I started of the week by thinking about the different categories that I would want to incorporate into my final piece, making sure to think about all of the variety that I wanted to present though the chairs. I think that I decided upon the types of people that I wanted represented in the sculptures based on who had the most interesting things to say when I spoke to them and I want all of the different sculptures to represent different groups that are all very different from each other, I had initially wanted 16 different categories represented through the chairs but then I made the decision that having only 9 chairs would mean that I would have more time to focus on all of the chairs individually, so that every detail was exactly how I wanted without having to worry about having to spread my time to thin and all of the sculptures not being to the same standard. In the end when I started painting the chairs I and I started to create a square shape which had been my intention all along I discovered that I would not have enough room to fully display all of the sculpture in the way that I would want if I created a solid square of 9 chairs, and so I thought that if I had 8 chairs instead, and I put them in the shape of a square with a space in the middle this would actually look a lot better, because would seem as the figures were almost interacting with each other and having a conversation.
The final categories of people that I wanted to represent through the sculpture were:
- Middle Aged Men who have had a career and now they have the resources to fund a comfortable life style
- Indecisive deep thinkers, like Laura who is the sculpture that I have already created, basically she represents individualistic people who are reluctant to make black and white decisions
- Older Lady – someones Grandma who is stuck in the past and can not fully comprehend the changing times and is therefore not always politically correct
- Middle aged women, who have children and are at the center of family life, they may have done some work here and there but they are not the main breadwinner
- Young boy who has not developed a fully fledged understanding yet about societal norms, still sees things in black and white and who comes from a generation that has grown up with technology so that their mobile phone and play station have become extensions of themselves
- Young working woman who had children very young, is not with the father of these children and is working hard each day for little reward
- Young man who is a bit of a ‘Lad’ likes to go out a lot, have a good time and party hard
- The last category is a is a middle aged farmer/ country dwelling person who lives of the land and has chickens in their backyard
Although I have obviously missed out big groups in society, what I really want to get across in this piece is the diversity of people who all have different priorities in life based upon their upbringing, their socio-economic factors and so the list goes on. The group that I have brought together cover age, class, ignorance, education levels, gender and many other factors. In other words, it wouldn’t matter how many different types of people that I talked to there would always be someone else with a different opinion on the matter. This is something that I would consider in more detail if I had a longer time to complete the project as I would try and talk to more people and create more sculptures to try and encompass the idea that the subject, Altruism, is a topic that covers the whole of society on many different levels, but what I want to do is put across the point that everyone interacts with people slightly differently and will have contrasting opinions.
Firstly I thought about the category of middle aged men that I wanted to create based upon some men that I have met in pubs and through my dad’s friends and my uncle. They all answered the questions similarly saying they would prefer to give money to an animal charity because humans have the ability to help themselves, and on the whole they would all rather give a gift because they have the means to buy what they want. When it came to selecting the chair that I wanted to use, I noticed my dad who is also a middle aged man sitting on an old wooden deck chair in the garden one day when it was warm weather, I noticed the sturdiness of the deck chair, with a strong build and I also noticed the fact that it was very square shape it immediately made me think that it would be the perfect fit for the chair that I wanted to use to represent a middle aged man.
The next chair that I decided to use was an old wooden school chair which I found in the garage of our house. It has a very square shape to it but is also a fairly petite chair which I think would much more likely be associated with a child than an adult the shape of it made me think that it would be perfect for the young boy sculpture that I wanted to create.I also found an old kitchen chair in the garage that I thought would be perfect for the middle aged country/ farmer sculpture that I wanted to create. It has a round shape to it whilst also being very simple and functional, which I think would fit in perfectly with the character of a farmer.
(this a photo of the Kitchen chair after paint)
I began to paint all of the chairs white. Firstly, I would sand down the chairs to give them a key and then I washed them all with sugar water to get all of the dust and residue dirt of them. I then painted a layer of primer on each of the chair and began to paint them white. To get the full effect of the white that I wanted I had to paint them with more than one layer most of the chairs required 3/4 coats.
I found a bar stool at the local pub which I was allowed to use, and with this chair I thought that it had specific qualities that would mean that the chair would immediately have connotations of a specific type of person without the need for extra explanation as bar stools are found in less places than most chairs.
(bar stool before and after being painted and the photo on the left was also used as a reference photo when considering the size and height of the spine that I screwed onto the stool)
I knew that I wanted a big chair with a lot of character for the chair representing an old lady, so that it would have a presence and a certain kind of grandeur to it, so that it would command respect, like older folk often try to do. I decided that I wanted to use a wooden rocking chair that is a fairly large size, and has a commanding presence in comparison to some of the other chairs that I am going to use.
(after the rocking chair had been painted)
For the Middle aged women, I found a chair that my next door neighbors were going to put in the tip, which I thought would be perfect as the middle aged woman chair, as it has a lot of soft circular shapes within it that give it a feminine quality. I also was considering this chair for the the young working class woman but then I found a wicker chair at a second hand furniture shop, which is very full bodied, with intricate weaving, and I felt as though the chair had a kind of comforting supportive feel to it corresponding with the way in which the young working class mother takes pride in making her surroundings as comfortable and supportive as possible.
(chair to be used for the middle aged women sculpture after being painted white)
After deciding upon all of the chairs that I want to use, and once I had finished painting them all in the last week of the Easter, I am now finally ready to start constructing the rest of the sculpture on each of the chairs and making all of the key decisions through experimentation about what will work with the sculptures and what won’t. I think that as it comes to the end of the Easter, I have completed an important step of the project, so that now I am ready to move onto the next part of the project, and although I still have got a lot of work to do, I have also completed a lot of processes that are key to moving onto the next stage of building my sculptures.