Category Archives: Musings

Flight websites for research

Through searching the internet I’ve come across websites and online databases with information on planes and plane crashes. I’ve found these websites as useful sources that complement my literary research. They are all current and updated with new information of planes and any events and news that happens in aviation.

– detailed information on crashes and photographs
– has statistics and small technical details and information
– dates are current and is updated regularly with crashes but also news in aviation
– only crashes from 2000 onwards
– detailed information and photographs with photographs- usually more than one of each situation
– NTSB official format used when assessing details of each crash
– crashes from 1950
-photographs and details of planes being decommissioned, parted out, dismantled and slaved
-good reference photographs for specific parts of planes, seeing how planes are put together and also broken planes
-photographs of planes depicted in flight, at airports all from different angles
-high quality photographs
-good photographs for references against crashed planes- see the difference to the technology that the crash makes
-expanded database of dates from 1943- present, updated regularly
-government formatting, official details from each crash
-has sources for news stories covering each crash
-narrative of events leading up to crashes

Being able to look up these crashes has allowed me to apply my reading on the sublime and terror to real and specific events. It also has allowed me to decide to depict specific events in my artwork. By choosing each single crash I can read up on the details and respectfully use the crash in my artwork- looking at the forms, settings and damage to both the pane and the environment in each case.

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Artist Research- Li Yan

The Chinese artist Li Yan presents disasters in the medium of oil paint.

His series Accident 10 (Fukushima) explores events and scenes surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Plant after the damaging earthquake in Japan, 2011.

The style of painting is quite graphical/linear and the pallet is limited and colours are subdued.

Yan’s work has very strong context and depicts scenes from real situations. The scenes themselves almost seem banal on the surface, however each piece in a series makes up the narrative for the viewer to engage with. The work successfully recreates this narrative by producing scenes with intimate details.

Accident Series 5 & 6

Text on Li from artist profile on Saatchi Gallery website:

Li Yan’s Accident series Nos. 5 & 6 deal with the phenomenon of horror. Approaching painting as a forensic activity, Li’s works are comprised of groups of small canvases to reconstruct disaster scenes as elaborate narratives. Following the format of media reportage, each painting contributes a different perspective to the drama, presenting ‘evidence’ as fragmented info bytes for viewer scrutiny and re-assemblage.

Hung in asymmetrical configurations, Li’s canvases invite open interpretation, with each panel operating both independent of and interconnected to the whole, construing event as non-linear and subjective. Maps, car wrecks, bombed out buildings, and mug shots take equal importance to more benign scenes of barbershops, saucy marching bands, and holiday parasailers; like all good crime stories terror is enhanced by its everyday banality, and the devil is in the details.


Images from:

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Air Salvage International

Air Salvage International

Company based in the UK, they decommission, dismantle and salvage aircraft in airports and other site areas.

Their website has detailed descriptions and high quality photographs of planes in various states of being worked on.

The website is useful for looking at individual and broken parts of planes.

Examples of images on the site:

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Artist Research- Andrew Knox

Notes from my research into the Artist Andrew Knox
•Looking at specific work- sculpture titled Death of a White Good

•The work depicts the shattered nose of a passenger jet plane resting on the lawn in the grounds  of the Werribee Mansion, Melbourne.

•The sculpture reflects both the beauty and fear of man’s progression into flight

•The sculpture itself is far removed from actual debris of a real plane crash. Its edges, although jagged, are smooth and the steel itself is perfectly white almost picturesque

•The work also does not have a strict context of time or place, the sculpture itself may be seen differently depending on where it is placed- outside locations, galleries etc

•“The plane crash is a recurring image in contemporary and whether it be caused by an act of God, human/mechanical error or malicious intent, it has the same sublime power to horrify and fascinate and so in turn to become romanticised.”- Quote from Alexander Knox talking about his work

•Won The Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award 2006, was met with some criticism about disrespect of air crash victims and their families

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Artist Research- Dirk Skreber

A few notes about research into the work of the German Artist Dirk Skreber:

Looking at his ‘Disaster Paintings’ series of works.

•The work depicts various scenes of  man made accidents involving train, cars and other transportation. Also looks at the effect on the man made by nature, floods fires

•The work represents the ‘monumental’ ideal of man-made debris and unusual aesthetic beauty in terrible scenes

•The use of oil paint embraces catastrophe and ideas of death and isolation represented within the disaster of supposed technological progression

•The paintings have no specific location context, many of the scenes suggest the environment surrounding the accidents/disasters

•These settings are seemingly banal and mundane but are home to abstract incidents that transform the ideas of the viewer “from the familiar to the uncanny”




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MA Fine Art

So we’re actually getting into the course now, it technically started in late October but there were a lot of admin issues and then trouble with the studios. We still can’t stick anything up on the walls yet but hopefully in a few weeks the huge room should be partitioned and we can each have our own spaces to do with as we wish.

My research and work has progressed after my BA, mainly due to my continuation of reading about the Sublime over the summer break. My interests are now fully within the terror, disaster and technological sublime. Specifically at the moment aviation and air disasters. I have also read up on nuclear disasters and the nuclear sublime and I imagine this will surface in my work at some point.

I’m still working through a lot of research on this topic and still experimenting with aesthetic, media and composition to portray what I want effectively to the viewer. I have many databases on air crashes online bookmarked and my evenings are spent reading about these disasters in detail along with accompanying photographs of the crash scene.

I guess it’s good that I have a phobia of flying anyway, I don’t plan on flying any time soon.

I really can’t wait to get back to working on large scale paper and fully get into the course. There are a lot of open exhibitions coming up too, mainly in London- I better start making work ready all of these. If you don’t enter, you don’t get better, right?


Link to two of the sites I look at if anyone is interested:


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