Honorary Research Associate
The Honorary Research Associate of the Materials Research Project is a role annually bestowed upon a practitioner by Jo Volley and Gary Woodley, Lecturers in Graduate Painting. As co-directors of the Material Research Project, Jo and Gary lead the Honorary Research Associate to investigate and explore a particular strand of materials research. To date, the focus has been on pigments, colour and food.
To view research by previous HRAs, please see the Archive.
Honorary Research Associate 2019/20 – Gabriela Giroletti
My paintings are the by-product of a range of everyday stimuli, accommodating music, film, literature and nature, the ordinary everywhere and nowhere. The work explores visual contemplation and the impalpable awareness of oneself, sitting between objectivity and subjectivity. We believe perception presents us the world as it truly is; nevertheless this perception is mediated by our bodily senses and by our individual life experiences.
Deliberately ambiguous, my paintings jolt between their crude materiality and their metaphysical aspect, encouraging the viewer to formulate peculiar connections with our tangible surroundings as well as with our individual and unique lived experience. Borderline abstract and figurative, still life and landscape, simple and complex, the work performs a push and pull game between body and mind, making and thinking: what is painted/how is painted.
Research project for the MRP
The main focus of my work within the Methods Room will be to explore the potential of surface preparation in painting and its relation to the finished work, exploring how the surface influences and controls the conception of a painting. My current painting research explores the relationship between the painted image (the meaning, the immaterial, the metaphor, the mind) and the material presence in the painting (the corporeal, the touch, the physical presence, the body). Although the metaphysical element is present, the work always relies on the material possibilities as a starting point, exploring the painting fundamentals: surface, colour, shape, pictorial space and gesture.
Alongside my practical investigation into new and known methods of surface preparation I will research other artists whose priming is central to their painting practice. Library research and practical workshops with the support from Jo Volley will be part of the means to lengthen my knowledge into this subject.
The work as HRA – Workshops
As HRA, I will develop a series of research workshops that will explore academic surface and surface as a medium.
I will not only explore the actual function of surface preparation, but also explore its potential as an experimental material that can be part of the artistic decision-making: how it can stand as a dynamic element for painting, being as much of a component of a painting as paint, thus having equal importance in the painting process.
The workshops that I will lead as HRA will consider the following points regarding surface preparation: tooth, absorbency, colour vibrancy, rigidity and coverage. After these points are covered, I will move onto a more experimental approach to surface preparation.