Alternative FMPs

Could I create imagery that represents the history and future of Longbridge? There were many options open to me at this point. I could change my project completely, throw caution to the wind and begin a totally new project whilst still planning and executing ‘Pimp my Rover MG’ independently. I chose not to dismiss the idea completely, at this point knowing I have created a project which has caught the attention of community groups; Northfield Arts Forum and Pride of Longbridge; as well as the tutors and LPAP, the positivity I feel for the project is immense, and whilst setbacks have occurred I feel it is simply too big a project to leave on the side lines and not document towards my coursework and FMP. This meant considering how to create a piece, related too yet smaller, which would show my own abilities as an artist whilst still being a part of a much bigger picture.


“By drawing on the work of Erwin Panofsky’s student, a Renaissance scholar and a Modernist critic Horst Woldemar Janson, I argue that the notion of the human that underlined “the history of art as a humanistic discipline” was marked by the antithesis between animality and divinity. To hold on to this notion of the human, humanistic art history imposed on itself an a priori ethical conviction of human dignity and granted the apolitical scholarship a political dimension, politics here perceived in moral-psychological terms. I discuss Janson’s art history against the backdrop of the rise of totalitarian regimes of the 1930s and the subsequent Cold War. To understand the mediated relationship between the humanistic art history and the Cold War in its specificity, I focus on one of the figures of this uneasy mediation, the ape. During the Second World War the ape stood for the infrahuman animality that signified totalitarian anxieties Janson aimed to neutralize by locating this figure in an uninterrupted historical narrative. The ape appeared as an embodiment of the main aesthetic dilemma of the Cold War, that of mimesis. In this context, Janson entered the controversy over abstraction with a defense of Abstract Expressionism, which he anchored in the tradition of Renaissance humanism. Janson’s influential History of Art was shaped during this process and represented the full realization of the project of legitimating Abstract Expressionism as a successor of the ideals of Classical Humanism in art. ”

Direct excerpt from text and picture: –  taken from page on 20th December 2016.

The choices then became infinite within the decision I made, I could produce a fine art piece depicting the history of Longbridge itself, the picture above inspires me to create imagery of a ruined Rover factory buried under the commercial heart that is now beating softly where Rover Austin once stood. Unfortunately, my skills here are not up to a standard I feel confident that I could produce an exhibition quality piece.  The other reason for dismissing this route was simply that I do not want to represent the demise of the factory, it is not conducive to encourage progress whilst depicting Longbridge in a ruined state, however noble the intentions.

Instead I went to experiment with etching and printing an image. I etched into perspex tracing the image of a car which I had sourced in my research on car art, then used a photograph of a tunnel from Longbridge Rover Shadow Factory and added the tunnel as a background in which the car sat. Upon realising, after a lot of effort etching the car and the background, that I had accidentally managed to use an image of a Rolls Royce as a base, I was a little annoyed at myself for not thinking the whole thing through more fully before I began. In the interest of seeing the result I decided to carry on with the design. I opted to use the emblem for the Shadow Factory within the image and traced this into the car door. Overall I a very pleased with the resulting image, even if it is useless for my FMP as it depicts an entirely different make of car. It was a painstaking process to etch the perspex and I will confess I struggled at times with my hands cramping whilst I was trying to successfully work into the perspex with the tool, but I am impressed that I completed the task. I will not be using this idea as a final piece, it was not an overly enjoyable method to produce art nor did I find the outcome to be particularly appealing. The monochrome print is very depressing, in that  it seems to emanate the loss rather than celebrate the changes ahead.


There was also the option of creating an abstract or contemporary piece using car parts as the subject matter.


(Falcon, unknown) image source (Arts, n.d.)

Aside from the Joinery and Metal work skills I do not possess, this would be a fantastic idea. I did collate a group of parts together to create the image of a face, with the phrase in mind that Rover, was not about cars, it was about people. I had a word with our support tutor Adam to see what would be required to mount them as they are, there is a lot of weight in the ‘nose’ and the conclusion was that the parts would need to be screwed into a board of some description in order to be able to display them properly.

Although I enjoy the imagery it was suggested that it was just a little too obvious a statement, definitively I find I really enjoy the idea of creating a sculptural piece from old rover parts, but for now I will allow it to become a future project. I will hopefully find myself with enough collaborative support to pull it off, at some point in the future, but right now it’s far too much take on with the Pimp my Rover MG project ongoing as well.

Please see Textile Experiments.



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