The artists below all make work which both creates and denies three dimensions at the same time. Take a look at their websites then make notes in your learning log about these artists, your response to their work and how their work relates to what you’ve been attempting in this project.

Angela Eames:

Michael Borremans:

Jim Shaw:

Research: Angela Eames

This rather austere website has the following statement as the opening to the Current work and Practise of Angela Eames.  The oppressive black background or should I say ‘blackground’ is layered with a mid grey rather small hard to read text, and this combined with the stuttering nature of the language used in these opening paragraphs nearly want to make you click on to a more inviting website.  But fear not there is some interesting topics presented.

Fig 1. Dubai ( )

Current work – statement

Too much gloss – too much fine-tuning – too much surface – too much superficial sheen – too much polish

Not enough blemish – not enough imperfection – not enough foible – not enough fallibility – not enough spit

Masses of potential – loads of opportunities – plentiful solutions – permutations galore but not enough risk……and not enough spit

The spit I refer to has something to do with immediacy and uncertainty, spit which embeds itself somehow during the doing of drawing and is revealed through the act of drawing and in the drawing. It has something to do with residue or evidence left behind during this process – something to do with mess

Computing applications seldom accommodate residue, slippage, spillage, accident, smudge, or the bits one might expect to have to deal with, possibly to exclude when working with other media, those bits one has not yet noticed, but might with further consideration acknowledge as integral to the drawing or doing. This is what I’m after. In recent drawings I have been preoccupied with flesh, fur and floral as subject matter

Eames is not a fan of Photoshop with its’ clean and sanitised images produced.  She would much rather leave a layer of mess and residue that a drawing leaves as evidence of its creation.  This reveals that process and the manner of creation of a work is possibly more important than the outcome of the piece, (i.e. the method out-weighing the result)!.  This is difficult for a viewer looking at an image to comprehend as the process is not revealed, only the end result.  Without the written context some of her work looks like poorly taken photos.  Much of her work needs the descriptive notes to discern what she was depicting in her work.

A bit more exploring reveals more of her work and it then gets more interesting and coherent in the writing.

Research: Michael Borremans

Fig 2. The Ear (2011)


An anonymous portrait called the Ear, for that is all the flesh which is visible of the sitter.  Her family and close friends will recognise her but we the viewer will not.  Who is she, probably young and female and that is all we glean from this rear view.  She will remind many of some-one they know but there will be a detail or two missing in order for us to fully discern who it is!

This reminds me strongly of Gerhard Richter’s portrait of his daughter in a red jumper.

Fig 3. Lakei, (2010)

Another enigmatic portrait.  A young male either places a contact in his eye of tries to remove a piece of debris which is causing him discomfort.  Again we flounder slightly as we try to discern the identity of the sitter.  He may be called Lakei but that is all we find out about him.  Other clues about hs identity can be denoted from his strong hands that look like they ‘know work’.  Further clues to his identity are found in his military style tunic.

Fig 4. Sleeper, (2008)



Disturbing as it seems more like a post mortem photo than sleeping!, though I suspect the sleeping is a euphuism for death!   Because of this, what should be a sweet picture of a young girl is disturbing.  Is she dead, how did some-one so real, healthy looking and young die?


Fig 5. Weight, (2005)

A doll or ornament, not a young girl.  This lifelike three-quarter length portrait is ¾ length because the legs have been removed, chopped-off of transposed through the surface of the table.

The most lifelike of the figures show by Borremans but this is somehow the most unbelievable.  She can’t be real because her legs are depicted in an impossible place and hence the how portrait loses its ‘truth’


Borremans is very precise in what he depicts in his paintings; he creates precise and detailed paintings of strangely lifeless and ghostly subjects.  Which initially attract and then repel and their disjointed unsettling nature becomes apparent.  This is summed up in the quote from an on-line magazine noted below.

(The Culture Trip 2017).

“At first glance one may believe that these works of art are realist paintings, but the sense of realism is challenged by the radically unsettling and haunting quality of Borreman’s works”


Research: Jim Shaw

Shaw seems to mine the depths of pop cultural and media to find the inspiration and starting point for his works.  A chart spied in a doctors surgery becomes the centre-point for a commentary on pop cultural.  He also depicts these works in a manner to make them more accessible to those who may not usually view painting.  This he does by indicating his ideas and the development of these in a series of snapshot clues depicted as a comic strip.  This makes them accessible to those who might normally ‘shun’ art!

Fig 6. Untitled (Whole Dancer), (2010).


Shaw’s drawing of a ‘Whole Dancer’ captures more of the dancers movement that the features of the dancer.  The movement of swirls and waves and hap-hazard shapes are like tracings of the dancer’s movement within the picture plane.  I have seen similar things in reverse (negative) where the dancer has held a torch and the light traces shapes and movement across the picture.  This maybe the same shown in negative.


Fig 7. Frontispiece I, (1988)

Again the comic strip background comes into play for Shaw.  Here we see the main figure dominate the centre of the page.  This figure is a medical depiction of the human circulatory system along with various organs and the fleshed out body of a child-like figure.

The comic strip cells each denote a hero[ine] from either comic books or literature.  Snow White, Superman, Robin Hood, there are a couple of cryptic clues of a sweet book and a rabbit.


Fig 8. Sin of Pride, (1988)

A devilish figure is depicted whose features are the cavorting and writhing figures of naked people.  Naked men and women and skeleton like wraiths twist across the facial features of our devil.  The background to this devilish portrait is a comic-strip set of nine mini-scenes.  They depict various people achieving something and hence are probably guilty of the ‘sin’ of pride, from which the piece takes its title!


Fig 9. Untitled (Banyan Tree) 3, (2009)

Again the comic strip background comes into play for Shaw.  Here we see the main figure dominate the centre of the page.  This figure is a medical depiction of the human circulatory system along with various organs and the fleshed out body of a child-like figure.

The comic strip cells each denote a hero[ine] from either comic books or literature.  Snow White, Superman, Robin Hood, there are a couple of cryptic clues of a sweet book and a rabbit.

Of the three artists researched here I believe the work I have undertaken in this section / exercise is closest to the work of Angela Eames.  She views her work not by the outcome or the result but rather by the process undertaken to get to that result.

In many ways that is how I approached these exercises of applying charcoal to paper and then in a steady process slowly removed the dirty clinging medium of black stick charcoal to arrive a end piece which in some cases works better than others  but in each the same process was undertaken and as such each was a satisfying piece to work upon.

What is it about media that the messier they are the more satisfying the process rather than the result?  It may be because that it is an achievement to achieve anything from the mess in the early and middle stages.

List of Illustrations 

Fig. 1, Eames, Angela. ( ) Total Arts Gallery, Dubai, UAE [ Site-specific work]. At,  (Accessed on 30 May’17)

Fig. 2, Borremans, Michael (2011). The Ear, [oil on canvas] At: MB_works/slides/MB2011_01.html  (Accessed on 29 May17)

Fig. 3, Borremans, Michael (2010), Lakei, [oil on canvas] At: MB_works/slides/MB2010_07.html (Accessed on 29 May17)

Fig. 4, Borremans, Michael (2008). Sleeper. [oil on canvas] At MB_works/slides/MB2008_13.html (Accessed on 29 May17)

Fig: 5, Borremans, Michael (2005). Weight [framed lcd screen]. At: MB_works/slides/VMB2005_01b.html (Accessed on 29 May17)

Fig 6. Shaw, Jim. (2010) Untitled (Whole Dancer), [Airbrush & pencil on paper], At: (Accessed on 29 May17)

Fig 7. Shaw, Jim. (1988) Frontispiece I [Gouache on board]. At (Accessed on 29 May17)

Fig 8. Shaw, Jim. (1988). Sin of Pride [Watercolour on paper] At (Accessed on 29 May17)

Fig 9. Shaw, Jim. (2012) Untitled (Banyan Tree) I [graphite and airbrush on paper]. At  (Accessed on 29 May17)


Eames, Angela (2017). Angela Eames – Artist Drawing and Technology. [online] At: [Accessed on 30 May’17)].

Simon Lee Gallery (2017), Jim Shaw – Artist.  [online] At:

The Culture Trip (2017). Michael Borremans Haunted Canvasses. [online] At : [accessed 30 May 2017]

Zeno-x (2017). Michael Borremans -Artist. [online] At: michael_borremans.html  (Accessed on 29 May17)