I’ve completed all of the digital aspect of my final work, phew! Feel like I’ve lost a week just playing catch up but it’s all done now and I’m working through all the physical aspects of the work – the small sculptural works as well as the physical and spacial considerations of installing it.
The space is not the one I had originally envisaged working with, and as the process of installing it draws to a conclusion I feel that my work has really benefited from this unexpected space particularly by helping to clarify the presentation and reception of the ideas which I have found hard to define. I thought the work would fit into the studio space I’ve had all year. I pictured a darkened space with three sections of plaster works (which would be suspended or somehow held away from the wall, in a cluster) based on the objects/actions from the sentences I had chosen to work from. Each of these three sections would have a sound track which would intermingle in the centre of the room and become clearer and more decipherable as each section was approached. With hindsight this would have very cave-like and wouldn’t have left room for other ways of presenting ideas.
This space is way more adaptable although I was concerned about how to contain sound and create an environment that was all encompassing but the adjustments I’ve made to the work to accommodate the space mean I’ve ended up with a broader set of works. The left and right areas of the space, to be blacked out, will house the digital work. On the left I’ve decided to play just sound with no accompanying images so this then becomes a kind of all encompassing sound space like I wanted, but in fact even purer as all you can do is sit and listen. The right hand room will project a video onto two small off-set plaster discs. This is supposed to feel like a more intimate space which is my reasoning behind the small size of the projection and also the off-set placing making it harder to take in everything at once. The images are small and the accompanying sound – more sound scape than the left hand side – is heard through headphones (I think two sets of these…). The sound is looped but slighter shorter than the video so each listener/watcher may experience the work slightly differently, making different associations between image and sound.
The central space and outer walls will show small sculptural and image works – plaster casts, small assemblages and/or a digital silk-like fabric print.
Plaster pieces drying and small assemblages….
Working through collage print possibilities…. I love arranging images like this and photographing them, they feel life-like, almost hyperreal…
This central area is a chance to add colour and form. I’ve been a bit reluctant to add colour, I think partly because I’ve loved just working with plaster and its inherent qualities, and I’ve kept the plaster white after considering adding colour – I like the purity and consistency of it too much to interfere with it – but I’ve used the objects I have cast from and used in the video to arrive at a set of colours. I feel they’re unusual, and it’s not a palette I would have just settled on had I chosen colours in advance. They seem to just about work without being too harmonious or overly designed as some kind of scheme – the rest of the work feels a little uncomfortable and this is reflected again in these colours. The objects, sourced because of the sentences, have now dictated the colour – I like that relationship and outcome.
Another shot of colour comes from the plinth for the plaster works. I knew I didn’t want these on shelf or arranged too tidily so I’m making a plinth from perspex. A transparent top and mirrored base mean that there’ll be glimpses of multiple angles of the plaster, and light will reflect up through the jumble of casts. The sides are frosted blue and fluro yellow… Here’s the model:
It’s scuffed and smudged (and miniature…) and I tried quite a few things to figure out an unobtrusive way to assemble it. My prefered way would have been to get the edges bonded with a special solvent that bonds the plastic together. I didn’t trust myself to do this without damaging the surafce of the panels, it would be an expensive mistake. So, I’ve found some thick, transparent, acrylic based, double sided, and extra stocky bonding tape which will hold metal brackets in place around the corners.
On a practical note, today was spent getting black out fabric up and installing the speakers. Very greatful to have had help from Ben, these aspects of installing are frustrating, but it’s done….
And finally some images of work I didn’t persue:
The casts made in Neg 1. on a perspex sheet – because I didn’t want work just flat on the wall (as these were in Neg. 1) I wanted to find a way to make these works sit centrally in a space. The perspex was too floppy and delicate, the cost of something stiff enough and large enough would have been prohibitive. So this didn’t work but meant I had perspex on my mind as well as these reflective qualities…. It also meant I tried this:
Gold leaf on the underside of the cast, to make more of what woud have previously been the underside of the cast which would have been visible when mounted on perspex. I have since used the gold leaf on the small assemblages, it adds a sense of solidity and preciousness to materials that are throw-away and insubstantial.
Alginate casting! Alginate allows for extremly life-like casts to be made and for my work a kind of hyperreal yet disjointed/uncanny appearance. These are my first two attempts. I was going for fingers on a touch screen.
Other colours and materials. As I’ve already said I didn’t want to stray from the whiteness of the plaster casts. I had a go though – pigment swirled into plaster on the left and a kind of cement filler used in a latex mould of a camera on the right. I’d liek to work with cement and polishing it properly one day but didn’t feel this was practical for big numbers of small casts such as I’m working with here…