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Week 6 (reading week)

This week was primarily focused on advancing my sculptures. To begin with, I finished the first one I began, ‘the curious flower’.

To begin with, I used a wooden stick from an old clothes hanger, to assist in supporting the weight of the flower head, which I then covered in clay to form the shape of the bone. Since the clay dried originally white as you can see in the first image I was initially hesitant on whether or not to paint it, considering leaving it as it it is. However unless bone is bleached it isn’t that natural white and I came to the conclusion that keeping it plain white made the sculpture look plain and unfinished, So I worked on adding greys, greens and yellows to create depth.

Using a paper cup, I cut it to size and painted it brown with a green tint to create a pot for the flower, using clay inside to place the sculpture. I then painted the clay brown and covered the top with real dirt to finalise the piece

Overall I’m incredibly happy with how this came out it was exactly how I initially imagined it when I first created the concept for the sculpture. Although I did picture a thinner stem, with the size and white of the flower this would have been difficult to achieve and as the clay has shrunk it appears that the stem has reached that desired stage naturally (at the time of writing this is not at the time the photos where taken).

In addition to finishing the curious flower, this week I also made extensive progress on the flowers, using a pencil, superglue and tin foil to keep the structure secure and add definition through texture to the stem, inspired by the daffodils pictured below which you see the leaves begin to yellow and wrinkle at the top of the stem. Overall I’m incredibly pleased with the way the tongues are looking however I plan to create a larger version to pair with them as I feel as though they’re missing something and will hold little impact in a large space, in the takeover exhibition.

Artist research:

Hellen Chadwick:

Chadwick was a British photographer, sculptor and installation artist, born in 1953 and dying in 1996.

She challenged stereotypical perceptions of the body in elegant yet unconventional forms with her work drawing from various sources, from myths to science, grappling with a plethora of unconventional, visceral materials that included chocolate, lambs tongues and rotting vegetable matter.

To be specific, I’m primarily inspired by her “Wreathes of pleasure” project consisting of, flowers and fruits set against both pleasing and poisonous liquids: tomato juice, melted chocolate, detergents and soaps, antiseptic cream and oils; in an effort to question our received notions of beauty, pleasure and revulsion as we observe these beautiful, colourful images with the knowledge of what formed their creation.

This binary opposition is a huge inspiration in regard to my own project in which I take the beautiful perception of the flower and warp it with the inclusion of human body parts in an effort to challenge the human perception of life. Similar to how Chadwick has taken the flowers depicted above and created an unconventional piece of art through the inclusion of tomatoes juice, creams, oils etc.

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