Thursday, 5 May 2011

Contextual Research Report

Various things have influenced me throughout my project, from artists work, pictures in magazines, to advertising and films, each having an effect on the direction of my project.

 For the start of my flight project, where I was exploring the ideas of presenting thoughts in visual form, I started looking at the artist Cornelia Parker, whose work often uses the ideas of hanging objects/shapes, creating a shape or a movement. This inspired me with my lights idea due to the use of movement in her work and lights. Her pieces, especially Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991 looks like a freeze frame of an explosion, this idea interests me as it creates a feeling of an event of some importance being captured.

Sachiko Abe is an artist I first discovered from an art gallery trip to Liverpool; her piece ‘Cut Paper’ uses long thin strips of cut up paper, placed in a long tower shape from the ceiling to the fall, (at about 30 foot tall.) This piece has influenced me work as the layers of paper and shape of the piece, give the piece a feel of movement, The fluidity of the piece, again gives the feel of time being paused, creating a magical feel as we are able to go and observe the soft cloud like shapes. I would like to produce a similar piece of work that has lights in it, which I could use in a video or as an installation.

Trips to gallery exhibition have also influenced my work. In the ‘Recorders exhibition’ in Manchester Art Gallery, Rafael Lozano – Hemmer’s ‘Pulse Room’, records exhibition visitors’ heartbeats and transmits the beats into 100 light bulbs suspended from the ceiling. A metal handle, records and transmits visitor’s pulse to a light bulb after ten seconds. If another visitor touches the handle, his pulse is transmitted to the first light bulb and the rhythm of its predecessor is transmitted to the next light bulb in the series – thus the digital traces left by 100 visitors are permanently present in the installation. This idea inspired me with my light project, as the lights use human heartbeats to generate a sky full of lights, almost as if the lights are running through human emotions (from nervous to excited).

Andy Goldsworthy’s use of natural objects to create bridges, paths and widows, create a magical enchanting feel, the pieces appeal to my light idea project (where I am creating light pieces to signify the idea of discovery or fear) due to the fact that they are unique and intriguing to look at. He uses branches off trees to create a framework to represent a door, this idea inspired me to create a light frames out of thorns and skeleton bones, that wrap around the light source, in order to trap it.

Similar work by furniture designer Patrick Jouin’s use concept of slates of plastic, to build up layered chairs, almost similar to jagged pieces to form a strong organic structure. This idea has inspired me to produce my own sculpture pieces, using the idea broken glass to form a various structure pieces. 

On a trip to the Liverpool Biennial trip, I saw a piece of artwork, in the ‘Fact’ gallery, by and artist called Tehching Hsieh who I had recently been researching. The piece of artwork featured thousands of tiny pictures that were displayed in rows that covered the whole of the room. The pictures from a far all seemed the same, but looking close revealed the subject of the work. For his piece of artwork, Hsieh punched a time clock every hour on the hour. Each time he punched the clock, he took a single picture of himself, which together yield a 6 minute film (also present in the room). In the first picture he shaved his head and as the pictures go on, his hair starts growing. The pictures together reflect the passage of time, almost showing how through time he has changed and progressed as a person.

The use of editing and styles used in music videos has inspired me, not only with my personal  film project but also for my, flight project, which started to become more focused on the idea of representing thoughts through the use of lights and sculpture pieces. The style in the music video “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga (directed by Francis Lawrence and nominated for a Grammy for best short film), has been a huge inspiration for my artwork, not only because I would like to produce videos similar to them, but also for visual use of lights, and staging. Based in a surreal white bathhouse, the video features heavily edited scenes from various cubistic rooms that encompass a futuristic feel. The use of the colour white is a strong feature of the piece, with some scenes being described as reminiscent of the work of Stanley Kubrick. The use of bright white lighting throughout the video mixed with white backdrops and cubistic futuristic furniture creates a strong graphical feel. This has inspired me throughout my project, as I am interested in creating futuristic, work that has a very clean well edited feel to it. Throughout my work, whether in my sparkler film pieces, to my computer based sketch designs of modern looking structures; I have focused on designing and editing my pieces to look well edited with a modern feel, which has stemmed from the ideas present in this film.

Other influences of my project have been clothes and props created by “The Haus of Gaga”, which is the company that produce the image of Lady Gaga’ image. Some of the clothes are used in the “Bad Romance” music video, which also feature clothes from Alexander McQueen. The props and set again are quite futuristic and quirky, using a variety of contrasting shapes from cubistic to fluid curves.

The quirky scene transitions in the programme ‘Ugly Betty’ also appeal to me. They use outlines of objects and buildings from the previous scene to move into the next scene that is using the shame shape. For example one scene may feature a door on both sides of the shot, creating a border at the sides of the scene, which during a scene change, will maintain in the shot, then in the next scene, the doors are still there, but will open to reveal the scene.

Pictures of lights moving, in poster and advertising have influenced my project, for example, the design on the cover of the ‘North TransPennine’ leaflet shows the movement of light, this inspired me to use lights as a way of representing thoughts. Also the idea made me think about showing light sources as something that guides people towards the light (soul) which could signify their discovery.

Some other things that have influenced my flight through the mind project (where I am exploring the ideas of presenting thoughts in visual form) are, video’s on ‘YouTube’ showing a glass building that has lights inside each window, the lights go on and off, whilst moving around the building in various patterns, changing from a variety of colours. This interested me as I wanted to find a way to show lights moving to show lights (discovery) leading a person to a place to discover something. Another video I found was a clip from the film ‘American Beauty’, which shows a plastic bag that floats around in the air. The scene is almost hypnotic, as the bag flies freely in the air in spiral shapes, without touching the floor for several minutes. The clip is used to symbolise something, or someone moving around as a free spirit. This idea was one of the starting blocks for my flight through the mind project; I wanted my pieces that represent the idea of discovery, to seem free and fluid.

A prominent inspiration in my current sculpture/ light pieces is the artist called ‘Arne Quinze’, who produces large scale sculptures. His pieces often look futuristic, each featuring the use of strong colours and contrasting sharp cubistic edges mixed with soft fluid curves. Other pieces of his work feature archways decorate with curtains of crystal, and the use of lights. These pieces have greatly inspire the later part of my projects progress, as they are in the same style of the work that I was starting to produce, with the use of looking at making sculpture/objects that contain the idea of movement and fluidity mixed with the use of lights and strong colours. The discovery of his work lead me into changing the direction of my projects from light installations to futuristic sculpture ideas.

Various other artist who produces futuristic looking pieces, based on lights, have inspired, the concept of my pieces, both looking at shapes and patterns. Artists Stuart Fingerhut and Justyna Piotowicz Light pieces have allowed me to experiment with the use of shape and patterns, in my sculpture pieces, allowing me to progress through the use of experimenting, with the boundaries of structures and exploring new ways of presenting ideas.

Various architects including, Shoebaloo, who create layouts for shoe stores have been a big inspirations for my current sculpture and light ideas. Again their pieces features clear graphic styled, structures of rooms and sculpture pieces that encompass a modern feel. With the use of white as a dominant colour and the heavy use of white lighting, and sharp lines mixed with contrasting curves.

The futuristic style of H. R. Giger’s work has inspired the style of my own work, Giger’s use of detailed lines and effective shading, is something that I have tried to incorporate into my sculpture drawings, to create a modern metallic feel to my pieces.

The constant refreshment of new research has allowed me, to not only be inspired but has also helped shape the direction of my work, with new influences constantly being presented, it has allowed me to keep my project being refreshed, and has allowed me to start developing work of my own style that incorporate features from these pieces of work.

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