As part of my professional practice module, I visited the Mission Gallery in Swansea with my course to view the works of Ingrid Murphey. This exhibition included 2 collaboration pieces being the “Angry dogs” which features work from several artists as well as “The Campanologists Teacup” who Murphey collabed with Jon Pigott to create a small series of interactive ceramic horns that were connected to a small teacup present within the centre. When said cup is touched by a viewer, a light ball would tap the golden surface inside the horns creating a soft ‘pinging’ noise.
The theme within this exhibition is ‘Interaction’ which allows the viewing audience a chance to get involved with the artworks and are rewarded by a reaction from the piece itself. There were several minor issues during the set up of these works as they are very technologically based and needed the use of wires which had to be fully concealed amongst other things.
I was intrigued by the centre piece within the opening area. The piece was an interactive one which looked like teacups placed upon a dining table, knocked over and spilling gold lustre. when the lustre was touched it would play a city specific sound. The tea cups were placed on a map which was engraved into the wooden table in specific areas of swansea city. What inspired me about this piece is the sense of conversation. Theres an intimacy within the interaction of the viewer to appreciate the artwork and the ansering sound of the local area, a question with a reply.
The field module gives students a chance to explore many different skills and projects throughout the art department. I really had the opportunity to experiment with new skills during my field modules. My first field group was figurative modelling with Natasha Mayo which was very useful for my subject brief because it gave me an awareness of different ways and techniques of figurative building. The figurative module also looked at different decorative ideas such as using casting slip as well as decorative slips. It was due to this project that I had decided to use slip decoration in my final pieces of work.
I found that during this field project we took a lot of time looking at life modelling and drawing. We used different mediums to create pieces of art referenced by our life model Pip. Mediums such as charcoal, pencil, paint and even modelling clay straight from looking at the life model in front. We were also taught about the importance of knowing where the pressure would be during 3 dimensional modelling. such as knowing where the most pressure would be placed in on area such as base, bone and any other part of the boy that would be in contact with the floor being as in a sculpture these are areas in which your clay is most likely to slump. Also the majority of our drawings were quick sketches so it was important for us to know what parts to draw to make sense of the body with out focussing too much on detail.
The second half of my field module was Urban Sketching. This whole project brief was focussed on sketching and nothing else. We had the opportunity to be set out into bristol and draw everything that captures the essence of ‘urban’ living. Bristol is such an interesting city that there was so much to look at and manipulate through drawing. Just like the life drawing in the first half of field, urban sketching was about finding the essence of the drawing with out focussing on the detail. These drawing exorcises developed our drawing skills such as drawing with out looking at the paper, drawing using only shadows and also doing one line drawings. These were all to practice be comfortable with sketching not having a perfect final result. The urban sketching course also taught us how to draw things that you would think took great detail and time in a matter of minutes so things like large crowds of people, multiple windows on buildings heavy plantation and other things you can expect to find in an urban area.
The drawing techniques I have developed through both of these field groups have helped my project planning on subject so much. Everything throughout the figurative module has been very useful to me across my whole subject experience. I have discovered so many new techniques that I could incorporate into not only the planning but also the execution of my final pieces. Urban sketching has really encouraged me to be comfortable with my work having imperfections and the figurative has given me new hand building skills as well as knowledge of the figure.
This week we had a workshop in which we were shown how to make hands. The process began with making pinch pots that were then joined together so that they would create the palm. By making the thumb joint we were able to map out where the wrist and four fingers would be placed. The pinch pot palm was then placed onto a cylinder of clay that formed the wrist. The fingers were then added on. They had to be quite thick so that they were able to hold their form. The by using my own had as reference I was better able to mould the joints and creases of a life like hand. I was trying to focus on the movement of the hand. I was looking for how the skin moved and creased around the knuckles and bone. The hands were then decorated with porcelain slip. I thought that the contrast between the red of terracotta and the brilliant white of the porcelain was quite interesting. It highlighted the crease of the hand quite nicely.
(Workshop Classes Hands)
Plaster and Fabric
We were given two pieces of material for the project with plater. We drew around our hands on each piece and then they were sewn together in line with each other, leaving a hollow hand in the middle. That space in the middle was then filled with plaster. we were then able to manipulate the fingers into dextrous poses. I found the the fabric left some interesting crease marks in the folds of the plaster, quite similar to folds of skin. also small bits of thread that were left behind stuck to the plaster resembled little bits of hair. Also the fabric texture had left a skin like feel to the plaster.
Today we had a session with Claire Curneen looking at sculpting faces using the pinching method. Using terracotta clay we took small handfulls and pinched them into small medallions then add it to the base of our heads and build our way up. we had to focus on the shape we were making as we wanted something the resembles a head but didnt want the clay to collapse on itself. Once we had the basic shape of our heads we could then add on the facial features.
This is a life drawing of my own figure. In this task I had to match the pose of the life model and sat on a large piece of paper and had to draw around my body. Charcoal was the medium used for this drawing. The dark tones are able to highlight depth and pressure. The darker areas in this drawing are showing the points of pressure the most. After a long while these areas would start to hurt most. In association with clay, using this image as reference, I am able to see that when modelling the figure these are the areas in which the clay would give way. It made me understand where the tension would be in a clay figure and where the clay is more likely to slump and give way.