I am pleased to announce that my latest piece – Painting the Town… (2018) will be part of this years members show at Two Queens in Leicesters Cultural Quarter 25 May | 6:00 – 9:00 (Launch) 26 May | 12:00 – 6:00
Featuring the work by:
Mita Solanky, Tom Harding, Harry Freestone, Darren Baxter & Helena Mcleod, Maarja Henisoo, Lucy Andrews, Amrit Doll, Khush Kali, Mateus Domingos, Jane Domingos, Daniel Sean Kelly, Kerry Jackson, Leila Houston, Abigail Morris, Katerina Luchkova, Les Hayden, Luke Elson, Scott Mason, Jack Halford, Gino Attwood, Daniel Goodwin, Tim Hardman, Tony Walker, Daniel Cowlam, Jake Kent, Melissa Beardmore and Finn Morris.
Today I’ve been focusing on a suggestion that was made to me during the open studio last week. Focusing on the audio – playing with that to see it through and see if anything comes out of that experimentation. If I’m honest, whenever your given ideas so late into a piece of work that you know is almost complete aren’t generally appreciated. If anything it’s just little hints and tips to refine it.
After editing together the final versions of the videos to be projected into the model miniatures. I wanted to look at even the possibility of a solely audio element. So taking the nearest model miniature to hand and tweaking its video to become another test. I copied and lifted the audio and began to play about with it. I settled on a version where the segments of audio slightly overlapped each other.
Testing this first version I could see straight away that something was happening. The audio fills the space more immersive than the projection on its own. It also acts as draw to the piece without the need for video, which is a bonus. The projection is confined to the space it’s directed to also, which is limiting.
However I took the video idea further by refining the test further. I first adjusted the volume of the audio track, whilst adding the video to the end with no audio, which was again very effective. It leaves the visuals open to interpretation what the audio might me, which draws the piece back to one of the principles of my work – not to insult the imagination of the audience. Removing audio is another way of achieving that. The audio can be unnerving on first experiencing the audio can be quite jarring and also cliche. Slow-motion action with the slow-motion audio on loop can be hard on the ears, but that’s what draws you to the piece, the strangeness of it is a characteristic of the piece I don’t want to loose. The audio is a cry for help and attention.
So where do I go from here? I need to decide how if any of these elements goes through to the final outcome and rolling them out. Otherwise I’ll keep the refined versions ready to show.
It’s been a long and trying day in the studio. I came in wanting to set up all of the model miniatures ready to document ready for submissions. However I was hit by a two technical issues, one clearly my fault, the other I just can’t understand. So I need to by more kit than I had already planned to ensure that these 4 can be working together.
All said and done I have had the time to get everything done that aimed to do, Sundays are pretty good to allow me to get more done in the studio. I have to now consider the possibility of now adding an audio element to these pieces. After an interesting conversation during open studios yesterday.
I could be adding (if only to see what happens) audio only elements to the videos that are projected, I could add the opposite of pairs audio in each piece to see what happens. Whilst also having an audio version of the videos should play on their own. I’m interested to see how this works as it allows the spaces to be completely filled, not just to projected in a carefully chosen area. I know that I can’t try too many more ideas as the piece is fast approaching its conclusion. Testing many more elements would be too much at this stage. All said and done this is an idea I can’t ignore.
I’m going to have a busy week now writing submissions now.
As I approach this years open studio I have really been starting to take the safety of these pieces of seriously. As stable as these pieces are when I’m testing, they are not with the public, and I know they can if knocked…fall. So I devised a method of adding triangular feet to the base of two of them. These two are the Unforgiven pair, which I’ll be testing out this coming weekend with the public.
I came into the studio, starting the day by adding a few more coats of paint to the new additions which are now in place. I also applied fresh gum-tape to further secure the plinth. I’m surprised I had enough to go around and still have plenty left over. The opportunity to finally see this large piece projected into was too good to pass up.
I was then freed me up to focus on further stabilising the model miniatures for the public. I had an idea for triangular legs, but I knew I needed to flesh them out at this scale, so I decided to sandwich them out with strips are cardboard inside two triangles. Repeat that method 3 more times and hopefully I have made a piece more stable for the public. Only time will really tell as I make a start on the other legs for the other pair next weekend before I do another test with all again.
The real test in this Saturday, if things go to plan I will be a step closer to bringing this piece to a close and exhibition ready.
After taking a much needed day off this weekend to recharge I returned to the studio where I spent most of the day. The fourth plinth is now up.. again. After tearing it down, amending the tracking also to accommodate the lack of cardboard (yes I’m running short of the right cardboard). I had to redraw the tracking to ensure I had enough to make this plinth work. I went as far as pulling it altogether and drawing up where the cables to/from the projector will run into the plinth. I’ll be securing it further next time.
I spent half my time adding coats of paint to the saloon bar and raised projector platform. I felt that by the end of the day that I feel more at peace with this addition. It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do. I think it was the jarring of the cardboard in such a white space that made it stand out and feel alien.
I also carried out a minor structural adjustment to the saloon. I noticed last week that the wall with the doorway was wobbily. I knew that it had to be reinforced, first I thought a piece at the top, which I learned only did half the job. Even re-gluing the base of the walls wasn’t enough. Later in the day I decided to add a longer piece that ran the length of the gap on the exterior, this did the trick. It practically hides the intruding wall/door and making a flush wall again. It’s something I’ve learned for future internal model miniatures with similar walls.
Next time I’ll be adding the finishing touches to everything I’ve done today and also edit the re-timed videos as they will be used in the exhibited pieces. With the annual open studios on 21st April, I’ll be testing a few of them out during the day to see how they stand up to an extended length of time. I’ll be on hand to check on how they are doing.
After 4 days straight in the studio, I’m tired. I’ve completed all I set out to do – to fix the projectors into the four model miniatures. I’ve removed the need for horrible tripods, which looked horrible and also created a real hazard in the dark. Having removed that I’ve now got everything attached or concealed to each piece, whilst hopefully they will be fire safe too. They are all secure and well ventilated allowing them to project the slow-motion violence into the spaces. They may no longer consume them. but they are more intimate which can only add to t he miniature aesthetic.
Onto today’s piece I quickly set on where the project would go, It wasn’t going to be hidden in the double bed. For once it was going to be suspended well raised above and attached to the a wall. The fixing had to be right for everything to work, otherwise it would be loose and dangerous. I was careful when even trying the projector in its final position. Angling and support were the first things to get right. The angling was achieved and ensured with five pieces of lattice that sit below the shelf.
Once those criteria were met I moved onto securely holding the projector above adding ventilation and allowing easy access to the ports/buttons. Once this was sorts I could fix in place, and work on the hidden pocket that concealed the media player within the plinth. I finished the day by returning to the first model miniature and hiding the supports in the bar, boxing out the bar before I got the paint out to begin work on the new features that I want to be seen as part of the pieces, whilst others will be left bare. I’m still not happy with the structure I made yesterday, it maybe completely redesigned before it’s fixed in place. Even though I have begun painting it, that won’t stop me.
Next time it will be all about making the new plinth and carrying on the painting of the new pieces which then allow new tests to be carried out.
We’re into the final half of the Easter holiday and I’m doing well. With a structure in place to hold the projector for the Japanese model. One that I am beginning to have second thoughts about now. However I need to see how it looks once painted. Part of me is not used to such a massive change that from the view I’ve been looking at to be obstructed. It wasn’t an easy decision after looking at all the possible positions for the projector to site. I was prepared to construct a bar for it to sit with in at an angle.
The construction of the piece was pretty straight forward once I got the initial height to build a base which I could then adapt, cutting into and repositioning to allow the projection to dramatically fall onto the back wall. The position of the piece now means that a new plinth’s required too. Working with the base, to consider the ventilation I worked in a lattice pattern that would also look interesting and allow the viewer to see within to what is slightly hidden – maybe that’s a fair compromise that I need to accept here.
Now all I have to do is paint and more than likely fix in place ready for presentation. I’ll make a start on a new plinth once all the projector positions have been sorted and painting is underway. Laying the groundwork with new tracking in place. I’ll be making use of the old one to make a start on the new. I have also been looking at added a line of cardboard around the interior of the bar in yesterday’s model miniatures to hide the additions, I’ll paint all the new additions too that sit within the model. The first one I’ll leave bare as its external. Lastly I have the biggest and most interesting model to work with. I’m not sure where the project will go. I have a lot of space to place with too.
We are half-way through the Easter Holiday and I also half-way through adapting my model miniatures to hold the projectors within them in some shape or form. After weighing up my options for this one – the saloon from Unforgiven (1992) I decided to conceal it within the saloon bar itself. Which took some time to figure out, after carefully removing the bar, I began to look at the angle and how to then secure it in place. Whilst also allowing the image to come through the bar unaffected. Also considering the ventilation which runs through under the base and straight outside again.
Once the projector was secure I had to consider the bar itself, how do I keep it secure, yet lose. I decided on a system on cardboard strips that would run around three sides of the bar on in the interior, so that it slides over the top, holding it in place.
Again I made some necessary cuts to the plinth for the cabling, with the addition of the media player pocket, which will be a standard part of all of the modifications. I’m pleased with how this one has turned out and the creative thinking which went into make the. This new method will really free up the presentation, only restricted by the length of power cable which is easily resolved.
Next up I’m hoping to work on the Japanese piece, to conceal it would be hard under the raised floor, causing more work than I really want. Also the positioning of the projector (which I am think will be overhead) could potentially change the plinth it sits on too, as it currently sits on it’s side. All come make more sense when I return to the studio.
I’ve got four days off during the Easter break and my intention is to make use of them at the studio. During the week I had some ideas for how to contain the projector within the model miniatures. Taking the sketches with me I had a few options – 1 a bar across the top of the pieces with a secured and angles projector above, positioned into the work. 2 – angled below and also secured in place and 3 – a concealed projector within the piece, which I drew up sketches of where they could potentially go based on each piece.
All being very unique I have decided to work with each one alone, allowing me to focus better on them. I began with The Great Silence saloon, moving the projector around the space, looking at the possibilities before deiced what was best. With this one I went with option 2. With some new cardboard I found at work, which is surprisingly strong 1ply card, I began to construct a case that is individually tailored to the model, the angle of the projectors and the distance. I have made the decision that this should be the method used for all of them. The case considers all necessary ports and ventilation to reduced the risk of fire. The real test will be to leave the pieces on for an extended period of time to see how they work and will withstand.
Concerning the cables I have made a small cut into the plinth and also made a pocket/shelf to holder the media player inside the plinth. I think this will be a standard piece, whilst the option for the projector will vary. I’m happy with how well it’s gone, something I’ve not done (securing kit with cardboard) since my degree show piece. So far it’s going well, the real test will come when I have to conceal as I’ll probably have to repaint or remake sections. It’s nothing I can’t handle, I’m confident that it will turn out well.
It’s been an interesting day in the studio. I now have kit that makes the set-up a lot easier, which allowed me to focus on what’s going on in the work it self and not lose time. I began by editing the other pair of videos, however I might hold back on that idea as I’ve been advised as much as I wanted the clips of slow motion violence to play consecutively, if both pieces are not started together then an overlap will eventually build up. There is a piece of kit that is available, however as I have done with all my work, I want to keep it simple. At least for now I have the method of how to approach this technique. However I might re-edit them.
During that process I was trimming down both test videos to so both show more or less clips of violence, even re-timing them in places. I’ll again re-time them to have similar breaks in-between each reaction to violence. Today I went back to an earlier edit, which I feel works to get an idea.
Looking forward I discussed the presentation with another artist in the studio who suggested that the projectors I am using could be concealed, this would work for two reasons. One if the work was shown in a lit space I need to still have the image visible. concealing the projector within the model miniature would ensure the image is not lost. I would however lose the blanket projection over the model. All of the models can potentially hide a projector, if I made the decision and began to make cuts, it’s a change that I can’t reverse. Two it would also remove what is becoming a nasty site to see, the projectors on tripods takes up a lot of room. If they are worked into the model miniature, I can hide the wires (and lose the blue light from the media player. It’s something I need to investigate.
I’m also looking at projector boxes to do the same job of concealing the wires but not concealed in the model miniature. Either option means more work, the concealing is more appealing, and would make the work more versatile. I’m leaning towards that making them more unique, not relying on external pieces, keeping it within the model miniature is a fun idea.