This final piece displays a contrast between two materials that both have a connotation towards skin. The piece as a whole was inspired by the anatomical differences between male, female and intersex. The main focus for my sculpture was the piece of skin that intersex females are born with, it prevents penetration as it is stretched over the opening of the vagina and wideing tools plus reconstruction are used to rectify it. I began to focus on this specific part as I personally saw a beauty within it, it’s a piece of skin that shows no mercy and is a small barrier between what is male and what is female. When creating this piece, I wanted to depict the natural flexibility of it therefore I chose a material that would naturally mould a shape but yet be able to be interacted with by the public. I wanted the sculptures to be confrontational in a way by suggesting there is beauty in something that medical establishments and society want to erase and control. The fact that without context the audience where unable to guess what my work was about was unintentional but something I encouraged. I wanted them to build a relationship with my piece, whether that be by touching it, smelling it or taking photos with it they are building a relationship with something that society find repulsive and “unnatural.” They are also unintentionally disagreeing with medical establishments who regard it as an abnormality, which in turn therefore feel they have a right to poke and prod to remove.
The inspiration for my art work came from many artsists, the concept for my art was mainly derived from Egon Shiele paintings, I found the raw portrayal of sexuality intense yet aesthetically pleasing I also found the paintings to be very expressive something that I don’t really engage with in paintings. For the actual sculptural aspect of it I was inspired by the artist Maria Bartuszova, I felt that her work depicted the balance between freedom and confinement her actual work was made through the use of pouring plaster into moulds then moulding them however her works looked like they had been made freely.
Overall I was pleased with the outcome of my work however I would like to make changes, I would have made them so that they didn’t need the background material possibly a similar style to Helen Chadwick’s “Piss Flowers.” I would also try to make them on a bigger scale so that they can be interacted with to a larger degree, I would possibly even consider hanging them from ceilings so that the audience would be able to weave in and out of them to encourage a strong physical relationship between artwork and piece. Despite the changes I would like to make I am still pleased with the outcome that I will use as my starting point for my summative piece.
Alternating the height of each one really made a difference as i feel not only did it look better aesthetically, it also made it more interactive which is something that i wanted. I wanted the audience to be able to feel it and smell it, i wanted a relationship to be built between them, throughout the evening a lot of people asked me what it actually was and once id explained they seemed to have a completely different idea however i was not bothered by this because my whole piece is looking at the beauty of not conforming and that is something my piece excelled in ; displaying beauty that is unconventional.
Installing was a bit of a challenge, At first attempt i tried to display them in a straight line however it really unsettled me that they were not even and equal and the central point was all off. Therefore after some deliberation with Kirsten we decided that instead of decreasing the background fabric in size as it would just stretch out again over the course of the evening ,i would try and display it in a diagonal way.
At this point in the project i knew exactly what i wanted to do, i wanted to paint but with material. i wanted to create paintings that could be hung on a wall but simultaneously be sculpture based therefore i need to create a canvas. However i wanted something neutral therefore i wanted a material such as faux leather to create an aesthetic of skin on skin contact.
When choosing material i needed to consider that this material must have an element of not only durability to be able to hold weight that would essentially be perturbing from it, but it also must be able to stretch so that it could be easily nailed into the wall.
I went to Fabric world and decided on a lino type material as it would be able to retain shape, hold weight and also be able to withstand heat that would come from not only a hairdryer but also a hot glue gun.
I bought a meter of this material and also 7 bottles of latex, this ended up being quite a high percentage over budget however after much research i realised this was the best material i could use.
This week we visited space gallery in hackney, we were presented with an empty space where we all had to decide where we would go,how we would transport our work and how all our works correlated with each other and we also had to set limits for how big our work could be and relate our works to issues we would face such as where the power sources were located, will the gallery allow us to hang heavy pieces of work due to their own health and safety rules.
We also had the issue of mediums as in some people where doing film where they wanted a dark space however for works such as paintings and sculptures some of us wanted bright and natural light therefore we all had to work together to agree on not only space but lighting equipment too. This was a really good experience as there was more to curating that i thought and also there is an aspect of relying on others, we all decided on what tech equipment we would need and who would transport it too and from the gallery.
I began by pouring latex in layers onto a plastic carrier bag to enable it to retain a shape, i began to learn that latex seemed to dry better when i allowed it to naturally dry when i was using a hairdryer to speed up the process it began to create lumps in the layer that would not dry and as i began to carve into them they would burst spreading fresh latex everywhere.
I also found that each one took about 20-30 layers to create the thick texture i wanted which became time consuming in addition to this i got the best results by enabling two days of natural drying time.
i also experimented with adding flour to the mixture to speed up thickening time however this created “flour lumps” that eventually became infused with bacteria and created mould.
Onto my latex sheets i drew out the photoshop creations then began to carve into them using a scalpel this was quite a delicate and time consuming task as if i cut to deep it would cause rips whereas if i didn’t cut deep enough it would only cause a slight scratch which was not the texture i intended.
As a whole each one took three days to create.