Project proposal and Bibliography


Albert Oehlen

Throughout my foundation year at Camberwell I’ve stretched myself continuously out of my comfort zone, steering away from human figuration towards abstraction of architectural forms and landscape. Understanding the importance of foreground, layering materials and the significance of symmetry and reflection in creating abstract work that balances aesthetically.  Through the inspiration of artists such as Albert Oehlen, my courage and experimentation with materials has broadened my potential and allowed me to generate passionate, thick and messy paintings. As Oehlen explains “Change the material. Because a lot of decisions you’re not aware of. It starts when you go shopping for art supplies. You make decisions, and they’re always the same, like the kind of brushes you buy. And if you’re forced to change something, it gives an insecurity to the work that is very helpful. It makes you find out what you really need.” 

oil on canvas/ my own work
oil on card/ my own work

Within the last projects, my inspiration has been abstracting my own sketches of market scenes, focusing on key shapes and inverting the original image. This trail of thought was rooted from my transcription project of Joachim Beuckelaers’ 1956 ‘the four elements’, leading me to think about crowded places that were merely concerned with selling produce and how this continues at a greater scale in the modern world. However, My growing interest in the Taoist Philosophy and narratives of Lao-tzu has shifted my inspirations and ideas in a new direction. The Philosophy promotes a life of “living simply and in harmony with nature”  inspiring me to play into this concept within the materialistic and corrupt western culture. Attempting to bring about a sense of harmony and minimalism through modern architecture, building an experience for the observer of both harmony and potentially dissonance. Taoist art is usually based off of Chinese landscape and architecture, depicting a simplistic beautiful natural world. I want to compare vital similarities and differences between cultures and ways of living. Moreover, Patrick Caulfield and Gunther Forg have additionally made me reflect on the concepts of minimalism and how this can be shown in an internal and external sense, both using negative space and limited colour. Developing an understanding towards how this process too can create atmospheric work that holds depth and impact for the viewer in alternate ways..

The Blue Posts, 1989
Gunther Forg

Project concept
My project aim is to abstract architecture and landscape city settings in a way that creates an aesthetic piece, intending to invite the viewer into the experience of the landscape transcribed. Although, my interest in Taoism has inspired me to approach this in two alternate ways, attempting to find the natural harmony that still exists in our world whilst exposing the lack of harmony our culture obtains. The first aim can be executed by simplifying architecture into simple geometric shapes and patterns, offering a sense of innocuous aesthetic harmony for the observer to be apart of. Contrastingly, I want to portray my own societal criticism, this could be obtained by abstracting settings and shapes to create their own unnatural landscape; exposing the lack of peace and simple living in society today. After visiting Victor Willings exhibition at the Turps gallery, I was immediately captivated by the abstract settings and ambiguous yet ominous atmosphere he creates within his work. Inspiring me to think more closely about setting and context within this project, considering how sometimes less is more.

Victor Willing
Victor Willing

Furthermore, I intend to approach my work with a simple and open mind, aspiring to create intuitive pieces that rely on instinct and a lack of pre judgement towards their outcome. Reliant on the themes explored and my own experience and emotions to portray my message.  Despite this automatic challenge in losing that sense of predetermined expectation, I’m excited to see where this type of exploration could lead.

Mark Bradford

Moreover, I want to continue to experiment with multimedia, looking into the works of artists such as Mark Bradford; inspiring me to experiment with woodwork, layering paper, stitching and different types of paint application. I will continue to frequently visit galleries exhibiting both traditional and contemporary work, wanting to continue to think about transcription, finding new sources of inspiration and new creative processes. Additionally, reading books from the library and watching films on new artists and their processes will help me expand on my original proposal.


My main source of evaluation will be self evaluation daily tracked in my log book, where I will write about my inspirations and new/evolving ideas and concepts. Additionally, I’ll consider the success of my work and what I personally think could be improved or certain mistakes avoided. It will also be a chance for me to evaluate ways in which I developed my work and experimentations that worked well and those that didn’t. Additionally, I think it would be a good idea to present my work on a site such as workflow, where I can link research I’ve done through books and film. Being able to clearly convey my trail of thoughts and roots of inspiration and discovery. However, it is equally important to be able to learn from others’ feedback, hence the importance of critical evaluations from peers and groups of students I  perhaps do not know. Moreover, I may also go out into public and hear personal opinions from groups and individuals to see how a range of different types of people respond to my work. 

Despite this evaluation process changing due to Covid 19, I still asked my peers for advice on my work and what they personally felt from my outcomes. This was incredibly helpful in order to evaluate my work despite of the obvious struggles. I’ve also asked my social media platforms their opinions and what excites them most about my work.

Disclaimer- the copy I handed in to the uni had Harvard referencing but as I copied this document into myblog the referencing has been lost. Apologies


Glenn O’Brien , published April 24 , 2009. Interview with Albert Oehlen

Daniel Culpan, published October 15, 2019

Talk at the Tate, Monday 20 September, 2019

Exhibition curated by Scott McCracken, 26th October – 30 November, 2019

John McEwan, October 2nd, 2010

Martin Rasmussen, November 26th,  2016 – January 07, 2017

THE BLUE POSTS, Patrick Caulfield | Current | Exhibitions

Taoism definition, published by Merriam Webster

Joachim Beuckelears exhibition,

Author, Benjamin Hoff, ‘The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet’, published 2019

Emily Mark