SAVE YOURSELF – Francis Upritchard

Francis-Upritchard-1Aspects Of Upritchard’s art practice that resonate with me as discussed in the article ‘Psychic Pushing by Heather Galbraith in Upritchards book ‘Save Yourself’.

1 – ‘Upritchard’s works intentionally exploit the fruitful potentiality of getting things a bit wrong, they are never completely truthful to their sources. Their handmade quality makes them all the more intriguing, and approachable’ (pg 30)

I appreciate the ‘handmade’ aesthetic in this work and it is a aspect of my current work that I do not try to hide. To see fingermarks in clay speaks of the physical effort that has gone into the making of a work, the evidence of the artist hand. It gives the work a tribal more earthy feel as no evidence of machinery to create the work is obvious. I am working with this idea, it can be a struggle as I attempt to smooth everything as that is the approach I have always taken, to make something look polished, well made, seamless. There is certainly a freedom in leaving your mark and I feel more connected to my work by not scrubbing away my imprint – it is almost like signing your work all over the surface.

2 – ‘For Upritchard the physical act of making is central to the conceptual development of her work.’ (pg 31)

This is a biggie for me at present. Coming out of the week long seminar I was desperate to have this huge mind blowing idea that I could represent visually… total paralysis in art making was the result. Forgetting about creating meaning and just going back to intuitively producing as a starting point was very necessary. Daniel Von Sturmers talk at the Auckland Art Gallery helped me with this process as he mentioned the idea of play as an important aspect of art making. Sure enough I feel I am making progress with the conceptual development of my work and it is so blindingly obvious to me now that this can only happen though the physical act of making.

3 – ‘Upritchard, while aware of postcolonial discourse, is not interested in making didactic or overtly literal ‘political’ work, nor does she want to operate from a singular autobiographical position’ pg 32

This interests me as I believe Upritchard is extremely skilled at creating work that caters to such an immense range of viewers. Is this stand point of hers, a kind of ‘inbetween’ standpoint the reason she is so successful and such a crowd pleaser?




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