Heavens, it’s the final exhibition

It is a couple of months since I last posted on Artelogical and for a good reason, I have been so busy making stuff for my MA final exhibition that I have had very little time for anything else. Now it is done. Incredibly, the show is up; the paint is dry; the labels are in place. If you would like to come, it is open to the public from today until July 12 at.the Grand Parade Gallery at the University of Brighton.  I have two works in the show. The first piece is the Unknowabiility of Others. It is an idea that I have been working on for more than two years, though the works themselves have taken different forms.

I always find it extraordinary how little we know about the inner lives of others, which includes the people closest to us, but also random people we just meet. There they all are, thinking away – stuff – and we don’t know what it is. If they tell us what they are thinking about, we don’t know if it  is true anymore than if we tell them what we have been thinking, it is necessarily the complete truth. Sometimes you can hear somebody speaking and think, “you say that, but do you really, seriously, believe it.”  We can never know whether they do, or whether they don’t.

Sue McDougall: the Unknowability of Others

Each time I have made, or tried to make, this piece, it has comprised two tubes which lie alongside each other. Apparently they are similar but on the inside, they are very different.

Sue McDougall: the Unknowability of Others, internal view 1.
Sue McDougall: The Unkowability of Others, Internal View 2

My other piece, You Can Only Beat Entropy for a Time, is actually a tribute to my sister who very sadly died of cancer  in May at the age of 51. I was working in the studio and thinking about her and the things she had said, one of which was that my husband was “entropy personified” because she believed him to be untidy, which I should add, is a charge he has always strenuously denied.

Entropy is the force that turns order into disorder. The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy always increases with time, which is one reason why time travel will never be possible. It also suggests that it is not only people, but everything, even the universe itself, will come to an end. In this piece the various elements are breaking away from each other and so becoming more disordered; they are also in the process of breaking up themselves. They are made with household paint, insulating foam and newspaper. The paper in the work came from living trees, which, while they were living showed negative entropy, but the process of turning them into paper. which was then discarded, would have increased entropy. By turning them into an artwork, we go back into negative entropy – but only for a time.

Sue McDougall: You Can Only Beat Entropy for a Time

I have also been interested recently in experimenting with non-rectangular paintings. So each of these is intended to be complete in itself though together they make up the work,

art final 004

art final 005

studio floor 006

studio floor 007

Tomorrow I will post about my favourite pieces from the rest of the exhibition.

The Brighton University MA Exhibition runs from July 4 2015, to 12 July 2015 at Grand Parade BN2 OJY. The opening times at Monday to Saturday 10 – 5 and Sunday 10 – 4,

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