Tag Archives: Sculpture

More Sculpture… coming soon!

Why hello!

So I’ve mostly been working on my comic project with James as I say, but recently I received an email from the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney inviting me to exhibit in their Orkney Graduates show. It’ll be taking place between February and March of next year (2013) though I think dates are still uncertain at this stage.

I’ve decided to make something new for the show, (mostly because of the contempt I feel for most of the stuff I created during uni…) so I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to make. Animal forms are definitely high up in the list as usual, and I was thinking of potentially revisiting the black silicone I used before, as I feel like I haven’t used the material to its full potential just yet. We shall see! Drawings and brainworks may be afoot!

Despite the rising fear of coming back to contemporary sculpture, I’m really excited to be exhibiting in Orkney, especially in the Pier Arts Centre and alongside friends.


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.


Hanging stuff

Here’re two pieces I made fairly recently using the paw pouches I showed you a few posts ago. In the first one, I decided to paint the latex black, to change the quality of the material; I’d gotten a bit sick of looking at the orange latex.

Mini binbag?

So despite the nice colour, I totally lost the skin-like surface of the latex, so I decided not to paint them in further pieces. As we’d had a crit during this Project Space with students from the Royal College of Art in London, and they’d questioned me on their presentation, for my next piece I decided to try bunching them up and hanging them with twine to change the presentation and therefore the quality of them as objects…

I didn’t really like the piece as a whole but the combination of the twine and the bunched up latex worked quite well. I liked the hanging paws but I didn’t think the head was as successful. I tried it by itself:

…but I think I still prefer the paws.


Looking back again… Mannequins

So, looking back once more, we come to the dog mannequin.

I wanted to make just a blank, white, dog shape to ‘model’ some of the skins I’d been making. I really didn’t like how he came out at all. Anatomically incorrect, wonky (I even had to put cardboard tubes under his feet to keep him standing), proportionally awful… I threw him together really quickly with chicken wire and papier mache, hoping that the vague dog shape could be covered with the skins.

As it happened they didn’t really, so I was still feeling bad about him and gearing up to make a new one when I had a tutorial with a couple of my tutors, and they reacted to him in a way I wouldn’t have expected.

They both leapt out of their chairs after seeing a photo and demanded that I set him up so they could see him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my tutors more excited about something I’d made… and I didn’t even like him. I just… don’t understand.

Anyway, here you go.

They especially liked him wearing the rubber gloves. I kinda like him with them too,  but I think if I ever want to display the piece, I’ll have to remake him. I was thinking of having him lying down with his forefeet crossed, too. I really hope I have time to make him for the Degree Show, but the way things are going now, I doubt I will. Maybe if I continue to stay late at college…


Something new…

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.

Found them! What terrible quality. Apologies.

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!


Paws, now.

Hello chums. Let’s resume.

So I’d made these paw “gloves” out of latex, and created some of these images of them on human hands. These were just meant to be quick sketches, but I really like the way they came out in the end.

I really like this one, the “gloves” seemed to fit my hands a bit better. Sadly it’s all blurred.

Below are the images that resulted following the revelation that they fit on feet, too.

Something else I tried with the latex gloves was to stuff them with sawdust and well… tie them up.


Anyway, that’s all for now.


Fourth Year Sculpture… go!

I started this blog to catalogue my images, both for back-up and so people can see what I’ve been up to! If you’re lucky, perhaps I’ll add some “in process” shots for y’all. As fourth year is nearly over, looks like I’ll have to do a recap.

So as you can see, I started off the year with some latex skin-making. I’d kind of started doing that at the end of third year, and had decided it was a good process. I’ll explain it in a bit. So I really wanted to go for a sort of… dog outfit, but somehow came out with this rather gross flat skin in the process. It doesn’t look at all like it’s meant to be worn, but that was okay at that stage; I hadn’t started thinking yet. It was all about experimenting with the material at the start of the year.

Here’s one of my dog heads. I was kind of counting on the coat hook and hoop to give the visual clue that this was some item that could be worn, or had been used in some way. Retrospectively I could have done a lot more.

Just experimenting a bit more.

I found that stuffing the heads with sawdust worked really nicely. Aside from the nice colour combination, the latex heads took their original shape. If you squeezed them they felt… well, like a skin with soft stuff inside. It’s a shame I can’t really encourage people to squeeze them.

That’s all for now! I’ll resume again very soon.