Commission or Competition: Art in the public Realm

Our new 5 week brief started today, where we have to explore public art briefs that include commissions or competitions.

By the end of the option we will propose our plans for our public piece of art. We will have to consider factors such as budgeting, construction, visualising our concepts and the impact the piece has on the public.

After our briefing we were advised to look into other pieces of public art and what we can draw from them.

I found some very interesting projects.

A very recognised piece of work Claes Oldenburg’s “Spoonbridge and cherry” was my first stop. I choose to look at this piece because it is well known as a piece of public art and wanted to find out and enquire to why its so successful.

Spoonbridge and cherry

 

When looking at this image you see the piece in relation to the people beside it, the enormity and scale of it is fascinating. When viewing this piece in the flesh, I imagine, the viewer would feel a sense of the out-of-this-world due to the impossibility of the piece. It also has a child-like essence to it, as it is fantastical, colourful and large. For these reasons the work has similarities to the work of contemporary artist Jeff Koons an artist I also found interesting in relation to this task.

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Again this work has a sense of  impossibility about it, the work looks as if it is constructed out of one massive balloon but is actual constructed of stainless steel. It is hard to recognise that a piece of work can look so buoyant and weightless when constructed out for such a contradictory material. both these pieces of public art are hard to miss, and this is something that I would like to include in my piece, its taken simple concepts executed in a magnificent way.

 

I then discovered a piece of art in Cardiff which I was really intrigued by which incorporated the surroundings to make them more mundane.  Pictures were placed inside the hollow bollards which a viewpoint so that you can glance into the work. I love the idea of breaking up the everyday routine, and this sense that something brightening your day even if for 5 seconds. Another thing I look to include in my work.

Here is an article about the piece. http://goo.gl/rQplmL

I’m looking forward to working towards an ambitious piece of public art.

 


Why it isn’t working.

I’ve hit a wall.

Reflecting on feedback from my field formative assessment I have realised that the concept  behind my work is strong but it isn’t reflected and communicated in the work properly. If I am trying to communicate the taboo of written narratives then I why am I writing these narratives on the object? I have to some way transfer this idea into sound or suggested oral narratives.

It means a lot more fun with my friend Mr Arduino!

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Evading written narratives…

Now that I am aware of the forms that I want to work within I researched into narratives that surround these forms.

I stumbled upon this narrative which has only been communicated by word of mouth and never written down. No-one really knows its origins and therefore knows if the story was from truth or fiction. I then want to put the narratives back onto the form of a diamond however when you go to read the story the narrative is taken from you. The object will therefore become a materialisation of this idea of the taboo of written narratives.

Here are some initial sketch ups of what  see the object looking like.

narrative diamond

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I plan to view and hide the narrative through a dimming led hooked up to an Arduino. The electronics of the piece will be hidden when displayed. I plan to either have the diamond in a box inspired by the way things were displayed in the museum, or on a velvet cushion to convey a stronger narrative.


A medal worth waiting for.

I was very excitable waking up this morning knowing that today I got to see if my bronze casts worked.

AND THEY DID!

Now its just the labouring task of working them until they are magnificent and beautiful.

First I had to cut each one off the tree. I did this using an angle grinder with an attachment which works with soft metals like bronze.

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Then you have to grind down the risers which connected each medal to the tree.

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As didn’t want my medals polish and shiny, because I wanted to reference the landscapes they were depicting and I didn’t want to loose any of the detail on the medal, i decided to sandblast my medals to finish them.

This is the finished outcome:

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I’m so proud of the way they came out. They are exactly what I wanted them to be. And not only have I gained and homed in a lot of skills involving bronze casting and mould making in this process, I feel I have also become a better organiser and have improved my skills working with others.


Bronze pouring

Today we finally poured bronze into our shell cast moulds. Its a very exciting process but also daunting knowing that the weeks of preparation boil down to this moment.

Here are some stills from a video recording of the process:

Bronze Casting

Just waiting for them to fully cool now so that we can crack them open and start working with them tomorrow, ready to send them off to BAM’s.

 


From plastic to bronze…

Alongside ‘working in the field’ I have been pushing along with my subject medal project, hopefully to get it ready in time for the BAMs competition entry.

I picked up from where I left off last term casting my recently made silicone moulds with the bronze casting wax. I then assembled two casts of each side into a wax tree, ready to be coated in silica and fired to create the shell.

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I underwent the firing process yesterday where the wax is melted from the inside of the tree so a solid shell remains. The kiln is placed over a pan of water so as the wax is melted out it’s scraped away so it doesn’t catch alight. It can also then be melted down and salvaged to be used another day.

Me firing:

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Now I am left with two shell casting moulds ready for bronze casting next Monday! Watch this space.

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Museum Musings… 2

After our very exciting visit to the Peter Blake exhibition we went around the permanent collection looking for inspiration through objects and exhibits. I was drawn in by the way that work is displayed and catalogued. One thing that intrigued me was the jewelled beetles and the way that some of them look dormant and some of them look as if they are going to take flight. I then did some quick drawings to see if it sparked any great ideas.

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The next thing that caught my eye was the crystals in the natural history section. I think this intrigued me because each crystal was grouped in colour and aesthetic qualities rather than worth, giving them a new value system. Alongside this the light gave each crystal another dimension and almost added a richness in colour – I want to extract all these ideas in my work. So I photographed them and then extracted drawings from this.

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The form and structure of the crystals is definitely something I want to work with so i feel maybe I could research narratives around this or maybe generate my own.


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