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Meet the Tutors: Michele Whiting

This is a post from the weareoca.com archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.
 
In late November, we visited Michele Whiting in her studio at 44AD Artspace in Bath. Michele is an experimental artist whose work explores themes of real and imagined spaces through photography, installation, performance, sound and moving image. And she can paint and draw as well! Observational drawing underpins her work, as does more experimental drawing – such as her recent experiments demonstrated here using wax and smoke….

Michele Whiting is an OCA tutor and assessor for drawing and painting. You can view her profile here: www.oca-uk.com/profile/michele-whiting
http://www.michelewhiting.com
If you want to know more about her work and practice, ask a question below.
Michele and OCA Curriculum Leader Linda Khatir will be running a Portfolio Review at 44AD. Click here for details
 


Posted by author: Alison Churchill
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14 thoughts on “Meet the Tutors: Michele Whiting

  • Fascinating work. The films I find particularly interesting for my own work. I like the layering of images and the use of sound, especially in your ‘hollow’ installation. This is a really boring question, but where can you learn how to make projected objects like that, or to edit in that way? Are there any external courses one could access?
    I also love the idea of drawing with smoke. So interesting.

    • Hi Eileen,
      No It’s not a boring question, and I am pleased that you are interested in my practice.
      Most FE colleges now do short workshops in moving image and there are summer schools as well in some professional edit suites. Your local council will usually have the information on where to access this type of media workshop. Projection is learnt in studio and through experience as you develop your video/film making skills. Carpentry comes in useful!
      Best of luck and I hope you find something that suits you.
      Michele

  • OCA has a Digital Film Production course at level 1 which covers the basics. I’m not sure if the approach would suit your needs but it would certainly build your confidence with the moving image and you’d learn some fundamentals of video production.

    • That’s a very good route and one that would certainly bring you further into the field of expanded images. The spatial practices are a fascinating area of study and where I base my research, there are some very good books available such as Michael Rush’s Video Art (Thames and Hudson) that would give you a good overview.

      • Eileen, I recently attended a short course at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield (to compliment what I learned in the OCA’s Digital Film Production module). However, pretty much all of the London-based film schools offer short courses in a number of subjects, not just editing.

        • Thanks all – sorry not to reply before now. The OCA course looks a bit too narrative driven for me Jane. I really want to use moving images as part of my existing practice and not study film-making in the more traditional sense.
          Michele and Stuart: I am looking at FE and other hands-on courses and will get the Michael Rush book also.

  • Very interesting video, once again…
    Something mentioned by Michele, when talking about the creative process of the wax and smoke work, is that of not being in total control of it. This is something that has been mentioned a few times in the past few months here on WeAreOCA!
    The whole time during the video, before it was shown how the pieces were made, I was wondering if the canvas behind the sofa was a piece inspired or related to Japanese / Chinese art. There does (from a photography point of view) seem to be a flattened perspective to these pieces, which makes me think / question.

    • The original idea behind using the materials was inspired by looking at the photographic landscape work of James Ravilious. I was thinking about the tonality of the work and trying to find a medium that would (like the alchemy of analogue photography) give me a similar flattening off and tonal range… the scapes are interior and imagined/ re-imagined and performed as a gesture. So thank you for these thoughts-

  • Hi Michele
    How would you define “drawing?” You say you are drawing with smoke, rather than painting with smoke….. And what is the relationship between your moving images and your drawing, or are they completely parallel practices?

    • The camera is as much a drawing implement to me as the pencil or indeed a candle – it has less to do with the tool and more to do with the physical activities of observation and direct making- which are after all the conditions under which drawings are made. SO the relationships between works seen across my practice all stem from one source, they are not parallel practices but one practice/ the works all share the same root system if you like.
      Drawing is physical, drawing can be experimental and provisional, drawing can be carefully observational or even performed and time based- what is critical is the intention.

  • I like what you say about your relationship with the landscape being a mixture of memory, feeling, fact and fiction and how all these objective and subjective ways of responding come together to give you and the viewer a greater sense of understanding the place.

    • Thank you Olivia- if you are interested there is a great book called Landscape and Memory by Simon Shama, that unpacks (in a really enjoyable read) some of these relational ideas. These ideas are not new, in fact Longfellow (1800’s) wrote many of his poems with these notions in mind. Contemporary makers such as Willie Doherty use political events as a lens to view landscape amongst other video makers, so it is in the way we view (as artists) that is the impetus for the work in these circumstances.

      • Thanks for the tip about Landscape and Memory. I’ve been meaning to look at it for a while but this discussion finally prompted me to order it. It arrived yesterday and has been added to the reading pile. I can see it may take me some time, given the sheer scale of the book, but it does look really interesting. I’ve also been looking at poetry around landscape but not in any very ordered way so this might help me structure my thinking.

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