments?

My experience just builds as the fragments progress. I want the piece to end as I feel like I could be spending my time doing something better. I don’t enjoy the feeling that this is frustrating and I want to do something else. I am confused as to why an artist would want people to want to leave their piece of work.

How do my research methods inform your own creative practice? 

I think for me, the main takeaway of this is to explore ideas that I would normally be uncomfortable with. Art doesn’t have to be pleasing or induce any sort of pleasure. Maybe sometimes the most powerful pieces are those that make us question why we feel uncomfortable.

In what way have my practice methods shaped your thinking on archival practice?

My thinking on archival practice has changed considerably. Initially, I was in the mindset of it being a collection of objects, like a museum archive. That they would be prettily displayed with information that was engaging and educational to the audience. This piece has made me think about the different ways that an archive could be collated and presented. It doesn’t have to be historical or around a physical theme, this is around a feeling which is an interesting perspective to take.

What bearing does the fictionalisation of the archive have on the themes of ‘Time’ and ‘Place’?

This is perhaps the most exciting element for me. That an archive can have a huge creative license. It doesn’t have to be grounded in truth or reality. We can explore alternative worlds, alternative timelines and ideas that are based in fiction and creativity instead.

The Last Push

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons)

A new plan of action as I have five days before I need to submit my final Assignment 10 and due to being ill again, I am behind.

I very much want to complete everything and get it submitted to move on to 1.2 and so I am going to just focus on my final submission and tie in parts of Assignments 8, 9 and 10.

Having looked at them, this will work as Assignment 8 is the first step in creating my final archive which I have already started to plan based on the feedback I got from my tutor on assignments 5, 6 and 7.

Let’s focus and go!