Drawing Sculpture development
This is an adapted piece of work that was made at the start of the course. Initially entitled ‘Adam tries to get Geraint’s attention’.
It is a free standing piece with one wall fixing. Acrylic and ink on screen printed and collagraph collaged paper with wooden structures and wool.
The initial inspiration for this piece was an amalgamation of several elements. The Amy Silman and Tom Friedman shows inspired the image (an accurately blown up recreation of a sketch book drawing). The wooden structure came about as I had been thinking how I could incorporate a more 3D version of an illusionistic frame that appears in several recent (pre Wimbledon) paintings. The wool also appears in earlier work and I feel it is a 3D manifestation of a painterly mark that I employ a lot in work, namely the vertical painted stripes. Looking back on my early thoughts regarding this piece I had been looking at Nam June Paik’s robots. The possibility of incorporating video was something that occured to me for future works.
For the degree show I wanted to bring this piece back into the installation but to replace the drawing with a projection of my film that was made at the start of the course also. '100 Drawings 100 Minutes'. The idea of replacing the drawing with a drawing film seemed to fit perfectly. I also replaced the wool with thicker rope that was painted thickly to create something more sturdy and handmade as opposed to shop bought wool.
I used a projector and back lit the film onto some theatrical fabric that was suspended with fishing wire between the wooden construction.
Another reason for using this sculpture to show the film was an attempt to get away from standard ways of displaying video ie. a monitor fixed to the wall. By doing this the film becomes part of the actual sculpture. The lightness of the fabric and its susceptibility to drafts creates a gentle sail like motion.
100 Drawings 100 Minutes
100 Drawings/100 Minutes is a performance piece inspired by the quick spontaneity of sketchbook doodles. For the piece I give myself exactly one minute to do a drawing and then ten seconds to turn around and pin it to the wall behind me. The performance is continuous and lasts approximately 104 minutes. During the entire film I am wearing a hat that supports an icosahedron. The idea of this is to channel the energy of the fictional sphere that exists in the fictional town where the film is set.
The performance is acted out within a fictional nightclub called The Apocalypse Club. This club is a centre point of my story and many of the main protagonists feature in and around it.
Throughout the course of the year I have referred back to this film to create additional works. These have included a souvenir shop where you could buy things relating to the film such as a book, ashtrays, mugs and signed photographs. I also created a photo booth where you could re-enact the drawing performance and take home a photograph.
I also created an architectural model of a proposed exhibition about the film. On one of the walls of this model I had positioned the 100 drawings much the same as in the actual film. After a tutorial with Anna I began to think about how I could display these drawings in an unconventional way.
This is how the idea of the drawing lantern came about. Initially I wanted to have all the drawings reduced in size and then laser cut and stithed together to create a light box. There were far too many drawings to achieve this so I reduced the amount and also made the individual panels out of card. These individual panels were inserted into a wooden construction that was painted black and decorated with abstract symbols. I had recently been to a Plastique fantastique show and seen and object decorated. The idea is to imbue the object with supernatural powers. Once the lantern was made i decided I wanted it to rotate which would generate shadows on the wall of a darkened room. The light I am using inside is not powerful enough to project onto walls. Because of the rotation on a wheel it is not possible to have cabled lighting. The only alternative is to have the light fixed and not rotate.
I wanted to take the objects from the drawing film and mount them in purpose built boxes. The idea was to turn them into artefacts or museum pieces. The trailing wool was a continuation of previous works where I incorporated this material.
With the painting I wanted to ‘get back to painting’ as I was feeling I more disconnected from the actual act of painting but also wanting to incorporate an actual painting into my performances. The painting was used in the photo booth piece. I added the large icosahedron so as to give greater sense of being a part of the film.
Going back to how I might display my drawings, while installing the degree show I had a surplus shelf. Initially the shelf was in a corner but when I placed the pile of drawings on it I found the drawings took on a 3 dimensionality that I hadn’t really considered. They take on a cuboid form that put me in mind of Alistair Mackies ‘wasp paper’ series where the artist took wasps nests and converted them into sheets of paper and then placed them on top of one another. By placing the shelf at roughly eye level you are confronted with this new dimension of a flat piece of paper. Coincidentally, in my online research folio I talk about Edwin A Abbotts book ‘Flatland’ A Romance of many dimensions, when A square is visited by a sphere from Spaceland.
Ride with The Moth Kipper
Ride with Moth Kipper was exhibited at The Nunnery in London.
The piece was made up of a large painting. Protruding out from the painting were small lengths of wool with circular star discs attached at the ends. At the bottom strands of wool were attached along the length of the base that were then fed into a bracket fixed to the wall which then led on to a wooden construction. On top of this construction was a black painted toy bus. The bus was decorated with white drawings of logos for the fictional band ‘Shunt Limit’ and the fictional corporation ‘Sphere Tec’, both of which feature in my story. The wooden construction was made up of MDF and stair bannisters and was decorated in blue and orange and covered in strange glyph symbols. The structure of the painting was a magnolia tree and flowing along the branches were text extracts that related to the story.
This piece has a lot of different elements all interacting with one another. After tutorials and feedback the most common comments were regarding the use of wool and also the fact that certain things I have used( stair bannisters and Barbie vans)) still look like their original form. I have completely taken this criticism on board. Sometimes I think it is OK for appropriated objects to still look like their original form but other times it can be more of a distraction. I think I wanted to develop the van idea for future pieces and I didn’t want any other associations connected to it. This pushed me to create a van ‘costume’ completely from scratch.
The film ‘In Search of Burnt Toast Geometry’ was filmed on top of Chanctonbury Ring in West Sussex. This site is the setting for the fictional world I am creating so I felt it was important to make a film here. Inspired by the 100 Drawings film the film is part dream, part surrealist performance. I wanted to create something in the spirit of Cocteau’s Parade. In this ballet, costumes were by Picasso and the music was by Eric Satie. The creation of a ‘pantomime’ van was in this spirit. I think the fact that the van is so cuboid gives reference to cubist theatre of the early 20th Century also.
In the original 100 drawings film I overlaid a soundtrack of Eric Satie. For me Satie stirs lots of emotions. I equate it with when I first heard his Gnossienes suite during the first year of my BA in painting at Kingston University. It still evokes the feelings of excitement and creativity I first felt in 1994. For the film ‘In search of Burnt Toast Geometry’ I have overlaid a different Satie recording. It is by Noriko Ogawa, a pianist who gave me permission to use the music for my films in art competitions and for college work. I’m currently waiting for permission to use the music commercially so that I can put on You Tube and Vimeo etc.
Noriko Ogawa. Photo by Martin Lijinsky
In the degree show I have brought the Shunt Limit van into the room and I have inserted a small television at the back where the film is playing. There are headphones so you are able to listen to Noriko play Satie’s music. Again, this is an attempt to show films in different settings other than through traditional means.
These sharpie drawings have been produced throughout the course of the year and were partly due to space factors in the studio at Wimbledon and also my work commitments which led me to continue using my studios nearer home. I began to develop sketch book drawings and the use of inks and sharpies gave me the chance to be much more spontaneous than I would normally be. Once I had made a few I began to develop ideas on how they might be used at a later date. These ideas didn’t really work out. It was only when I was given my exhibition space at Wimbledon that I began to form ideas for my final show.
Evolution of a pen drawing from sketchbook to large painting.
The idea of covering a plinth and table probably came about after looking at John Walters work and the way he would decorate his installations with colourful prints and drawings. I had also been looking at PLastique Fantastiques show at IMT Gallery and their use of covering and imbuing objects with images and fantasy. I used photoshop to create large wallpaper collages of the drawings that could then be fixed to the table and plinth. In a similar way to my desire to show film in unconventional ways, by morphing my drawings to physical objects I am again challenging standard ways of displaying 2 Dimensional artwork.
The two large paintings are an amalgamation of sketchbook drawings and the later sharpie versions. I have tried to keep the spontaneity of these drawings which I have attempted to carry into these large paintings.
The idea of making the paintings mobile with the large frames on wheels came about as I was planning on using the paintings in a performance. The initial thoughts were to have the wooden frames connected to a hat that would be attached to myself. I was then to wander around the gallery in a dreamlike state. Having the paintings on wheels has given them a theatricality that could imply part of a set. Their mobility means also they can be moved around the gallery space. They are not static and are free to roam. Throughout the course I have been trying to make work that does not only hang on a wall like a traditional painting.