I am excited to have been accepted into a 2 week workshop at Salzburg International
Summeracademy of Fine Arts. Sadly Covid has put a stop to me visiting Austria so instead I will attend Francis Ruyter Picture Generation class from 2–14 August 2021 remotely – thanks to Metal Peterborough who have offered me the use of their project space.
Francis wrote this as workshop introduction:
Artists often keep an archive of images around their workspace for inspiration. But what is the relationship and process between looking at something and integrating that into art practice, whether it is a literal or abstract integration? What is it that makes a portrait of a person sitting for that portrait so magnetic? Looking is a tool that can be used when one is lost for an idea of where to start making an artwork, or it can function as a foundation, grounding us well to be able to depart on flights of fantasy. Looking is far from a passive activity. If looking is, therefore, a productive activity, we can improve the impact of an individual work by developing perceptive skills along with artistic ones.
With the global acceleration of image production, can we do something to mediate, or even transform this collective looking into something more productive than it often feels, or do we need to hold on to and treasure the private sphere of immediate experiences? Perception is perhaps less about fixed truths and realities than about world-building. What does it mean when we want to make a connection outside the world that we have built around ourselves?
The Summer Academy was founded in 1953 by artist Oskar Kokoschka founded as the “School of Seeing”. This first summer academy of art in Europe was an international meeting-place for people of diverse origins, age and social background, and a counterpart to traditional national art academies. There was no room in Kokoschka’s teaching concept for a dividing line between artistic skill and a comprehensive intellectual and humanistic education.