Body Dysfunction

I have finished.  My two-year course undertaking an FDA in Fine Art (Contemporary Practice) at Sussex Coast College is over. I have been accepted by Brighton to do an MA in Fine Art and will be starting that in September. It all began in the summer of 2010 when I was complaining to Mary Jacobsen, herself an art teacher in the West Country, how I had been made to give up art at school in favour of Latin which I hated. She suggested that I should sign up for a Foundation Diploma. Until that point it had never occurred to me  to become an art student; I had done a bit of painting and a bit of sculpture over the years but oddly the idea of going back to school had not crossed my mind. I am so grateful to her. In the event I skipped the Diploma stage and went straight into the degree course. It has been an amazing two years; in one way the time has gone extremely quickly but also I find it had to believe that two years ago I had not heard of all sorts of artists whose work I can now recognise when I go into galleries.

Tonight is the Final Exhibition at Sussex Coast College. The exhibition is also open to the public next week.  Do come along if you are in Hastings. My work is Body Dysfunction. These three works Orifice 2, 3 and 4 are part of a study that examines our feelings about the way that our physical bodies are out of the control of our minds. They also relate to my earlier painting Brain Dysfunction

Orifice 2
Sue McDougall: Orifice 2 – part of the Body Dysfunction Series
2013-06-11 14.02.07
Sue McDougall: Orifice 4 – part of the Body Dysfunction Series
Orifice 2
Sue McDougall: Orifice 3 – part of the Body Dysfunction series

But is it finished?

The thing that is bothering me today is wondering whether I have I finished this painting or not. It’s called the Slipperiness of Thought and it  turns out to be even more slippery than I had thought it would be. So the basic concept is that it is not only difficult to know what other people are thinking about, but it is also difficult to know what you are thinking about yourself. Because as soon as you start wondering about the nature of your thoughts,  you are thinking about  thinking and not about whatever you were thinking about in the first place.

The slipperiness of Thought

Originally I intended to have the snaky bits, because snakes seemed quite a good image and amongst them were meant to be impressions of all the possible things that could flit through my mind and things that other people might be thinking about, or things that I thought they might be thinking about, which in a way was what I was thinking about myself, prompted by thoughts of them.

It didn’t work out like out that; when I had done an early sketch which annoyingly got nicked not, I imagine, because anybody wanted the sketch but because it was in an otherwise empty sketch book,  I had lots of ideas of possible thoughts. When it came to the painting all I could see were faces coming out of the random bits, so that is what it has turned into. Well, mainly; there are a few boats,  some dribbles and if you look very carefully a cup of tea and a house and a naked lady.

Faces just appeared
Or bits of faces

In one way lots of faces are fitting in a painting about thinking. Babies are apparently hard-wired to respond to faces; we see faces in inanimate objects. Most of the time when I am thinking, other people elbow their way in somehow. So that is the question, do more of them want to elbow their way in, or do I say enough is enough?