A day later than I expected to share my studio update, deciding to spend time with my family instead. I have however made a lot of progress though with my latest model miniature. The main element that I wanted to complete was the balustrades on the balcony and stairs. Which went better than expected. It was hard at times, working with such a confined model, which I am starting to regret that now. Still its taking shape and I let those four boxes I placed determine the scale and I have to accept that.
With the balustrades complete I turned to starting the furniture which I will again have to keep loose due to the confined space I’m working in. Due to the design of the set – being Japanese I have made the majority of one wall is fixed together on one piece of card, a doorway, a cabinet and 3 long rows of shelves.
Lastly I noticed during the days working whilst looking through my screenshots, that I had missed a dimension of the model miniature. What I thought was just a more confined area alongside the doorway. In short I need to make a minor extension to one side to allow seats to be installed. I’ve already drawn up where I want to cut into. I’m only adding another section to where it’s needed, I wont be altering the upstairs. It will however changed the exterior of the piece which will be reinforced with what it fast becoming a signature look of these models.
It’s been a testing day in the studio today. I think its down to the scale of the model miniature now under construction. It’s a very confined and built up piece around the edges. With stairs at the front which is never a good thing to have. Usually my stairs are either are set against making it easier to work with them. Today I’ve had to add the other rail which is on the inside the rail. Both sides have proved to be hard to produce. It’s all down to the angling and height of the stairs.
Moving on from the stairs I focused on the balcony, which I have fleshed out today, making the raised floor appear to be stronger. Whilst also adding the bare structure of the rails in-place, I’ll be adding the posts made from balsa next time. Then down below I can make a start on the other details, there’s a lot of shelving and box tables to make, which will probably take shape later this month or October currently.
I can now share with you the footage I shot at the weekend. You can see how much I want and do explore the first test, there’s more going on and it shows in what I have to work with.
I could easily leave this model miniature in its present state, and not positioning it at an angle. I need to see if its possible to achieve first.
It’s be another busy day in the studio, starting with two tests which I feel have brought a nice close to that model miniature. Taking the frames I made yesterday and temporarily fixing them to the model miniature. Firstly the two tests which I did in reverse order, the larger then smaller frame. I knew that as soon as I fixed the larger one in place it created a presence in the space that draws in the audience to look and explore the work. Posting my progress today on Instagram, a term was suggested – video diorama that really does fit this work in it’s present form. I could apply this same method to the other piece I’ve finished, even returning to the smaller model – something I’ll have to decide later.
The smaller frame was really disappointing after such a reaction from the larger frame. It just did very little except to create some interest and neatens up that side of the work. There’s no draw to the work with frame. All I can say is that it allowed me to get to where I am now with the work. I am still thinking about the angled based to raise it around 30-45 degrees. I can use the central base support as a starting point.
Moving back up-to the studio I made a really good start to the latest model miniature which I was concerned about for a time, using 1ply cardboard instead of 2ply which I’m used it. Thanks to the 4 boxes that I grouped together last time it has really weighed it down, making it much stronger and heavier. I also used the cardboard strips to hold the walls together. I spent most of my time working on the stairs leading to the balcony, which I made flush with another piece of card before finishing for the day. I will add the trim around the top before completing the balcony all away around. I just need to consider that this will have a completely different design – being Japanese. I must admit I am very excited to attempt making a ceiling light which I would like to suspend somehow. A detail I will leave until later on.
I’ll be sharing video documentation later on in the week.
This work is turning into a really interesting one that is ever evolving and I am letting it do just that. I began today making preparations for more tests with The Hateful 8 model miniature which I am excited to see in action. Making two frames which reach the length of the opening on the model. The first smaller piece reminded me of a frame I made in art-school for a series of Photographic sketches which allowed me to capture and frame quick set-ups with my models in the studio. The second frame makes use of almost a whole sheet of cardboard, with an opening in the card for the frame. The aim is to see how it can block off the model miniature from above to direct the viewers attention to the view finder. If either are successful I would have to permanently fix them to the piece. However I am still being won over by other test where I projected directly into it whilst on it’s side. I am also considering constructing a triangular piece that would sit under the model to position it at angle to change things even more.
Moving onto my third model miniature of this work has already started to take shape. This time letting 4 boxes I took home from a previous job have come in very useful. I remember having my eye on them in the office, wanting to take them home once they became free. I knew there was some potential for them in some shape or form. I took 4 to my workbench/desk to work with, letting them determine the size of what I was about to start. It’s something I’ve never done before, let a box determine the direction of the work. I’ve adapted certain pieces before, yet not this loosely. After sealing them and fixing them in place I cover gum taped sections before covering over two sides, which I believe will be in view when the model miniature is completed. Lastly I added some steps to the raised floor before I ended the day.
It’s been a very satisfying day, with quick tests to coming next time I will then continue with my new model miniature. had the start of a very angular Japanese model underway.
I’ve had a really successful day, all the build-up has not been for nothing. With my latest test video and model miniature ready to bring together. Setting up was pretty easy, now I know what is required and having the cut-away I was ready to get testing. I had to remember early on to slightly angle from above the video into the model than just directly in. This allows for a smoother entry into the model miniature. I knew the coverage wasn’t going to be full with this method, I had to position the projector into the far corner to make the best of it. Having a letter box aesthetic which I have only just realised. I could build a view finder to enhance this idea and test again.
The next test was far more satisfying, even if it looks like a few steps back in terms of progression. When the model miniature was place on it’s side, I had to re-position the projector and the tripod. It fitted naturally in between the beams, which I took full advantage of. This didn’t have the same feel of just being a mini outdoor cinema, projecting into a confined space at an angle is really interesting to look at. It’s an unexpected result from today’s tests. The potential to be explored by the viewer is increase. Not only do they have to encounter the footage, the imagery its the presentation that allows you to get in closer to it, to really move the body around to see what the model is. It forces you to interact. Now is this what I want? It does draw in the viewer which is always a plus. I’m also thinking about the presentation of the other models. I will have to adapt the projector to the model, not the other way around. Admittedly this one has been designed that way, but can be rectified once I decide how to present this piece.
As I reflect and wrap things up for the day I am considering testing a few more ideas out for this one next time, such as increasing the height/angle – the letterbox idea. If I go ahead the second of today’s tests that I would have to seal off the corner, which is a few more weeks work. To round off the day I have shared below a refined video of the days tests to view.
By the time this post has been published it will most likely be 3/9/17 – Still the days events will be from yesterday. I began the day wanting to re-enforcing the base of the model miniature. Before I even removed the masking tape that was holding the posts in place when I first fitted them.
That has proved successful allowing me to move forward to the painting which took about an hour to complete. Before I even started it was mentioned to me by another artist in the studio on the current position of the work – the main body was sitting on it’s side, it was interesting for them. This stayed with me, I was intrigued to see how I could work this into what I was doing.
With the painting complete I decided to start documentation for the day when that thought had to be satisfied. With only the false walls fixed in place I thought about fixing all the furniture in place, allowing me to have one complete object. Placed on one of my cardboard tables I can now project he test video through either the corner I have cut away or directly into it from above – whilst on it’s side.
This gives me scope to see how two possible tests could go, I’ll project as I had intended (through the corner) and take it from there. Whilst also seeing how I could manipulate from above.
I also made a start on the researching the Japanese model for the sword fight in Yurusarezaru mono (2013). As I suspected it will be pretty angular, I have decided already where to cut into the piece. Whilst also having a ceiling and working on a suspended light which hangs from the ceiling, a lamp that is squashed square box that is hung from the ceiling. I am also thinking about using paper maybe for some parts. It’s early days so far. I’m hoping to make a start next weekend at the earliest with this one.
A flying visit to the studio today, which was enough time to achieve everything I set out to. I have now painting the beams, whist also replacing the posts in the middle of the model miniature, I found that during the painting process they were coming loose. I believe it’s down to the surface below, which was not as stable. Meaning that fresh pieces had to be cut and fixed in position. Hopefully these should be the last as I am running very low on that type of balsa. Then I should be able to paint the posts and get onto the testing again.
I also replaced and re-pointed one of the posts in the model miniature I exhibited which I found was far smaller than the other one. Hopefully that will improve the look of the model when projecting again. I’ve also started to consider how the second model miniature for the Unforgiven (2013) piece will look. It will possibly be more geometric and multilayered, definitely a challenge I want to take on.
After yesterdays show, which gave me a brilliant opportunity to exhibit Painting the Town. I have had chance to consider where the work is going in terms of presentation and the forms it will take.
I believe that I should carry out some structural changes to the model I exhibited, I’m not happy with how the false ceiling is leaning in. It should be held up with taller posts, so that’s something I need to amend next time I’m in the studio. Also I felt that as much as I like the relationship between both the original Unforgiven (1992) and the Japanese remake Yurusarezaru mono (2013), playing after one another, the relationship in the one model miniature, which is the saloon from the original, the images from the first film have a stronger relationship. It’s the space in which they took place in. If I want to have the remake to really work, it needs its own space. I am essentially replaying action from another film into a space that has little connection beyond the title and premise. I’m interested in the relationship between the two films and that between Westerns and the Samurai which goes back to the 1950’s at least. I am considering making a model of the set from the Japanese film and testing out the footage that it comes from. I could also have the original too. This is taking it beyond the Western, the films relationship with others is telling me what to build.
In terms of Minnie’s Haberdashery, I will be continuing when I am next in the studio, the posts/beams are ready to paint, so I can potentially test next weekend at the earliest. I have been considering looking at the Spaghetti Western – The Great Silence (1968) which is thought to be a strong influence on The Hateful Eight (2015). I need to see the film first to understand for myself what is going on. Plus I have already chosen the scene from the Tarantino film which will force me to look for an equivalent scene in the Italian film. Again it’s the relationship between the films, all linking back to High Plains Drifter (1973) and the phrase “Painting the town red” in Melton Mowbray (1837).
With these four films I could have potentially twin pieces working in spaces together, four projectors. The violent imagery of each one playing simultaneously or consecutively. It’s reaching a point where I can see something happening, a show maybe, even with two pieces. It’s very exciting.
Work in progress – Painting the Town… (2017) part of Summer Art Thread (2017) at LCB Depot, Rutland Street, Leicester, UK. 26/8/17.