Friday, 4 May 2012

Titles of Paintings

I've just read the first part of an article on how the titles of paintings influence how the painting is interpreted. Lately, I've been thinking about how I title my paintings and come to the conclusion that they lack the personal element that guides the viewer to the meaning behind the image and that made them feel rather dull.

When I made sculpures, I would spend hours thinking about the meaning and how to title the work, mainly because they were so abstract, I felt I needed to give the viewer a clue as to what my work was about whilst leaving them enough room to develop their own interpretation.

For example, the images below were part of a body of work with the long and convoluted title of 'People Often Talk About Being Scared of Change But for Me I'm More Afraid of Things Being the Same'  Its so long, I have to get the catalogue out to remind myself of the title... But this work was the result of a year long research & devlopement process so perhaps the title reflects those long hard months of painful thought processes.

I think my now 'neutral' titles, such as 'View towards Belper' while being factual, give the viewer very little clue to the thought process or the visceral feeling I have towards that place.  I have got lazy with my thinking and perhaps in opposition to the longer titles, I have gone to the other extreme, which feels rather dull.

So when I dropped 3 paintings off at Crich this morning, I had retitled them, 'View Over Belper' has been renamed 'Where I Walk My Dog' because this is an area where I walk my own Shaggy Muse, Maybe.

I'm hoping this retitling will convey some of the sentiment & feeling behind each image I produce and this may even spill over into the art, making the work more exciting.

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