Throughout my first year within Fine Art I have been introduced to lots of new material skills and processes such as, screen-printing, canvas making, constructing a programmable lighting circuit and programming an Arduino.
However for me the most interesting skill that stood out for me is sand- casting. I learnt the process of sand-casting during one of the workshops that the university had to offer.
The sand casting process is very time consuming but the end result was worth it. The overall process involves:
Creating a polystyrene sculpture, constructing a wooden housing , filling the housing with silica sand, hardening the sand with co2 gas, drilling holes in the mould to activate all of the sand, making a second mould for a pouring cup, gluing the two moulds together and then finally pouring the melted aluminium into the mould.
The equipment used in this process can be very dangerous so safety precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of myself and others around me. The video below shows the pouring phase of the process where fireproof clothing had to be worn to avoid injury if an accident was to occur. Here are some examples of the pouring process.
I really enjoyed the whole process and my favourite part was revealing the final outcome. I feel that this skill is beneficial towards my sculptural work and it has shown me new and interesting ways of working. I feel that I could use this process in my future sculptures.
Once opening the mould, I broke away all of the surrounding sand to reveal the cast. My sculpture, which was inspired by research on dreams-within the Outside/Inside theme. Here are some photographs of my sculpture cast in aluminium.
The artist that has mostly informed my second final piece is American light artist James Turrell. I first came across this artist while looking at artists who use light in their work within the ‘indoor suns material project’. James Turrell again came up in a power point within the field module which I then decided to look more into the artist. I have created a previous post looking at the work of James Turrell here:
I have based the idea of my final piece based on these artworks
The reason i have chosen to look into this artist is because of his large light installations. These installations are described as a surreal experience and almost dreamlike. For this reason i have decided to use the theme of light within my final piece. I planned on using simular techniques to create an intriguing light source in which I could use in my video.
Influenced by this artists work my idea was to make a dreamlike light source that could be positioned in untouched landscapes. In my video the light I used was a soft orb light which was adapted to work with a bright LED torch. This resulted in a soft bright light source I could use in my video.
I first came across the artist Phyllida Barlow when watching her interview/documentary on the BBC iPlayer. Here is a short summary on the documentary which I have taken from the iPlayer website.
Phyllida Barlow’s sculptures are massive and appear precarious. For decades, she has worked on a monumental scale with the most unmonumental materials. After many years of being ignored by curators and collectors, and against all odds, Barlow has only recently secured art-world acclaim. This year, she will represent Britain at the 57th Venice International Art Biennale in 2017.
Journalist Lynn Barber describes her sculptures as massive and precarious. The idea of the sculptures appearing as if they are not held securely is particularly interesting because when use with the large scale phyllida works with it presents the viewer a sense of fear and makes you question how the sculptures are structurally possible. It is this aspect of her work that has inspired me to look into her work further and explore how I could use this technique within my own artwork. I also like the use of everyday material Phyllida uses within he sculptures such as scrap wood and cement. These materials for me bring back memories of some kind of urban space.
Phyllida Barlow’s work has informed the way I have designed and constructed my final piece. For example the different layers of the city are precarious like the work of this artist. I wanted to use this to give the feeling of the structure falling apart in a moment similar to the way you would wake up within a dream. The artworks below demonstrate where I gathered the inspiration toward making my final piece.
I have also used a similar techniques to construct the concrete blocks in the artwork. Phyllida uses polystyrene pieces covered in cement to make them appear as heavy cast concrete. This allows her to exagerate the preceriousness of her work. I have tried using this technique within my final piece to play on the feeling of a surreal urban space. These urban like materials present the viewer with memories of an urban environment, which is what I want my final piece to convey.
Giorgio De Chirico (10 July 1888 – 20 November 1978) was an italian writer and artist who founded the scuola metafisica art movement.
I first came across this artist whilst reading through my formative assessment feedback where artists were advised for me to look into. I was instantly drawn to the work Giorgio De Chirico because I felt it had aspects that I am trying to achieve within my own work. For example,the cityscapes he depicts are not ones I would view as having everyday activity but rather haunted cities with little life.Within these mysterious cityscapes it seems as if the small towns or cities are almost similar to the places I would visualise within dreams. Therefore this artists work is a perfect example to look at when trying to create dreamlike cities or utopias, which is a key idea for my project.
Another aspect of De Chirico’s work that inspires me is the way he uses human figures that merge into the mysterious cities. From this painting of The Great Meta-physician you can see that the figure on top clearly has no facial features, which plays on the idea of the subject having no identity. The idea of having no is really interesting because within dreams, identifying people and remembering faces sometimes proves difficult. The painting also depicts shapes, objects and buildings. These may be symbolic of the things you would see within dreams. It is interesting how De Chirico presents these symbols as one pile, similar to a still life rather than trying to visualise images of a dream like the way Salvador Dali would. This pile looks as if its being supported by somethings which suggests that they would fall otherwise.
The artists that have inspired me towards creating my final piece of artwork are Tim Noble and Sue Webster, I have previously looked at these artist because of their work with light/shadows. Their work has inspired me to use the projection of shadows in my piece. I am drawn to this technique because I feel I can link it to my outside/inside project of ‘Dreams’. I thought about using the shadow to create a figure of a person sleeping, the shadow would also emphasise the dreamy atmosphere and the feeling of being asleep.
Here is some of their work that has inspired the design of my final outcome.
These artworks are assemblages of found objects. This gives the artwork meaning in relations to the shadow being projected. However in my piece I plan to create some kind of sculpture or small scale installation to shine light onto.
I have learnt new creative skills as well as group working skills. The collaborative aspect has taught me how to engage with other people within the art sector to help with or even use them as a tool to better my artwork. The group work has also strengthened my personality as an artist when creating collaborative artwork.
Throughout the whole field module completing the different hub based on the theme of light I have learnt many techniques and ways of working with light and colour. The hub that I enjoyed the most was ‘Shadow play’ which contributed to the idea of my individual final outcome for the theme of light. I have taken skills such as experimentation with the projectors to create this piece.
Although I haven’t used any techniques I had learnt from the field hubs I have used the idea of of projecting shadows onto the wall which inspired me to create this piece. I have used inspiration from artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster to base my design around. Here are some photographs on the construction of the piece and some of the processes I used.
Here is where I drew and cut out silhouettes of people falling to suggest falling within a dream. I used thin card so that they wouldn’t break when assembling the piece.
This is the base of the sculpture that I made which would support the aluminium wire. I used thing wood to make the frame and sprayed a thick piece of cardboard to place inside ,this would allow me to position the subjects in the specific positions without them moving around.
Here are the photos of the materials I used along with how i went about achieving the silhouette of a person laying down. I stuck down the base to prevent movement while was working in order to accurately fill the outline. The outline was stuck to the wall behind the base where the shadow would be projected.
Here is some photographs of my final outcome with the LED light pointed at it. I was pleased with this end result and started to play around using different lights. I found that when moving the light in a vertical motion the projected shadows appear as if they are falling which is the effect i was trying to create with the cardboard cut outs. I accidentally came across this while experimenting with different angles of the light and is something I would use if I was to take this piece further.
This Collaborative field hub involved constructing our own pinhole camera in which we could use to take photographs. the pinhole camera itself could be made from many different things. As a group we decided to use a black plant pot because it was the perfect size and it was a good shape. However the plant pot needed some modifications to make it lightproof and to make the pinhole. To seal the pot we super-glued cardboard and tape. For the pinhole we cut a hole in the pot and placed inside a piece of aluminium can with a pin hole in the centre.
We used photosensitive paper to take the photos. We estimated the exposure time to about 30 seconds because the natural lighting outside was not very strong. After taking a series of photos we took the photographs into the darkroom to be developed. We use the old developing process by placing the photos in a developer bath, stop bath and fixer bath. When developed the photo paper turned completely black, this meant that the exposure time was too long. We calculated that the exposure time would have to be around 10 seconds to obtain a clear image outside.
I really like the way these photos came out and feel that it worked better than I initially thought. I also like the way the curved design of our camera created the wide angle (fish eye) effect.
Also within this project we used a series of smartphone apps to explore the process of augmentation. These apps allowed us to create an augmented reality within our smartphones. We started by using a 3D scanner to scan a 3 dimensional image of an object, then drew a simple logo onto paper. We used the app called augment which connects the logo to the 3D image. Finally, using an app called Aurasma we scanned over the logo and the 3D image of the object appears hovering over the logo.
I feel this technique was very interesting to work with and has widened my knowledge on augmented reality technologies. I feel this project has taught me how to work in cross disciplinary groups to achieve The best outcome. I relied on the help of others when using techniques I was not very familiar with, for example when using the augmentation app to create a 3D image.