Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Construction Project Day #8

I started the day by continuing to work on a paper based piece that I had started a previous day (Day 6). As the tip-ex dried on top of the photo paper it gradually started to peel away and come off. I documented this process, before tipping off all the tip-ex shards and revealing the photo of my light sculpture I had originally covered over.


I then moved on to create some sculptural work; as with previous works, I have used materials available to bm from in and around my studio. Mirrors, coloured acrylic sheets and sticklights feature heavily. Reflections, saturation, material quality and form are important elements within this particular piece.

I thought about all the little details of the piece and all the materials together. It is important to me that they work as a unit. I started to consider elements of certain materials that I had used that were ordinary, such as the white electrical cables (standard - not adapted by an artistic mind). So I thought about covering the cables in gold leaf and/or other reflective materials to work in harmony with my other material choices. I opted for gold glitter as I had it available in my studio - after all this is the aim of the project - to use materials that are handy.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Construction Project Day #7

Back to the drawing board... literally!

By using my photographs of pre-existing/past work and working on top of them, I have created ideas and/or proposals for new works. See if you can recognize any of the images or pieces?

 In the image below I have used grey electrical tape to cover the fluorescent bulbs on the photograph, stopping where the cables start to appear.

For this second image, I covered my light-work Tempo with sticky mirror; this lead me to think about what the work may look like if I was to develop it further using additional materials like mirrors, etc.

In this third image, I tried to discover what my colour-behind-acrylic would look like if isolated in a white field or space. Taking a photograph of past work "Dispersion of White" and using white paint to edit out the cables and other visual distraction.

The forth and final image again takes the notion of covering over an original work to create something completely different. This time I took tip-ex to create the white puddle. The substance seemed to have a really interesting reaction to the photo paper and started to peel, an unexpected element to the work, but it does not upset me.

I aim to continue with this line of testing as well as taking the work back into spatial arrangements.


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Construction Project Day #6

Do you remember the work I made for 'On Brown & Violet Grounds' at Piccadilly Place, Manchester last September called 'Dispersion of White'? On Day 6 I revisited this particular piece and attempted to expand on some of the ideas within it. 'Dispersion of White' opened up a dialogue between the work and the practice of painting.

I made a cylinder from a 50cm x 50cm sheet of thin frosted acrylic which I then encased several fluorescent lamps within. An area of this colourful assortment of fluorescent sticklights have therefore been hidden, allowing the hues to blend together in a painterly fashion and hiding the ugly end caps from view. The coloures bleed into each other without any clear delineation. The robust form of the sticklights stick out from the acrylic sheet, acknowledging the inner workings of the light construct.

As the viewer moves around the work, different combinations of colours can be seen, each view with its own intricate combinations.

Later in the day I moved the frosted cylinder up to the middle of the bulbs. I would like to try this again but with the whole length of the lamps covered. My only concern, and I don't mind admitting this - is that aesthetically it works but it does remind me of a contemporary lighting/design feature. Back to the drawing board?

Finally, I ended the day by allowing four sheets of neon coloured acrylic panels to fall onto the floor near to the center of the vertical sculpture. The reflection of the lights differed (in colour) depending of when you stood in the studio.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Construction Project Day #5

Moving away from circular bulbs for the day and instead I concentrated on strip lights. My natural inclination was to hang them from the ceiling in different configurations in order to find out and test which colour arrangements had the most affect on the surrounding area. 

I laid mirrored disc's underneath the hanging bulbs to increase the volume of light produced and also to reflect each lamp (I used one mirror for each bulb - laying it directly under the vertical sticklight). 

I thought it was important to gather the cables together instead of allowing them to hang individually and in a more random fashion. I think formally the overall 'structure' feels more finished this way. I considered letting them hang loose, but after trying it I decided a more deliberate and neatly arranged gathering of wires felt more me. The sporadic formation of the bulbs (different heights and spaces between) juxtaposed wonderfully with the neatly tires cables.

I climbed under the work, laid on the floor to take an image of  what it would be like if the ceiling was taller and the lights were to hang above viewers heads.

Finally, I thought about different reflective surfaces to place directly under the light arrangement. The below image illustrates a brushed aluminium sheet (50cm x 60cm approx.). I prefer this to the mirrors as it references the surrounding space in a more subtle way. Ideally I would like to cover the entire floor with a material like this and increase the scale of the whole work - including adding more hanging bulbs.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Construction Project Day #4

I'm starting to feel like I'm on a role now. I don't mean that in a cocky way, I am just relieved that things are moving forward.

Day 4, in my opinion has been my most successful yet (you might disagree). I really excited about the possibilities with this work/idea. I think it has quite a few miles in it. I started my making quick attachments to hang to bulbs to the wall using an improvised method with cable ties, paper clips and drawing pins!!! I hung each bulb thinking about the height, position on the wall and in relation to other coloured lamps.

As with previous days work, I documented this piece in both black and white.

The colour mixing happening on the white wall behind the bulbs was of particular interest to me (as always). When documenting the piece, I paid particular attention to the hues and how the colours interacted with each other.


The multucoloured hues being thrown off the bulbs and onto the surrounding areas. i.e. the floor also is very important to the work and the experince of the work as a viewer. The brightness of the T9 circular florescent bulbs saturate whatever and whoever may step near the work, flooding and colourating everything in its path.

Later in the day I tried pushing the work as far as I can by adding other elements. I laid circular mirrors on the floor to emulate the shapes on the wall. These discs also acted as a surface for the lights to be reflected in, creating another dimension to the work.

I then tired masking the direct light by adding a mirror to the wall piece, positioned in font of the bulb. This helped spread the light and allowed for further reflections of the space to take place. However, I did not like how the mirrors reflected, therefore highlighted the viewers looking at the work, like voyeurs. Similarly, the same inevitable reflected occured when I placed the mirrors behind the bulbs.

Last but not least I added another formal element: paint.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Construction Project Day #3

Day 3 was short but fruitful.

A simple arrangement of stacked T9 circular florescent bulbs covered with coloured filter transparencies alluded to the colour theory that when all colours (in light terms - not pigment) are combined the collective radiance is white light. 

Thinking about one of my critical feedback sessions (I hosted several in my studio last summer), I though about advice from independent curator Alex Hobdy. She suggested that if I look at any work in black and white and it works formally, conceptually and aesthetically, then it would work when in colour. With this advice in mind I documented all of day 3's work in both colour and in black and white.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Construction Project Day #2

The second day of my self-initiated project took a totally different twist from my first. I decided to further develop the work 'Vanishing Boundaries', combining elements of the work 'Dispersion of White' made as part of my solo presentation 'On Brown & Violet Grounds' at Piccadilly Place last September/October. 

I started becoming much more playful in my approach, compared to the first day. I have started becoming less frightened and concerned about trialing many different ideas. I have no idea why such a huge wall had built up in front of me and therefore stopping me having this freedom, but I seem to be breaking through.


A few fellow studio members popped their head through my curtain and had a chat about my new ideas, which I found really useful. Impromptu crits are sometimes the best as everyone is looking at the work in such a raw state. 

In this arrangement I reference the painterly and Albers colour theory and difference between additive and subtractive mixtures.
"Additive color is color created by mixing light of two or more different colors. Red, green, and blue are the additive primary colors normally used in additive color system. Additive color is in contrast to subtractive color, in which colors are created by subtracting (absorbing) parts of the spectrum of light present in ordinary white light, by means of colored pigments or dyes, such as those in paints, inks, and the three dye layers in typical color photographs on film. " - Wikipedia

The humble paint pots open up a dialogue between the work and the practice of painting. However I think that there is too much information present on the pots that become a distraction and would like to re-make the work with plain aluminium or white pots, depleted of labels, etc.

 I have always been interested in how my work looks when viewed from multiple angles, this work being no exception. The mirrored discs reflect corners of the space that would ordinarily be dismissed.

 The coloured reflections on nearby surfaces are an integral part of the work. The closeness of the discs allowed for a much more intense mixture to occur.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Construction Project Day #1

I have set myself a two/three week project to make a construction of my pre-existing materials in my studio everyday in order to free up some ideas and possibilities for new works. I have set myself rules as usual. These are:

1. I must construct, document and de-construct in the day. Leaving my studio clean and fresh ready for the next day.

2. The photographic or video documentation acts as a drawing would for me: to spur new ideas for further sculptural or installation work.

3. The 'constructions' are not meant to be permanant, therefore the emphasis is not on craftsmanship, but instead ideas and playfulness.

4. I can use whatever I see fit to make the work, this includes quick and easy methods of attaching one material to another, e.g. using tape instead of glue.

5. I have to push each idea everyday until I can't think of anymore.

On Monday this week (3rd Feb) I went into Rogue Artists Studios after what any artist would call a dry spell. For this first day I knew I wanted to use lighting and also wood to make my construction, so set about configuring a piece as soon as I got in. I chose a green bulb, but for arguments sake, it could have been any colour. Green was simply the first I out my hand on.

I then thought about the RBG colour model and added blue and red bulbs to the mix. This arrangement was particularly exciting in terms of how I often deal with colour theory in my work. The reflections on the back wall of my studio show a representation of additive color mixing. Projecting primary coloured lights on a the wall shows secondary colors where two overlap; the combination of all three of red, green, and blue in equal intensities makes white.
"The RGB color model is an additive color model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors, red, green, and blue.

The main purpose of the RGB color model is for the sensing, representation, and display of images in electronic systems, such as televisions and computers, though it has also been used in conventional photography. Before the electronic age, the RGB color model already had a solid theory behind it, based in human perception of colors."
- Wikipedia

Pushing the work further I started thinking about reflective surfaces for the lights to reflect from. This prompted me to pour a bucket of water underneath the construction; a cheap and easy reflective surface was created!

Then glitter...

Last but not least, I tried wrapping the construction in bubble wrap then polythene.