reflective commentary a piece of my own

Developing ideas for an end product has been the most challenging part of the course and it was difficult to choose inspiration from my sketchbooks.

My aim was to explore the feelings of an isolated, sad childhood and the despair of being an only child. I wanted to convey the extreme loneliness and fear and give people an understanding, something someone who has a sibling wouldn’t understand. It is generally thought that children who have no siblings have everything, but there is no interaction and no pecking order, so leads to social isolation. This has been a huge barrier to me and feel it is difficult to describe in words alone.

I wrote a poem as my inspiration and from these literal words wanted to create a sculpture that would encapsulate the feelings I have.

Words were used to describe the feelings (envy, pain, disassociation etc) and also colours (red, black, purple, green etc) associated with these emotions. I experimented with a variety of colours, but as advised by my tutor limited my palette to red and black. Which allowed less distraction and more focus on the making process.

Whilst researching found numerous artists who instead of dismiss life experiences learn from it and integrate in their work and has made me aware of what I would like to achieve in my own work.

Looking through my sketchbooks found I was inspired by printing and plasterwork. Initially wanting to create a printed book, was advised by my tutor not to narrow myself down by getting too engrossed in the final piece but rather to experiment and find my voice.
A previous experiment using marks made using a serrated knife run across paper generated numerous ideas. It felt uncomfortable and fitted well into the theme. Changing direction of the marks was an interesting revelation, as it altered not only the design but the mood.
                                        

 

Ink prints also were messy and uncontrolled and wanted to use this confusion in my end piece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

I decided on plaster as the base material as it was unpredictable and felt this fitted with the theme of how life is
There was a question of size, but was dependent on the space and materials available. I have limited space, so would have to be on small scale. After consideration I thought about how I wanted to create the box and started experimenting using boxes available, like toothpaste or any prepackaged boxes. There were limitations as the boxes were difficult to add anything into and maybe it would have been better if they were on a larger scale.

I felt that the finishing plaster was not of the best quality and that possibly let the work down. Despite this, it did work well with the nail varnish.

If I were to alter this, I would use plaster of Paris or concrete and have an idea for a garden project, but would need to consider fabric when used outside and how durable it would be. However on consideration plaster of Paris would be too clean in application and not give the desired effect. Printing onto the plaster was a problem due to the porous exterior and would need to be sealed to be allow the surface to be decorated with print.

 

I felt this was the strongest piece of work so far, as I experimented more and let the process guide me, rather than try to force the ideas. Also by drawing on personal experience, the work has become part of me.

The end product surpassed how I had expected it to come out and wouldn’t change the appearance, but possibly the scale. I feel it was too small to project the enormity of the emotions felt.

 

                  

                              

I decided on plaster as the base material as it was unpredictable and felt this fitted with the theme of how life is.
There was a question of size, but was dependent on the space and materials available. I have limited space, so would have to be on small scale. After consideration I thought about how I wanted to create the box and started experimenting using boxes available, like toothpaste or any prepackaged boxes. There were limitations with this as the boxes were difficult to add anything into and maybe it would have been better if they were on a larger scale.

I felt that the finishing plaster was not of the best quality and that possibly let the work down. Despite this, it did work well with the nail varnish. If I were to alter this, I would use plaster of Paris or concrete and have an idea for a garden project, but would need to consider fabric when used outside and how durable it would be. Printing onto the plaster was a problem due to the porous exterior and would need to be sealed to be allow the surface to be decorated with print.

I felt this was the strongest piece of work so far, as I experimented more and let the process guide me, rather than try to force the ideas. Also by drawing on personal experience, the work has become part of me.

The end product surpassed how I had expected it to come out and wouldn’t change the appearance, but possibly the scale. I feel it was too small to project the enormity of the emotions felt.

 

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final piece 2

                               

                                 

                                                                                                          

                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experimenting with paper, card and polystyrene showed how cut out shapes could be achieved, before committing to plaster.

I was also drawn to plaster and wondered how I could combine the 2 elements. Initially, I started to make tiles, with surface texture using printed bubble wrap.

 

I had envisioned a box made of panels, but the tile experiment was too flimsy and cracked, so was abandoned. Possibly this would work with thicker panels.The surface was designed with the point of a knife and serrated edge. I felt this wasn’t the way I wanted to go and decided on a solid box, but with detail. More experimentation is needed on this.

             

 

 

 

 

 

                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower cast wasn’t as successful as I though it might be, as it lacked detail, but looked like warts. Adding beads was slightly more successful creating a dotty effect.

                                      

 

 

 

 

bubble wrap gave some interesting texture mixed with nail varnish felt uncomfortable, so achieved the feelings being explored.

A further experiment adding square beads had a similar effect. If it had been solid then would have retained the structure even with the beads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding lace wrapped around the plaster wasn’t successful in application, but visually it showed a sense of decay.

 

I attempted to cast with a paper envelope balanced in a jug to get the point, however it wasn’t rigid enough and the casting didn’t work and look very immature. However. it showed by using different shapes could give a different perspective. I liked the idea of using the boxes as there is a readily available source of material and changed the way an idea is formed.

Further Experiments
I decided that I needed to adapt my work and look for another way to achieve the results I wanted. Further prints were made and analysed to see what they reveal. Marks were random and sporadic and using this decided to use dripped paint or something similar.

Experiments with plastic containers were not successful, due to the fact they stuck to the surface and didn’t come out cleanly.

I wondered how I could use a toothpaste box, and studied it for a while, before researching artists that use plaster or concrete. (This proved to be the start of a series of sculptures that were far better than I could imagine).

Black and red nail varnish were dripped down the sides of the box and plaster was poured into the box and allowed to cure. However, not enough time was given and the paper stuck to the plaster. But proved to be better than some of the ones allowed to dry. The reason being was when the cardboard was removed it muted the nail varnish which merged with the pinkish plaster. Instead of the shine of the varnish it became matt and felt this was a success.
A toilet roll tube was used and successfully showed the spiral of card around the rounded exterior But felt this was too ‘soft’ for the theme chosen.

Adding beads to plaster failed as the plaster was too dense and only revealed some of the beads, also it could have been there wasn’t enough of them ratio to ratio, which was disappointing.

Relief was added inside the box, but was limited due to space available for my hands. Sharp pointed shapes were cut and attached to the inside of the box randomly and poured nail varnish down the sides. Plaster was then added,dried and removed from the box.

I felt this was by far the best result and by using the cut out shapes, experimented with in paper and card.  The photo doesn’t really do it justice. The relief was sharp as I had imagined and worked extremely well.

 

This was attempted a second time.

The shapes created some interesting sharp indentations. The pinkish finishing plaster lacked colour and decided to print the outside. This was unsuccessful, due to the surface being too porous. Maybe sealing the surface would enable a print to be made.

I decided to adapt this but didn’t know how, closed my eyes and felt the plaster and painted with black and red. It resulted in a sculpture that now resembles burnt red wood and very pleased with it.
It was difficult to photograph and the result is better in actuality.

 

Adding wool inside the plaster was an unknown quantity, however the results surpassed expectations. It showed a sense of confusion, which i relate to in my childhood. The colours were a little softer than expected and should have been harsher and brighter. But still a sense of despair is evident.

MY FINAL PIECE

                 

The last casting completely changed the appearance of the plaster and feel I achieved what I had set out to do. It encapsulates the feeling of being trapped in my own head, where everything seemed dark and dismal. But the wool at the bottom, gives a glimmer of hope when all felt lost.
By using a box I wanted sharp lines, which worked to a certain extent, but distorted and is leaning. Certain areas where wool and plaster met crumbled. This achieved how I felt about ever having siblings, which never happened.

I don’t think I would change a part of this apart from maybe the scale. It would be interesting to make a standing column as tall as a child and maybe seal the outside with a printed surface.

 

Final Piece

           

 

                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experiments using balloons put inside the box before adding plaster, were quite interesting. Although it wasn’t easy to extract once the plaster was set. Holes were created internally and was a good exploration of spacial awareness. The unpredictable placement and extraction explored the idea of emptiness.

Exploration of casting wax into crumpled foil, showed interesting surface texture, that again was difficult to photograph and was almost like cut glass, which was quite surprising.

Design ideas – Photoshop

Experimenting with Photoshop showed that the possibilities are endless. I liked the vibrancy of the colours even with a fairly limited palette. It was a very different feel from the pictures drawn and painted. There are sharper lines and was easier to to manipulate. Whilst this wouldn’t be ideal for a box idea, these designs could be used to produce a scarf.

                                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the designs, were similar to grafitti and maybe something I could incorporate into a sculpture. Maybe cut out writing within a sculpture.

                                             

                                          

                                                  

Fabric Experiments

Fabric samples were made using different techniques drawing inspiration from previous exercises. By creating holes in different fabrics, yielded different results, some more successful than others. An upholstery fabric has some of the threads pulled revealing the base of the design. I burnt the surface which turned red to brown, giving a rough surface instead of the soft fabric.

The woollen fabric and felt wasn’t easy to distress as it was extremely hard wearing.

                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lace was one of the most successful outcomes. It was distressed with a heat gun and found it melted quickly creating holes and turned hard and rough instead of the normal softness. The lace was placed randomly and organised and varying degrees of heat added. Some were lightly scorched but others were almost obliterated.

        

                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colour Experiments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                    

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The majority of the different papers revealed very different designs and effects. I particularly like encaustic art and was inspired by my research Benoist Van Boren. However not sure at this point how I could recreate the patterns I have made, as encaustic art is random in application.