Sculpture: A Conclusion

Overall, I have found this an incredibly fun, and also a slightly enduring project, right from the beginning, to the very last moment of walking away from the finished sculpture. I found the project brief making me think about sculpture, and artwork in general, in a new way, and found that I was stretching my boundaries in my ideas and concepts.
Choosing the design of the piece was challenging as I wanted to explore this project in so many different ways, and with more time and resources, I would have. I decided upon the Jenga tower and little people above all the other designs, as I felt this would have stretched my boundaries more, and I would have been happier with this design above the others. Through mixing with clay, paper and wire, I designed and made all the miniature figures, each with individualised poses and personalities. I decided after a few failed experiments that wire, wire and paper, or wire and clay, were not the best combinations to create the miniature people with. Choosing clay and continuing with it, was I believe, one of the toughest parts of the sculpture. This is because the figures are so small and fine, and clay can be damaged very easily (unfortunately, not every clay figure made it to the very end). It is also because clay was occasionally very difficult to work with, and I sometimes did want to give up on it. However, I stuck to my guns, because I knew how difficult any other methods of making the figures were.
The bricks, on the other hand, were very, very easy to make (lift a saw up and down a few times and voila, 54 bricks. I did have to ensure that they were the right size, which I did make a mistake on, before I started cutting. I embraced this mistake though, and preferred the design with the gaps between the bricks, rather than a solid tower. I also believe that this has given the tower some stability – this is very much needed as there is nothing holding it together! Sanding it down took a while, but I enjoyed having each brick and each sanded surface to be very individual because of this.
Displaying it was a tough choice, however I am overall happy with the design on the floor. This makes the piece interactive, which is one of the basic ideas behind the piece, and reverts me back to my childhood, which is a key concept behind the sculpture. Any other way of displaying would have ‘given off the wrong message’ so to speak, and would not have portrayed what I want it to.
If I had done this project again, or even this sculpture again, I don’t think I would have changed any part of my idea. This is because through the failures that have occurred, I have grown my piece and my idea, and I am very happy with the final piece.
Photos below include the final set up of the sculpture and the small people interacting with three other sculptures around near my sculpture.

Displaying an impossible sculpture

Before any preparation for the whole display could begin, I had to decide how to display the Jenga tower, to avoid it toppling over, and to make it as though it had been partially played. I wanted to have a Jenga tower that was half way through a game as this makes it more intricate and prepared to fall over – the reason why the clay figures are running away.

The pieces are not attached together which also adds to this sense of precaution for the pieces, and also the viewer. I decided not to attach these pieces together as not only do I want to reuse the blocks, but I didn’t want to have the attachments showing, such as screws, or over spilt glue. However, it all reverts back to the sense that it could fall down any minute that makes it all exciting. This is also the reason why the piece won’t be interactive – because at any moment it could fall down and crush the clay figures.


Very quickly, I began to discover that there are several ways in which I could display my sculpture, and that these different ways of displaying, would give a different meaning to the piece. After a lecture on displaying and curating (yes, these are two different things), I found out about ways of displaying that I would never have thought of such as vitrines, and also whittled down my list to a few ways I wished to display;

  • Shelving/a single shelf system
  • Table (glass or solid)
  • Floor (plain or with ‘childhood’ mats)
  • Plinth/a series of plinths


I explored these ideas and used Adobe Photoshop and a drawing surface to determine whether there was any other environments that I could use to display the sculpture piece.

I was still unsure of how to display up to the point that I was writing my Artist Statement Draft and Artist Statement. It was here that I realised that I wanted people to bend down, to interact and to actually look at the piece. With the plinth, and often shelving or a table, there are certain implications and historic elements that you bring, even unintentionally to the sculpture. For example, if I displayed on a plinth, I would have also bought to the piece the history of displaying on a plinth. These associations are things that I did not want as part of the sculpture.
This led me to the conclusion that I wanted to display on the floor, to make people bend down, to interact and to actually look at the piece and think about what it means. Hence, I am displaying on the floor. This, on a side note, should hopefully give the Jenga tower some stability (if it is on a flat floor).
In order to get an idea of the number of clay people that I needed to make, I made a ‘floor plan’, and this helped to display on the floor in the studio.
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Making an impossible sculpture 

An Impossible Sculpture was our first introduction to this project, whereupon I came up with several ideas. To do with making the impossible sculpture, we were briefed that we should make a section of the sculpture idea. I wanted to make a miniature of one of my ideas, as I thought that would be more exciting to make and engaging for the viewer. Following through with this thought, I wanted to have the chance to look at the board game ideas that Jasmine and I came up with together.
After talking to Jasmine about the idea that she was looking into, and asking her if it was acceptable to use our idea, and to recreate it in a miniature sculpture. She said yes, and so I started to plan the idea in a scale drawing.
design 3
I had a look at all three designs that we had thought of, and I feel like any three of these designs (Jenga/Pinball/Bowling), would have been suitable to continue on within this project, however I wanted to create a scale version. Looking at the designs closer, I felt as though the Jenga tower and figures were the most suitable as a scale design (even though I am sure I will create the other two at some other point to create a three piece set), and went on further planning my ideas for this.

Design
The artists that I have been inspired by includes that of Jake and Dino’s Chapman and their piece of Chapman’s Hell. This piece is incredibly detailed, with many elements adding up to intricate scenes. I would like for my sculpture to be this intricate, although maybe with not as many people, blood and gore. Coupled with the intricacy, I would like for the small people that I make to be around the size of the figurines that Nic Joly creates using wire, paper and clay. These are highly detailed small figurines, and I wish to recreate this level of detail. I am unsure yet as to whether the figurines that I am going to make are going to be painted or leave as clay sculptures, but wish to explore this further later on.
As a child, I remember fondly playing with Lego, and wanting to play with small train sets. Looking at these further, they are often to scale, such like I wish my sculpture to be. Mini Models looks further into this, and has inspired me to look at the surroundings of the sculpture, and whether I want to look into adding extra decoration (which I will look into later on). Small People Films has also allowed me to see how small figures can interact with their environment compared to ‘normal’ or ‘every day’ sized figures and objects. I have found by looking at many films, depending on the scale of the figures and surroundings, can impact the level of detail and realism that the figures can contain. So can my figures be very simple? Non-realistic? Simply shapes? Or do I have to be highly detailed as small figures this size can be?
Other artists that I have looked at include;

  • William Kass, a photographer who uses food and miniature figures to create scenes on the viewpoint of the miniature figures. This would have been a really interesting prospect to play with the food, as it was part of one of my other ideas for the sculpture. However, I enjoyed the thought of the traditional games being impossible more than food scenes.
  • Vincent Bousserez, a photographer who often uses the body and plastic miniature figures to create unique scenes. I loved the unique use of the body and particularly the piece where a small figure uses a lawnmower to shave a beard. I wish to use this uniqueness in my own work.
  • Christopher Boffoli is a fine artist and photographer who creates fine scenes with every day foods. These are not as detailed as the work of William Kass, as there are only plain backgrounds. Once again, I love the creativity of the scenes with the food, and the simplicity of the detail that each scene contains. There is not a large amount happening in each scene, but the figures that are in the scenes, and the foods that are used, are highly detailed and placed with caution. I wish to use this simple detail in my sculpture piece.
  • Kurt Moses and his wife takes photos of miniature people in everyday settings. These have a high sense of realism about them, because they have been taken with a fish-eye lens, and in humans natural environments such as cities, towns, and beaches. I wish to have the realism that these pieces have which includes the use of the wider world.
  • Matthew Albanese is a fine art photographer who shoots landscapes from a tabletop in his studio. His intricate landscapes are made of mostly everyday items that are found in the home and garden. I looked at Matthew Albanese as I am unsure whether I want to expand the pieces to the surroundings such as trees, roads and other daily environments. (I go into detail about this later on) If I wish to do so, I would feel as though I would use same, or similar materials to Matthew Albanese in order to create a surrounding environment for my sculpture to sit in.
  • Slinkachu is another artist who uses an external environment. Unlike Kurt Moses and his wife, Slinkachu often uses preexisting forms that are already in the environment, such as a broken pillar or a bag of rubbish left on the side of the road. This has made me consider whether I could exhibit in environments such as this, or take the piece around to different environments and have a photography series along side. This, however, would imply that it is supposed to be this small, but my intentions are for a scaled version. I still wish to play around with different environments and displays.
  • Diana Armfield RA uses many mediums, including that of pencil drawings. These pencil drawings are left in a rough state after many layers of lines have been added, in order to create shapes and scenes. I wish to play around with this style of roughness when using the clay, and in the final display of my piece.
  • Donald Hamilton Fraser RA uses a soft, complimentary colour palette to paint seascapes. These blues, yellows, whites, and deep greens, are colours that I wish to explore when looking at painting the miniature figurines. I chose the colour palette of this artist, as I wanted to create that same soft use of block colours, even when the scene in its entirety is going to very full and giving a sense of panic. I also wish to see how the colour palette will change the views of the piece, and whether adding more red, for example, will make people think that there is more death in the piece.
  • I enjoyed looking at the work of Henry Walsh as I wanted to discover whether the figures in his painting are ‘normal’ sized people simply painted small, or whether they are small figures that are painted their true size. This question is raised as there is either little or no reference to the size of the figures that are painted. I also want to try and explore this question within my work, and possibly look at photographing the figures in order to gain this perspective. I also want to have a play around with the darker colour palette that Henry Walsh explores, with the contrasting bright white background. The main inspiration from this work showever, is the anonymity of each individual within the piece, even though they come together to create a community, and therefore must have character.
  • Anita Mandl creates smooth, simplified sculptures of animal forms, including that of a polar bear, penguins and elephants. Each sculpture has no faults or sharp edges to it, and adds to the smooth surface that they indivudually have. I enjoy seeing how each sculpture is detailed enough to identify the animal, however simple enough that it isn’t an overload of information. I wish to play around with having a smooth surface for each of the small figures I intend to create, and whether this still allows them to be anoymous, and yet still have individual character.
  • Heather Cassils works with large (generally 2000 pound/~900 kg) block of clay, beating them in a series of kicks and blows. The result of the performance is a lump of clay that has been manipulated in new ways. Each piece is indivudual and unique to that performance. The evidence looks soft, due to the way it has been handled, and the waves that seem to appear in the clay, and yet indestructable, because of the sheer size and weight of the object. I wish to play around with the roughness that Heather leaves the clay in, and contrast it against the soft and smoothness of Anita Mandl’s work and the way in which she produces her sculptures.
  • Antony Gormley created a series of small terracotta figurines that filled the floor of a large room. Once again, each of these figures is somewhat impersonal, however you soon start building a connection with each one due to the way in which they all stare at you in one giant wave. Each time you look at the pieces, you spot something new. I also enjoy the sheer scale of the number of figurines that are in one space. I wish to explore the number of figurines that I would need for my sculpture, including a room full, to a handful.
  • Aurelien Froment looks at Jenga blocks of varying sizes, and allows people to delve into a wooden box in the corner of the room, and make their own structures. I would love for people to participate with my Jenga tower in this way, and yet at the same time, the tower and the clay figures are very delicate, and I do not wish these harm. I have therefore decided to leave the tower half played, as though people are in the middle of playing Jenga, just as Aurelien Froment’s piece is half played at the end of the night.


Above: a selection of images representing the variety of inspirations for this project. See relevant posts for more images.

Little People

There was a lot of work and preparation into what the miniature figures were going to look like, what materials they were made out of, and the colours that they might be painted. Overall, this was a long process, even when the ‘final design’ of the figures were chosen.
For the little people, I decided to explore different mediums that which I could make them in, that the artists I have been inspired by, have also explored.
I firstly looked at toy soldiers, but quickly found that the positions that they were in, and the accessories of guns and hats, was not the environment that I wanted to create. There was not an easy way that I could determine to reshape them, and so decided to look into making the figures myself.


When making the people, I first decided to look at wire. Using floral wire, which is generally very thin and malleable, I was able to create some small figures, however if one mistake was made for the proportions, then there was enough wire in order to create the legs, and to connect legs from an extra piece of wire was not worth that extra wire. Not only were the legs a problem, but there was no way in which they were able to stand up (hence the pen and the pencil in the photos). This was wire out of the window.

I know I just said that wire was out of the window, however I decided to give it a chance when mixing it with paper and clay. What mistakes these were. Both the clay and the paper were hard to manipulate around the wire, and both additions made the figure loose its shape very quickly. There was no easy way of attaching the paper to the wire, or to sculpt it around the finer areas, such as the head of the figure. The clay looked okay, apart from creating an overweight character that could not stand up. However, once the clay dried, there were large cracks, and thus was deemed improbable material for the miniature figures.

This led me to the use of clay only for the miniature figures. I did not think that this was going to work, however after a quick play around and following a tutorial on how to make a clay figure (mine unfortunately broke before I managed to take any photos) – www.youtube.com/clayfigure – I felt like I was getting the hand of things. Now I had to choose the size, and also how difficult I wanted to make my job. Because I was doing the sculpture at 1:50 scale, I decided to search up the average human height (~180cm according to WorldData), and divide by 50 = 3.6cm. I felt that this was too talk, especially considering that toy soldiers are around 3cm, and when placed near the bricks, seemed a better size.

I made around 50 people in order to get a ‘crowd’ sensation, and to get lots of different personalities and styles within the piece. I decided to keep them quite plain with no accessories such as hair and clothing, as this would make the pieces seem ‘out of the norm’ and carving would make the clay very weak. The lack of facial expressions with the mix of individually made, does give them their own personalities in the environment. I enjoy this aspect, as there are no two the same, such as humans in society, and I sometimes feel as though I can pick out the figure that I feel most like (at that point in time that is).

Colour was also an important aspect to chose upon, including what colour palette to use and also whether the people should be painted, or not. I decided to use a similar colour palette to Donald Hamilton Fraser RA. These colours included;

  • Blues: Ocean Horizon, Blue Wash, Blue Prism, Blue Bottle, High Altitude, White Lightning, Droplet, Morning Jewel, Lunar Landscape
  • Yellows, oranges, reds: Garnet Symphony, Deep cream, Banana Dream, Moroccan Sands, Ripe Mango,Golden Nugget
  • Greens: Lime Zest, Deep Forest, Green Slate Path, Moss Green
  • Browns: Char Latte, A Seat at the Globe, Buccaneer, Chocolate Cream Pie, Deep Autumn, Nutmeg Dust
  • Purples: Heather Bloom,
  • Whites: Quartz Grey, Indian White


I decided to not paint the rest of the figures as the paint was much harder to apply than anticipated. It was hard to apply (for example, I could not get underneath the arms in the little person I painted), the clay soaked up the paint, and it was incredibly patchy and overall looked horrible. There was also the challenge of hair and accessories, that I ummed and ahhed about, and which would take even longer than necessary to complete on each figure. Adding colour to all of the figures would also distract the viewer of the piece from the simplicity of the sculpture, and what it ultimately represents. I mentioned earlier that I feel like I could sometimes pick out the figure that I am at that particular moment, and that they are all individual with personalities. I feel that adding colour to all of them would make this too obvious, and people would not get the meaning of the small figures, but just marvel at the detail of them.
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The progression of the miniature people including; wire and paper, wire and clay, clay, clay and paint, and just wire. Displayed in front of a single Jenga brick to get an idea of the sheer size and proportion of the final design.


Jenga
For the Jenga part of the sculpture, I decided that I wanted to cut wood, such as the traditional Jenga game. There are 54 pieces all together, in 18 layers, inspired by the giant, and normal table-top Jenga games. We had 2×2″ wood that was available to use, and found that if three pieces were placed next to each other, this would be the same as 15cm. I then cut the wood as 15cm long each, so then the tower would sit square. Once the pieces were cut, I saw that there was a difference between the length of the pieces, and the width of three of them placed together. Oops. Instead of pondering on this, I decided to sand down the edges of the pieces, not only to sand away the rough parts and splinters, but also to create a rounded edge on each of the pieces. This, for me, created a more professional look, such as the original Jenga game, and makes the pieces themselves look flowing.
The misjudgement of the sizes did take me by surprise, as the wood that was cut, was not in fact 2×2″. This did make me a little annoyed, however I pieced the whole tower together with spaces in between the three pieces in each layer, and felt as though this has worked better than a solid tower would have done.
To see how I pieced the Jenga tower together for the final sculpture, see Displaying an impossible sculpture.


There are a couple of expansions that I could do with this sculpture. First of all, I could add decorations such as trees, roads and houses, in order to create a full landscape. This has been inspired by many of the artists as they also work with the larger landscape. However, I soon realised that this would not only be too much work, but this would have also taken away the detail of intricacy of the clay people and the Jenga tower. As the piece is all about the relationship between these two, I did not want to take the viewer away from this intricacy.
There is also the expansion of different games, that were originally thought of alongside the Jenga tower. This includes a pinball game and a bowling alley through streets. Once again, I feel like I would have enjoyed making these, however there is a lack of time and I also feel that more than one impossible game sculpture, would detract the attention from the original Jenga tower and clay figurines.

But, how did it go?

Artist Statement

The main concepts behind my sculpture are impossibility and childhood. As we grow older, we often forget about small things, and regress to childhood when such objects are presented in adulthood. In a world where we are forced to grow up, why should we not be able to play with childhood toys? My sculpture is a part of these questions; childhood and impossibility.
My work presents a three foot tall wooden Jenga tower, partially played, surrounded by a large crowd of miniature clay figures. The processes used included cutting, moulding and sanding. I was initially inspired by the work of Nic Joly, and his pieces Why Not? (Joly, 2015), and London Calling (Joly, 2017). These are highly detailed pieces depicting a story between giant and miniature, through the use of miniature clay figures. From this, I began to experiment with clay, wire, and paper to create miniature figures. This led me to the work of Antony Gormley, Field (Gormley, 1991), a room filled with small handmade terracotta figures. This inspired me to create a large number of clay figures for the sculpture. Gulliver’s Travels, a 1726 book (Swift, 1726), and a 2010 film (Gulliver’s Travels, 2010), and The Borrowers (The Borrowers, 1997), further informed me of ways in which miniature figures interact with their larger environment, and connected me back to my childhood.
In my own work, I wanted a significant size difference between the figures and Jenga tower. This surrounds the theme of impossibility as the sculpture is a 1:50 replica of a playable Jenga tower, the blocks inspired by Debuilding, Aurelien Froment (Froment, 2001). This would be impossible to play at the larger size, as the pieces would be difficult to move, and a hazard if played too high. The inspiration came from Claes Oldenburg, and his vision to create impossible sculptures, including bowling balls down Fifth Avenue (Oldenburg, n.d.).  Through the use of giant versus tiny, I want the viewer to interact with the piece, to bend down, to view it closely, and to think about smaller things in life.
In addition, I wanted each figure to be plain and inanimate with minimal detail, showing we are all the same in society. However, each figure is handmade, and gives the sense of individual personalities, and connection to a community, all with the same fear of the impeding fall of the Jenga tower. A lack of identity with a contrast of large personalities comes from the inspiration of Antony Gormely, Field (Gormley, 1991), and Anita Mandl, with her simplified animal forms Young Elephant (Mandl, n.d.), and Little Blue Penguin (Mandl, n.d.). Not only do these miniature figures interact with the Jenga tower, but also of those pieces displayed around, and allows the viewer to interact closer these.
My piece presents ideas about the illusion of impossibility and the connection to childhood through the contrast of size and displaying on the floor.  The sculpture depicts a giant, half played wooden Jenga tower, surrounded by miniature clay figurines. The contrast between the size of the blocks, tower and figures distinguishes the impossibility of the project in a real size. Displaying on the floor regresses the viewer to childhood.
 
Blog: https://charlotteabrahamart.wordpress.com/
Froment, A., 2001. Debuilding. [Art].
Gormley, A., 1991. Field. [Art] (Tate Liverpool).
Gulliver’s Travels. 2010. [Film] Directed by Rob Letterman. Ireland: Davis Entertainment; RatPac-Dune Entertainment.
Joly, N., 2015. Why Not?. [Art] (Castle Galleries).
Joly, N., 2017. London Calling. [Art] (Castle Galleries).
Mandl, A., n.d. Little Blue Penguin. [Art] (Curwen Gallery).
Mandl, A., n.d. Young Elephant. [Art] (Curwen Gallery).
Oldenburg, C., n.d. Untitled. [Art] (Frieze).
Swift, J., 1726. Gulliver’s Travels. 1 ed. s.l.:s.n.
The Borrowers. 1997. [Film] Directed by Peter Hewitt. United Kingdom: Working Title Films.

 

Artist Statement Draft

The first edit of my artist statement for the sculpture project started off very well, but ended very rough. I used my previous Artist Statement as a guide of how to write this one, as I liked how I expressed my thoughts and ideas for the painting.
This was a rough plan because I was unsure as to who my main influences are at that certain point in time. So when I developed my piece further, I was able to choose who my main influences are, and further develop my artist statement.
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Draft 1:

The main concepts behind my sculpture are impossibility and childhood. As we grow older, we often forget about the small things, and possibly regress back to childhood when such objects are presented in adulthood. In a world where we are forced to grow up, why should we not be able to play with giant Jenga? My sculpture is a part of this question, between childhood and impossibility, and encapsulating these moments.
My work presents a three foot tall wooden Jenga tower, partially played, and surrounded by a large crowd of miniature clay figures. I was initially inspired by the work of Nic Joly, and his (Name piece of work). These are highly detailed pieced depicting a story between the giant and the miniature, through the use of miniature clay figures. From this work, I began to experiment with clay, wire, paper and plastic, in order to create miniature figures. This led me to the work of (rough artist) and the pieces of (name) and (name). Gulliver’s Travels, a 1726 book, and a 2010 film, further informed me of the positions… that I wish to recreate.
In my own work, I wanted to have… (mention the link between the size of the sculpture and the impossibility – mention the influence of Claes Oldenburg).
In addition, I was inspired by…
My piece presents ideas about the (talk about childhood,

  • Kurt moses
  • Vincent bousserez
  • Slinkachu
  • Matthew Albanese
  • Christopher Boffoli
  • William Kass
  • Nic Joly
  • Mini models (lego and train models)
  • Small people films – The Borrowers, The Secret world of Arrietty, The Hobbit (I, II, III), Gullivers Travels, Night at the museum
  • Books – The Hobbit, Gulliver’s Travels
  • Michael Borroemans
  • Chapman’s hell
  • Maurice Saprio
  • Wu Ching Ju
  • Simon Gudgeon
  • Lorenzo Quinn
  • Richard Blunt (?)
  • Paul Kenton (?)
  • Michael Challenger (?)
  • Naomi Blake (?)
  • Diana Armfield
  • Andrew Ingamells
  • Donald Hamilton Fraser
  • Henry Walsh
  • Anita Mandl
  • Antony Gormely
  • Heather Cassils (Becoming an Image)

(PS I don’t know who my main influences are)

  • Made by cutting and sanding down wood and modelling fine clay into different shapes and designs
  • Wood, clay
  • Processes of cutting, sanding, modelling
  • Intricacy and detail, but also how something inanimate and ‘plain’ has such personality and character
  • Themes of impossibility and childhood
  • No direct intention, but aiming to get people to look at the smaller things
  • Materials, processes and main idea = raw, nature, natural, childhood
  • No particular theories/artists schools of thought

FEEDBACK:
Looks great so far, it is really clear what your main ideas are and you’ve clearly done like a ton of research so you’ll have loads to talk about when it comes to artists, so that’s all good J
Try to work out which ones are the most important influences and why. Is there an intention/message behind your work? What (if anything in particular) drew

As the sculpture began to grow and I further gained idea of what I wanted to achieve, I further improved and typed over the artist statement bullet points that I first had (as seen above). I came up with this statement, however I am going to get people to read over this to ensure that it is coherent, and also gets my viewpoint across of what the sculpture is trying to achieve.

Artist statement – sculpture
The main concepts behind my sculpture are impossibility and childhood. As we grow older, we often forget about the small things, and possibly regress back to childhood when such objects are presented in adulthood. In a world where we are forced to grow up, why should we not be able to play with giant Jenga? My sculpture is a part of this question, between childhood and impossibility, and encapsulating these moments.
My work presents a three foot tall wooden Jenga tower, partially played, and surrounded by a large crowd of miniature clay figures. The processes used to create these included cutting, moulding and sanding. I was initially inspired by the work of Nic Joly, and his pieces Why Not? (Joly, 2015)and London Calling (Joly, 2017). These are highly detailed pieced depicting a story between the giant and the miniature, through the use of miniature clay figures. From this work, I began to experiment with clay, wire, paper and plastic, in order to create miniature figures. This led me to the work of Antony Gormley and the piece Field (Gormley, 1991), a room filled with small terracotta handmade figures, to inspire me of the number of clay figures that needed to be created for the sculpture. Gulliver’s Travels, a 1726 book (Swift, 1726), and a 2010 film (Gulliver’s Travels, 2010), and The Borrowers (The Borrowers, 1997), further informed me of ways in which miniature figures interact with their larger environment, and connected me back to my childhood, when these films would be watched.
In my own work, I wanted to have a significant size difference between the miniature figures and the Jenga tower. This surrounds the theme of impossibility as I intended the sculpture to be a 1:50 replica of a real life, playable Jenga tower. This would be impossible to play at this size, as the pieces would be unable to move, and would become a hazard if played too high. This came from the inspiration of Claes Oldenburg, and his vision to create impossible sculptures, including bowling balls rolling down Fifth Avenue (Oldenburg, n.d.).  Through the use of the giant versus the tiny, I want the viewer to interact with the piece, to bend down and to view it closely, and for them to think about the smaller things in life.
In addition, I wanted each figure to be plain and inanimate, to show that we are all the same in society. However, this lack of detail and the way in which each figure is handmade, gives the sense that they each have personalities, and these personalities gives connection to a whole community, all having the same fear of the impeding fall of the Jenga tower. This sense of a lack of identity, but a large personality comes from Antony Gormely, Field (Gormley, 1991), and Anita Mandl, with her simplified animal forms Young Elephant (Mandl, n.d.) and Little Blue Penguin (Mandl, n.d.). Not only do these miniature figures interact with the Jenga tower, but also of those pieces displayed around, as this allows the viewer to interact closer to these pieces.
My piece presents ideas about the illusion of impossibility and the connection to childhood through the contrast of size and the display on the floor.  The sculpture depicts a giant, half played wooden Jenga tower, surrounded by miniature clay figurines. The contrast between the size of the blocks, tower and figures distinguishes the impossibility of the project in a real size. The display on the floor reverts the piece, and the viewer, back to childhood.
Blog: https://charlotteabrahamart.wordpress.com/
Gormley, A., 1991. Field. [Art] (Tate Liverpool).
Gulliver’s Travels. 2010. [Film] Directed by Rob Letterman. Ireland: Davis Entertainment; RatPac-Dune Entertainment.
Joly, N., 2015. Why Not?. [Art] (Castle Galleries).
Joly, N., 2017. London Calling. [Art] (Castle Galleries).
Mandl, A., n.d. Little Blue Penguin. [Art] (Curwen Gallery).
Mandl, A., n.d. Young Elephant. [Art] (Curwen Gallery).
Oldenburg, C., n.d. Untitled. [Art] (Frieze).
Swift, J., 1726. Gulliver’s Travels. 1 ed. s.l.:s.n.
The Borrowers. 1997. [Film] Directed by Peter Hewitt. United Kingdom: Working Title Films.

I thought this next version would be the final artist statement, until I realised it was around 100 words over the word limit – something I couldn’t just ‘accidentally’ miss, and so the shortened version of this, the final version, can be seen on Artist Statement.

The main concepts behind my sculpture are impossibility and childhood. As we grow older, we often forget about the small things, and possibly regress back to childhood when such objects are presented in adulthood. In a world where we are forced to grow up, why should we not be able to play with giant Jenga? My sculpture is a part of this question, between childhood and impossibility, and encapsulating these moments.
My work presents a three foot tall wooden Jenga tower, partially played, and surrounded by a large crowd of miniature clay figures. The processes used to create both the Jenga tower and figures included cutting, moulding and sanding. I was initially inspired by the work of Nic Joly, and his pieces Why Not? (Joly, 2015) and London Calling (Joly, 2017). These are highly detailed pieces depicting a story between the giant and the miniature, through the use of miniature clay figures. From this work, I began to experiment with clay, wire, paper and plastic, in order to create miniature figures. This led me to the work of Antony Gormley and the piece Field (Gormley, 1991), a room filled with small terracotta handmade figures. This inspired me to create a large number of clay figures that are needed for the sculpture. Gulliver’s Travels, a 1726 book (Swift, 1726), and a 2010 film (Gulliver’s Travels, 2010), and The Borrowers (The Borrowers, 1997), further informed me of ways in which miniature figures interact with their larger environment, and connected me back to my childhood.
In my own work, I wanted to have a significant size difference between the miniature figures and the Jenga tower. This surrounds the theme of impossibility as I intended the sculpture to be a 1:50 replica of a real life, playable Jenga tower. This would be impossible to play at this size, as the pieces would be unable to move, and would become a hazard if played too high. This came from the inspiration of Claes Oldenburg, and his vision to create impossible sculptures, including bowling balls rolling down Fifth Avenue (Oldenburg, n.d.).  Through the use of the giant versus the tiny, I want the viewer to interact with the piece, to bend down and to view it closely, and for them to think about the smaller things in life.
In addition, I wanted each figure to be plain and inanimate with minimal detail, to show that we are all the same in society, and we are part of a wider society. However, the way in which each figure is handmade, gives the sense that they each have personalities, and these personalities gives connection to a whole community, all having the same fear of the impeding fall of the Jenga tower. A lack of identity with a contrast of large personalities comes from the inspiration of Antony Gormely, Field (Gormley, 1991), and Anita Mandl, with her simplified animal forms Young Elephant (Mandl, n.d.) and Little Blue Penguin (Mandl, n.d.). Not only do these miniature figures interact with the Jenga tower, but also of those pieces displayed around, and allows the viewer to interact closer these other pieces.
My piece presents ideas about the illusion of impossibility and the connection to childhood through the contrast of size and the display on the floor.  The sculpture depicts a giant, half played wooden Jenga tower, surrounded by miniature clay figurines. The contrast between the size of the blocks, tower and figures distinguishes the impossibility of the project in a real size. By displaying on the floor, this draws the viewer back towards their childhood.
Blog: https://charlotteabrahamart.wordpress.com/
Gormley, A., 1991. Field. [Art] (Tate Liverpool).
Gulliver’s Travels. 2010. [Film] Directed by Rob Letterman. Ireland: Davis Entertainment; RatPac-Dune Entertainment.
Joly, N., 2015. Why Not?. [Art] (Castle Galleries).
Joly, N., 2017. London Calling. [Art] (Castle Galleries).
Mandl, A., n.d. Little Blue Penguin. [Art] (Curwen Gallery).
Mandl, A., n.d. Young Elephant. [Art] (Curwen Gallery).
Oldenburg, C., n.d. Untitled. [Art] (Frieze).
Swift, J., 1726. Gulliver’s Travels. 1 ed. s.l.:s.n.
The Borrowers. 1997. [Film] Directed by Peter Hewitt. United Kingdom: Working Title Films.

Artist presentation

As part of week 7, we had to complete an artist presentation on an artist that we selected from a hat. We had picked

Joseph Beuys

The presentation can be seen here: joseph-beuys-presentation

German FLUXUS artist 1921-1986

What does the artist explore in their practice in general?

  • explores the themes of suffering, empathy and atonement
  • Grimy aesthetics contrasted with Nazi art.
  • One of Beuys’ main influences was WW2. He was shot down in 1943 when serving as bomber pilot in Luftwaffe, but was found by nomadic Tartars. They treated him with animal fat and felt, which Beuys would then go on to use with wax in his future work, using them as symbols for ‘the human struggle for survival’. (Canada 2016).

“Creation – whether it be a painting, sculpture, symphony or novel – involves not merely talent, intuition, powers of imagination and application, but also the ability to shape material that could be expanded to other socially relevant spheres.”

The piece we are focusing on in this presentation is ‘The Torso’ (1951).

  • Simply refers to the subject matter of the piece; a headless female torso. (However doesn’t specify if female or pregnant).
  • Materials used; iron, gauze, wood, and lead paint.
  • Work consists of a corroded female torso, with a tightly bound, knotted and pressurised hard iron and wood structure, seemingly becoming looser round the edges with bound gauze. Could be referencing his plane crash ordeal – putting Beuys in the role of rescuing the woman?
  • The fact that it is headless distances the viewer from it; provides feeling of the unknown.
  • The matte, dark grey paint that covers the front (centre) of piece, provides a stony, solemn, flaky effect. Texture is rocky, splintering, clay-like.
  • The overall composition is blocky yet curved; irregular and organic; adding to the gritty and gravelly, down to earth texture/atmosphere.
  • The torso appears to be under stress; tense and cracked; either pregnant or swollen. This brings forward the question as to whether the torso was intended to look pregnant, or if this is just the projection of the viewer.
  • The piece shows fragility; such as a woman seems, such as anyone seems, when they are ill or being looked after by another being. (shown by) Particularly prominent crack down the sternum/collar of the torso, coupled with what appears to be hand-prints on ribcage and tendrils of gauze hanging off the figure.
  • This brings about the question as to whether Beuys meant for it to look like it is crumbling away or, whether it was never a whole form to begin with.
  • Making the connection between felt, nurturing and death all that more explicit.No true definition for this piece has been found (neither in English nor in German, his native language), so all we can do is presume, however by also looking at the other pieces in the exhibitions, we are able to make these assumptions about this piece of work. – show examples in powerpoint (theme of fragility, femininity, female figure)

“”Usually when we talk about ‘student work’ we’re not seeing anything that reflects the artist’s later, more mature style,” says Welch. “However, it’s really quite interesting to see in Beuys’ early work – the way he handles materials, the way he’s found and readymade wire, plaster and bitumen, for example – something that speaks to what he would develop over the course of the 60s and 70s.”” (Naidoo, 2016) –to go in powerpoint

People who have influenced him:

  • James Joyce wrote Ulysses and the stream of consciousness relating to the human nature of figure
  • John Cage did work similar to Beuys’ later work
  • Rudolph Steiner was a philosopher
  • George Brecht was a fellow Fluxus artist.

Political/historical/social references

  • Possible influence from the war going on whilst this piece was created, the decay of the torso representing the bodies of those slain in war.

Other influences

  • Abstract impressionism, postwar trauma, and the fact that Beuys was a Fluxus artist all left their mark on ‘Torso’.

Artist influences;

  • Robert Morris – similar materials, work displayed in a similar way to Beuys
  • SigmarPolke–images appear decayed like the torso
  • Jenny Saville – female figure portrayed in a similar way

Finally, opinions …..

  • The crumbly mix of materials leaves the viewer questioning as to how it was made.
  • Makes one think of maternity, protecting the young.
  • Reminiscent of rot and decomposition; the narrative of the maternal female figure alongside the decaying materials could depict the nature of pregnancy.

Sources

  • http://www.gallery.ca/beuys/en/
  • Adriani, G., Konnertz, W. & Thomas, K., 1994. Joseph Beuys. Köln: DuMont Buchverlag.
  • Bastian, G., n.d. Joseph Beuys Publications. [Online] Available at: galeriebastian.com [Accessed 10 February 2017].
  • Beuys, J., 1949/51. Torso. [Art] (Gallerie Bastian).
  • Beuys, J., 1991. Joseph Beuys Natur Materie Form. Düsseldorf: Schrimer/Mosel.
  • Canada, N. G. o., 2016. Beuys Introduction. [Online] Available at: www.gallery.ca [Accessed 10 February 2017].
  • Canda, N. G. o., 2016. Joseph Beuys Artist. [Online] Available at: http://www.gallery.ca/beuys/en/10.htm [Accessed 10 Feburary 2017].
  • Naidoo, A., 2016. Beuys: Unwrapping the Enigma. [Online]  Available at: www.ngcmagazine.ca [Accessed 10 February 2017].

An Impossible Sculpture

Our task for this week was to design our very own impossible sculpture, such as those designed by Claes Oldenburg.

I have had several ideas oflr this including that of a Jack in the box coming out of a lake, giant pinball/bowling alley/jenga through the streets of Manhattan (for example), giant food leaning up against the Empire State Building, a giant lucky cat pounding into a building or the floor, human hills, plastic plait, an exploded view of a square (with glass buildings, trees, etc), or a giant Barbra Hepworth playground. I would have enjoyed looking at all of these in greater detail, however I decided to look at only a couple.

I decided to concentrate on greater detail the bowling alley, where I collaborated with Jasmine to create the idea. The overall plan was to have a set of runs in several streets to make up a while bowling alley. Olathe in Kansas City, Kansas, I found to have the specific straight roads next to each other that we could use. (127th to 175th street). In addition to the bowling alley, we also designed Jenga where you have to use bulldozers to take your piece out, and cranes to place them on top. The pieces themselves would be metal blocks, such as those they use for the shell of buildings. The last idea within this set is the pinball. This has the same basis as the bowling alley however we would choose a hilly area with twisting an winding roads. See above and below for the design of the bowling alley.

I also took a closer look at a plait. I had a couple of ideas from this design and that was to disrupt life by having the piece as big as possible, draped over motorways and building, OR, having it as almost like a tripwire across all entrances, exits, sidewalks, in order to disrupt life too. I wanted to do this in plastic as I feel very strongly about the subject matter of how much plastic we use, the reuse and recycling of plastic, and the fact that much of it still ends up where it is not meant to be e.g. the sea.

Taking a look at the body hills, I looked at yoga poses, which are often curved and smooth. I found that using yoga poses made them seem like hills, however they are still bodily shapes. These would be interesting to recreate in the third dimension.

Lastly, I had a look at the giant food leaning against the Empire State Building. I chose to do it against this iconic structure in order to gain the sensation that the food is massive (like, really really big). This was fun to design and I look predominantly at junk food as this is the food that the current generations turn to when snacking. I felt like this would contain the bigger message of the problem about junk food, just as the plait contains the bigger message about plastic.

The Sole of A Student’s Day

The Sole of A Student’s Day is our final video for the video art, in which we worked in a group to complete, including; Layal, Hadis, Ikrah, Georgia, Romaisa, and myself.

Throughout this project, we came up with a story, filmed, and edited an entire 4 minute video that we were able to proudly present. It was quite refreshing working in such a group as many of these people I had not worked with before (no one except Romaisa). This allowed us to have new and fresh ideas as we worked all together. I also found that we had done things as a group that I would not have necessarily chosen if I was working on my own. This includes the inspiration of Pipolotti Rist and her contradictory work, which we continued through the use of the backing track versus the video itself. I liked the use of a unique theme of feet, as this was a different perspective to view a day of a student. This was very difficult to begin with, however once we got the hang of filming with a broomstick, clamp and camera, it was a very fun and enjoyable experience. Turning corners was still, and still is a challenge we need to overcome.

There was also a downside to working in such a large group as we were not all able to meet at one time through the week, and so messages were often second hand. I also felt like a lot of the work was passed to me, as the majority of the time, I was filming, or being filmed, and I felt responsible for getting the equipment, as no one else within the group was being proactive about it. I also spent around 12-13 hours editing the video, even though two out of our group of six had done the editing tutorial. Communication about the editing was also not done in person but rather through messaging because of the continual problem of not being able to meet up all on the same day. If we had to make the video again I would want to make it’s so that it isn’t as detailed and it was just one main thing, such as the date scene, as this would have allowed us to get some more detailed footage. Either that, or to literally record a pair of feet continually for a whole day, an speed up that one piece of footage (this again would have its complications but would be very fun to watch and complete).

Although there were many complications, I believe that our video came out very well. It was not what I thought we would produce, as initially I believed that we would do a small, cute little video of the sorts. However, it was an experience of where I gained many skills that which I hope to take into other pieces that I will complete throughout my degree.

Update 30/01/17: We showed all of our videos together today and got feedback – our lecturers loved the edit and the way in which the video tricks you at the beginning as though it is going to be a music video, but then shocks you when the Irish dancing comes in, and then you’re not really sure what is going to happen. They also commented that the editing was very seemless and worked well. One of our lecturers also said that they started to look at the feet as though they were an entity of their own and they had become their own character. So overall, a great success!

Extended version:

Other Groups videos:

Editing Films

After filming the majority of the shots that we needed (at the time of writing, we were on day 3 of filming), we had to think about the editing of the film. This is a lot of things as one, because we have to think about the order, the size, how we are going to switch from shot to shot, the sound track and also the effects that we may use. These we all things that a lot of us thought about while filming and through the progression of the editing lecture. We did, however, get stuck on the little things such as the soundtrack that we should use. There were many ideas including the footsteps, having a song, or just background noise. Specifically, we needed a rhythm to the piece, and the most simple way to portray rhythm is with sound and music. For rhythm, we also have to think about the rhythm of the scene changes and for our specific video, the speed in which the feet are going.

For the soundtrack, I initially thought that we were going to record the footsteps in time, in a separate room and then overlay the sound on the final video. However, we were then beginning to look back at the films we each suggested a couple of weeks back when we began the video art project.

After looking at all of these, the music was not quite what we wanted for our piece. We found that it was all a bit too fast, dramatic and thrilling, or too slow, draining and peaceful. We then looked at other films and the way in which they have played around with the music within it or how they have used the music and the image in conjunction with each other. This allowed us to move onto Life Is Strange Episode 5 Max’s Nightmare, a video game in which someone has recorded their game time. In this, the background images go backwards and the music starts to go all ‘funny’, almost as if it is all being slightly trippy. This is something that we wanted to recreate in our movie at the end when she is drugged as it is something new that we could add in, in order to create a more unique video. It also led us to the soundtracks of these sorts of videos and games (see below), however, once again, we found that these were and are not the right tracks for our video art.

Because we couldn’t find the correct soundtrack, we then began to look at other ideas for the soundtrack. We started to look at the more natural sounds that were around us when we were shooting the movie. This led to me showing the rest of the group a website that I have had on my saved tabs for years – asoftmurmur.com. This website allows you to have more natural background noise, for example when working, instead of having a film, tv show, or music on in the background. The different noises included rain, thunder, waves, wind, fire, birds, crickets, coffee shop, singing bowl and white noise. To have more natural sounds, we can easily record the sounds from the website, and then overlay the sounds on the video in the apropriate places.

For familiar sounds, we then started thinking about Chopsticks. Although it would be comedic and slightly sarcastic, we believed that it would give a slight Pipilotti Rist feel to the video.

We also discussed the rest of the editing process, and in order to complete the film, we do have to finish filming first. When filming is finished, we have to keep in mind that the majority of the dialogue and sound is added during the editing stage. We also have to keep in mind the rules of editing, six of which Walter Murch created for narrative film; (1) Emotion 51%, (2) Story 23%, (3) Rhythm 10%, (4) Eye trace 7%, (5) 2D place of screen 5%, (6) 3D space 4%. Within these six rules, the key elements have been sound and vision, and these are once again what we have to concentrate on. Other elements that we need to keep in mind while editing are;

  • Trim
  • In/out
  • Jump in/out (e.g. from inside to outside)
  • Cross dissolve
  • Fade in/fade out
  • Split screen
  • Long shot
  • Medium shot
  • Close up
  • Extreme close up
  • One shot/two shot (when having a conversation, the over the shoulder shot)
  • Tracking
  • Linear vs non-linear
  • NTSC/PAL
  • fps
  • Widescreen (16:9)/4:3
  • Mono/stereo
  • Timecode (00:00:00:00) (hr:min:sec:frame)
  • Media (never changes – source material)

Editing

We decided to do editing on Adobe Premiere Pro CC, which was the recommended software to use by our lecturers. Before beginning to touch our own video, we had to take a self paced tutorial which told us how to change the view of the screen including moving tabs, settings and making things larger and smaller according to how we want to view the programme. We were also taught how to cut clips down, how to chop them into half, how to insert clips into different places, and also how to turn, change the colours, and flip the different clips individually. Through the tutorial, we were also taught all the names of the different areas that we would interact with, within the programme, including; programme window, audio meters, tools palette, clips, timeline, tracks, sequence, media browser, info panel, effects tab, history panel, project panel, effect controls tab, audio mixer and source window. Through the process of creating a tutorial video, we learnt how to interact with all of these and how to create our first video. Going through the tutorial, I remembered the specific parts that I knew we would need later, such as the time speed of the clips.

Ikrah and I ran through the tutorial, so then at least if we wanted to do some editing, the group would need one out of two people, instead of only one person. During the first day of editing, Hadis and Layal sat down and chose all the clips that we would need to use during the video. (The benefit of this was that when editing, I didn’t have to spend hours choosing the clips out of the 80+ that we had shot). Romaisa also helped with choosing some of the scenes as she specifically wanted some of the shower and walking in heels scenes that were shot only a few days before. During picking out the scenes, we also realised that we would not be able to use any of the clips that Hadis and Layal shot, as they were wearing different shoes to the bulk of the views, which contained my shoes. It is for this reason that we decided to use the shots that included my shoes instead of having loads of different clips with different shoes. Lastly, sadly, the group work did not quite work out as much of the group went home during Friday, the main day of editing, and I ended up piecing the video together. Romaisa helped to finalise the order on Friday. These are the clips that we decided that we wanted in the video;

  • 15 – Shoes beginning
  • 18-17 – Getting into bed – cut a bit out of the beginning
  • 20 – Getting into bed – lights off
  •  – Walking on concrete Charlotte
  •  – Charlotte walking on grass
  •  – Charlotte walking on ice puddle
  •  – Charlotte walking on mud
  • 38 – Charlotte boots walking studio
  • 41 – Walking out of department
  • 42 – Walking out of department
  • 43 – Walking with friend
  • 45
  • 46 – Walking on bridge
  • 47
  • 48 (2) – Cute moment with boy
  • 50 – Walking into puddle
  • 52
  • 54 – Skateboarding
  • 55
  • 56 – (or) skateboarding to door
  • 61 – Another skateboard/door scene
  • 63 – Getting on bed and taking shoes off
  • 121 – Shower scene 1 – cut a bit off of ending
  • 126 – Stairs
  • 129 – Heels walking
  • 130 – Green walking
  • 131 – Barefoot
  • 132 – Crawling barefoot
  • 133 – Putting shoes on before night out
  • 134 – Tap dancing
  • 137 – Dancing club

The order of the video happened as such;

  • 15 – (00:00:00:00)
  • 121 – (00:00:34:10)
  • 61 – (00:04:23:18)
  • 56 – (00:04:42:20)
  • 134 – (00:05:28:02)
  • 38 – (00:05:28:02)
  • 41 – (00:05:40:01)
  • 42 – (00:06:21:07)
  • 45 – (00:07:41:04)
  • 46 – (00:08:26:21)
  • 44 – (00:09:00:04)
  • 47 – (00:09:16:00)
  • 50 – (00:09:36:02)
  • 53 – (00:09:48:10)
  • 46 – (00:09:59:20)
  • 49 – (00:10:10:07)
  • 65 – (00:11:40:09 – 00:11:57:01) cross fade
  • 133 – (00:11:56:33)
  • 126 – (00:13:26:05)
  • 130 – (00:13:36:15) we also swapped clip 137 and 130 around so there is a little bit of walking before shoe goes clubbing
  • 137 – (00:14:08:05)
  • 129 – (00:15:24:08)
  • 131 – (00:15:50:12)
  • 132 – (00:16:21:05 – 00:16:35:23)
  • 20 – (00:16:36:01)
  • End – (00:17:04:10)

The total time, which is shown in the time frame codes, came to 00:17:04:10 (extended time code is shown). This had to be shortened to 4 minutes or under, which will be somewhat a challenge. First, however, I decided to do the credits, as I needed some help to sort out who is under what title, and more specifically, who the extras were that we used within the film. We had to decide for the beginning credits who was going to be under and over what shoe, and found the list of;

  • Georgia – Red shoes
  • Romaisa – Rough boots
  • Charlotte (Me) – Nice boots
  • Hadis – Slippers
  • Ikrah – Flats
  • Layal – Trainers

We then found the list of all the people that we needed to credit, and compared them against the list of roles that we could have. Romaisa was helping me with this and I had some question as to why we were including casting director and costume designer to the credits, as these were roles that the whole group was involved with. (As this is being written, the credits haven’t been finished, however I believe that there is not time either in order to fit this particular thing in, unless we list everyone as some roles, which are the ones we were all involved in.) Our full list was;

  • Group – Charlotte Abraham, Layal Abdullah, Ikrah Amjad, Haids Azarain, Georgia Wyldbore, Romaisa Bhatti
  • Lead Cast – Charlotte Abraham, Georgia Wyldbore, Siobhan Pryke, Lilly Godden
  • Supporting Cast – Will Fowler, Rachel Glover, Timur O’Mahony, Caitin Feehely, Harry Sullivan, Benjamin Thrussell, Alex Clothier
  • Casting Director – Romaisa Bhatti
  • Costume Designer – Layal Abdullah
  • Camera – Romaisa Bhatti, Layal Adbullah, Hadis Azarain, Charlotte Abraham
  • Editor – Charlotte Abraham, Ikrah Amjad, layal Abdullah, Hadis Azarain, Romaisa Bhatti
  • Sound –
  • Lighting – Benjamin Thrussell, Alex Clothier

During editing, I cut out all the sound except that of the Irish dancing within the middle of the video, as we all felt like this was powerful audio. We then discovered that we had no clue what the soundtrack would be for the rest of the video and that we also needed to think of a title. I messaged everyone on our group chat and left them to that challenge. We also came up with plenty of ideas for the title, however we couldn’t pick exactly one. This is the rough list we came up with, along with help from others;

  • At the Foot of Society
  • Don’t Let University Defeet You – The Shoe Must Go On!
  • The Hangover Won’t Last Long – You Will Heel!
  • Walking a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes
  • The Shoe is on the Other Foot
  • Student Life feeturing…
  • The Sole of a Student’s Day

These are things I’m letting the group decide while editing the video, especially speeding up each clip and getting it under the 4 minute mark.

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-13-28-16screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-13-49-53screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-13-52-20

The second day of editing very much consisted of adding effects, adding titles and credits, adding music, and speeding everything up from 17 minutes to 4 minutes. The first things I did were the credits to ensure that these were okay and my first plan was to have them all up, and then as they rolled over, or under, the corresponding shoes, then they would disappear. This did, however, leave six random names floating at the beginning of the video, which made them look out of place and against what we envisioned it would be like. The next idea, as Layal suggested, was that the names could come up as them came and went from the shoe. This worked much better and allowed the names to appear for a brief, but substantial, one second, as the camera spun to look at the first shot. The credits I had mainly sorted out during the first part of editing, however I was finalising the lists and ensuring that all of the credits were aligned.

The main challenges involved the fact that I was the only one in the computer suite that was editing the video, and so I had to message the group every time I needed the group decision on. This sometimes took quite a while, which is a bit annoying. However, we managed to pick a title out of all the ones suggested:

The Sole of A Student’s Day

We could not choose a title which did not have a pun as it allows the view to start off on a light and cheerful foot, before it goes more serious throughout the video. The music was also chosen, and then provided by Romaisa. We ended up choosing two tracks to represent the normal day activities (Syd Matters – To All Of You (Official Music Video)) and the night club, where it has a heavier base (Life is Strange Soundtrack- Got Well Soon by Breton). I have to admit, I am a little confused as to why the group decided on the To All Of You track, as although it has a wonderful guitar accompaniment, the lyrics had pretty much nothing to do with what our video is about – feet. We had searched for quite a while, and this was the only video that we all agreed that we liked, and so we used this. The second video, used for the nightclub scene, we cut out the instrumental and repeated this through the scene, making a somewhat eery and disorganised, possibly drugged sensation.

We also had to look through all of the effects on Adobe Premiere Pro in order to determine the ones that we wanted to have a look at an possibly use. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much help in this and so had to take the executive decision about all the effects that we needed to add for the duration of the drugged scenes. We ended up whittling it down to colour change, in order to change the colour every few seconds to create disorientation, a corner bender to alter the curvature of the video, wave warp, and turbulent displace, again to create the sensation of disorientation within the video, for the viewer.

I had tested other effects such as lens distortion, however this one in particular was hard to control and I was unsure as to what settings did exactly what on the video. There was also lens flare that was suggested, however, this created a completed different look to the one that we were hoping for – it looked somewhat childish and unprofessional. I added the desired effects and also added the colour change, where I also had to snip the clips, in order to gain several colour changes in one filmed scene.

Lastly, came speeding everything up (note: I put the music on after speeding everything up to the desired speed). I started off the clips at 100%, which is normal playing speed. This was the speed at the beginning and end of the video as then the viewer can get a small hold of what the normal speed is, before I sped it up to a maximum of 600%. The new speed often depended on how fast the feet were moving in the initial, original clip. If the feet were originally moving very slowly, there was a higher speed percentage. If the feet were initially slower, the final clip wasn’t sped up too much. Speeding everything up also altered the transactions between the videos, particularly between the change of my feet to Georgia’s feet. I manage to get the to at decent speeds in order to gain the best transaction between the clips. Speeding up, I also found that certain clips didn’t work, and I had to delete 53 which was the hopscotch clip. When sped up, it looked very funny, however it simply was not in keeping with the rest of the video. This was the final order of clips and the time frames of which they now stand (time code signifies the beginning of the clip);

  • 15 – (00:00:00:00)
  • 121 – (00:00:10:11)
  • 61 – (00:01:03:06)
  • 56 – (00:01:05:16)
  • 134 – (00:01:09:15)
  • 38 – (00:01:35:12)
  • 41 – (00:01:37:12)
  • 42 – (00:01:45:18)
  • 45 – (00:01:59:01)
  • 46 – (00:02:06:04)
  • 44 – (00:02:17:00)
  • 47 – (00:02:20:04)
  • 50 – (00:02:24:04)
  • 53 – cut this clip out
  • 46 – (00:02:26:16)
  • 49 – (00:02:28:18)
  • 65 – (00:02:54:12 – 00:02:58:16)
  • 133 – (00:02:58:13)
  • 126 – (00:03:14:13)
  • 130 – (00:03:17:02)
  • 137 – (00:03:21:07)
  • 129 – (00:03:54:11)
  • 131 – (00:04:04:12)
  • 132 – (00:04:14:17 – 00:04:20:13)
  • 20 – (00:04:20:12)
  • End – (00:04:20:12)

The credit time frames were;

  • Georgia – (00:00:00:20 – 00:00:01:20)
  • Romaisa – (00:00:01:20 – 00:00:02:20)
  • Layal – (00:00:02:20 – 00:00:03:20)
  • Charlotte – (00:00:03:20 – 00:00:04:20)
  • Hadis – (00:00:04:20 – 00:00:05:20)
  • Ikrah – (00:00:05:20 – 00:00:06:20)
  • Title – (00:00:11:14 – 00:00:18:02) and changed to (00:00:11:14 – 00:00:16:15)

After some last, small alterations, the video was ready. While uploading it to YouTube, I found that I had forgotten to render the video, and had to go back to the original edit in order to render the workplace, to then upload them once again to YouTube – my mistake entirely.

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-16-56-58screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-16-25-41screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-16-21-56screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-15-34-33screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-14-54-31Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 17.09.45.png

See the last six videos for experiments in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Filming Video Art

We had several days of filming as we were unable to get the correct shots first time round. I preferred taking several shots as this means that we could pick the best of the bunch when we come to editing. This did, however, take up too much time, and so we had to spread the filming out quite a lot.

Day 1 of filming:

We managed to get a fair few indoors shots done today which was really useful as we were able to get used to filming with the broom. I was the one that filmed a lot of the scenes at this point as the technician, Dave, and I, tested it out earlier in the daytime. The use of the broom and the clamp allowed us to easily film at floor level, which is where we needed a smooth run. Occasionally, I did kick the broom or accidentally hit it against the floor which caused it to jolt around unexpectedly, however the camera held its position even though the shot itself was slightly off. We also had to do quite a few shots because I held the camera and broom wonky a fair few times.

Also, due to the difficulty in using the broom in the bedroom, we had to alter the perspective and how we wished to film the bedroom shots. We ended up using a friends bedroom as it was more convenient with how we wanted to film. The space we found to be quite cramped, however by putting the camera at different angles on the clamp on the broom allowed us to continue filming. This brings up the change of the bedroom and the bathroom scenes. due to convenience and accessibility, we used the university halls to film the scenes that day. As a group, we decided that if we really did not like the use of these shots then we would be able to use the apartment and shoot it next week.

Day 2 of filming:

Unfortunately I was unable to be there for the second day of filming however filming was still done. Hadis and Layal were there to film walking over different surfaces where they braved stepping in icy puddles and in mud. When we picked the camera I did have to teach them how to attach the camera to the broom and how we filmed yesterday using it. I showed this to them as it made sense to film in the same way in order to get the same sort of motion and image as we captured yesterday. They also had to do filming of their feet because in the end Georgia was feeling unwell and we needed simple walking feet shots for the transaction scenes.

Day 3 of filming:

Today was supposed to be a full day of filming and once again, things didn’t go quite to plan. Georgia was once again ill, and Hadis, Layal and Ikrah were unable to come due to lectures and personal issues. This is where it was just Romaisa and I all day to do as much filming as we could, which turned out to be quite a lot. We had a look at all of the scenes we had left to do, and organised which ones we could do with my shoes and no risk of seeing my ankle (as Georgia has a tattoo on one of her feet), and which ones we had to have Georgia for. (Underlined ones are the ones we could do without Georgia and her feet).

  • Morning shower
  • Drying off and getting dressed (painting toenails?) – HAS to wear black jeans
  • Rush outside – cat/slug – skateboard off
  • Society – putting on tights and shoes?
  • Locked door
  • Steps in puddle
  • Steps in gum
  • Coffee date (coming in, footsies, nervous tapping)
  • Spills coffee
  • Gets changed
  • Dropping bag
  • Walking down stairs
  • Clubbing
  • Falling over
  • Being followed by guy out of club
  • Pushed by guy
  • Shower and blood

Splitting the list made our task easier so then we were just able to film, and that is what we did. We started off over at art doing some walking scenes and splashing in puddles, before heading over to main campus and doing the ‘date’ scene. For some of the walking scenes and the date scene, we were able to use some of our friends who art not in our film group – Rachel and Will. We agreed that because we used them in our film, we would be happy to participate in theirs (as they genuinely need extras in one of their scenes in their video art). The date scene in particular was hilarious to film as it was all a bit awkward being picked up and playing footsies with a friend. The nervousness, however, allowed the film to look more realistic, as if we had first date jitters. The coffee being dropped did have to be perfected though, and the second time shooting that, I managed to get it all over my glasses, hair and coat, but we did get the perfect shot.

picture1picture2picture3picture4picture5

Once that challenge was out of the way, we had to conquer the challenge of the skateboard. We knew someone who owned one, and we were planning to borrow it. We didn’t keep in mind, however, that I have never been on a skateboard before, and so it would create a very unprofessional look to the video. For this reason, we asked Lily, of whom the skateboard belongs to, and who was coincidentally wearing black jeans when we came to collect the skateboard, if she wouldn’t mind being in our film in order to do the two very short transition scenes that included the skateboard. Thanks to Lily for being able to use her skateboard in the same shoes as we had been using all day, we were able to get some really nice clean cut shots to use for the film with the skateboard.

We then had to work out the transition of when I could take off the shoes and Georgia’s feet appeared. We initially thought that this could be done behind a wardrobe door and a pile of clothes, but then found out that this was too difficult with the room that we needed to work in. Romaisa and I then decided that I could sit on the bed, and bring my feet up as I take off the shoes and socks. With the top of the bed being out of the shot, this allows in editing, for us to get Georgia to bring her feet down, and proceed with the rest of the scenes. The rest of the scenes that we have to do include:

  • Morning shower
  • Drying off and getting dressed (painting toenails?) – HAS to wear black jeans
  • Society – putting on tights and shoes?
  • Gets changed
  • Dropping bag
  • Walking down stairs
  • Clubbing
  • Falling over
  • Being followed by guy out of club
  • Pushed by guy
  • Shower and blood

img_6193

For the clubbing, falling over and being followed scenes, we were thinking as a group that we could do them next week with everyone from the art group that wanted to participate (no faces, only feet) and filming it in the AV studio, where then we could easily overlay flashing lights and the dark atmosphere of a club. We also had the camera for the weekend, and so hopefully most of the scenes will be completed! However, Romaisa and I were pretty happy with what we were able to complete with only one day.

Update: We were unable to film over the weekend, however we have two weeks of editing time and so we would be able to film in this time too.

Further update on day 4 of filming:

We finally managed to get the camera back in order for (mainly) Romaisa and Georgia could finish the filming of the last scenes, which had her feet in. It was important that we used Georgia’s feet as she has an ankle tattoo – something that no one else had. The final scenes were shot, including;

  • Morning shower
  • Drying off and getting dressed (painting toenails?) – HAS to wear black jeans
  • Society – putting on tights and shoes?
  • Gets changed
  • Dropping bag
  • Walking down stairs
  • Clubbing
  • Falling over
  • Being followed by guy out of club
  • Pushed by guy
  • Shower and blood

While filming, they found that the use of the ‘blood’ (in our case it was just paint as Layal, our props person, was unable to find any fake blood while collecting all the props together) was not working and it was coming out lumpy and just not how blood ran. In this case, we decided to cut the evening shower scene out of the video. We also wanted some really cool feet actions for the society, and found some people who do Irish dancing, and decided to include that in the video. We also decided to leave out being followed by a guy out of the club, and instead made it as though she was leaving because of him and walking home. We still intend to use the effects when editing to make it seem as though she is on drugs.

Next step: editing.

All the filming clips that we did over the days of filming (YouTube playlist):