T1-MMT-P3-p2 Sample development

From the beginning of this project I have been looking forward to this development technique and wondering if I could carry it through. My inspiration is L’altra figura by Giulio Paolini which I have seen and enjoyed very much at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/349.1987.a-c/). It always gets a reaction from new viewers when on display in the Entrance Court. Two plaster casts of a Roman copy of an earlier Hellenistic bust look down from their plinths at the shattered remnants of a third bust.

Sample p3-50

Sample p3-50

I selected sample p3-50 for the experiment. It is one of the larger samples and the embedded rope could result in interesting interactions. Deciding not to be tentative, to go for a strong result, I threw the sample with some force from above my head down onto the concrete floor. The sample was strong enough to survive a series of such throws, as seen below.
Sample p3-53 a

Sample p3-53 stage 1

Sample p3-53 b

Sample p3-53 stage 2

Sample p3-53 c

Sample p3-53 stage 3

Sample p3-53 d

Sample p3-53 stage 4

Sample p3-53 e

Sample p3-53 stage 5

I like this result very much indeed, in all its stages, and as a series even more. Textures, lines, fragility, boundaries, willfully disobeying (breaking!) rules…

There is a sense of discovery, perhaps titillation, in peeping at what was hidden, at what is revealed.

Sample p3-53 stage 3 detail

Sample p3-53 stage 3 detail

As hoped the rope acted as reinforcement. It also created weak points and stresses in the breaking plaster, strongly influencing the results of the successive impacts. The fibres of the sisal hold on to broken fragments of plaster, keeping them part of the whole even as they break away.

Sample p3-53 stage 4 view 2

Sample p3-53 stage 4 view 2

The original sample showed an interesting combination of materials but was unexciting overall. The developed sample shows the materials interacting in a very direct and dynamic way. It is physically much larger, the central piece itself and even more the fragments spread around. It is also more three dimensional, with pieces sitting askew and raising the sample from the surface.

Sample p3-53 stage 5 view 2

Sample p3-53 stage 5 view 2

Some of the individual fragments show molding of the rope, a rather nice link back to the first project of this assignment. More generally the grainy surface of the broken areas of plaster contrasts pleasingly with the original smooth surface.

Sample p3-53 fragment

Sample p3-53 fragment

A further development would be to add video of the moments of impact and breaking of the plaster. This thought came after the action, and I suspect would need special high-speed filming to be effective.

T1-MMT-P3-p2 Sample development
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 3: Molding and casting
Project 2: Casting the internal space of a vessel
Sample development

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October 2015

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