Category Archives: Crows

A better update

My last post was a little rushed, so now I have a bit more time, I’m going to upload a few more pictures of the finished space for Degree assesssment.

Here’s the stand I used for branchy in the end – it’s a Christmas tree stand that belongs to my parents. It has useful little screw in bits that bite into the trunk of the tree to keep it stable, so it did the job perfectly.

Lovely south facing windows get lots of sunlight.

So I packed the soil around the base of the tree and spent a while chipping moss and bark from that chunk of wood I sawed off the bottom of the branch. While it had to be a mound of soil that large to cover the stand, I didn’t want to extend the soil any further out into the space as I didn’t want viewers to tread the soil all around the room. I think it works well contained in that way though, any further extended and the piece would probably have dominated the space a little too much.

So here’s the crow I chose to hang in the end – I don’t think I mentioned in previous posts, but I decided to go with just the one crow hanging from the tree. I think numbers mean a lot to people, and while having just one simplifies things, it also creates the air of something symbolic – maybe as a monument, or a warning.

Here’s the top, where the goo connects to the branch.

Oh, and here’s the other, smaller piece I had in the space alongside the larger branch. While they’re separate pieces, I wanted to link them, so I used a small mound of earth to give it a bit of context within the space.

I included the canvases with the parts of the crows, but I decided to split them up. I tried having them side by side in the shape of a fragmented crow, but having the wings in the space left me thinking too much crow…

I kept the wings together, but displayed them around the corner, next to the door.

Here’s another image of the space. I also put up a couple of pictures including the latex dog parts just to add a little history to my work. I’ll probably add more or change them for the actual public show.

That’s it for now!

~ell

…finished.

So I finally got it all sorted.

Here are some images of my space, all set up and ready for assessments. (We’ll be tweaking the space a bit before the public show opens in June.)

Facing one way (into my space)

Facing the other (you can see Rose’s piece at the back, and there is another piece going between us which hadn’t been moved there at the time of the photograph)

I think… I’m feeling good about it.

~ell

P.S. the images are a bit dark and need to be adjusted – I’ll do that later but just now I have to run off to work, apologies!

The month of May – and things are going slowly.

Hi again.

So things, as the title suggests, are going slowly. While the studios were (mostly) painted over easter, the space is still mostly in turmoil. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since, as I have learned, things need to be in turmoil for sculpture to happen.

This time I come bearing photos!

So this is the space where I’ll be installing the tree. It’s a beautiful studio at the very front of the college, so it has great south facing windows that get loads of sun. Great for branchy! As I said, the space is still full of crap as we continue to prepare for the show. The partitions at the end will also stretch to the wall on the left, we just have to leave it open now for access behind them.

I had to cut the uneven bottom off branchy, from where he fell from the tree. It’s a shame, because the bottom is all covered in this wonderful thick green moss, but I guess you wouldn’t have seen it anyway when it was installed in the stand.

Meanwhile, the crows wait patiently for me to attach and finish them.

I’m having a bit of trouble currently with stands for the branch, as being very top heavy, it’s very difficult to stabilise. Today, after a few unsuccessful attempts at cutting the bottom to be even, I’ve decided that I’ll fill the stand with jesmonite or cement, if I can get my hands on a small amount. That’ll mean I can hold the branch in the position I want it while the bottom of the branch settles into the material as it sets. Let’s just hope I can get my hands on something suitable for the job! It’s definitely not worth buying a whole bag of cement or similar.

Anyway that’s all for now, hopefully things will start moving more quickly and I can update more often. At the moment I’m mostly organising and choosing photographs to print, which doesn’t exactly give me any material to post on here with. Never mind! Soon!

~ell

Goodbye studios

Today we moved all our stuff out of our studios! I had so much stuff hanging on and around my desk it felt like quite a task moving everything out. I had to move branchy too, so I got the chance to take a few photographs of him in a white space. It seems to work.

I also hung the crows from him (just as somewhere to store them) so I got to see them together.

Also here’s that smaller branch with the wings attached to it.

Gona be cleaning the studios up a treat tomorrow. Let’s just hope it wasn’t as much of a shambles as it was today.

~ell

Feathering

I have silicone all over me. In my hair, under my nails, I found some on my face this evening that I’d completely missed. How do I do this?

Anyway, today after fortuitously sleeping in and catching the postman with my delivery of crow feathers, I’ve added some to the gloopy entities that are my hanging birds. Behold!

Considering adding more further down the body of the crow as I quite like it. I’m using wing feathers though so I want to avoid completely feathering them. We’ll see.

Laters!

~ell

A tale of trees and black silicone

So the branch I’m going to use in my degree show is one I happened to spot out of my bedroom window a while ago.

It fell off a tree ages back when it was incredibly stormy. I’ve been looking at it for months and it only hit me a few weeks back that maybe I could actually take it. Anyway, it looked to be a reasonable size from my second floor window, but after a bit of scrutiny I realised that it was 4 metres long and impossible to put in a moving vehicle of any kind (that was accessible to me anyway). It’s been on the ground for a while, so it’s dried out a bit, meaning it isn’t so heavy.

So as it turned out, yesterday, my lovely boyfriend James and my lovely afore-mentioned flatmate Thomas helped me carry (well, they carried, I kind of… directed?) branchy to college. So now… well, see for yourself.

Now it’s here a feel a lot better. I’ve been pretty stressed lately. This is the very last week of studio time before we have to clear out to paint the studios!

Anyway so I’ve also been working on my hanging crows.

They are slowly beginning to look less simple and rubbish.

MEANWHILE! I ordered some bits of crows from ebay. I got some talons, and I just love them.

I’m planning on arranging the feet and some wings I also ordered on some cavases and displaying them alongside the crow tree.

I recieved some more crow wings in the post today and used them too.

So there we are. I’m sure I’ll be freaking out plenty before the end of the week so its nice to be feeling in control just now.

Bye for now.

~ell

Venturing forth into the outside world…

Hi again ladies and gentlemen.

Today I decided to take some stuff on a walk and put it in trees and that. Since I’m going to be having tree brances in my degree show I figured I’d have a look and see how the latex dog stuff looks in the context I’m going to be setting up in the space.

Not too bad, it turns out, but maybe it’s just because they look like a pair of discarded shoes.

Anyway so the crows are still happening, slowly. I made a few and began covering them with the silicone, but sadly, I ran out of it. I thought I had plenty of cartridges of the stuff, but, despite the very, very similar packaging, I’d ordered three cartridges of the wrong stuff. Aside from the word “super” on the front, nothing on the packaging, let alone the tiny image that amazon provided, told me that it was, in fact, butyl rubber instead of silicone.You can see a small patch of it on the crow on the right hand side. Not what I was after.

So now I have to wait while the silicone I ordered arrives. What a pain! Anyway while I was out I decided to take some of the silicone I’d formed into a membrane to see how it interacts with the real world.

Actually, the photograph I used as the header of this site was taken back when I was using silicone membranes and draping them over plants and natural forms last year. Me and my flatmate Thomas (who is studying photography) collaborated to create some nice images of those. So I guess this is sort of a throwback? Anyway I love this material so much. It’s so gross and wonderful.

Anyway so I took my first, mostly covered crow out with me and combined the silicone membrane with him to just test the elongated-mass-coming-out-of-his-tail idea.

But doing this has made me think maybe what I’m doing isn’t so good after all. I might need to rethink the shape of these guys. Mind you, I’ve been looking at them for so long, maybe I just need a break. While he looks like a simplified doll of a bird, is that a good thing? Huh, we’ll see I guess.

~ell