In the first week back after Easter, now that I have all of my chairs painted white, I have begun to turn to all of the sculptures that I wish to create, and what I want to incorporate within them. I turned to artist research to help try to inspire my ideas.
Firstly I looked at Marina Abramovic, who is a performance artist who uses her body as a medium for the art. I wanted to look more in depth into why Abramovic allowed the public to pick from a table of different objects (including a loaded gun) and then let them do whatever they liked to her. I am inspired by the way in which she breaks down the societal barriers in her work and forces people to stop thinking within the bounds of society if they want to interact with her work using her body is a vessel to help connect with people on levels that they are not accustomed to in normal society. I think that the very physical use of the human body has helped inspire my own work as I am very keen to represent the physical presence of the human body in my sculptures, for example with the bar stool I would like to connect a spine coming out of the stool. I want the human physicality to be an unavoidable truth when people see the installation with all of the chair together.
To make the spine I first took reference photographs of a model skeleton in particular focusing on the spine. I obviously want the spine that I make to be a representation, and not a direct copy of an actual human spine. The spine has lots of different small parts connected together and there is also a natural bend in the spine. I bought some air drying clay and started experimenting with how I could make each of the piece of the spine. When I had come up with the shape of each piece I started to make lots of them all varying in size. I then used acrylic paint to first paint then white and then paint them with another layer of an off white cream colour that I had mixed together with the paint, to give the bone a deapth and add a realistic quality.
I then went to the technician and melted and bent a piece of metal so that it had a similar curvature to how you might find a spine. Attaching the metal to the bar stool had to be a well thought out process as I ended up using a block of wood that was screwed to the stool which I could slide the metal in and out of. Once the metal was on all I had to do was slide the pieces of clay that I had made onto the metal and they would stack up.
I am pleased with how the spine has turned out, because I think the simplicity of the piece is very effective and the combination of the tall bar stool with the spine coming from it appears very balanced and the piece has that undeniable human quality to it whilst also being so simple.
I wanted to incorporate bones in another one of the chair sculptures as it was so successful with the bar stool and the spine. I decided to use the wicker chair as I had already decided that I wanted to draw from the reference photos of the working class woman; her brightly varnished nails clutching an oversized mug of tea. I think that this one element can suggest so much about a person. I thought that it would be a good way to incorporate the bone as a sceletal arm bone attached to the chair at the angle her arm would be if she was clutching a cup of tea, I also bought some bright pink acrylic nails to place onto the mug where her fingers would be. Originally I was going to use a large mug that said ‘hug in a mug’ as I think that that phrase holds a lot of connotations of average decor in an average house, which has signs like ‘home is where the heart is’, however I ended up thinking that this was too over complicated and could become confusing to someone viewing the work, as the link was slightly too tenuous, so I used a plain white mug instead.
I used the same kind of air drying clay like I had used for the spine, although it took a couple of attempts to get the arm bone to the standard that I wanted it.
I do think that this piece is relatively successful, however it does not possess the same natural simplicity of the spine and the bar stool combined because it does not possess same balance of objects however, overall I am pleased that I was able to incorporate another representation of human bone into my work.
Now that it has come to the end of week six, I am pleased that I have been able to incorporate representations of human bone into two of my pieces , as I think that it has been a successful venture as the presence of the bone forces the viewer to consider the human form whilst coupled with the sound of peoples opinions towards helping others and conforming to societal norms.