Developing Your Design.
I have decided to begin development by working on the central figure. Virtually all my (obsessive) drawing has been from one point of view. The current intention is a 3-D work – I need to think about shapes from all directions.
Effort 1 was in pipecleaners (thinking about lines and curved shapes). This was not satisfactory.
Effort 3 used some new plasticine, making working the shape much easier. Photography and viewing the shape from different angles was difficult, and different parts kept falling off as I tried to manipulate the shape. The mixed colours are basically because that’s what I was able to buy, not necessarily what will be in the actual work.
I’ve created a framework using a bucket of old building blocks and a rusty cooling rack from the kitchen. The figure is suspended by ribbon. So far this setup is working well, allowing me to view and photograph from many angles, plus to experiment with the shape itself. The ribbon is a bit distracting, but I didn’t want to go finer in case it started cutting into the shape.
A multitude of images of the shape so far:
With all the colour and support mechanism visible it’s a little hard to see what is going on there. I tidied up each of the images and converted to black and white to focus on the positive and negative shapes.
I think all of these are interesting and dynamic shapes. Some rough measurements suggest the figure would fit into a container 26 cm wide, 16 cm high and 13 cm deep – no opinion yet on whether that is good or not. My tutor has suggested that I need to work with my source material more – make myself aware of shapes, patterns, lines, and give myself more alternatives to work from. I’ve made a start, just playing with various filters and combinations on the computer using gimp.
A simple overlay of all the shapes looks quite different when a black background is used.
More to be done here. Moving from digital to paper-based would be useful.
The work so far has raised some points I may/will need to address at some stage:
* the importance of shadows in the shapes made. I would love to be able to exploit this but lighting won’t be in my control when the work is viewed, plus it would hugely increase the complexity of design work. Perhaps I just need to remain aware of it, and make shapes as interesting as possible with the assumption that the resulting shadows will be interesting.
* there is nothing “aged” about the body shape. I risk making a generic “trapped person”. This could be addressed by the materials used in making the actual figure. I wonder if introducing a blanket part-covering the body within the container would work. I would need to think about texture, opacity/transparency, and also postage concerns (eg if the parcel has been turned upside down in transit will the blanket be dislodged?)…
* from some angles the long neck and head look rather phallic. This might not be a problem in practice, depending on colours and technique used in making the figure. A change in proportions might also help.