Thursday 10th September 15: Ideas Factory
The first lesson started off by understanding the course and getting to know one another, before dividing ourselves into groups of four and starting the first project 'Ideas factory'. As a group we chose a practitioner, material and process (Henrik Vibskov, Light and Cutting) to make a hypothetical final outcome, meaning we didn't have to worry about space, time, cost of production etc. With the research sheets provided, we started highlighting information that we could use towards our final outcome.
I thought our group worked well together even though we hadn't know each other for long, learning who was best for different roles and any past research which would help towards our project. We bought all our ideas together and came up with using refraction to create numerous rainbows within a mirrored room.
Our biggest inspiration was Kusama who uses lights and mirrors to create a surreal universe. We though Kusama and Vibskovs ideas worked well together in creating a futuristic world.
Instead of mirroring multicoloured LED lights in a dark room like Kusana, we came up with shining a white light through a glass crystal prism, making the light refract and create multiple rainbows within the room.
Our goal was to create the same intensity and overpowering result as Vibskov does within his art, We decided on creating a dark corridor to walk down before reaching the room to emphasise the overall effect and turned towards Carsten Höller's Decision corridor, currently exhibited at the Hayward gallery. Southbank centre.
When presenting our ideas to everyone I choose not to speak as my speaking and performance skills aren't very strong. I hope over time I hope to increase my presentation skills and become more confident.
Q: Could you use LED coloured light?
A:No, this idea only works with white light.
When light hits a surface, some of it is absorbed and some of it is reflected. The light that is reflected is the colour of the object in that light. For example, a blue object absorbs all the colours of the spectrum except blue: it reflects blue light.
Q: Could this room be expanded?
A: The room is meant to be viewed amongst others, however if multiple people viewing it at once, the effect of numerous rainbows may decrease as lights will be obstructed by people.
Monday 14th September 15: Ideas Factory: Research
On Friday and Monday we were given time to research three new practitioners, materials and processes, from a list given us on Thursday. We first spent some time on the computers in the library, researching a bit about each of the twenty one practitioners, as we had not come across them before, we each took seven artists between us to speed up the process. Once completed we chose our favourite as a group and then decided the best materials and process to go with our artist. Our final choices were Naomi Filmer, rubber and Protect.
We found that Filmer worked with contemporary jewellery, using a human as a catalyst, following the natural lines and curves of the body as a starting point. For protection we looked mostly at armour and how it has evolved over the years, many pieces of work involved plated metal, intertwining with Filmers use of metal jewellery. The last was rubber, with strong yet flexible properties, it shape was able to be easily manipulated and still be resistant.
The next task was to find five pages on each of the stimulus' using the library facilities, it allowed us to get to know the library and understand how it worked for future projects. We all found it very hard to track down each of the books as many of them were being used by other people. The order system was also difficult as they were arranged by a sequence of letters and numbers.In the end we were able to find what we were looking for a take photos of the relevant pages.
Tuesday 15th September 15: Ideas Factory
With all the research we had found, our next task was to think of as many ideas linking to the three stimulus' as possible within thirty minutes. From these ideas, we picked our three most favorite concepts and pitched them to our group, receiving feedback from our peers and teacher. After narrowing down all our ideas to one final outcome, we started creating boards and samples to present to our class for Thursdays lesson.
Overall I found the first activity the most challenging, as it was hard to think up multiple concepts connecting all three stimulus together, most of my ideas linked at least two of the starting points together and in the end I managed to find a few strong ideas using all three concepts which I pitched to my group at the end.
I found pitching my idea easier than i had imagined. It helped by structuring what I was going to say first by listing my process of thinking; how each of the stimulus' connected to the final idea, how it would be made and where it would be found.
The last task was to create boards and samples to display our idea. My drawing skills are currently weak, however I hope to improve them over time with practice. Creating samples was an easier task for me than drawing, I find creating a smaller version of your final outcome with less detail easier than turning a 3D sculpture into a two dimensional drawing.
Thursday 17th September 15: Ideas Factory
On Thursday we finished off boards and experiments from Tuesday's lesson, then presented them to the class in the afternoon.
Finishing off my rib cage sculpture from the previous lesson, I wanted to blow a balloon up within the sculpture and cover in latex to create an abnormal outline. I found the wire was too sharp for a balloon to be placed in the centre and kept popping, even when trying with stronger balloons. I tried covering the sharp edges in latex to stop the balloon popping, however this outcome didn't work. I resulted in using cling film and newspaper to create abnormal shapes within the sculpture, covered in layers of latex and tissue papper. The end result was fragile, however it created the effect I wanted to achieve.
When presenting my work to the class questions were asked such as where would this been shows? and if a person were to wear this, what would they be wearing underneath the garment to not draw attention away from the main sculpture. These questions I had not considered. Not knowing, I went away, thinking up where and how this hypothetical wearable sculpture would be presented.
Q: where would this garment be presented?
A: I would used this garment as a costume, If one of Tim Burton's were to be converted to stage, I think this will be a useful costume to present Jack skellington. The performer would have body paint on this face and hands, wearing this sculpture as his rib cage, he would be wearing tight black clothing underneath so the the attention wouldn't be taken away and if I had more time, I would want to create an entire skeleton out of wire and latex to be wore by a performer.
Monday 21th September 15 : Observe
At the start of the week we were given a new brief to create a performance using shadows along with music, the music was to be the stimulus of the performance and had to be as long as the music from start to finish. After looking at a few examples of shadow performances we listened to the music and were put into groups depending on people's favourite choices.
Within our groups we listened to the track numerous times and thought of possible story lines linking to the music's mood and tempo. Our first ideas was a woman's nightmare, coming back from working a 9-5 job to then having a surreal nightmare where everything goes wrong. We started playing with gels and working out how to create silhouettes of building with cardboard cutouts.
We realised our music was rather different to others as the tempo was very fast and was created with technology instead of musical instruments. The time we had to work with was longer than most of the pieces so originally thought of making each scene as long as possible, however this changed when creating the final outcome.
As a group we were creating extremely elabourate story lines, needing a lot of props and time to prepare our performance, after looking at what we had, we back tracked our steps in story planning and broke down the simple plot time, who was she, how old, what was she like...
I thought the time we were given was not enough to create a detailed plan for thursdays show, and thus creating a rushed and unorganized story plot.
Tuesday 22nd September 15 : Observe
Going back to the drawing board to possible ideas we could come up with, we changed the character to being a little girl. Researching stories which linked to our idea's of a young child, dreams and nightmares helped us majorly to come up with ideas, these included 'the babadook' "Marianne dreams' and 'Alice in wonderland'. Combining these ideas together we came up with a storyline.
We started getting a move on with making props to use within the performance. using coloured acetate for stars and moons along with wings to create the monster and a dark forest out of black bin liners. I thought adding fine details to the props would make our performance stand out, as well as a making our performance link to to our story line as most children books are illustrated and coloured with big pictures.
In the afternoon we learnt how to make story boards the correct way, working with dimensions for a theatre performances or for a television show / film. We also thought about how the audience would perceive the performance from different angles, weather from in the round or from different scene in a film.
The lesson was very useful as it would be used throughout the course to present possible ideas and outcomes to short films. It was good to start practicing now so that our skills would improve for later needs and would become an instinct to create one instead of being told every time or forgetting.
Thursday 24th September 15 : Observe
As we were down one person on monday and tuesday we chose to all come in on wednesday and rehearse the performance with music and props, We managed to work out the timing of the music and who was holding what during each of the scenes.
On thursday we had time to clean up any mistakes we encountered from before and work on face expressions as we had to make our actions as dramatic as possible. We also made a few more props including a magical forest using green acetate and cardboard crow's with red eyes to make our story flow better from scene to scene.
Monday 28th September 15 : Reveal
After looking at the brief as a group, we started learning about different plane movements (x, y, z) The movement exercise involved pairing up and drawing each other in the various plane movements. Extending the exercise, we analysed each plane movement to a greater length, helping to gain a better understanding of possible movements.
Our brief was to in pairs discover what you think makes you individual, what you may reveal or want to hide. To create and construct a body extension or modification in a performance aspect, which will alter the person’s movement, Whether it restrain, augment, transfers or shift. The piece will then be worn by your partner.
We started thinking up ideas which followed these concepts, thinking about the movements created when the body was restricted or extended. Rebecca Horn's wings seen in the brief presentation, influenced me to create a garment inspired by multiple animals connected together. Thinking about texture, unique parts of the body, adaptations for predators and prey. examples of this are; Zebra print to confuse their predators and appear bigger, Rhino horns for fighting, bat wings to fly and porcupine fish increasing size for protection. From this point we pitched our ideas to our partners and swapped ideas.
Shaira's idea was inspired by the Goddess of dance and intertwining this with the indian dance called bharatanatyam. It would reveal her heritage and background to others. She thought about using sound within the final performance as the dancers wear bells around their feet when performing, possibly replicating this with bubble wrap. The the performer would move around the stage in various positions, popping the bubble wrap as she moves.
The brief stopped us from being so precious with our ideas as we were giving them to our partner to adapt and create, it was a new way of thinking and realisation that the arts industry collaborates with other art practitioners to create their final outcome, as an architect would give his drawings to a building constructor and wait to see the final result. It meant we either had to give clear instructions or let the others person be free with our ideas.
I started playing around with her idea and focussed mainly on the goddess of dance, wanting to see how the body would move with four arms and movements that she would be unable to create due to the fact string would be connected underneath her hands. Another aspect from the goddess I was interested in, was the ring surround the god, possibly using this to restrict the body even further or extend how far the arms could reach. From the statue of the God, I kept to the colour gold as this was a strong and vibrant colour, pairing it with nude, so that the prosthetic arms and real arms would merge into one another.
Tuesday 29th September 15 : Reveal
The next day we started making, I bought along with me a pair of nude tights, skin coloured tank top, golden hoop which I had created at home with drafting tape and gold paint and some invisible string.
I started by outlining my partner's arms onto cardboard and cut these out, I then placed them into the nude tights and stuffed tissue paper into then, creating a more three-dimensional shape to look life like. Once this was completed I wanted them to look more realistic and covered areas in latex, giving them a skin like texture. When they were dry, I cut the tights down the middle and sewed them onto the side of a top, to look like arms.
During the performance she would have each arm attached to a real arm from above with invisible string, giving the limbs movement. This exaggerated all her movements along with the golden hoop that she had to hold at all times of the performance.
Thursday 1st October 15 : Reveal
On friday we cleaned up and finished any work which needed to be done (Securing sewing with a hot glue gun and using champaign thread to attach the arms to the t-shirt ) before going down to the white space a practice our performances.
For shaira's piece I wanted the extra arms to exaggerate all her movements, referring back to the god of dance and relating her movements to bharatanatyam.
The costume created by Shaira, had a stimulus of protection. This involved making the body look bigger than it was as most animals do. The wings created a lot of sound when moving, so we used this to our advantage, not using music and having the costume as the only focus.
My comments from the costume and performance was that it was a bit too safe and could I develop the ideas even further _ The piece was silent however how would it be effected if sounds was added to the performance and if it would change the final outcome _ What if it was ten hands instead of four.
I thought overall I probably did play it a bit too safe as this was a completely new concept for me to handle and didn't know where to take the brief given to me. If I was given another week to prepare a costume, music and final outcome, I would have used this performance as an experiment and developed, adding more extensions to the body and testing out colour.
Monday 5th October 15 : Transform
The first activity of the day was to pick a word and find an area which presented it. we then used these images to make quick observational drawing and after, abstract versions. As a group we talked about our main focus and how these would be presented within an installation. The main topic which kept recurring was travel and direction. Together we came up with an idea, using string to record each person's movement through an obstacle course. This was created using table legs, as more people went through the obstacle the more stressful and manic it was to enter and end the installation. We found it was better to use people under the average height because of the space we had to work with, but it was funny to see them struggle as they could only crouch so low. We were also able to see how people's minds worked, some people would try and find the easiest route to the end, as others wanted to make it more challenging for themselves.
Once we were happy with our final design, we also tried out other installations, it was interesting to see how each person interpreted their word and how they showed this. I found playful most enjoyable as they created a play den, using soft textures and no shoes allowed sign to make it seem their target audience was young children. They also used the space around them to their advantage, turning the white board into a scrapbook to doodle on and using the table as a platform similar to a tree house.
Tuesday 6th October 15 : Transform
Carrying on from yesterday we started turning our designs into white card models, we leant about the different scales and how these dimensions were converted depending on theatre, film or BBC. We also had a chance to play around with lighting once we created our white card models, using warm and cool lighting giving a different moods and making them more realistic.
When creating our white card model we were told to keep it simple and not to add any fine details as the main object was to understand space and scale, it transformed the way we saw things, converting 2D into 3D and the reason for drawing with a vanishing point.
When drawing the models back into 2D drawing, we were told to include light as changed the atmosphere and how the set was viewed.
Things which made the next task difficult was using a hot glue gun, if I knew the task was to deconstruct our model the next day I would've used a glue stick, drafting tape or UHO glue.
Thursday 8th October 15 : Transform
Still using the word Manic from Monday we were told to go away and flip our set into an opposite, words which came to mind were calm, relaxed and peace, Swapping a hectic and messy scenery to symmetrical, calm area.
Our task was to recreate these new atmospheres using all the resources, without adding or removing items. I found this task rather easy as I hadn't adding a lot of detail to my set, able to break down items by cutting up pieces of tissue and card instead of having to mend parts back together like others had to. I started by rearranging my "tree like" poles, changing them from being scattered around the room to even arrangement, having three poles on either side and a row of four at the back. I was lucky enough to have made an even amount of poles without knowing the task ahead which made it easier. After I took apart the roof and walls made from tissue paper, I cut out a snowflake design, folding the paper numerously and cutting small triangles from the edge to create a symmetrical pattern. I had now turned my manic maze into a calm relaxing area to sleep or read, it reminded me of a child's bedroom, the snowflake design created a light installation in the walls and floor similar to how cutout lampshades make a pattern on kids ceilings. The monochrome colour scheme added to the effect of peaceful, along with using cool lighting to create shadows and appear dark.
Monday 12th October 15 : Magnify
Monday consisted of a number of step to create our final outcome, Our tasks included: ( in different medias for all)
Find somewhere in the room and draw a square inch of it onto an A3 piece of paper
Take that same area and draw a cm2 onto A3 paper
Choose a spot and enlarge it onto A3
In pairs, one person draws their spot onto paper, scaled on the wall using charcoal on the end of a stick
The second person draws a life sized model layered over the image
Connect areas together, combining into each other
Draw what you see into your sketchbook, keeping in mind a garment which links
Create your sketchbook into a 3D garment using drafting tape and white paper
Draw the design back into your sketchbook, including colour and a background
I found this day to be quick thinking and acting fast. My partner was Adriana, I found we worked well together, finding each other's strong points and connecting our ideas together. I particularly liked the last task where we connected peoples work together. Realising the garments constructed and evolution of class, complimenting each other and creating a story. Each of the garments linked together as there was an element of paper strips being used throughout all the garments within our collection. This idea was repeated with other peoples designs, connecting them together to show the strong aspects of each garment.
Tuesday 13th October 15 : Magnify
On our second day we were told to bring in three textures, we passed our items around the table placed in bags and boxes to that we wouldn't see them, the task was the draw what we felt. Using these drawing we created abstract set design. This linked back to the previous day, turning something small to big and then into 3D.
My item was a paper bag, I focused on the scrunchy edges and feel of it, I tried replicating this using drafting tape and tissue paper, using them together to make the paper strong and durable like the bag. When thinking of this in a larger scale it reminded me of the rigid stones in a cave or while rock climbing. I took this idea and started ripping up the newly created strong tissue paper and folded it to create three-dimensional shapes. when shining a light through the paper it created dark shadows as the transparent properties changed.
Thursday 15th October 15 : Magnify
Our last day was to use what we had done in the week and create a set design, performance or garment. I decided to use the body as my stimulus for scale, zooming further and further into the body and using it in comparison with the actual size of the body. I looked at skin prints and cells, looking at human skin and then to extend my research looking at onion skin cells as primary research, using blue dye to see each individual cell.
I used white paper which was durable enough to use as walls. Using a hot glue gun at height I was able to create a effective designs when painted on top of. To present the blood cells I cut up red and pink straws in all different lengths which I thought would create a contrast.
My storyboard involved humans shrinking down to minute and performing live key-hole surgery. When presenting my idea people told me, including kate of a film which was very similar to my idea. however kate also told me that the performance did not have to have a story line and could be as simple as a microscope zooming in and out of an object. I thought this idea was more effective as it would be hard to show what the set design was portraying without verbally explaining.
Monday 2nd November 15 : Eat me
After going over the presentation slides and thinking of various ideas for the theme 'Eat me' in the morning, we started thinking about food characteristics, what they might be like or look like and how their personality was represented through how they looked. My vegetable was kale and instantly thought of someone who was healthy, possibly being a fitness freak and being very thin yet lean.
In the afternoon we learnt about costume pattern making and the different aspects it had compared to fashion patterns. We started off by creating a cuboid net out of paper and constructing it to a piece of paper. From there we cut the bottom of the cube out where the two piece of paper were in contact with each other and drew out a design onto it, which we would then cut out. Once cut, the pattern lay flat and was able to be easily reconstructed, creating the pattern.
Once we were comfortable with pattern making for a box, we repeated the steps using a food of our choice. My item was an aubergine, the shape of the aubergine made covering the vegetable in paper easier than others, who had chosen harder options such as pineapples, strawberries and ginger.
Finally we were to trace around our vegetable paper pattern and reconstruct it using white paper, it made the final outcome a lot cleaner as there was no drafting tape visible. This design was to be attached to a waistcoat using templates provided by kate, however because of time I was unable to complete the task.
Over all I found the experience "different" yet useful. My past experience in fashion and costume meant I had past knowledge in paper patterns and had used pattern paper to create garments of my own in the past. It was useful to learn the structure and form of creating designs flat and how they would be used when creating garments for the future.
Tuesday 3rd November 15 : Eat me
there once was a young person from crete,
Whose toilette was from complete;
She dressed in a sack, spickle-speckled with black,
When she dined don a plateful of meat
Tuesday's lesson started off with analysing limericks, each were about food and a person. We created a character out of the poems similar to how we created a person out of a vegetable in the previous lesson. Repeating this task multiple times in different way to create a caricature of the person in the poem. We then displayed them up on the walls of the class in silhouette positions on black paper, grouping them together to create its own story.
The afternoon's task was to bring in a taste or flavours , learning the difference between the two and wrote down textures, feelings and journeys created when eating different foods.
We were also told to bring in a plate which we were to create a 3D model of what we experienced or felt the food would be if it were an object when eating certain foods. My item was a Mentos and created a journey of the stages of eating one. From a hard powdery bitter shells to breaking it and finding a chewy sweet artificial mint taste, as the sweet was coming to an end shart cold tastes would come through, revealing the spearmint flavour.
Thursday 5th November 15 : Eat me
Walking into the class with tables laid out like a banquet, along with paper cups, plates and cutlery. Our task was to create a possible idea for our presentation the following thursday, made out of the materials given. I wanted to portray the idea of not knowing the process of food. Where it comes from, what the ingredients are and the process it goes through.
For Thursdays lesson I used multiple cup to create a pig mask held up by holding a mechanism with your mouth and two hoofs on either hand. My ideas came from wanting to present an entire pig either dead or alive served on a plate when asking for a pork steak or sausage.
The idea came from that people have no connection between a piece of meat on their plate and an animal running around in the fields. If you were told when going to a restaurant, that in order to receive your meal you would have to go to a livestock farm, pick out an animal, slaughter it yourself and prepare you would be outraged, however we find it perfectly acceptable to go to a shop and pay for people to do it for us behind closed doors and present it to us in a plastic packet.
When asking various people both vegetarian and carnivores if they would ever kill an animal, many of the answers were no, however when asking if they were happy to eat sed animal the response was different.
Friday 6th November 15 : Eat me
I looked at Sweeney Todd and linked it to the horsemeat scandal, how they both resulted in saving money and the effect it had on people after. There was a big contrast in people's reactions. Some people had little interest from where their meat from from, as long as it was red meat and good quality, they didn't seem to mind knowing that it's a normal thing to eat as a general meal. Others were horrified that they had been lied to and were so affected that they changed their diet completely to being vegetarian.
I presented my idea as pie linking it back to Sweeney Todd, I used flour and water to create a pastry like base and cooked in the microwave for a minute. The end result looked identical to the real thing without having to follow a recipe or bake. The top of the pie was created by wrapping a cake tin in cling film and adding layers of latex to create the pie lid. The cling film create a skin like texture and also made it easy to peel off when complete, the end result was very effective as the natural colour of the latex looked very similar to the colour of pastry when cooked.
I used jelly cubes made from gelatin as the pie filling, mixing it with bacon fat to portray the connection of where food originally comes from. I intensified the idea by setting half of the jelly in a hand mould, I was able to make the mould by placing my hand in a cup full of wet alginate and waiting until it had hardened, I was able to then remove my hand and fill the mould with gelatin and place in the fridge. I made sure that I didn't add any water to the gelatin as the jelly was already a solid at room temperature. The last step was to remove the jelly from the alginate mould, I found this step to be the trickiest as it was extra sticky because it was concentrated jelly. It helped that the concentrated jelly smelled of berries and the colour linked to blood. It was a statement that vegetarians often refer to as meat is murder. The mould of the hand also gave the impression of What is it made out of?
I also looked at other foods that we were unaware of, including how food dye was originally made (crushed up beetles) and the ingredient that goes into certain foods to create amino acids ( animal bodily fluids and human hair ) I used some of these ideas to add to my pie. As food colouring was an aspect of the jelly I was using, I decided to using egg shells covered in red dye to portray red beetles used back in the day, along with making a few dough beetles which sat within the pie and on the edges.
When I first bought the pie in to present on thursday, people said it's smelled really good and would like to eat it later, however they didn't realise until they lifted the lid that pork fat was mixed in. The comments I received on the day was that it was grotesque and vile, however they were unable to understand that this was a representation of jelly at its most simplest form ( animal fat, bones and leftovers ) No one was prepared to even think about eat it as the visual outcome was too much for them to handle, however they seemed perfectly fine to eat the Haribos, marshmallows and skittles on the other tables made with the exact same ingredients.
"they are not lost, as visitors follow their various twists and turns they cannot be sure where they will emerge."
"I'm trying to create a situation of not knowing in order to extrapolate from this uncertainty, so to speak, and also to bring out its beauty, its power, its wisdom even."