Monthly Archives: December 2015

Project: Logistical considerations

Skipton

Production

The initial form could be built from cheap and easily accessible materials, using foam board initially, covered in paper mache and assorted other materials to provide texture and represent features in the landscape. Reaching all the surface could prove to be an issue, especially in the centre, but as long as you could access it from all sides this should be achievable. At 1.2m square this should be achievable in a small workshop, so space to construct it shouldn’t be an issue.

This initial form would need to be sealed and moulded in rubber and fibreglass to then be modelled in wax. The surface would need to be split up into sections to do this as such a large sheet could not be cast in one section. The wax would then be shelled up and cast, then welded back together into one sheet. The foundry would complete this process though, from the modelling to the finished piece.

The corners would need to be rounded to some extent to prevent injury to passers-by. Being constructed out of bronze it will be durable from the weather and any potential vandalism. Because of the shape of the map tile, the flow of water falling on the sculpture would have to be taken into account. If it was placed horizontal, water would probably pool in the centre of the sculpture and build up gung. Due to this it might be best to introduce a tilt on the tile, possibly quite a big one to make it look deliberate and not just badly lined up.

The size of the piece and the base construction could be modified according to the budget available. Also, as this is planned as the starting point of a sculpture trail around the town, the size and location of the other map tiles would also have to be worked out and budgeted for at the same time.

Transport

When constructed, this piece would be very heavy, so would require a truck with a crane to move the piece to site and onto its base. If the base was bronze also, the piece would be moved as a completed piece from the foundry to the site. If the base was concrete (more economical), then it would make sense to produce a cast block of concrete that the top could be bolted to. This could be assembled on site, but it would probably make sense to do this in a safer environment (as you would need to get underneath the concrete block), bolt the two together, then transport the whole piece to site.

Installation

Due to the weight of this piece I think it could just sit on top of the paving at the site with perhaps some mortar around the base.

If this was the starting point of a sculpture trail, a notice board describing the route around the sculptures would need to accompany this sculpture.

 

Threshfield quarry

Production

The curved metal pieces would need to be formed at a plate rolling company at the right curvature, they would probably also be cut to size at the same time. Forming the joining strips of metal would be more of an issue, I imagine the best way of doing this would be to hot or cold work the metal to introduce the curves? This might have to be constructed out of thinner steel to allow this to be done and perhaps have two pieces together to provide the strength required. Because of the size of this sculpture, workshop space would probably need to be hired to have enough space to create it.

I don’t think there is much scope for budget creep with these sculptures (unless you reduced the number of sections), so the costs of providing the curved metal sections would need to be fixed before agreeing the budget.

It would need to be constructed from weather resistant core-10 steel to ensure that it keeps its integrity as time goes on, as normal steel would continue to rust and eventually become unstable.

Transport

When constructed, this piece would also be very heavy, so would require a truck with a crane to move the piece to site and onto its base. It could be constructed to its full height and moved as one piece, or it could be moved in sections and welded together on site.

Installation

To fix this in place it would probably be best to weld it to a number of reinforcing steel bars which could then be set into concrete. A deep hole would need to be dug on site for this concrete base. A surveyor/architect would need to be employed to calculate the concrete pad and correct dimensions of steel bar to which would be required to do this correctly and safely.

It would probably be best to construct the piece in two sections, the bottom piece a single section with the reinforcing steel bars which could be set into a concrete base and left to set. The top section could then be welded on top at a later date.

One danger that would need to be accounted for would be the potential for this sculpture to be used as a climbing frame by the public. The initial idea of bolts holding it together might not be a good idea because of the hand/footholds they would offer, so rounded rivet-like shapes may be a better option.

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Sculpture 1 assessment result

Results

Demonstration of Technical & Visual Skills – 26/40 (65%)

Quality of Outcome – 12/20 (60%)

Demonstration of Creativity – 13/20 (65%)

Context – 9/20 (45%)

As the levels increase, the technical & visual skills decrease in importance and demonstration of creativity increases, but as these are at the same level that shouldn’t cause any problem. The area bringing my mark down though is the context mark.

Overall Comments and Feed Forward

Your drawing improved the more inventive and open your approach became as seen in the larger drawings. Endeavour to bring this approach into your sketchbook work which will help you develop this aspect of your practice further. Be determined to continue to take risks in your use of material and the ambition that you have for your work. Try to recognise when your processes are getting results and then exploit them in terms of content and concept.

You need much more reflective comment in the learning log both on your own work and the work of sculptors that you look at, including those working now and in the recent past. It is essential for level 2 that you become less descriptive and much more self critical and analytical in your comments and discussions.

I did think my result was going to be a bit better than this overall mark. It is only 2% higher than my printmaking course and I feel I have come quite a long way since this course. I also thought I had upped my game (admittedly not enough) in my “context” work, but I achieved the same mark as I did in the printmaking course. Still, my marks are going in the right direction, so hopefully I will continue in this manner.

Critical issues to address:

  • Sketchbook work – being more inventive and open, taking risks
  • Reflective comment – less descriptive and more self-critical and analytical
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Exhibition Visit – Caro in Yorkshire

This exhibition was held at The Hepworth and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I started with some of his works in the open air, ‘Promenade, 1996’ is a large five piece sculpture in painted steel by the lake at YSP. This sculpture is a combination of curved and angular shapes which look very industrial in nature, helped by its utilitarian grey colour. They demand attention by their size, but don’t hold it for me. There is no texture variation, or interesting areas to explore which is what I think is what really holds my attention in a sculpture.

 

Promenade1 Promenade2

Moving on to the Longside gallery it became obvious that the industrial nature of steel forms and their uniform colouration was a theme that runs through Caro’s work. His early work, “First National, 1964” is quite a typical piece, constructed of steel and painted in bold uniform colours, this time in green and yellow. Caro is credited with moving sculpture off the plinth and into the floor, so his work is an important stepping stone from the classical statues on plinths to today’s ‘anything goes’ approach. Both this and the bold colouration of his pieces would have been quite a change in his time, but the pieces do now seem dated. Again, I find that they do not hold my attention for long.

First National

It is interesting that Caro worked as an assistant to Henry Moore, but his style is very different to his, using angular steel rather then Moore’s more organic shapes.

An exception to this style was the work “Xanadu, 1986-1988”, again in steel, but this time it looks like the steel is recycled from a previous purpose with some paint evident, rusted and then waxed. The shapes in this piece are less uniform and the surface has much more texture and pattern. It is interesting looking back on this sculpture to write this blog, my visit was all a bit of a rush so I took more photographs than notes. I remember thinking at the time that I really liked this sculpture but looking at the image of it I took below, as a sculpture this work seems to sit in the room like a jumbled piece of junk. What was fascinating for me about this piece was the texture and patterns, which demanded a closer examination. The re-use of metal shows in the surface pattern and decay, indicating it’s past use. I enjoy the textural marks and these offer potential for me with my work. It would be interesting to view this sculpture again and see if it does work from a distance at other angles. In form it appears much less cohesive than his uniformly coloured pieces.

Xanadu  Xanadu3

The Longside gallery had quite a lot of his later works that featured the use of Perspex sheets. I was interested in their use and how they were joined to the steel pieces, particularly in “Mirror, 2013” where it was slotted through the steel or supported like a shelf. This like a lot of his later works seemed cluttered and lacking in any cohesive form though.

My favourite later works of Caro were the three books “Sans Serif, 2013”, “Turner’s Book, 2011-2013” and “A Long Tale, 2011-2013”, all made from cast and forged steel and stoneware. I’ve no idea how he managed to join together steel and ceramic without it shattering, but the two mediums work well together in these pieces and I’d love to have a go at trying to do this. Again I think it is the portrayal of decay which appeals to me and also the detail and texture variation which invites closer inspection and exploration.

Books1 Books2  Books5

Overall a very interesting exhibition and I feel I can take a number of his methods / use of materials into my work.

References:

Anthonycaro.org, (2015). Sir Anthony Caro – Sculptor. [online] Available at: http://www.anthonycaro.org/ [Accessed 2 Dec. 2015].

Annelyjudafineart.co.uk, (2014). Annely Juda Fine Art | Exhibitions | Anthony Caro: The Last Sculptures (2014). [online] Available at: http://www.annelyjudafineart.co.uk/exhibitions/anthony-caro [Accessed 2 Dec. 2015].

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