Reflective Journal Week 8, 17 Nov – 23 Nov 2019

A fascinating opportunity was given to visit Mark Fairnington’s workspace in East London. His work and statements regarding his preference of a realistic painting style as partly a landscape painter, I also found it fascinating that hot beverages and sweater can help a painter to survive in a huge room without a radiator. The mystery was solved when the tutor invited us to step closer and take a look at his bottles and jars — a small heater was placed under his easel. Just right where I began to think painters, no matters which institution offers them places with a stable contract, are equally poor on every corner of this planet.

Mr Fairnington’s frequent cooperation with museums proved the statement of his loving of specimen. Although I work on a sample of time, there is still a similarity between our directions. I asked whether he considers his work as archives/specimen of landscapes, objects or artefacts. Some questions that more specific might be launched later. Regardless, the tour was worth it. I have seen the working method with various roles in the field of natural philosophy. It was particularly inspiring as I would like to choose the same path.

The tutor has demonstrated the group some interesting way of display. Surprisingly I have seen a book composited highly similar to the design of my current project. It now stands as a reliable reference. Documentations about his previous exhibitions that in collaboration with museums were also worth-seeing.


On the tube back to the studio I looked into the note of exhibition Rembrandt’s Light. I have to say London is a city valuable for studying in a lot of areas. I didn’t expect to see the popularity of the exhibition that was mainly about classic painting. Judging by the infrastructure and resources of residence of East Dulwich, it probably could support the argument that different social class would have their particular preference of art style. East Dulwich is a typical community for middle-class and wealthy families. They are not wealthy enough to throw an enormous amount of money for purchasing a concept nor require leverage to dramatically boost their career; I would boldly suggest the most preferred investment would be the education of the next generation as well as maintaining the comfort of a peaceful living style. A lecture I heard in 2013 about how the majority of residence’s class interact with the infrastructure and needs of a neighbourhood in the architecture department of the University of Brighton supported my guessing interestingly. This idea could be potential to my academic career in the future, however, currently, time is insufficient to focus on theoretical aspects of the project.


The exhibition presented artworks brilliantly. There is a saying “The simplest way and the best way is always in an elegant manner”. I failed to recall where does this come from. Judging by its consistent application in technical questions, I’d say it must be Germany. One of the significant reason that Rembrandt left his name in the history of art is his master in controlling light. He has been famous for the utilisation of imaginal composition “as if there is a candlelight bright the face of a homeless individual”. Straightly, the exhibitor chose to focus on enlarging the peculiarity of the painter. Lights were installed to directly project on the faces in paintings; the room was completely covered in black paint. I have read one particular paint, which is the darkest artificial material that can absorb 99% of the light was used by curators.

The exhibition taught me to throw in everything enlarging the feature that most influential for a project. Any compromise would not be acceptable. Art is always about maintaining and never give up. If Rembrandt changed back to his early style after the failure of the Nightwatch, I am pretty sure he cannot be marked by history as “one of the greatest painter of humankind”.

I have been trying to settle the final form of the project. Currently, it will be an art book, an illustration book(the commercial version) and a booklet. I am thinking of designing logos, print them on bags filled with postcards as one of the objects in the presentation. This might be the habit formed during the study of my BA degree, but it will never hurt to seize any possible chance that may support my future study financially.


I have come up with a prototype of the symbol in the Spanish part. A slice of cloth was given by my friend. If I can bind the artistic book with leather and press the logo onto the cover, It would be ideal. Its difficulty and approaching deadline, however, suggests otherwise. Another quest of mine is to finish doctorate proposal during Christmas. It is now strongly emphasising the impossibility considering the amount of work and my efficiency. I am experiencing a weakening of my immune system, I can feel it was caused by lack of sleep and irregular diet. But between life and the opportunity of climbing to the higher level of the field, I choose the latter without hesitation.


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