Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bullets and Barrels

Though I did show them in the end of semester exhibition at the BIA, the Bullets and Barrels are a couple of pieces that are yet to be fully realised. When I started casting plaster copies of the Buddha Bomb I began wondering about other shapes I could easily create with the same process. One idea for the Buddhas was to make them into fizzy bath bombs. That way they'd actually explode... kind of. But the silicone mould I have is no good for that purpose and despite several attempts, I've had no success at making a hard mould for that piece. The bullets I thought would be good for that purpose, the "Magic Bullet" for a soothing bath experience. And maybe I'll do that yet.
The other idea is to turn these pieces into candles. A nice sandalwood for Buddha, the bullets are the right shape and the barrel...well, it's like burning oil.
I've had ideas for the barrels since well before but wasn't really sure  how to do it, But it's coming together now so I'm casting a few each day till I have a relative stockpile. Painting the first four was a lot of fun. Each is like a mini abstract painting.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

BIA End of Semester Show - June 2013

Setting up for end of semester exhibition at BIA. I'm taking a break from classes for a little while so I've been selfish and created my own little island of plinths on the second floor. It's my mini show within the show. Friday Night, June 21, 6:00pm, 41 Grafton Street, Windsor

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Drip Drip Drip

Finally finished are these three pieces I've been working on for several weeks. Each is carved from a solid block of plaster, sanded smooth and painted gloss enamel. The original concept for this work is based on the idea of transition and change. 
I woke one morning thinking of a fairly large scale sculpture. A circular wall mounted piece made up of radial fins, in some ways similar in appearance to the front of a jet engine. I imagined that, unlike a jet engine, each subsequent fin would be slightly more distorted than the previous, so much so that they would appear to be progressively melting or running as though liquefied. This metamorphosis of form from rigid and geometric to fluid and organic I came to see as analogous to a personal act of change, a thought that's often on my mind.
I sketched several ideas following the theme of distorted blades in different configurations before I began wondering about the process of manufacturing. How was I going to make this thing? Fins are easy enough I guess but the distortion posed a greater challenge. Focusing my attention there, I began searching out images of running water. I came across the work of Shinichi Maruyama which informed me greatly. Maruyama makes pictures of water in motion using high speed photography. In sweeping movements he releases fluids from various containers and carefully photographs the resulting forms. Floating ribbons, exploding geysers and lazy gobbets, his water sculptures are dynamic and aesthetically arresting.
Different to Maruyama though, I hoped to capture a more specific symbol. A moment of change. A transition from flat to ruptured, calm to energised. These drips or splashes represent a personal goal of more fully engaging ones own creative self, changing from a feeling of being stalled to a state of energy and achievement.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Collage - It's sculpture in 2D

Some six months ago I had planned on taking a class in abstraction. I felt my painting lacked something indeterminate and I'd hoped a little guidance might bring new direction to my work. But there weren't enough numbers for the class to go ahead and since I had some ideas for 3D pieces in my sketch book I ended up taking another semester of sculpture instead. 
I am enormously glad I did as I've developed such a love of carving over the past few months I'm not sure there's time for much else in the near future. But still, I can't shake the odd moment of restlessness and the occasional desire to try something new. I'd come across the incredibly exciting work of English painter Ian Francis and I'm certain he uses masking and maybe sgraffito and decalcomania to achieve his results and I determined I should try to make pictures using as many non-traditional (I use that term loosely) techniques as I could come up with.
A quick google of collage and I came across Derek Gores, a New York artist who seems to work almost exclusively in the medium and I was taken aback. I'd attempted collage once at the suggestion of Painting Tutor Sally Duhig and while I enjoyed it, I dismissed it at the time, preferring to focus on that semesters  subject of study. Though looking back, the collage was a much more successful piece of work than the painting it was supposed to inform, which I subsequently painted over.
Gores uses swatches of magazine clippings (and whatever he can find) like daubs of paint, to create very realistic yet abstracted images. I don't know if he projects outlines or draws from photos and I don't really care, the derivation of the design seems of little importance compared to the process of assembling all those clippings and cuttings together into one single image.
My time for making art is fractured into small blocks and while I try to make art every day, it's rarely for extended periods. The preparation and clean up associated with  painting is something I've come to view as  a chore and the demands of family life often require I stop what I'm doing at a moments notice, leaving quick drying acrylic paint caked on the pallet. And I've avoided oil paint for the fumes and the toxicity of the clean up. Collage seems a no fuss solution.
So here is a collage of my good friend Heck Tate, based on a print I made in printmaking class, which is based on a drawing I made in drawing class. I think It's a promising start.