At the beginning of this week I was keen to focus on experimenting with latex and considering how I could potentially incorporate some flesh tones into the piece and also add some latex body parts, to try to link in with the theme of confronting the physical human body, which I had already portrayed through the arm bone and spine.
I knew that I wanted to create a sculpture based around the characterisation of a farmer or at least someone who lives in the country, and grows their own produce. I firstly decided to use some wellington boots that I already had, which were fairly filthy and covered in mud. I wanted to try to get across the idea of a fanatical, obsessive type of personality when it comes to food and home grown produce, as if healthy and home grown produce was seeping from every pore. So I decided to buy some pasta and rice, which I noticed sitting in clear jars when I was interviewing a middle aged woman from the country who had her own chickens, and I mixed this uncooked food with glue and then placed it into the wellington boot, so that it looked as if it was overflowing from the boot symbolizing the organic/ natural/ healthy food seeping from every pore.
I do think that this was a successful experiment as it conveys the sense of obsession with specific types of food that you often find with middle aged country folk, therefore am I keen to incorporate these boots within the final sculpture.
I wanted to find a way of putting eggs into the sculpture some how, and after seeing how successful the boots were, in conveying the idea of seeping from every pore, I decided to create a part of a female torso with egg shell placed on top, whilst also taking this as an opportunity to incorporate latex into the experiment. I made a cast of a female torso using modroc and then began to crush eggshell onto it, as well as painting skin colored liquid latex between the egg. I also caste a female nipple with the liquid latex to place onto the torso to help suggest the female form.
What I ended up creating was this intrinsically horrific combination of flesh tones and egg that blended into some kind of warped skin, the aesthetic does have some value and appeal, although I am unsure yet whether this experiment is appropriate for the final sculpture although I feel as though I have created the best possible example of ‘seeping from every pore’ that you can with eggshells and liquid latex.
I bought a bright yellow blouse to try to tie together all of the pieces involving food experimentation, the blouse being the colour of an egg yolk.
After seeing all of the potential components of this piece together, I began to think that the piece seemed cluttered and over complicated and there stopped being room for interpretation from the viewer, I then decided to scrap the torso and the blouse entirely, and began to glue eggs to the chair and layer them up slightly.
I fell as though the simplicity of the eggs and the wellies is much more successful than having the egg/flesh torso hybrid that I had created, as the chair is also being used as more of a sculptural and figurative form in its own right, instead of just being a dumping ground.
After completing the farmer sculpture I wanted to move onto the Grandmother/ old lady sculpture, as using latex on the farmer sculpture had been unsuccessful, I felt as though there was more potential to incorporate latex into the Grandmother sculpture. I decided to use flesh/ pastel tone pillows as the base for the Grandma sculpture as they are pale and have the potential to be easily manipulated into a hunched over fragile state like a lot of older women are. I decided to stain one of the pillows to add a grotesque quality as if a human had been sitting on that pillow everyday, leaving their ingrained marks and stains from overuse. I then added a latex nipple to the other pillow that loosely formed the shape of the body, so that it was sagging slightly.
I also added a pale yellow jacket that helps contribute to the pale/ pastel color theme which is representative of pale and almost sickly older women. I think that all of the elements of this piece combine well together, and the latex nipple also flows naturally with the piece. I think that the nipple works particularly well with the old woman as, the last thing that the viewer is expects to see is a sagging nipple on a old lady.
I also experimented with adding various trinkets, and rubbish tacky little bits and bobs like little houses and people and flowery mugs, to try to help represent the way in which older womens houses are often overflowing with useless trinkets. However, again like with the egg torso the mugs and trinkets just seemed to over complicate the piece and simply interrupt the piece instead of adding to the flow of the sculptures.