yay! almost october holidays, can’t wait to feel alive and sleep away my deprived snotty ZOMBIE head.
anyhoo, back to sculpture..
I am pretty happy with my completed sculpture(s) so far. Although I had a few issues working with the unforgiving media of plaster; my armature crippled and the poor womans spine alsost snapped with the weight of her shoulders, and her head also gave way. But these little mishaps all made for a more intriguing result. Thus, along with the rusting ribs, cracked head and spindle like arms make her very charasmatic, although I feel overall, I feel this sculpture to be unsuccessful. As viewing her from behind and straight on I think you lose that intense twist and she just looks a mess.
But I have enjoyed direct modelling, and feel I have gained from working more directly, and developing from a source. Either a model or a previous sculpture or maquette.
-ta very much Manning man 😎
Auguste Rodin, (1840-1917)
During his early years, Rodin found great difficulty being accepted, his work was perceived as being extremely controversial, often criticised either for being too ugly, not decorative enough, or, by far the most offensive for Rodin, the accusation that he had cast directly from a model (‘The Vanquished’, later renamed ‘The Age of Bronze’) which was heavily frowned upon by sculptors of the time. Of course many pioneering artists are initially met with criticism, and Rodin went on to be immensely successful, creating famous works such as ‘The Kiss’ ‘The Thinker’ and ‘The Gates of Hell’.
I empathise with Rodin’s struggle for appreciation, especially as I feel his work is so inspirational and the magnitude of soft beauty evident in all of his work, it’s ironic that at the time it was criticised for being ugly. The genius of Rodin is that he can take and old withering woman or a face of extremely harshly defined features and allows the viewer to captivated. Such as in this piece ‘La Belle Heaulmiere’ where just gazing into the face of the withered old woman allows you to witness her life go by, as if you look closely enogh you can see all the features of the young woman she once was. During my sculpture lessons, I have enjoyed taking something of beauty (the model) and transforming her into something that may at first seem a little horrific, but I hope to recreate that beauty through form. The curve of the spine, breasts, and bum.
Picasso (1981-1973) Although usually assosiated with painting, Picasso was also a very skilled sculptor.
In this piece (sorry I was unable to find out it’s title please fill me in if you know!) the abstract figure is rich in texture, I love the asymmetry, with only one bulbous hand and the expression on his woe struck little face. Only an indication of such facial features is given but I feel this works well. The shortened nose and one little eye socket portrays a vast amount of expression, which is something I have attempted to carry into my sculptures, only just indicating facial expression and features through holes, rips and crumbly, fleshy lumps of plaster to really indicate mood as well as form.
Constructivist Movement (1913-1930)
The constructivist movement was developed from Cubism, Futurism, and Supermatism, Neo Platicism, and the Bauhaus.
I feel saddened that this building was never built to all it’s glory as it would have been an immensely popular and beautiful landmark. The constructed elements of steel and iron contrasting with the organic scenery, grass, trees and sky would have been breathtaking. In my own sculpture sessions, I have enjoyed toying with this contrast, interlocking paper, iron and aluminium wire, and man made materials such as Styrofoam to act as muscle and tissue for my figure.
In this piece ‘Tambem iluminado’ there is great beauty in the negative space created in the lines between the form. As well as the relationship the sculpture has with it’s surrounding space. I find this a very interesting way of working and have tried to experiment a little using this method. Such as leaving holes in the chest area of my figures, letting the wire construction of ribs break up the space. I am also deeply attracted to Gabo’s constructed heads. I love the way he has taken such a heavy bulky metal and turned it into something very curvy, almost delicate. The negative space in the eye area is again extremely successful in suggesting tone and feature.
Volume. Volume. Volume.
Initially I did a google image search on the word ‘volume’ as well as searching a thesaurus for different interperitaions of the word so I could come at the project from various angles. I found a picture of a computer generated image of volume of sound. I found the depiction explaining it difficult to understand but the image itself very interesting so I created a charcoal and tippex drawing from it.
The first thing to spring to mind when I was handed this project was different volumes of liquid and volumes of differing substances within the liquid (eg. alcohol, sugar, caffine).
I filled various vessels with differing substances and volumes. I then used a function on my camera called ‘colour accent’ to highlight only certain colours and photographed the objects changing the lighting conditions and camera angles. These photo’s were fairly successful, and I found it interesting drawing from them.
Next I researched artists who also appear to explore the theme of volume. John Houk’s Installation ‘Volume of Emptiness’ is a series of fine threads attached to a motor and suspended to the ceiling. As the threads move they merge together and the space they inhabit becomes full. Over time, the volume created by the threads shift in size and shape. This installation sounds fascinating, but having not seen it personally I found it easier to be inspired by his accompanying drawing. This was a series of single lined figures drawn one on top of each other and growing in size, giving the figures a sense of volume and clearly marking their mass in the space they occupy as well as where they have been. Initially the apparent flat, toneless figures, lacking detail give way for an immense sense of depth thanks to ththeir overlapping.
I decided to experiment with this technique myself, using single line and silhouettes, which was fairly successful although I eventually added a little detail by collaging on eyes to certain figures from a newspaper. I also did another drawing looking into the volume of negative space between chairs (from photo’s I had already taken for a previous drawing class). This was fairly expressive which I liked, although the technique I was using (drawing with charcoal and paint on a rulor) was very messy and I got frustrated with my drawing very quickly.
I also looked at a drawing by william Kentridge. In ‘Drawing for sterioscope’ a business man in a suit is standing in a pool of water, with his hands in his pockets and water appears to be pouring from various points in his body., cascading into the pool below. The man himself and the surrounding building is drawn in charcoal, and I loved the sharp contrast between this monotone part of the drawing and the bright blue of the water. The composition sees the man just off centre to the left and the simple lines representing the interior walls encourages the flow of the eye around the drawing, also mimicing the flow of the water.
I experimented with Kentridge’s technique by drawing Gordon in charcoal with bright blue water flowing from him in oil pastel. Although I did not partiicularly like ths drawing, it encouraged me to develop my initial idea of volumes of liquids in vessels, and carry that on to volumes within people, both natural and unnatural elements (such as blood, urine, saliva, enzymes, chemicals, drugs etc.)
So I looked into the human anatomy, and photographed people in the class, planning to use different colours to represent these different liquids, and a pie chart to explain what they are. Next I must research what our bodies actually contain, and experiment with different ways of visually portraying this..
Last Wednesday, we arrived in class to find a large intriging box, drapred and taped in bin bags. It had cardboard flaps covering holes in which your hands were intended to feel the objects inside and draw your interperitation based on this sense rather than sight.
After a few initial gropes inside the box I quickly sketched what I felt along with a swift drawing of the box itslef as I found it interesting and allowed for further pondering into its contents. I based my large scale piece on these small sketches, thinking also about the colouration of the objects.
For the composion, without even thinnking about it I seemed to draw the objects on the page (from left to right) in the order that I felt them, as opposed to where they were placed inside the box. The scale of the objects also seemed to morph inside my head.. I’m sure that certain objects that struck me as most appealing got enlarged and splashed with bright colour to highlight them.
Overall I enjoyed this exersise. Every individual in the class had produced something completely different and it really went to show the unique way every person percieves things. I was fairly happy with my drawing, although I would like to work into it more as some of the objects appear a little flat. I think what this exersise has taught me is that seeing what you are drawing is not all that important, and at times it could possibly hinder your thoughts and imagination rater than being the all important sense for gathering information on your subject. It’s really interesting, all of the sub-concious thoughts that go into creating a drawing, you never even notice all the decisions and information your brain is processing, but this exersise has really made me appreciate my brain by bringing it all to light.