ART: RESTORATION BY ADAM BEKKARI

DEFINITION AND INTERPRETATION

When it comes down to it the word 'Restoration'  is the act of returning something to its former glory, a previous location, or to its original condition.

As an artist I've gone for a more spiritual route when interpreting the meaning of 'Restoration'or 'To restore' something/someone, I believe it's to have more than what was lost in the first place, and to have the final state at a higher point compared to the original state. basically something/someone is improved beyond previously thought or imagined

Miranda van Dijk, Fabric Flowers

FOCUS/ PERSONAL FOCUS Statement

I've chosen to focus on the concept of memories, a memory is something that has been remembered and stored in your mind from the past. I believe the idea of restoring past memories is good to build our state of mind and restore ones self. With the idea of self improvement and spirituality the personal focus is solely on building oneself through nostalgic and wistful memories that help build ones spiritual sense and state of mind.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Spirituality is a realization of self. "It leads one to oneself, and improves our person." Through my body of work I have explored personal memories and consciousness which help restore and build our state of mind, and spiritualism of oneself. self improvement intertwined with an ensemble of memories restore a sense of spiritualism. The age of the memories are preserved through the nostalgic and sentimental style of the pieces seen throughout the work, similar to how in my first stage the leaves are nostalgic and reserved just like the tree they are in front of.

Context Statement

The spiritual context of my body of work informs the analysis and interpretation of memories through the idea of nostalgic and sentimental means. Through film making, photography, sculpting and digital imagery, the investigated impact of memories to the sub conscious is explored, self improvement through spirituality is also a prominent theme when look at my spiritual context.

RESEARCH PART 1

Finally after doing some extensive research about artwork in regards to memories, I came across a couple of articles about people who have Alzheimer's and dementia are making memories through the use of art. The artwork in Muzeo’s Carnegie Gallery

Muzeo's latest exhibit: Lasting Impressions

Writer Malia Linda has taken this idea and made it into a short story, she's broken down each minute into a specific section of life, this is how she's achieved her story as seen bellow in this paraphrased exert:

QUESTIONS/Reflections part 1

what medium or materials are used in this piece of artwork?

What steps did you take to create your art piece?

Where have you seen similar work? Does your art piece represent an artist?

What excited you about this project? Why?

What were you uneasy or unsure about? Why?

What would you add? Why would you add this?

RESEARCH PART 2

"Your mind is a powerful entity that can be trained, through different exercises" and "Eliminating negativity from your life will help you appreciate what you already have."

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

Many people underestimate the value of spiritual growth, although it’s an extremely relevant part of your personal development. Developing spiritually means opening your mind and heart to the possibility of achieving a belief system that can improve your outlook on life; better your personality and make you appreciate what you already have. Many experts also believe that spiritual growth can help you establish your “highest calling and life purpose”.

You don’t have to be religious to achieve spiritual growth, and if you aren’t a member of any particular faith, then this isn’t a problem.

The process of achieving spiritual growth could mean finding spirituality in the first place, and as each journey is unique to our own personal requirements, it’s no better or worse to begin from a place of religion.

However, achieving spiritual growth is difficult- especially when done alone. For this reason, there are a number of resources available (both for free and at a low cost), that can help you develop your spirituality. Developing spiritually can be beneficial to your everyday life. Using meditative techniques like yoga, for example, you can achieve a more calm and level outlook. This means that you’re less easily stressed or irritated, which in turn can help you solve problems better in your personal or professional life.

Meditation is an excellent way to develop your spirituality.

Yoga, in particular, is effective at detaching you from reality and helping you grow spiritually. There are two varieties of yoga: asanas and pranayam. These are both extremely useful for spiritual growth, and in fact, according to the Spiritual Research Foundation “ If yogic asanas and pranayam are complemented with other forms of spiritual practice to purify the mental body and other bodies then a person can achieve rapid spiritual progress in his lifetime.”

Yoga classes are available at most recreational centers, but also online. Many qualified yoga instructors are now offering video tutorials on websites such as Youtube, and these are typically free. This means that for no cost at all, you could begin your spiritual development immediately. According to Greatist, the best free programs for yoga beginners and intermediates are Yoga For Dummies and Dr Melissa West’s Chanell. These two teachers focus more on practicing yoga with regularity, and on making meditative exercise an important part of your daily routine.

In addition to taking yoga classes, a more traditional approach to spiritual growth is attending a spiritual retreat. Spiritual retreats are private sessions held, usually over a number of days, in a remote location removed from everyday life. They are an opportunity for you to disconnect from reality, and to focus on your self-improvement. Some retreats can be ‘silent retreats’, which can “allows us to relax and rejuvenate on a very deep level”.

In general, while most spiritual retreats are reliant on a fee being paid, retreatfinder.com can help you find a free or not for profit retreat in your local or national area. This may involve you living in a natural reserve, or practicing a meat free diet, but new experiences are an important part of personal development.

MENTAL GROWTH

Personal Development is highly regarded in the world of psychology, as it presents an opportunity for people to work on their mental health, and develop the tools necessary to handle their emotions; their relationships and their perspective on life. Consistently working on your mental development enables you to enjoy your life, and avoid or manage mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression.

According to Psychologist Anywhere Anytime, there is no uniform way to achieve mental growth. Everyone has a unique mental condition, that may require different amounts of counseling, or perhaps a different treatment altogether. They state that “The approach to help must be individually assessed and applied on a personal basis. It may include a variety of interventions, ideas skills, and behavioral techniques.”

QUESTIONS/Reflections part 2

Is your work in any way expressive? (Exploring experiences, feelings, emotions or memories) – If so what does it express?

What task or challenge did you set yourself?

What is the theme/title of the unit?

How did you get started on this unit of work?

How has this piece of work inspired you?

Did you learn new skills?

FIRST INFLUENTIAL ARTIST

One Artist in particular that I've taken inspiration from for my stage 2 is David Szauder and his "Failed Memory" series. David Szauder born during 1976 in Hungary. He studied Art History and Intermedia, he then eventually moved to Berlin and started work at the Hungarian Cultural Institute as media artist/ curator in 2009. During recent years he now takes part and follows various art, new media projects and exhibitions/screenings. Finally he has been leading many workshops about interactive media in Berlin as well as Budapest since 2010. His latest series "Failed Memory" is inspired by the 'connections between human and digital memory' this captivating and thought-provoking series is a visually engaging way to deal with the intriguing theme. Szauder tries to connect 'artificial intelligence and human memory' within his pieces of art. When asked about his artwork he explained “Our brains store away images to retrieve them later, like files stored away on a hard drive. But when we go back and try to re-access those memories, we may find them to be corrupted in some way.” with the use of digital imagery he has been able to create the idea that humans store memories similar to how computers store data, but as humans we lose some small details (fragments) an are forced to replace them with 'self-generated memory fragments. Szauder has distorted and deformed people's faces in the images and broken them down into fragments to show his message, he has also changed the color of some images to give them a more antic and aged look.

Some of David Szauder art work from his series 'Failed Memory'

Miranda van Dijk is the artist behind the shop Puur Anders (Pure different in Dutch). She prints (vintage) photos on fabric and turn them into leaves and flowers.

Her botanical sculptures are a visual translation of her poetic short stories. They can stand on their own, but together with the story they form a dreamy picture book, with the text as a guideline and her work as illustrations. Miranda loves to talk about change, development and women's growth. Her Garden of beautiful moments is her inspiration.

The series of work I've taken inspiration from is Miranda van Dijk 'Hidden Memories' piece, Van Dijk decided to create her first stage her After the death of her grandmother, van Dijk looked through the her album filled with yellowed small photos. She saw her grandmother when she was young, in crazy poses, making fun with friends. “I could only guess the stories behind them. I had my grandmother’s voice there! I suddenly realized how precious such memories are and how nice it is when you can cherish them. I am a stylist and worked at that with flower corsages. Thus was born the idea of one of the photos, where my grandmother danced in a beautiful dress, to make a brooch in the shape of a leaf.

QUESTIONS/Reflections part 3

What technologies are evident in your artwork?

Within in my body of work i'll be using a vast range of different technology to achieve my art, for instance in my first stage i'll be using a camera to film a tree and using a projector to project the film behind my fabric leaves scattered on the floor. My second stage is an experimental/art film which requires a video camera to film, I'll be using a DSLR. Finally my third and final stage is digital imagery so I will be using a camera to take the pictures in my photo shoot and then further edit it with 'Photoshop'.

How does the technique of this work relate to the Focus or Context of your work?

What are you as the artist trying to express?

What are other ways I can approach my art?

How does the artwork relate to technology, time and culture?

How does it reflect political activities at the time?

stage one

The 'Nostalgic' photos that'll be used in my first stage

This is the film will be playing behind my leaves representing the tree of memories.

The canvas leaves have separate meanings - plain leaves represent forgotten memories, distorted leaves represent broken memories and faded 'normal' leaves are memories that have remained with the individual over time.

PROBLEM SOLVING stage 1

When trying to print the canvas leaves in both the easy cut printer and an ink jet commercial printer, the printers were jamming and clogging the runway. I temporarily fixed the problem by sticky taping canvas onto cartridge paper, but this only worked on a few prints before the printer was jammed again.

Another problem that I ran into as well was deciding how I was going to cut out 35 A4 sheets of canvas paper into the individual leaves, originally I was going to use an easy cut machine to create some complex leaf shapes. unfortunately the easy cut machine would get jammed on the already cut pieces and rip the canvas paper. my solution was to cut them all by hand, and I scraped the complex look for a more simplistic look so the audience will focus on the media on the canvas rather than the complexity within the looks of the leaves.

QUESTIONS/Reflections part 4

What is the theme, ‘subject’ or issue being dealt with in your work?

Is your work in any way unusual – if so how?

What have you learned from looking at others work, that has been helpful in the development of your own work?

Does your work ‘link with’ any social, cultural, moral, personal, ethical or political issues?

If so how have you explored these themes using your ‘visual language?’

STAGE two

''After you die, it is believed that you have seven minutes of brain activity left inside you, and in the seven minutes you experience your entire life over, in a kind of dream..."

Writer Malia Linda has taken this idea and made it into a short story, she's broken down each minute into a specific section of life, this is how she's achieved her story as seen bellow in this paraphrased exert as well as my interpretation:

The First Minute

First minute as a baby, we have our baby steps remembered before death. We can understand where we began.

First thing is the first face seen when you were born. Which, is doctor, the person who first held you, handed you off to your mother. Then mother, her flushed face, sweat laced hair as she holds you for the first time in your life and her life. See her eyes, whether they were a mousy brown, or a rich blue, or a green somewhere in between.

Next, you see father, father holds his child,This is what you see, you get to witness a man become a father. think of what you're seeing. Think of what your feeling. The first thought you give about your parents, determines your life with them forever.

When you saw your mother for the first time; when you saw your father for the first time... Did you feel love, or hate?

The Second Minute

During your second minute, you see your best friends. You experience the best moments you had with them. And, the worst moments.

You experience the moment you and her went to California, and stuck your heads out the backseat window, making cat sounds at walking pedestrians. You experience your worst fight, when she didn't look at you for two weeks.

You experience the time you and him bonded at school while the other friend was gone. How he made you life by saying idiotic things that slipped off his tongue. And you remember when he swore to never forgive you.

You remember when she nearly cried at the song you wrote for her, thanking her for being there for you. You remember when you moved away from her.

You recall the day she picked you up from being alone, and gave you friends. And you recall finding out that she had secrets of her own.

You recall meeting her, and when she listened to you talk and talk about the guy who broke your heart. And you remember her not giving you her trust.

You remember meeting him at a football game, and learning that this accidental person, would one day be a big part of your life. And you remember being told you couldn't have him.

You remember confiding in him at a dance, telling him your deepest secrets, and falling in love. You remember when he said he wanted to die.

The Third Minute

In the third minute, you remember the people you fell in love with. In this experience, you almost fall in love with them again.

It starts with your first infatuation. When you thought you were in love, and realized how undoubtedly crazy you were. The beginning stabs your mind, and flows throughout your veins like water through a clear pipe. The day you realized you wanted to be with each other. It set you up for a year of heartbreaks, and smiles. And trust.

And then you said goodbye. And you moved on. Alone, for about a year and a half. You stayed alone. Not needing the love you thought you had found. Swore to yourself that love didn't exist. You made yourself that promise the night he said goodbye, and you cried in your mother's arms for twenty minutes. You promised that even though you would move on, you couldn't trust yourself with anyone else, ever again.

But then you found someone else. You spoke of your deepest secrets. You spoke of what you'd never even told the first person. Things you were scared to say, out of fear that someone would judge you.

But this new person sat there and listened. They spoke to you and soothed you while you cried in loneliness. They gave you advice, and they countered your bad memories with their own. And to this day, you still remember every word they said.

The Fourth Minute

This is the minute when you go through your hard times once again. In this flash of memories, you see the first time someone broke your heart. You see when someone, or something, close to your heart, died. And left you here without them, forever.

You remember when you realized you hated someone. When they hated you, too.

You remember finding someone you cared about deeply. And then being told you couldn't have them.

But what bad memory is going to hurt the most? Is it the heartbreaks? Or the judgment? Or the deaths? You decide what hurts the most.

The Fifth Minute

In the fifth minute, you remember the lessons. The big lessons. This is where everything you took to heart comes rushing back. Can you feel it? Can you remember? Lessons are coming back, and maybe, just maybe, you take these lessons to heaven, or hell.

You don't remember the silly lessons that you never cared about. You forget about slope-intercept form, or World War Two. You don't remember the lessons in class that you slept through, or the ones where you were emailing instead of paying attention.

No, you remember the meaningful lessons. Lesson of smiling, Lesson of crying, Lesson of hate, Lesson of love, Lesson of friendship, Lesson of loss.

The Sixth Minute

In the sixth minute, you remember who you are. You sort of discover yourself in these sixty seconds.

How did you feel about yourself while you were alive? Did you love every single part? Or did you hate your full existence? Whether you played guitar, or sang, or painted, or worked with medicine, or skated. No matter what you did, you did something that made you happy, even if it wasn't your job.

In the morning, when you looked at yourself in the morning. You judged yourself. Everyone does. Either you were too fat, or too skinny, or too ugly. What did you hate? What did you love?

The Seventh Minute

I can't tell you what happens in the last minute of your life. I do not know for sure. It can be beautiful, it can be ugly. Whatever happens in the last minute, it sums up everything. It brings meaning, and answers.

PROBLEM SOLVING stage 2

QUESTIONS/Reflections part 5

How does the art work relate to other artworks I have done in the past (aesthetics)?

Why is this work important?

How do all of the works compare to each other? Similarities? Differences?

Do you see a progression of techniques? Of ideas?

What connections can I make to my own experience?

How does my art relate to my life?

STAGE THREE

The Imagery I took inspiration from, David Szauder's Art Piece from his body of work; Failed Memory

PROBLEM SOLVING Stage 3

QUESTIONS/Reflections part 6

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