Assignment 5: Appraisal of outcomes

Artist Statements

‘Untitled’

Taking inspiration from looking at works by Isamu Noguchi and Barbara Hepworth, with the design more inspired by the flow of water around obstructions (or holes in this case). I have chosen to emphasise the carving marks around the holes to show how it has been created and to provide contrast with the smooth raised areas. It has been painted to represent the colours that could be achieved if this sculpture was cast in bronze.

‘Inward looking’

This sculpture takes its shape from the lens of an eye with the raised areas depicting retinal blood vessels coming from the optic nerve, with the black colour from the pupil. The retinal blood vessels in an eye form a concave shape going towards the lens of the eye. However, with this sculpture the veins join together at the edges or go into the pupil in the centre, hence the name of this piece ‘Inward looking’. This sculpture also offers the viewer a very restricted view through the optic nerve hole, showing a fragment of the scene behind it. Inspired by Giuseppe Penone, in particular ‘Anatomia / Anatomy’ (2011) where he carved veins in marble, and also Geoff Rushton’s work.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

Materials:

Plaster (‘Untitled’)

My plaster could have been better mixed as I got some air bubbles which needed filling in once I’d completed the carving. Apart from that I am pleased with the surface finish I achieved.

Wood (‘Inward looking’)

Cherry seems to be a pretty hard wood, which meant it was difficult to carve, even using power tools which I thought would speed up the process.

Wood (incomplete ‘residency’)

I’m not sure what this wood is (sycamore maybe?) but it was easier to carve than the cherry.

Techniques:

I got on pretty well with plaster carving and already have plans to use it for other sculptures outside of the course.

Learning to power carve properly would take quite a long time, so I don’t think I’ve done too badly with my first attempt. My hands don’t take kindly to it though, so I don’t think I’ll pursue this avenue very far!

Observational Skills:

Both sculptures are well balanced, the colours chosen work well and the eye sculpture closely matches my sketches.

Design and Compositional Skills:

Again, mostly designed in my head and through working with the materials rather than from developing sketches, as this is the way I work best.

Quality of Outcome

I am pleased with the form and finish I have achieved in ‘Untitled’ and have been much more successful with the painting on this sculpture.

I am also pleased with the finish I have managed to achieve on ‘Inward Looking’. It would have been nice to do a much larger version of this sculpture, but that is beyond my abilities in carving (and my hand’s endurance!).

Demonstration of Creativity

‘Untitled’ was developed from working with the materials and playing around with possible shapes, mostly on the initial shape itself.

‘Inward looking’ takes multiple elements of the eye and rearranges them to form an interesting and unusual sculpture.

Context

These works take inspiration from a number of sources, ‘Untitled’ came from looking at Isamu Noguchi and Barbara Hepworth, with the design more inspired by the flow of water around obstructions. The residencies follow on from my previous work, with inspiration from Geoff Rushton’s work. ‘Inward looking’ is inspired by Giuseppe Penone, in particular ‘Anatomia / Anatomy’ (2011) where he carved veins in marble, and also Geoff Rushton’s work.

Comments

I would have liked to explore the use of mixed media more in this work, but this is difficult to do when you have never used a material before. It would also have been nice to work on a larger scale, but for ‘Inward looking’ this would have to be done using a different media for me to be able to manage it.

Because I had new techniques to learn again, I kept things simple and didn’t develop some of my ideas as far as I could have done. Hopefully I will have more opportunity for this in sculpture 2 as I build on what I have learnt in this course.

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