Creating a Cohesive Body of Work

Creating a cohesive body of work is highly encouraged, it allows patrons, collectors and gallery owners to receive your message through viewing a visually appealing series of work from a specific period in time.

Imagine turning the pages of a storybook, the story makes sense when the pages are relative, piecing pages from different, unrelated stories together and expecting the viewer to understand what you are trying to say, makes less sense…

For months I have been drawn to images of the vintage circus, the ‘forgotten performers’. I toyed with the idea that we, as a society are the circus act and our silent, imaginary, audience watches us from dusty dark corners of a mouldy stage, with sad eyes. Pained by our current collective human condition. I felt a strong pull to convey this message through my work, the theme ‘asks’ me for representation, it’s not so much a choice but a desperate need for a story to be told…

Subject matters... Create mood boards, 'creative maps'. The purpose of a mood board is to guide you in executing the initial message with intention. 

Sketch, pay attention to the negative space in each piece and how that space interacts in your body of work. The sketches play an important role in knowing what size canvas you will need, they also allow you to determine whether or not your message is impactful, where you need to say more and where you should say less.

Photo Wizard: @shadow1188

Photo Wizard: @shadow1188

Decide on the shapes and sizes of your work, how many pieces do you want to show? Once I have decided on my theme and I have my collection sketched out, I build my frames and stretch my canvas, according to my needs.

Below are some interesting canvas shape theories:

  • Horizontal – peaceful
  • Vertical – majestic/active
  • Square – risky, contemporary
  • Standard – traditional

Maintaining a cohesive color palette does not necessarily mean you are restricted to the colors you select, you may decide to have one specific over powering color juxtaposed with muted tones. Selecting color is also very personal to the artist, psychologically we are individually drawn to different palettes and tones.

Make Work, the process itself can be daunting, the fear I feel before making work reminds me that I could fail and I am then forced to work with fierce intention, so that I don’t.

This is by no means 'the correct way' to build your own body of work, if your preference is to create a body of work that looks like it belongs in 'Art Through the Ages' and that makes you feel authentic then that is lovely.

 B E K K Y B E U K E S

Photo Wizard: @shadow1188