For this project we were given the title “close up” and were told to base it around, and make it for the Kendal museum which had to be completed within four weeks. We also had several workshops over the four weeks which we were to partake, take notes on and then blog about them. Over the four weeks we’d also have atleast one or more sessions with one of the tutors to get help and guidance on where we should be at, what we should be aiming for next and how to make improvements to our work and blogs. The units that this project were for are:
Unit 10 – Characteristics and contexts in Art & Design
Unit 11 – Preparation for progression in Art & Design
Unit 12 – Engaging with an audience in Art & Design
Unit 13 – Project proposal and realisation in Art & Design
During our workshops we were a given artists to study as well, along side the workshops. These artist include:
I also did some individual artist researches which were:
Over the four weeks project I went to two exhibitions, one was Chris Rigby’s gallery at the Kendal Brewery Arts Center and the second was at Loughborugh university where there was an exhibition and a postgraduate galelry which were both inspiring to look around. Although none of my final piece was based around anything I saw at those exhibitions. I first got some initial ideas at the loughborugh gallery which then led onto different and more realistic ideas. From that exhibition I wanted to do a piece based around multiple paper cuttings which would then fold out to create a 3D image. This idea was far to complicated to complete in the time we had been given so I quickly moved onto different medias and ideas.
But there was one artist who I was inspired by who I based my final project around and that was Pierre Cordier. Pierre Cordier is famous for inventing chemigrams which were photograms but made using materials such as varnish, oils and inks. To me his work looks brilliant and I love the way it looks because it usually has a flow to it that is mesmerizing to look at. The lines that the oils, varnishes create look bubbled and eroded as if its really old and its slowly rusting away or like they’ve been chipped away at. His style also has a very limited colour pallet, or at least from what I’ve seen, and these colours are black, whites and “oldish” looking colours such as beige, creams, grays and browns. to me these colours do make the photograms feel old and dull but this doesn’t stop from loving the effects that he makes.
The workshop that we did that got me into Pierre Cordier’s work was the photogram workshop which was also vital for me to be able to create this final piece and project. In this workshop we learnt how to create photograms correctly and then how to make chemigrams. Although I didn’t use chemigrams in my final piece it was still interesting to know how to create them, but it did give me the initial idea of doing either photograms or chemigrams for my final piece.
During the four weeks we went through a lot of workshops where I learnt a lot of skills and developed on existing ones. The work shops that we did are:
All the workshops were helpful but some were more helpful then others in different aspects. The Watercolor workshop was very helpful in understanding how different colours worked with each other and how to use them effectively. This workshop also helped me understand how to create different lines with paints by using different amounts of water or paint or using a different sized brush. The textures workshop was helpful for understanding different textures but it was also interesting to see how different colours looked on different materials and how they reacted to different liquids and amounts. The print workshop was very helpful to see how different materials soaked up inks from each other and how to create a various amount of lines using the printing process and tapes. The stitching and sewing workshop was probably the most frustrating method for me as I always avoided using sewing as much as possible in the past but it was interesting how different colored threads and yarns effect the overall piece of work. It was also good to see how different sizes of thread would create much more bold lines against small threads or less bold colours. In the photogram workshop we were taught step by step how to make photograms and how to get the best outcome. I found photograms really interesting because of the shades/tomes that are made and how the negative space is used and looks, and so overall the photogram workshop was the most useful and enjoyable workshop to me. This is because it was that workshop that inspired me to create my final piece and the process in general was fun and original.
The original Idea that I had that I actually stuck with in a sense was the idea to create some kind of prints all lined up next to each other, originally I was going to do different shoe prints, such as wellies, sandals, plimsolls, trainers etc. After I had tutorial with Mike he pointed out to me that this idea would have no correlation with the Kendal museum. So I decided to go to the museum where I took pictures of all the different animals that were there which include anything from dodos, to lions butterflies to mountain goats, so there was a lot of animals there to get inspiration from and it was from these animals that I got the idea to do there footprints instead of the shoe print idea.
Leading up to the final piece I did a lot of research on what animals I wanted to use for the final piece. Originally I was committed to using an eagles claw, but it wasn’t long after I realized how thin the claw print was that I decided not to use an eagles claw or any kind of birds print in the final piece. Eventually I decided to use a wolf, bear, moose and a squirrels foot prints for the final piece. Obviously I wasn’t going to be able to get some primary source photos of these animals’s footprints so unfortunately I had to do some research and find secondary sources of them to use. After, I had decided that I wanted to do foot prints for my final piece, I made loads of samples and test pieces trying to find the best way to create the final piece. First I experimented with different background ideas that I’d create by layering the background image over the photo paper and then putting a layer of glass on top of that to make sure everything was secure. First I wanted the background to be the habitat of the animals’s paw print, but the samples didn’t turn out the way I wanted them because it wasn’t entirely clear what the background was when they were on the photograms. I then changed to doing the animal itself as for the background which turned out to have a much better effect as it was much more clear as to what the background was. So what i learnt was that it is key to do samples and test pieces to make sure you get the final pieces right, because It took me at least ten samples to get it right. If I hadn’t of done those test pieces my final piece would of been a disappointment to me and very frustrating.
The images below are just a few of the samples that I made while trying to find the right background, the first three images below are three of the samples that I used to test how much light I needed to use for each individual photogram. For example the bear’s optimum time was three seconds, the squirrel’s was two seconds and the wolf’s was also three seconds.
Overall I’m really happy with the final result of my final piece although there are a few things that could be just a bit better in my opinion. For example in the squirrels photogram and the bear’s photogram, some light showed through the card meaning that it showed up on the photogram where it should have been white so in future I let them all do this, so there is an recurring pattern in them or I use thicker card so that no light will shine through that shouldn’t. What I do like about them is the smoothness of the paw prints line which is like that because I used the college’s laser cutter. I also like the contrasting shades of black and white within the animals which really helps them stand out from the paw print but I could like to experiment in future with bigger photograms so that I can capture more detail.
I’m also happy with the use of the media itself. I think that the use of photograms in this way was a good idea but I still feel I could of done it better for example I could of edited the Moose’s print better because it doesn’t fit into the photogram well because it is too small.
For this final piece I’ve already mentioned how I was inspired by Pierre Cordier to create this work but i was also inspired by an artists work who did double exposures of animals and there habitats which is where I originally got my ideas from, so overall I think I have portrayed what I was inspired by well.
Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this project because I got to use a media which I wouldn’t of normally used and I was surprised by how well the final piece went and hopefully I get to experiment more with this media in the future.