I made a few changes to my Identity project today…
I couldn’t do everything I wanted as it would have involved recovering all of the boxes and a fortune in printing, so I did my best in the time given. I like the boxes much better with a recognisable image on each side. I also prefer it without all the other posters. I guess the use of the plinth does help raise it from the floor, but I needed to have the bigger boxes on the floor, they didn’t work on plinths.
I am quite impressed with myself regarding this project. It is totally out of my usual comfort zone. I don’t do big, I don’t do self imagery and I don’t do installations and straight lines!! I look at it and I wonder where it came from? Anyway, now I have stepped outside the zone, I can say I tried it… ! I think it works very well as a bridge between Visual Cuture, which was all focused on Identity this semester and Studio.
No matter that I woke feeling very low, tired, my kitten was missing and it was Friday 13th!
All came right in the end… as I knew it would! Pookie came back and had a visit to the vets, he is now home and feeling a bit better. I spent the morning playing with my gorgeous wee boy Blue, and then headed to college to install the Light Nelson project.
Van Van and I were blessed by a huge bundle of black polystyrene strips which were perfect for building my twig shadow making structure. The stuff I had acquired before was too small. Amazing that these just appeared today of all days!!
We worked hard from 3.30 and 5.00pm. One of the precious bulbs broke during lighting tests, but luckily I bought two! We played around and decided the bulb was better hanging from the wire grid above the gallery, so we covered the orange cable with masking tape to disguise it against the white background. The hanging bulb also gives some movement, which eliminates the need for a turntable. I like the slight movement although some complained of motion sickness when it was moving too much!
So we built our structure, installed the light and held our collective breath as we switched on…
The night rolled from there and the gallery was never empty… so many people wanted to play!
A man came out of the woods
Little people visited…
Wood faeries danced…
and best of all, Blue and Polly came to play too!
The speakers were not working but even on my iPad we got an idea of how the soundtrack would make it even more ethereal!
There are things I want to play with before the event, but I am basking in the warm and kindly shadow of satisfaction right now!
It is wet and my pond (where all the willow branches live) is flooded, but I need to collect branches for further Light Nelson doings….
While procrastinating, I found this article. Shame I didn’t find it when we were doing the mural project, but there is something about this guy’s work… that I feel in some part if me that I can’t quite identify.
Check this article about Syrian artists Tammam Azzam.
Apparently these images are created by the artist in Photoshop, but I thought these two were projected… wow, would have loved to do something like this for Light Nelson. Next year…
In Gombrich’s Art & Illusion, he talks about a process he calls schemata. This process is where the artist compares what he has drawn or painted with what he is trying to draw/paint, and by trial and error, comparing his drawing to his source, the artist gradually corrects the drawing/painting to look more like what he is seeing. I am using this process to create the effect I want.
I looked at the previous posts and research, and worked out a way to combine the crowd caster lamp, that I mentioned here, with our twig and bark ball in the previous post. I had a walk around my property and collected willow, twigs, some old resistors, and a lump of polystyrene.
Using these things I made this:
Then I dismantled my Himalayan salt lamp (excellent for fighting those positive ions given out by computers etc…), and removed the bulb and fitting. I cut the hole in the polystyrene base of my twig sculpture and inserted the light fitting:
Woohoo… shadows, that look like trees! I created the white walls with two sketchbooks.
Here is a photo with my mug of tea for size comparison:
Actually that’s a little misleading, the mug looks smaller here than IRL, but you get the picture. The lamp is off here by the way. So… the bulb I used here is a teeny 7 watt bulb. The bulbs I purchased yesterday are 9 times that brightness and they are halogen which gives much sharper shadows.
I think I now have a positive enough result from this model to warrant making a larger version, which will take a lot longer. I may just try a quick demo in the gallery on Thursday using my bulb and just a very basic setup before constructing the actual large shade with twigs. if that works then I am away!!! Everything is one hundred percent recycled except the light bulb. Polystyrene is icky, but at least it is better in use than in the landfill.
I have long been interested in the writings of Carl Gustav Jung, and am trying to find time to read more. But recently I have been focusing on his thoughts concerning the shadow aspect of human beings. Jung said:
Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.
From Psychology and Religion by C.G. Jung (1938)
I like Jung because he always holds hope for the individual. He believes we can heal ourselves by contacting our unconscious through symbols such as archetypes and myths and facing our darker side. My long relationship with the Tarot started partly because of learning about Jung and archetypes as a teenager. Bt umostly I think it came about from my love of the darker side of life. oddly I no longer consider The Tarot as at all “dark”, on the contrary it can be a journey to enlightenment.
Here is another quote from Jung:
To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self. Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.
I have just discovered this totally sane, contemporary philosopher, who a few people label as crazy. No way is he crazy… This guy thinks like I do, and about the same kind of stuff, and I like that in a man…
Check the link, check out the interview, and while you are at it check out the rest of the magazine. It has a lot of good stuff, and the title is very apt. It keeps you awake until the small hours…
And if you like this dude, then check out this book that I am currently reading, all about light and shadow, which I have been obsessed with for much of my life. Roy is one of the thinkers behind my Light Nelson project, and possibly future art.
I am very interested in all aspects of shadows, including the darker side of human nature.