Aims and Plans:
My plan for this week was to conduct more artist research and to continue with my clay dragon model, maybe beginning another clay model too. However, I had a bad experience half way through the week which stopped me from being able to produce any work, so this week contains the workshop work, the tour of the art centre and the work I managed to get done before going into hospital. I will hopefully be able to produce more next week after some mental and physical healing time, I apologise if the work this week is substandard as a result.
The workshop this week was very interesting, Tim bought in some seeds for us to look at, think about and eat alongside some 500 thousand year old mud from Ethiopia. The purpose of this was to think about something very old and also something very new that hadn’t begun life yet, to encourage the thought process around the theme of Time. Tim also gave us each a sunflower seed to leave with, to plant or to do as we wish with. I put mine into my wallet and I plan to carry it with me through the rest of the project.
One of the tasks for this week’s workshop was to bring in an object that was important to us and share it with the group. The object had to be time related, so relevant to a certain time in our lives or reminiscent of something past. I chose to bring in a crystal that I dug up in the garden of my childhood home when I was roughly 6 years old. I used to like digging in the mud to find different things, and I remember being very excited to find a kind of crystal buried in the dirt. I kept the crystal and have had it for the following 14 years, as a reminder of a nice time during childhood.
Once sharing our personal items and discussing the dirt and the seeds, the task was to brainstorm around the objects in the room and produce something in response. I started by sketching out my crystal using coloured sharpies as a sort of starting point. I spent time observing it and studying it’s colours which was the focus of the sketch.
Following this sketch, I was inspired to do another sharpie drawing of the crystal but in the style of a tarot card. I think tarot cards were mentioned at some point during discussion which implanted the idea in my head. I thought that illustrating the crystal onto a tarot card would provide it more purpose and meaning, and present it in a different and interesting way. Tarot cards are something I have always found interesting and they connect closely to Time as they are often used for readings of your past, present and future. The Crystal tarot card would theoretically represent a good discovery and pivotal point in life in the present or future, or represent small significant good parts of the past that are still impacting you presently.
There was still some time after this, so I decided to sketch myself at age six, digging up the crystal from my garden. The purpose of this was to visualise the memory physically to help me connect with it better and think more deeply about my object. Like the others, this sketch was done very quickly and in sharpie, so none of them are extremely detailed or high quality, but the exercises were very constructive in terms of developing thoughts around memories and the past.
Art Centre Tour
This Week, on Thursday evening, a tour of the art centre was arranged so we had the opportunity to see all the places we could exhibit our work in the Takeover for this project.
The tour made it clear we had to integrate our work into the building rather than have the building work around our art. This helped the thought process of what to create and what areas would compliment it best. I was thinking of how I would theoretically exhibit my clay dragon model as that’s what I’ve been currently working on and I’m not sure what I am going to exhibit yet. My first two thoughts were using a glass presentation box like in the picture above, or somehow attaching clay models to the pillar in the walkway, because I liked the shape of it and thought it would be interesting.
I liked the banister on the second floor alongside the half wall section and thought about displaying multiple clay models along either one of these surfaces. Obviously they would need to be attached somehow so they wouldn’t be knocked over or anything, but that could be achieved with hanging strips on their bases. The windowsill in the background of the photo on the right (above) would also be an option for this idea.
These last two parts of the art centre caught my interest were the part with cylindrical pillars and the section with larger glass display boxes. Some of the pillars has small circular shelves on them which I thought would be very nice to exhibit a series of small sculptures on. The larger display boxes caught my interest as it gave me the idea of theoretically making a larger sculpture and spending a lot of time on it to make it high quality then displaying it in one of those boxes.
Continuing Clay Work:
I wasn’t able to make much progress on physical work this week, but I tried my best to get at least something done, so here is what I managed to do, and I will hopefully be better to produce more next week. The stage my dragon was at last week was the head, body and skeleton for the wings was finished, so I began by coating the skeleton for the wings in clay to make it more structurally sound.
Whilst the clay around the wing skeletons were drying I decided to work on the tail which took quite a while. I used a palette knife to cut the tail shape out of a layer of clay and moulded it onto the end of the dragon’s body. I also rolled out a long thin strip of clay and moulded it along the centre back of the body and down the middle of the tail. This part is to show the spine of the dragon going into the tail. I rolled four smaller strips of clay and moulded those onto the tail coming out of the end of the spine for extra detail.
At this stage, I needed to wait a while as the whole body of the dragon now needed to fully dry before I added any more detail or structure to it, otherwise the core part of the dragon would still be wet. The additions I made to the dragon this week took almost two full days to fully dry and after that point I wasn’t mentally or physically able to produce any more work. However, I still managed progress this week and the dragon will be fully set and ready to rework on next week.
Louise Bourgeois: Moma (no date) The Museum of Modern Art. MOMA. Available at: https://www.moma.org/artists/710 (Accessed: February 22, 2023).
Tate (no date) The art of Louise Bourgeois, Tate. Tate. Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/louise-bourgeois-2351/art-louise-bourgeois (Accessed: February 22, 2023).