Yesterday my order arrived to start making the crystals for the takeover/exhibition room. I started out with a PVA method for paper-mache but then realised that the tissue paper is far too weak to hold the glue and was disintegrating by the touch. So I decided to use paper instead, first I made the shell out of bamboo from the garden and taped/wired together the crossovers and corners for strength, attached the led wire throughout the skeleton. Then I started to wrap it with normal paper then sellotaped the tissue paper on top for colour, then sellotaped for a shiny look all over.
The crystal is illuminated within a pitch black room, so imagine multiples of these within a room at the takeover with other props., it looks quite effective. I have also laid this one out with the galaxy projector and generally feels like a very good experience already.
The whole process took round 2.5 hours to make one crystal, which is around nearly the length of my arm.
The next time I make one will be without the trial and error so It should be more of a painless process.
Artist Research (project-development)
The Elder Scrolls V – Skyrim
So when trying to imagine this world I am creating, I think back towards the most influential pieces of conceptual design I have come across over time and worlds that I feel have stood out to me in terms of escapism and overall fantasy.
Once slice of a world that I have always loved is an underground level from a video game, The Elder Scrolls V, Skyrim, the level being called Blackreach. This level features rich visuals in terms of worldbuilding and overall feeling. From glowing mushrooms, dwarven architecture, steampunk esque’ functionality and scope. The wonderous element to this level is that you can simply stumble onto it whilst travelling, you literally feel as if you have been teleported back in time to this world that once existed.
I have struggled to find the exact team who worked on this level but one name that popped up is Bruce Nesmith, he was the game designer for Skyrim. Another potential for the design would have probably of been Adam Adamowicz, he was the conceptual artist for the series.
Below are screenshots from the level, as you can see the color work and overall aesthetic is pleasing but also haunting.
Another mention within this video game is Bleak Falls Barrow, I loved how the barrow is literally carved out of the mountain, that this legacy of people who would of lived back then wanted to be higher to the sky to worship what would of been dragons, within the game. Concept art is key when it comes to world building as it gives the creator the freedom to think, how does this world work? How would the landscape respond to the inhabitants etc. The thought process mentioned is what helps me to define how my world would work.
While I was taking a break during my ambassador work, I noticed a painting by Nan Youngman of Landscape in Wales. I couldn’t stop looking at the way she had captured the scape, almost feeling like it was otherworldly, mainly due to the colours she had used. It made me start sketching as I would want to try and incorporate the way he has captured the hills with some architecture I have tried to build within my world for instance.
More drawings done today, you definitely have to be in the right mood to simply draw straight from the mind. Hence why there isn’t mega amounts of drawings yet. But below is something from today I am quite happy with, for the field sketch book.
I imagine this tower to be one of many across the world, it seems to capture the sun or moon rays to stabilise time flow throughout the world. Hence the positioning of the top part of the towers with the sun. I also gather some minimal form of inspiration from the observation tower of the school of art too.
Today I was showing my parents my drawings and I was talking to them about how I would leather bound my field sketchbook in the future and my mum mentioned how she would do it so I greatly appreciated her helping me start the process. My mother used to be and still is into textiles and costume making, a career I feel she definitely should of chased when she was younger, not that she couldn’t now but as a job it may be tiring. Although my mother is sewing the faux leather, I will be then be pinning the leather and designing the front and back, so its not just her doing the job for me it’s more of a collaboration effort together, which is nice. Plus I can’t use a sewing machine as good as she can haha.
But we started lining up and drawing what needed to be cut from the faux leather my dad had spare…
…she would then sew with her machine the slip cover for the book thus creating the look. Distressing the cover is the next step. Although I could left this happen naturally in time for the takeover which could be cool, seeing how time will age this book.
More drawings today, as well as thoughts from the traveller also:
Although the field sketch book isn’t planned, the drawings are purely from imagination of the world. I need to still plan the takeover, so I need to make more crystals over time and some rocks. I have purchased more bamboo for the skeleton forms and will use tissue paper and paper for the rocks and crystals going on still. I feel that this world is coming together nicely, the link to the theme of time will come through shortly, especially in the drawings.
I really feel that the takeover will bring my creative side out to the fullest – I missed the last one due to covid, this one will be double the effort, I want it to stand out in a good way.
This weekend I am going to be busy with ambassador work and my photography module but I am thinking of making more crystals tomorrow night or Sunday.
Whilst giving a tour during the 2nd open day, I noticed a piece that really caught my eye and gave some fuel towards my individual project for the takeover. The piece is titled ‘Ancient Shadows’ by Jane Rainey. With the oil colours and mystical otherworldly skies, it really takes you to another world you may not of known had existed.
Below is a selection of her works from her solo exhibition at the Molesworth Gallery:
My field sketchbook will gain inspiration from this piece massively with it’s work with it’s fantastical sky.