Philipp Pieroth’s Residency – Week 2 Blog Post

German-born, Johannesburg-based visual artist Philipp Pieroth shares his second blog post about his Fresh Milk residency. This week, Philipp has tried not pressure himself in terms of having fully reconciled work at the end of his residency; rather, he is trying to trust his process and know that clarity will come over time. He also had the opportunity to present his work to students at Barbados Community College, and has started a mural workshop with them on a wall at the school. Read more below:

In my last blog, I wrote about my process. I still haven’t finished any work – I won’t be finishing the works before I Ieave, which was my original plan. Nobody pushed me to do so, but I that’s the pressure I put on myself. I’ve learned that I don’t work that way; there is a certain organic nature of the process I just can’t deny or can’t force. It needs time, no matter how much work I put in. At times I feel like I am not working enough, even though I am working every day up to 12, 14 hours, even often on weekends. A painting needs to be worked on, sometimes it needs to sit for a while and barely be looked at for weeks, before doing any work on it again. Though I was aware of these facts, the residency has acted as a good reminder.

My paintings look very different from each other. Like they have been made in different periods of my life almost. That was confusing and also unsatisfying, but I have accepted it now. I always try to take a failure as a chance to change my angle on things and turn it into a lesson. So it might turn out not to be a bad thing. I actually prefer – let’s say at a solo show – to see diversity in a body of work. If I see 20 works and the shapes and the colours only change a little bit, I feel bored.

Chelsea and I had the chance to speak to a class at the Barbados Community College. I showed my work and started a workshop with some of the students working on a mural at the school. The work that I saw from them was impressive, and I feel the talk was well received. For the mural, the group came up with an interesting concept, which we need to execute now, after the sketching is done.

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