So, the last two posts have been a look back over the year at previous works, but today’s is going to be an up-to-date, what-I’m-doing-now type of post.
Since it’s the last run up to the Degree Show, I’ve decided to try my best to get as much done as I can. I always regret not having access to my studio space once term is over. So, it being 24-hour studio access at the moment, I’m staying in late to try and get some stuff made as quickly as I can.
Just so you can feel the urgency, and the messiness of my working space, here’s a picture that I took this evening.
Feeeel the mess. So, that’s where I’m sitting at this very moment. But I digress.
As you can probably tell already, all of my previous works have been based on the forms of dogs, so I thought I’d try and break away from that a bit, as I feel it’s starting to get a bit stale. I did a piece way back in Second Year called “An Escape”. It featured some crows made of folded fabric and resin nailed to a board. In fact, let me see if I can dig out a couple of pictures.
Yeah I know, I’m not a big fan either. So I’ve been thinking about crows a lot since then, I think they’re fascinating animals, and also completely loaded with symbolism and metaphor. Normally that’s something I’d shy away from, and perhaps that’s why I’ve been so reluctant more recently to make any pieces with them. But I think I’m ready to take them on now.
So, here’s a drawing of the piece I’ve been thinking about creating.
It had to be a photograph of the sketchbook page unfortunately, since I don’t have access to a scanner just now. So, in the previous piece I made two years ago, I’d used black paint instead of the crows’ blood. At the time I was only really doing it to emphasise the fact that the crows had been fabricated. (With fabric, no less.) But as it turns out I really like using the colour black. I tend to use it to give objects more of a depth and weight.
And, as it happens, last year I discovered the wonderful world of household silicone sealants. At the time I was using them to make membranes by spreading them flat over clingfilm, but one in particular, a black roofing silicone, I really took a liking to. When it dries it still keeps its moist appearance, as well as being sort of rubbery and stretchy. So this is what I’m going to use in this piece.
If you cast your eyes back to the first picture of my chaotic working space, you will see a blue, vaguely crow-shaped cut-out on the right hand side. This is my starting point, and over the last couple of hours, I have carved it into this:
I’ve never really used foam before as a carving material. I quite enjoyed it, despite the hand cramps from holding the knife. So, the next step is to cover him with lots of silicone sealant. Let’s hope I’m not too tired and I end up hating the shape of him tomorrow.
The next step in the adventure, once I’ve made a bunch of these guys, is to get a whole tree (or maybe just some large branches) into the studio to hang them from. Hm. Wish me luck!