Category Archives: Assignment 2

Assignment two: Deconstruction/construction

The aim of this assignment was to deconstruct a chair or coffee table and create a new sculptural form from its component parts through the manipulation and re-composition of its elements by producing drawings, developmental work and reconstruction.

I can’t say that this assignment filled me with enthusiasm at all, but I obtained a wooden chair with a damaged seat and started with some drawings:

Chair1 Chair2 Chair3

It took quite a while to come up with any ideas for this, the only element of the chair which held any interest for me was the broken seat. Once I focussed on that area, an idea took hold of objects smashing into this area as a target:

Chair5

The chair was cut up into its component parts and first of all the ‘target’ was assembled:

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A few colours were tested out in Photoshop:

Frame blue Frame brown Frame greenblue Frame grey Frame red

Grey looked like the best option, so I went with this.

Then it was on to the pieces coming towards the target. Options were to cut or roughly break the pieces.

Chair4

I dismissed the latter as there were insufficient pieces to work with (especially which had any length), so I went for cut pieces. The assignment required working with planes so my idea was to cut the remaining pieces into small rectangles which would regularise the pieces, then stick them together in twos or threes before painting them.

After doing this, I was left with a few pieces of the chair, but most were used.

Leftovers

Leftovers

Whilst I was doing this, I needed an area to set up my installation, so I painted the corner of a room white to display this:

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I glued the pieces of wood together and painted them a dark blue colour, holes were then drilled through them to take the wire I planned to hang them from.

I secured the back of the ‘target’ to a piece of wood placed under my bench (otherwise the wires would pull the sculpture forwards when tensed).

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Then I assembled the piece using eye’s screwed into the wood under the target and piece screwed to the wall, then wire attached to these. The wire was balled together underneath the individual falling pieces to prevent them from moving.

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Assignment two: The finished piece

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‘Target’
180x150x80cm
Dismantled chair, wire, acrylic paint

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Assignment two: Reflection

Due to the available space, the ‘target’ faces the wall and feels a bit hemmed in. With a larger space the ‘target’ could face out into the room with the wires traversing across it. A stronger single point light source would also enhance this work through the casting of dark shadows on the wall from the falling pieces.

I think the piece works quite well, despite being the kind of work I am not interested in pursuing. Whilst I wasn’t sure whether the randomly arranged blocks would work, I think they form interesting shapes that work better than the more aerodynamic shapes I initially though might be needed for the falling pieces.

As my tutor pointed out after submitting this piece, the base doesn’t work with this piece – it obviously doesn’t fit with the rest of the work and distracts from it. I ‘removed’ it in the image and the result was much better:

Assignment2 3 Base Removed

Although I set out to try to work on my sketches more, my lack of engagement with the subject matter meant that this didn’t happen in this stage of the course. The end result was much better than I thought I could get to, given the unpromising starting point, but I still haven’t addressed my principle weakness yet. I know that this has to change in my next stage of the course and I have already made a good start on changing this.

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Assignment 2 – Tutor feedback

Jim started the assignment feedback by discussing the success of the two ‘box and sphere’ pieces made in the projects and how these could form the basis of a series of works. He also suggested looking at artists producing similar work as a comparison – e.g. David Smith using bronze and steel combined – I have added this to my reflection on this project.

The then went on to discuss my drawings, the better ones and the weaker ones. I plan to address this properly in the next stage.

We discussed the weaknesses of my wing piece, which I recognised once I’d made it. It has strengths in the use of surface texture, pattern and colour, but it doesn’t work as a whole.

Then we moved on to the success of the assignment piece and the imaginative use of a deconstructed chair, but he pointed out that the white base board doesn’t fit with the rest of the sculpture (it is very obvious that it shouldn’t be there) and it would be much stronger without it. The wires could be fixed directly into the floor. I couldn’t do this in practice, so manipulated the image to show how this would work:

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This is so much better than the original. I need to concentrate on bases for my sculptures as this is not the first time I have ignored this to my peril. They can seem to just be a quick finishing touch to a sculpture, but they can make or break a piece. Something to watch out for going forwards.

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