End of term: Summary:

The presentation that was the assessment of the term was more a short conversation where I explained the entire process of development from my initial ideas to every different area of exploration that I faced. The idea of a presentation was nerve racking, however the conversation took place as more a one to one tutorial, in which my tutor gave me advice on where my work was lacking; within my artist research, in that I don’t look around for inspiration, more sit in agony waiting for an idea to strike.

Although my tutor thought my drawing capability and my understanding of creating a concept before attempting to create any work around it. However by the third project I had become more interested in the sculptural form of the fractal spirals, and as such most of my work in the last project was made in the three dimensional format; although the whole sculptural area is not a field I have explored before, but due to freedom that the projects allow, due to not requiring a final piece of work, I gave it a shot. The result of my tangent allowed for evidence that I was willing to explore into areas I hadn’t encountered before and knew nothing about.

Overall the assessment went well, although I do need to organise my compilation of work into a better order and a better size file, for easier access to all of it from the time is was made. Rather than the pile of work I hashed together due to the different sizes of sheets and material, although the use of only one sketchbook did make it easier to explain in a linear fashion.

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The assessment presentation:

The challenge with the projects set so far, was the change from picking a theme and sticking to it at A level, to taking a title and running under it to any other topic or idea that piqued our interest. I understood that this course would be different from my college, however the leap was terrifying; namely it was the freedom to find an area of interest and a format we were curious enough about or otherwise interested in to use, or learn to use, for the project itself; whilst it was still appropriate for them to logically be use in combination.

This was something I strived to stick to from the beginning, as I am conscious of my ability to wander off to a tangent. My starting idea for the first project was to explore the ability we have as a generation, to create an online identity, which can be vastly different from our real time one. However I ended up exploring the easy access another person has to ‘hack’ into said identity; namely due to the idea of taking photographs of people without their knowledge, through their technology, had gripped me and persisted until I had attempted it. I moved media from these online photographs to pixels drawn in pencil, to recreating those hand drawn pixelated images back to the original context of the computer. 

The main problem I had so far was both the IT inductions and the second project. I bring them up together due to the impact the IT inductions had on the project that is at first the inductions covered ‘Photoshop’, a programme that will be undeniably useful, although when ‘indesign’ was introduced it was covered as a topic repeatedly and extensively for nearly a month. Due to the second project being a publication it was made out that it should be made via ‘indesign’, which wasn’t much of a problem until this was repeated as the only method we should use.

The other problem with the, second project was that it was a group one; not something I’ve ever had to try before. Our little team of three managed to create a small collection of photographs of Storthes Hall; the original plan was to produce a book of useful information about Huddersfield. There are a thousand reasons why we didn’t; lack of time, collaboration, on all our parts…

The book we did create had some ‘found objects’ to connect to the places physically rather than through only a photograph of a random place no one knows. I can’t say it was clever or witty, it’s nothing grand nor especially attractive but with our situation I’m grateful we produced anything at all. I wish I could say we dealt with the challenge of a group project maturely and achieved a mutual goal that was worth all the both, although we did have a chance to apply our knowledge of Photoshop in the books production.

The third project allowed for a real expedition into unknown charters; and in combination to the experimental drawing, where we were shown different ways of thinking, which led to, what i think, is my most interesting project. The experimental drawing gave us alternative methods of how we could draw, like using a different media, such as masking tape, then, giving us the right amount of curiosity to explore for ourselves, before showing us better, more intriguing ways of looking at things, like drawing in the dark.

I used the topic of third project like a spring board for ideas and I jumped from luminal to fractals; the idea basically fell into my lap, due to a friend in computer programming explained that they made images from “patterns that can go for infinity, but are usually kept in a finite amount of space”. However the project turned into three-dimensional aerial spirals, which I made primarily from paper, due to its flexibility into being manipulated into various forms, Tara Donovan claims all her work is made from materials that are commonly found in any household, and its cheapness in procuring. Creating sculptors was an entirely new topic for me, as I was never curious enough and always too nervous to know where to begin. But this course has given me both the opportunity and the necessary curiosity and initiative to work out concepts and methods both by myself and as part of a whole.

Leaving the Studio:

We visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Wakefield Hepworth Gallery, which essencially turned into marking down all these incredible artists that had their own methods and styles of creating a narrative, more particularly one that communicated itself well.

Within the Yorkshire sculpture park, inside the gallery, was an artist Amar Kanwar and their exhibition of “The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories.” Which contained a variety of photographs, films, quotes and books, and a wall full of rice. The exhibition came from the conflict in India between local farmers and tribes, and the government and mining corporations. Some of the artifacts were prior to the start of the fight, “The Scene of the Crime”, other during, “The Lying down Protest”,and the few were from the end result, “In Memory Of”, however all contained the deeping sense of horror at the assult of homes and natural landscape along with agricultural lands and rivers.

The main interest for me were the books, they told stories in pieces, to understand you needed to look at them all; one particular one was a book “The Counting Sisters”, which held a collection of stories with evidence. That is, within the book it contained bits a cloth, a fishing net and seeds, to name a few. it was explained that “The six Counting Sisters are mourners who count the dead, the disappeared and many more things and the One Alone counts the living.”

Obviously we trudged around the outside sculptures as well; particular favourites were Henry Moore, (“Three Piece RWP_20131212_047eclining Figure no.1″), Barbara Hepworth, (“The Family of Man” & WP_20131212_016“Square with Two Circles”), and the James Turrell Deer Shelter space. WP_20131212_046WP_20131212_011WP_20131212_009WP_20131212_010  The visit to the Hepworth Gallery was a singularly different experience from the Sculpture park all together, not to mention the fact it was indoors. The main attraction their was the Matthew Darbyshire “W.A. Ismay Collection”, which consists of 635 pots within the floor space of the architectural footprint of William Alfred Ismay (1910-2001), as Darbyshire used examples from his domestic scenes as a backdrop for his grand collection of  pots.

Experimental drawing:

Although the experimental drawing seems pointless and justa  bit of fun; thats not the reason we have the sessions, we have them because they give us alternative methods of how we could do things. Like using a media we never thought could be used to draw, like masking tape, or a different way of looking at an object, like drawing it in the dark. This last week, we took the liberty to take charge of what we did; of how we could capture the moment in the sports hall, before it gets demolished over christmas break. I decided I’d go back to basics, start with a pencil and paper, and look up. Nearly all the work we have produced from experimental drawing so far has been from the floor or the walls, or more specifically a particular corner.

I started underneath a netball hoop, and started drawing from behind the backboard. Then I just kept going. I wanted to take down as much information as possible and hence I ended up leading the image onto another few sheets. The end result shows the endless intricacies of the hall, particularly in the part that is actually holding the roof above our heads, nevermind the roof itself.

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Spiral seedling:

I SAM_1591created a spiral from square cardboard pieces connected on a wire through the middle, the ability to move the pieces gave me the idea of attempting a woodpecker sort of arrangement with one of the helicopter seeds.

Remember the woodpecker toys? Where there was a spiral wire and a wooden bird at the top that would fall  when yoPecking-Woodpecker_imagelargeu touched it, ‘pecking’ at the wire as gravity pulled it down. Like this:

They were a benchmark of the problem of contact dynamics, that is the motion of systems with more that one piece, whicha re subjected to fiction and contact that is unstable; like the fiction causes by the sleeve that sits around the pole, and the contact that is the woodpeckers beak.

I attempted a simpler one with a model of a sycamore seedling made from wire, netting and thread, which is too heavy and disproportioned to float in its naturally contructed brothers method. Hence I decided to try to apply a similar method of the woodpecker toy. I pushed a wire through the approximate middle, trying to divide the weight near equally; to give one side the incentive to fall first. The outcome was less than successful. Namely due to the weight, and that the thred enclosed the wire too tightly for it to move at any sort of speed.SAM_1593

Natural Aerial Spirals:

After my attempt at a paper version of Da Vinci’s Aerial spiral, I looked to the flying machines within our context of today, namely; helicopters. Which while a great achievement in the aviation technology, not that aesthetically pleasing. So after clicking on disambiguation whilst on wikipedia.org, which has two pages under plants; “Helicopter, a samara fruit falling in spiral” and “Helicopter tree (Gyrocarpus americanus)” Hence i clicked the top one as an immediate reaction to the word ‘spiral’. untitled

This led me to the Sycamore trees seedlings; the Acer pseudoplatanus. Which are those little seeds that you would pick up and throw just because they fell like a whizzing helicopter blade. They are otherwise known as a whirlybird, or a spinning jenny. imagesCAHZFHN3

The seeds can appear in a varity of colours and with different amounts of seed in each, and in any place along the wing. Such as the seed will be in the centre of the wing when they are from elm tree (genus Ulmus), the hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata), and the bushwillows (genus Combretum); whereas the seed will be on one side, and the wing extending outwards from it from maples (genus Acer) and ashes (genus Fraxinus).

It is an Achene, which is a dry fruit produced by some flowering plants. They do not open at maturity and contain only one single seed within, although they do not get attached, the outer shell; that is the typical appearence of what we call a seed, only forms to protect as it hardens. This type of winged achene are called a samara. (much like a dandelion seed is.)

Kinetic spirals:

SAM_1541Using the pages from a book, I folded and attached them together with glue and a quick stitch, to form a helix. Which would then rotate and spin when the two ends of the string were pulled tight, unfolding and sprouting up into a three-dimensional object in a persons hands.

This idea of a three dimensional spiral led me back to Leonardo da Vinci and his Aerial spiral flying design from the late 15th century.

“If this instrument made with a screw be well made – that is to say, made of linen of which the pores are stopped up with starch and be turned swiftly, the spiral screw will make its spiral in the air and rise high.”

On the 3rd of January 1496, Leonardo created his spiral with a diameter of 15 feet made from reed, linen and wire, and had four men propel it manually, however due to its weight it never took off. This was followed by Gustave de Ponton d’Amecourt, a french inventor in 1861.

I attempted to create a paper based version of the aerial spiral through the templates and instructions of this website.

Although after creating the aerial spiral from paper alone, the piece does not look at all appealing although it does resemble the original aerial spiral somewhat. The main problem i had with it is the construction of the tabs that allowed for the pieces to  be connection together, along with my inability to print out the template download I had to guess to the size comparisons for each of the shapes as i drew them up by hand, this made some of the pieces too small and other too large. One particular area of dissapointment was the actual spiral atop the central collumn, since the paper is too heavy and the rolls of paper that connect it to the collumn are too short to work properly, the spiral is like a flat disc of paper.

Despite this I hope to create another, this time with the correct dimensions of the templates and hopefully move onto creating one from the original materials, to see how well they cope under the circumstance of the aerial spiral.