Student blog

My Time in Miren Doiz’s Studio Group

When I first saw Spanish artist Miren Doiz’s works, I was captivated by the aesthetic nature of her daring colours, geometric forms and bold gestural marks. When UCA’s Herbert Read gallery curator Emma Braso was asking students to help and get involved, I felt it was a rare opportunity to be a part of the installation and to see Doiz at work!

Doiz’s installation works are designed and intended for one individual site – this gives them a distinctive and unique quality… So, the preparation for the exhibition commenced on Monday 6 March, Doiz arrived at UCA Canterbury and the scavenge for materials began! 

Rummaging through the cupboards of the Herbert Read Gallery, Doiz gathered cast-off display boards, used cardboard postal tubes, and Dusty and chipped white plinths to name but a few. I and a group of students repositioned different objects, until Doiz circled the installation and uttered, “Si Si! Perfecto!”

Doiz envisaged her assemblage… Impulsive, rhythmic and spontaneous, yet completely controlled. No one else could predict what was going to happen next, let alone the end outcome. That was the fun part. The anticipation…

After the structures were put in place, Doiz started mixing paints.

Using bright colours and collected objects, the construction displayed an array of different textures, painted squares and considered shadows. The artwork echoed the colouring of the Fauvists, the foundation from the father of constructivism Kurt Schwitters, and striking accents of the Cubists.

Doiz says about her works: “I try to give a new perspective to painting by fluctuating reality in different ways, using different styles. The interaction lies in the illusion of being able to enter the picture, to surround ourselves with the painting, to form part of the scene.” 

Indeed, like many of her works, they are designed to be viewed from different angles and have a variety of focal points. I found myself intrigued and drawn into the protruding angles coated in luminosity.

The Herbert Read Gallery on the UCA Canterbury campus tries to establish a dialogue between students and contemporary artists. Opening on 10 March until 7 April 2017, the gallery is hosting the exhibition, Art Education in the Age of Metrics, where four artists are asked the question: ‘Are metrics (the standards by which efficiency, performance, and progress are measured) useful or relevant within the context of art education?’  

Miren Doiz’s art installation expresses the energy and colour of art in education, with linear forms and carefully balanced objects drawing on opposing forces, like stillness, unity and division.

The words painted on the assemblage comment on the early stages of “entrepreneurship culture in art education”. The collage of colour, shape and text also presents a contradiction, perhaps like the complexity of numbers, scores, test results which now determine Art Education in the Age of Metrics.

Visitors are invited to be a part of the artwork, whether it is observing the work’s many colours and textures, or commenting on how metrics are influencing the future of art.

Special thanks to the Miren Doiz and Emma Braso.