Assignment 5 – Development

It would be nice to do some sketches from microscope viewing of samples taken from the local area and basing a project on that. I could also tie that in with the landscape tile work I have been doing.

If did at a pond, could produce a cross section bronze with slices of glass for the pond water, containing discs of glass with drawings (print on glass) of microscopic slides. I keep having ideas of incorporating glass into my works – one day I’ll manage it!

Posted in Assignment 5 | Leave a comment

Assignment 5 – Reflection

The pollen grid work doesn’t fit with the other 3 sculptures as it is very different in form and style. The grid works well, however the pollen grain is a bit too sterile? I think the decaying pollen sculptures have shown me that I need to try to introduce more randomness into my work. Also on this piece, it was put together to hang from the wall like a picture on D rings and string. However, this tips the piece forwards which doesn’t work as well. It would be better having recessed fittings in the back board so it fits flush against the wall.

The ‘Animalcule’ series of sculptures worked quite well. Working with open steel forms allows me to work on a much bigger scale without the issues of weight in using metal.

‘Animacule 1’ would probably have worked better using my original idea of Egyptian paste for the centre pieces if this could be achieved. Cast glass would also be an interesting alternative. The paper forms are a bit too messy for my liking – too messy in being not very well manufactured that is, messy in an unpredictable cracking like that which would be on the Egyptian paste would be fine.

The use of fabric and eyelets in ‘Animacule 2’ works well, although the fabric could do with being thicker to allow the eyelets to grip better and have less risk of pulling out. I wonder whether the fabric could have been drawn on or whether that would distract from the form. The unfinished steel works well with the slightly fraying fabric. Longer term it might need some kind of finish to protect it.

Leaving ‘Animacule 3’ as unfinished steel and bronze seemed to work well, echoing the feel of the organisms when looked at under the microscope – like unfinished basic forms of life. Whether it works better like this or finished as originally intended remains to be seen.

The ideas used in the animalcule series could have been developed further, but weren’t due to my restricted timescale in getting through this course before the 2 year time limit runs out. Overall I think they have been successful though, with the open steel forms and the material wired onto it being ideas I may carry forwards with my work. I just have to work out how on earth I’m going to store works of this size now!

Posted in Assignment 5 | Leave a comment

Assignment 5 – Animalcule 3

Animalcule 3a Animalcule 3b Animalcule 3c Animalcule 3d

‘Animalcule 3’
Steel and bronze
97x48x48cm

Posted in Assignment 5 | Leave a comment

Assignment 5 – Animalcule 2

Animalcule 2a Animalcule 2c Animalcule 2d Animalcule 2e Animalcule 2f

‘Animalcule 2’
Steel, fabric and wire
70x67x66cm

Posted in Assignment 5 | Leave a comment

Assignment 5 – Animalcule 1

Animalcule 1a Animalcule 1b Animalcule 1c Animalcule 1d Animalcule 1f

‘Animalcule 1’
Steel, paper and paint
110x40x40cm

Posted in Assignment 5 | Leave a comment

Assignment 5 – Captured Passion

Pollen grid 1Pollen grid 2 Pollen grid 3 Pollen grid 4 Pollen grid 5

‘Captured Passion’
Bronze on a wooden back board
40x30x9cm

Posted in Assignment 5 | Leave a comment

Part 5 – Accompanying work

I also contemplated what accompanying work could be produced with these sculptures. An exhibition of purely sculpture might leave a lot of wall space uncovered and many artists mix sculpture with 2D work. Some of this accompanying work may not be relevant for this course, but looking forwards to my next one (Mixed Media or Drawing), it becomes more relevant to think about this.

Leeuwenhoek

Shelves of vessels for storing water samples (tea-cups, glasses, white delft porcelain vessel, blue tub, stoppered glass bottle, glass phial, wine glass – all mentioned in his studies of water (Dobell and Leeuwenhoek, 1960)) – label with contents and number of days exposed to air

Note books of observations

Illustrator drawings

Microscopy

Microscope slide disks cut in lino and stuck in the centre of rectangle bases. Make lino-cuts based on the images seen. Series of prints (one colour with coloured tissue behind elements – Chine Collé), then mould and cast the lino plate and use the bronze discs in a sculpture or archway.

Dobell, C. and Leeuwenhoek, A. (1960). Anthony van Leeuwenhoek and his “little animals”. 1st ed. New York: Dover.

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment

Part 5 – Animalcule 3

For this one, I decided to stick with the idea of bronze elements in a steel frame – time consuming, but hopefully doable for one sculpture.

Steel Frame

Again, a similar construction method was used for the outer steel frame, with additional small rods attached to the outside of the form.

Metal frame

Bronze

To get interest in these forms, I had two options – texture or colour. I decided to go with colour with this sculpture and so kept the form very simple. The shape was created using oil based clay, cut in half and a mould taken. This mould was then used to create 16 wax shapes (or 32 halves), which were then sprued up for casting:

MouldWax

Once cast, these were tidied up and welded together. They were then drilled and a screw thread formed in the drilled hole so they could be screwed onto threaded rods which were welded on the inside of the steel form. This mechanical connection would allow me to patinate the bronze without affecting the steel, and paint the steel without worrying about getting paint on the bronze.

I liked the unfinished look this sculpture had after I attached it all together to make sure it worked before the planned painting and patination. It worked well together and echoed the feel of looking at unfinished or very basic forms of life. I decided to film and photograph it at this stage in case the painting and patinating ruined the sculpture!

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment

Part 5 – Animalcule 2

Steel Frame

Like ‘Animacule 1’, this was constructed out of round steel bar, bent around formers and welded together. Thicker straight rods were then welded through the form to create the spikes.

Organism 2

Canvas outer

Inspired by the work of

Lee Bontecou (Salvo et al., 2008), I decided to cover the centre form in canvas, wired to the frame through eyelet’s in the canvas. It turns out that all eyelets are not equal! However, after some experimentation, I achieved what I was aiming for.

Reference

Salvo, D., Hadler, M., Judd, D., Smith, E. and Storr, R. (2008). Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment

Part 5 – Animalcule 1

The original idea with these sculptures was to produce bronze elements that would be attached to a steel frame. That was fine as it continued my work trying to mix these two mediums, but on reading a ceramic book (Goring, 2016) my wife got for her Birthday, I came across Deborah Sigel (Deborahsigel.com, 2017) who uses Egyptian paste in a steel frame to produce sculptural work. Applying this to these designs opens up another means of combining materials which is exciting and something I decided I definitely wanted to explore.

Sketchbook056 Sketchbook058

Steel frame

The outer frame was constructed out of round steel bar, bent around formers and welded together.

P1050685 P1050692

Egyptian paste

I started out by creating an oval form in bent steel rod, affixed to a base. I packed this with a yellow Egyptian paste mix, dried it out and then fired it.

First EP experiment Organism egyptian paste

The Egyptian paste shrunk a lot more that I had expected and the steel peeled a lot after having been fired.

I tried another attempt, this time incorporating a steel nut in a tube to enable the form to be bolted onto the frame. I also formed an inner core of paper mache in the hope that it would shrink less.

Second EP experiment

This was another failure – the paste has pulled away from the frame in the same way as before and the rod I rested the piece on attached itself to the nut in the heat of the kiln.

I think this could work as a method, but it would require a lot of experimentation to get it right. Unfortunately, time isn’t something I have a lot of left with this course, so a rethink was required.

Ceramic Forms

My next idea was to form ceramic shapes instead. I could go for a blobby organic shape, colour the clay to get similar colours as those planned with the Egyptian paste, then use oxides to bring out the texture on the forms. Holes would be left in the forms and these attached to the steel frame onto threaded rods welded onto the frame, glued into the holes – not quite as elegant as my previous plans, but it should do the trick.

Tissue paper

Before I got started on the ceramic forms, I visited the ‘Disobedient Bodies’ exhibition at The Hepworth and saw the work of two artists:

Isamu Noguchi worked with paper lanterns (rear two pieces in this image):

Isamu Noguchi (at rear)

Lynda Benglis used paper tissue over a wire mesh:

Lynda Benglis

I then had the idea that these could both be combined to give a solution to my problem. Tissue paper over a wire mesh frame would provide an easy form to attach to my steel frame and the transparency of the shapes would echo the organism’s transparency in real life. I had also thought that it would be good to incorporate light into these sculptures, something that was very important in being able to view them through a microscope. To this effect I could add lights inside the wire mesh frames.

I struggled to get the paper covering to work with thin tissue paper, so ended up using a thin printing paper I had. This meant that I lost the potential transparency effect so I decided to colour the pieces with charcoal and then acrylic paint.

The steel frame was painted black and the paper elements added using wire.

This sculpture has changed a lot since its original conception!

References

Goring, H. (2016). Low-fire glazes and special projects. 1st ed. Westerville, Ohio: The American Ceramic Society, pp.41-45.

Deborahsigel.com. (2017). Deborah Sigel. [online] Available at: http://deborahsigel.com/ [Accessed 9 Feb. 2017].

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment

Exhibition Visit – Tony Cragg: A Rare Category of Objects

I visited this exhibition and went to a talk by Tony Cragg on the same day, so my comments on his views are made from the talk he gave.

I went to the exhibition with no views in mind. I had seen Cragg’s work in books and on the internet, but hadn’t connected with his forms. Based on previous experience though, seeing an image of a sculpture is nothing like seeing it in the flesh, so I was open to experiencing it as new.

Mean Average 2013

The first sculpture I sat down and viewed for a while was actually ‘Points of View, 2013’, but I didn’t take a picture of it. What struck me most about this sculpture and also ‘Mean Average, 2013’ (pictured above), was how he had left the weld line obvious in these sculptures. As I have mentioned previously, I am keen on texture and variation rather than uniformity in a sculpture, however whilst these weld lines might break up the uniformity of the sculpture, they don’t work for me in this instance.

Mean Average closeup 2013

From his talk he said that he tried sending work away to be cast, but when it came back, it didn’t speak to him because he didn’t know how it was made. Later in the talk in answering a question about how he chose the colour of his pieces, he said that different colours were done as variations of a sculpture – i.e. not planned from the outset. Throughout his talk his focus has always (or at least since his move away from installation) been purely on form. Perhaps therefore the finish is less important to him than the form and the weld marks show how the piece was made which would seem to appeal to him.

As a viewer of the sculpture though, it didn’t appeal to me and I found it distracted from the emotional response to the sculpture, which is something he clearly aimed to get across in his work.

Group 2012

Looking at more of his work is was interesting to view his ‘Group 2012’ in the underground gallery and see the similarity to Ursula Von Rydingsvard’s work which was displayed in the same place at a previous exhibition. The finish is obviously different with Rydingsvard leaving the rough chainsaw marks and Cragg finishing it to a high polished surface, but I found the forms very similar.

In Cragg’s career, he has had seismic shifts of direction at certain stages, with his work using coloured rubbish or stacked machinery parts having little in common with his current work. In his talk he mentioned about the time he realised that he had reached the limit of what he could do with his installation work and started to concentrate on the development of new forms.

The work of his I liked the best was his later work, from the last 4 years or so, but it was interesting to see how this work came about as the development of a theme over and over again over a period of many years.

My favourite works of his were ‘Spring, 2016’ and ‘Skull, 2016’

Spring 2016

‘Spring, 2016’ is a beautifully polished and varnished laminated wooden sculpture which begs to be stroked. Its form echoes the gushing of a fountain and, although it is rather 2D in nature, it does have a strong presence in the room.

Skull 2016

‘Skull, 2016’ is a cast bronze piece, painted with white enamel paint. The forms used in this piece are much more interesting to me than Cragg’s usual wavy forms and the holes through them create more interest and help the piece to work from all angles.

Overall an interesting exhibition, but it hasn’t changed my views much on Cragg’s work. To take away from it would be:

  • the importance of viewing sculptures from all angles (I found quite a few of his works only really worked from one angle)

  • Working with laminated wood – provides a very interesting layered surface which could work with my map/contour work

  • The passion and dedication to his work which was evident in his talk

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment

Part 5 – Pollen grid

This sculpture would be wall hanging and consist of two parts, the grid and the pollen spheres.

Grid

My initial idea with this was to create a ceramic grid with an organic feel about it.

My first attempt used wooden dowels glues together and then coated in paper clay slip, sanded at the edges and then fired. This worked to a point, but suffered from cracking and, more importantly, didn’t create as organic a form as I had envisaged.

Wooden gridCeramic grid 1

I then tried a second one using dead plant stems covered in paper mache and then covered in ceramic slip. The form of this was much more successful.

Cermic grid 2

As I was experiencing problems with the ceramic grids, I decided that I would produce a bronze version in case they didn’t work. It would also be much more durable, but it wouldn’t fulfil my brief of using mixed media more.

I made this in wax, textured the surface and sprued it up to cast (in two halves):

Wax gridGrid coated

Once cast it was tidied up, welded back together and patinated a white colour.

Pollen

The pollen spheres were always going to be made out of bronze. To do this, I formed a thick wax sphere using a mould I had created previously and then carved it to represent a Passiflora caerulea (passion flower) pollen.

To make sure I could get multiple version (and in case the cast failed), I created a silicon mould of this.

P1050615

Waxes were created and, due to recent casting failures, cores were used in these to hopefully give a successful cast.

Pollen wax

Fortunately the cores worked well and the casts were successful:

Pollen cast

Rods were drilled and tapped to be able to accept a bolt and then welded to the back of the pollen spheres, these were then patinated and finished. Only one pollen sphere was used in the end.

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment

Assignment 4 – Follow-up

Wall hung map tile

In the reflection I mentioned trying a map tile as a wall hung work. I tried this with another cast of the Grimwith tile (photographed on the ground):

Grimwith wall tile

‘Grimwith’
28x28x3cm
Bronze

Although this is now much easier for people to find a place for in their houses, I don’t think this format works as well as it needs to sit horizontally to get a sense of the landscape form.

Fractured landscape

In the development ideas I mentioned producing a ‘fractured map tile’ exploring the themes of the destruction of the landscape from industry/etc. And produced some drawings of these. This took a while to construct, but I got there in the end:

Fractured map tile 1Fractured map tile 2 Fractured map tile 3 Fractured map tile 4

‘Fractured map tile’
29x27x26cm
Bronze, stainless steel and mild steel

I am really pleased with the way this has worked out and feel that it is a positive development of the theme and the way I will take these map tiles forwards in the future. This piece has lost the ‘baggage’ of the OS map base and has a message across rather than just representing what is in a landscape. The contrast provided by the shiny and rusted steel works well with the bronze and I have improved the colouring in this tile – all round a much more successful piece.

Posted in Assignment 4 | Leave a comment

Assignment 3 – Follow-up

In my reflection I mentioned that two areas could be improved – the black background and the steel rods holding the sphere in place. Also in the development ideas I mentioned producing smaller works on the same theme.

I produced a number of smaller works as planned and ironed out the areas which needed improvement in producing these. However, when casting the spheres, a failure in the internal shell caused the mould to split and bronze to pour out into the centre. After my initial disappointment at this, I started to clean them up and realised that this had resulted in much more interesting shapes than the original wax.

Decaying pollen 1a Decaying pollen 1b

‘Decaying pollen 1’
35x35x8cm
Steel and bronze in a wooden frame

Decaying pollen 2a Decaying pollen 2b
‘Decaying pollen 2’
35x35x6cm
Steel and bronze in a wooden frame

The failed casts provide much greater interest than the originals, both in their form by making them look like they have started to disintegrate, and also in their texture through the bronze’s contact with the sand which was placed around the shell.

I intend to continue working with this series and will try to replicate the shell failure to produce more bronzes like this.

Posted in Assignment 3 | Leave a comment

Part 5 – Sketches

Microscopy

Forms inspired by the work of Anthony van Leeuwenhoek were sketched with the idea of creating them in steel and bronze:

Sketchbook049 Sketchbook050 Sketchbook051 Sketchbook052Sketchbook053Sketchbook054Sketchbook055IMG_7021

These appealed to me as a series of works and I decided to produce three of them using steel and other media.

Pollen

The pollen grains (2 or 3) would be displayed in front of a grid made out to ceramic.

Pollen

P1050798

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment

Part 5 – Aims and Perceived Outcomes

What do I want to achieve? What do I hope to produce?

I want to:

  • explore less representational sculpture
  • explore new media / mix media more
  • work bigger
  • create sculptures which intrigue / evoke a similar sense of discovery I remember experiencing when visiting Buxton Micrarium when I was a child.

References:

Micrariumenterprises.co.uk. (2017). The Micrarium Story. [online] Available at: http://www.micrariumenterprises.co.uk/page41.html [Accessed 14 Apr. 2017].

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment

Part 5 – Research

Anthony van Leeuwenhoek

Leeuwenhoek was born on 24 October 1632 in Delft, Holland. His parents were fairly well off tradespeople and he did receive schooling at a local school and then whilst living with his uncle (an attorney), but he was never destined for university.

At 16 he was sent to Amsterdam to become a draper where he rose through the business to become the book-keeper and cashier there. 6 years later he returned to his home town to set up his own draper and haberdasher business. Over time he added to his job roles in the town also taking on those of ‘sheriff’s chamberlain’, ‘qualified surveyor’ and ‘wine-gauger’ (assaying all wines and spirits entering the town and calibrating the vessels they came in).

At some point (possibly 1668) he began to create his own microscopes by grinding his own glass lenses and then studying everything and anything through them. These studies were first brought to light in 1673 when he wrote his first letter to The Royal Society of London offering his scientific observations for publication in the ‘Philosophical Transactions’. This was as a result of recently setup Royal Society looking to communicate with all men (no matter of what learning) who were working for “the promotion of natural knowledge” (Dobell and Leeuwenhoek, 1960).

This was the start of a frequent correspondence, mostly on his observations and discoveries made using his microscopes, which was to continue until his death fifty years later in 1723.

These letters were not scientific papers, they were descriptions of the studies he had made and discovered using his microscopes, written in his native Dutch and translated by The Royal Society for publication.

Because of the quality of his lenses, he was the only serious microscopist in the world at the time and he had no rivals in this field. As a result of his letters he was elected as a Fellow of The Royal Society in 1680.

Once his discoveries were published and became known about, he became famous and was sought out by celebrities and royalty to demonstrate his microscopes and the things he viewed through them. It was not fame he sought though and in correspondence he confessed he was bored by these interruptions and would prefer to be left in peace to continue his studies.

He is credited with many discoveries:

protozoa (single-celled organisms)
bacteria
spermatozoa
blood cells
muscle fibre construction
blood flow in capillaries.

Pollen

I decided that one pollen grain type was sufficient for this piece and picked that of Passiflora caerulea (Kesseler and Harley, 2004).

References

Bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC – History – Historic Figures: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632 – 1723). [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/van_leeuwenhoek_antonie.shtml [Accessed 14 Apr. 2017].

Dobell, C. and Leeuwenhoek, A. (1960). Anthony van Leeuwenhoek and his “little animals”. 1st ed. New York: Dover.

En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonie_van_Leeuwenhoek [Accessed 14 Apr. 2017].

Explorable.com. (2017). Discovery Of Bacteria – by Antony van Leeuwenhoek. [online] Available at: https://explorable.com/discovery-of-bacteria [Accessed 14 Apr. 2017].

Kesseler, R. and Harley, M. (2004). Pollen. 1st ed. London: Andreas Papadakis.

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment

Assignment 4 – Tutor Feedback

Some bullet points taken from Skype assignment feedback:

  • Think about whether the accuracy of the topography is something which is needed. It could be more representative of the experience of being there / exploring the area.
  • Increase depth of reflections and contextualisation. More about my thoughts in creating the work. Question more what the pieces are communicating to the viewer. Are there areas that lose the communication of the ideas?
  • The museum-like presentation bases work well, however the additional pointed steel grid on the Conistone tile is over-elaborate and detracts from the message of the sculpture. It adds an industrial feel to the pieces which is not warranted.
  • Do more large drawings in pen & ink / graphite. Don’t feel like have to do ‘loose’ drawings if these don’t suit me.
  • The sketch of the fractured map tile works better, both as a sketch and as a sculpture, as it doesn’t have the baggage of the OS accurate map.
  • Try more sketches working on an imagined scale / dystopian landscapes.
  • A comment my tutor made about the Grimwith tile feeling like flayed flesh gave me an idea of having a tile with an area pealed back. Could do this with an archaeology tile – pealing back the surface – could do that literally, revealing an impression of what was underneath?

 

Suggested reading/viewing:

  • Boyle Family
  • Robert Smithson essays
  • Paul Noble

 

Comments on suggested reading:

Boyle Family

The Boyle family are best known for their ‘Earth Series’, a series of casts of the earth’s surface, selected at random. They incorporate objects from the sites with resin, fibreglass and paint, and aim to be accurate representations of that site.

Their exhibition of an area of coast on Barra in the Outer Hebrides (part of their ‘World Series’, a random survey of planet Earth, selected by throwing darts at a map of the world) is a very similar idea to one I have been mulling over, essentially having an exhibition based on a small section of land. Their exhibition (Barra project, World Series. 1992-2010) consisted of reproduction of a rock cliff face and a rippled area of sand, accompanied by a film piece of the site and electron microscope images of plankton and seaweed found at the site. They also included electron microscope images of their hairs, including themselves in recognition of their impact on the site by visiting it.

It is interesting that a fellow student has just written a blog piece on originality and finding that other artists have done the same thing as your own brilliant and innovative idea (Eaton, 2017). Having completed my map tiles in stage 4 and now working on sculpture based on microscope images in stage 5, I was thinking that these could be combined by selecting a small section of land and producing both a map tile of it and sculptures based on microscope imagery of what was found there (e.g. pollen, pond creatures).

Their work concerns itself with accuracy aiming to ‘present a version of reality as objectively and truthfully as possible’ (Boylefamily.co.uk, 2017). My aim is to move further away from the accuracy of the depiction, to capture more of the essence. So the resulting work would be very different, but part of the concept to offer different interpretations of the environment is the same.

Another interesting piece of their work to me is ‘Sand, Wind and Tide series, 1969’, fourteen studies of the same square of beach. It looks like these are all monochrome though, rather than replicating the colour of the sane and I like this idea of removing colour to concentrate on the form and texture.

No doubt I will come back to look at their work again.

References:

Boylefamily.co.uk. (2017). Boyle Family (About). [online] Available at: http://www.boylefamily.co.uk/boyle/about/index.html [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].

Eaton, A. (2017). Confessions of an art student: Part 4 – WeAreOCA. [online] WeAreOCA. Available at: https://weareoca.com/student-work/confessions-art-student-part-4/ [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].

Mottram, J. (2017). Boyle Family – Submit Response. [online] Submitresponse.co.uk. Available at: http://submitresponse.co.uk/weblog/2003/08/30/boyle-family/ [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].

Nationalgalleries.org. (2017). Tidal Series (1969) | National Galleries of Scotland. [online] Available at: https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/76677/tidal-series-1969 [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].

Tate.org.uk. (2017). TateShots Edinburgh: Boyle Family. [online] Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/tateshots-edinburgh-boyle-family [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].

 

Robert Smithson

Robert Smithson works directly with the landscape, creating earthworks or land art, most notably ‘Spiral Jetty, 1970’. Works like this alter the landscape to form his art, but he also produced work such as his Non-sites, where he brought materials from remote sites into galleries and placed them with maps and mirrors to create a ‘dialectic between the outdoors and indoors’ (Robertsmithson.com, 2017).

I find his essays hard to understand, but his essay on ‘A Provisional Theory of Non-Sites’ he says:

‘By drawing … a topological map, one draws a … “logical two dimensional picture” [this] differs from a natural or realistic picture in that it rarely looks like the thing it stands for. The Non-Site (an indoor earthwork) is a three dimensional logical picture that is abstract, yet it represents an actual site…’

I guess this is what my tutor is suggesting I do in moving away from ‘the baggage of the OS map’

Ideas sparked – I could construct a map tile as a container. Have the map tile around the edge, with a recessed box in the centre, fill this box with collected material from the site?

Map tile with found items

References:

Robertsmithson.com. (2017). Robert Smithson. [online] Available at: http://www.robertsmithson.com/introduction/introduction.htm [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].

 

Paul Nobel

Paul Nobel produces drawings of a fictional place Nobson Newtown. These are very detailed pencil drawings, usually based on text as a starting point.

They are very different to my work and I am not sure what I will get out of these at the moment. I guess my tutor has pointed me towards these to show that detailed intricate drawings can be a valid way forwards rather than the way students are often pushed towards loser, freer drawings. It also shows where rolling with your imagination can take you.

I had some similar ideas in my ‘residency’ work, which I thought could be expanded to incorporate drawings in the form of architectural plans for the ‘buildings’ and a language used by the ‘unknown creatures’ – again proof that there are no original ideas, however much you may think you have them!

References:

Nobsonnewtown.co.uk. (2017). Paul Noble Nobson Newtown drawings. [online] Available at: http://www.nobsonnewtown.co.uk/ [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].

Tate. (2017). Paul Noble | Tate. [online] Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/paul-noble-2767 [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].

Posted in Assignment 4 | Leave a comment

Part 5 – Initial Thoughts

I mulled over what to do for this stage of the course for quite a long time exploring a number of ideas to start with.

Space

23 Drawing 24 Drawing

Pollen

#2 Pollen stone 5 Pollen room 6 Pollen display wall 12 Fractured pollen landscape14 Pollen detail 25 Drawing 26 Drawing 28 Drawing33 Drawing

This subject has plenty of scope, although my ideas all use representational pollen grains, scaling them up to different extents. Some of these had great potential, particularly going very large and forming a large pollen sphere using an open plaster shape (In a similar structure as that used by Richard Hamilton in ‘Growth and Form’, 1951 – based on drawings of morphologies from a book by the biologist D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (Macba.cat, 2017)), or using concrete covered scrim (in a similar way to the method used by Phyllida Barlow in her ‘untitled: screestage, 2013’).

Viruses

The development idea from the end of Stage 4:

Skin virus sketch

Virus attacking skin images – lumpy marks – weld pools of bronze?

Microscopy

We decided in my tutorial at the end of part 3 to drop the course content for part 4. I had however been reading ahead and thinking about possibilities for that stage. The ‘Monument to a hero’ section was one I had pondered on and decided that I might be able to manipulate it to suit something I wanted to explore (rather than an actual hero of mine). There had recently been a Google Doodle for the 384th Birthday of Anthony van Leeuwenhoek (Google.com, 2017). His work on microscopes fitted neatly into my recent work on pollen grains and I looked into his work further.

Direction

I decided that the pollen and microscopy ideas had the most potential (and fit together), so this was the direction I took.

References

Google.com. (2017). Antoni van Leeuwenhoek’s 384th Birthday. [online] Available at: https://www.google.com/doodles/antoni-van-leeuwenhoeks-384th-birthday [Accessed 13 Apr. 2017].

The Huffington Post. (2017). LOOK: Under The Microscope, Deadly Viruses Look Absolutely Stunning. [online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/13/deadly-viruses-beautiful-photos_n_4545309.html [Accessed 13 Apr. 2017].

Macba.cat. (2017). Growth and Form. [online] Available at: http://www.macba.cat/en/growth-and-form-5245 [Accessed 13 Apr. 2017].

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment

Exhibition Visit – Disobedient Bodies at the Hepworth

An exhibition curated by a fashion designer (J. Anderson) covering art, fashion, ceramics and design was an intriguing prospect. Fashion is an alien world to me, something I have never understood or followed!

Disobedient Bodies

The first thing that strikes you as you enter the space is the use of curtains to divide up the exhibition space, instantly giving a cosier space than the stark sterile white of many gallery spaces. The works are then laid out in a series of themes, although these are quite loose (and I didn’t always agree with the placement of objects into them). What I found fascinating was how he placed groups of works together.

A ‘bustle coat’ by Yohji Yamamoto echoing the shape of ‘Metamorphosis, 1984’ by William Turnball:

William Turnball

‘Teddy Boy and Girl, 1979’ by Lynn Chadwick was complemented by similarly angular garments by Junya Watanbe (‘Architectural dress’) and Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood (‘Witches Dress’ and ‘Witches Trench Coat’):

Lynn Chadwick

A collection of Sarah Flynn ceramics sharing many characteristics with garments by JW Anderson:

JW Anderson Sarah Flynn

These pairings show the artistic processes of picking ideas and inspiration from diverse sources. It is curated with a very broad-minded approach, resulting in an exhibition that should be of interest to everyone.

28 Jumpers

Two last items I wanted to comment on, firstly the immersive ’28 Jumpers’ by JW Anderson. This was a display of oversized jumpers which the public are invited to interact with. It had similarities to Phyllida Barlow’s ‘untitled: screestage, 2013’ which you were able to walk under, but added the tactile experience of being able to touch and interact (or play) with the exhibit. This is something which seems to be becoming more popular (e.g. touching exhibits in York Art Gallery) and something I think works well with sculpture which often has a tactile element to be experienced.

Sarah Lucas

Lastly, a piece I didn’t like was ‘Bunny Gets Snookered #9, 1997’ by Sarah Lucas. I find the stuffed tights she uses in her works disturbing, like distorted flesh. Her work might have an important message to get across, but I do wonder if it works? I think I need to have beauty in works of art, I feel that there are enough ugly things in the world without adding to them! Perhaps sometimes the message is everything though and I just haven’t found an issue which is important to me enough to protest against?!

Posted in Part 5 | Leave a comment