Category Archives: 03.7 Unit 2 experiments

Installation dry run II

The second stage of the installation testing was with the real map string, checking out how the quality of the real material (colours, textures, lengths) affect the nature of the display.

I tried out three different experiments with the hanging, using the closest height I could find to the show space. I found a ceiling about 3m high which is only 50cm or so lower than the space, so not too bad an approximation.

TEST ONE

Hanging as planned loose strings around a central core of 10 strings (those of “home”). I didn’t do much manipulation of how the strings fell, or how they unravelled on the floor.

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Pros: Like the organic vibrancy of the main section, which shows off the loose strings really well. The way each string has a different layout, as per each different memory which is being invoked, I very much like too

Cons: Top doesn’t work for me, nor do I think the core works very well. I really don’t like the floor layout, just too incoherent and confused.

 

TEST TWO

Making more of the core, and trying to rearrange the way the strings lay on the floor

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Pros: Interesting link to material history – ropes etc

Cons: Everything else. Don’t think this works at all.

 

TEST THREE

Going all the way into rope territory, twisting all of the map strings together into one laid up rope.

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Pros: Rope texture is lovely, and the gathering of the string at the bottom I think works really well.

Cons: Looses the natural organic interest when it is all twisted and you begin to loose part of the beauty of the map string – similar to how the construction of the weaving works.

 

Overall reflection 

I think it was an incredibly useful exercise in working through the tests with the real material, despite my concerns over the delicacy of using the strings. There was really no way I could risk doing this type of thinking live, under pressure, during the show build itself.

As a solution, I will do one more test, using a combination of the rope in test three (for the top section), the middle loose, natural hanging from test one (for the middle section), and the bottom from test three.

What remains now is how I intend to seal the ends and hang the rope in the show space. Current thoughts are twining all of the ends together and using wither a butchers hook against an eyelet on the ceiling, or somehow tying the ends of the rope onto a tension wire. Bridget suggested getting a sample of rope ends to test first before trying in the real space. I also need to figure out how to make something to rest my book on next to the installation, so people can see it better than if I lay it flat on the floor.

 

6 days until show build
22 days until the show opens

 

Installation dry run I

My first step (which was actually a few weeks ago now) was to gather a series of mock threads using a thick paper yarn to resemble the finished length map threads. I tested with 13 threads which was the number I had made at the time.

TEST ONE

Bunched at the top and tied to a tension wire, then just dropped – no untying or manipulating.

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  • Nice organicness to it
  • I like the way there is a number of different centres to it – does this imply a meaning where there is a home?
  • Nice to have a long stream from the back – but how practical is this in our show space
  • Does this look ok with a limited number of threads?

 

TEST TWO 

Taking test one and untangling, spreading apart roughly around the centre

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  • Don’t like this – looks untidy and overly-constructed.

 

TEST THREE

Bunched together as one strand completely

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  • Don’t like this either, although this may be not helped by the tightly coiled nature of the test threads – the real thing won’t twist quite like this

 

TEST FOUR

Making a core strand made up of maps of “home” twisted using the same technique as the individual yarns are made

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a) the stranded core is a lovely object in its own right, resembling a laid up rope. I could display this by itself?

b) adding outer threads to the core then dropping from the tension wire as per test 1. This core looks very good, but perhaps needs to be bigger?  Do I want more than one core, or will this be distracting once the threads are in colour?

 

TEST FIVE

Using double the number of threads – in this case testing with 26 threads.

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  • would this suit a second inner core? (another strand of self which is rooted in a set of places)
  • wrapping the inner core around the other threads works really well. Would this work with the heavier map paper yarns?
  • Which places should I pick out for the core – places which cannot be forgotten, places which cannot be lost – forever etched onto the facets of our self.
  • Would this piece look better with a book of poetry alongside?

 

TEST SEVEN

Is straight down the only option? What about hanging at both ends?

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  • would allow a more immersive display, people could walk around it
  • interesting where the shorter strands drop out of the main set of yarns
  • may be a good way of seeing the yarns close up
  • But is there any meaning associated with the second hanging?
  • Would you be able to tie this in a way which doesn’t look odd?
  • Does this type of hanging need significantly more threads to look good?

I am the Wordsmith

My poem for today:

I am the Wordsmith
(c) Angelique Talbot, Tuesday 12 April 2016

 

I am the Wordsmith
My name is carved into the heart of the mountain
The source of the river which feeds the world
White stone and black water
My words bleed through the earth and infuse the sky
Seeping into the edges of the universe and the void beyond

I am the Wordsmith, the keeper of keys
My name is carved into the heart of the world
With wind and water I craft dreams and desire
Bringing green to the summer lands
My words shake the skies and warp the earth
Twisting reality into infinite reflections of itself

I am the Wordsmith, awakened in darkness
My name is whispered in shadow
With fire and stone I bring chaos and pain
The night’s melody sung out across the sky
My words shatter the black into shimmering pearls
So to begin again the dance of the stars

Projection Mapping

I have had notes on this technique in my research folder since October 2014 – so it is with a little amusement that I finally get to dig them out now. I had originally been playing with the idea of lighting (before getting put off working in ceramics), where I wanted to project patterns onto the inside of paperclay tubes. This idea went nowhere, but it meant this long planted seed was already in place before coming across the projection mapping of poetry from last week’s blog.

I have followed this up a little more, and found some interesting examples of projection mapping onto sculpture – although this seems much less common than using stacks of weird shaped boxes, or projection onto large buildings. This example is pretty stunning:

The piece was created by creative agency Blow Factory and the woodwork was done by Caprinteria Tabares. What’s great about this is how the projection mapping exploits the wood grain and surface texture, resulting in beautiful movement of light and pattern.

So, to test this I have to work in a few stages – firstly, figure out how projection mapping works, then see how to animate my own calligraphy into video, and thirdly (and not insignificantly) decide upon the installation of threads to project onto…so, one thing at a time!

This was a basic test of the two techniques in my home studio using some open source software I found online (you can’t see in this still, but the handwriting is in fact animated)

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I did a few tests with projecting the images and words onto the threads. However, in order to get this to work, I need to manage the fact that they are….well, threads. As there are gaps between them, the projections will only be seen where there is more density or a solid surface, particularly if it is text. Now that I know I can handle the basics of the technique, the next task I think is to be sure I know what I want the threads to be like/represent before moving on.

The big question, before I get too deep to turn back, is this the right thing for the show?

Working Process show

Our pop-up work in progress show is now up in Camberwell Space Projects after a week or so of last minute prep. It looks really good, I’ve been quite impressed by the range of stuff on display – particularly since this is the first real show of work by the first years. No photos of the work yet, must get some next week.

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So in the end I put up two pieces, the mountain map and the sea weaving, alongside the two inspiration weaves/words. After testing I decided the pieces looked good on the wall – I think better than showing flat on a plinth or shelf. I got some useful minions to help me out too!

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Using the wall gave me a lot of options to play with angles and the view of both sides:

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Overall thoughts. The small pieces are nice, but I definitely want to do at least one big piece. I may not do three all the same size, but at least one work can be underway while I finalise the next two. Do I want to keep the threads loose at the back? This emphasises the two-sided nature of the map, and the excess of information which is lost in the view at the front (echoing the map versus the map legend). Does this become obvious though or does it just look untidy?

Map weaving III

I am currently feeling oddly optimistic about my final show plan. Perhaps because I have I think at last found a coherent way to bring my ideas into a manifest piece.

My plan is to show three pieces and some accompanying words in some form (book/essay perhaps). At the moment I have the ‘making plans’ for the first two pieces underway. The third piece is still undecided – I have two different ideas which I may need to do some tests on first before picking one. The accompanying book is a whole other ballgame…this is going to need some thought, but is at least a nice way to break up the stress of making so much yarn on my fingers!

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Map weaving II

So the map weaving continues. I finished what I think will be my final tests, based on the original idea for the map weaving – i.e. one large textured surface. As opposed to imposing some preplanned form onto the structure, I let this one be naturally shaped by the tension and making of the piece – so that this becomes shaped by my memories and experiences of the places.

Firstly, I re-did the weave of the sea maps:

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Then, I completed a new piece (which will be shown at the pop-up show) based on my mountain memories, the ups and downs of life, the building of character…

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I was really happy with the mountain map, it has come out with a lovely mix of colours and textures based on the qualities of the original maps: 9,230 square miles of UK mountain range. The shape of the weaving was done strictly on the grid (to keep the link with its origin as a grid map) but the tension changes gives it its lovely organic form. This is what I will do now as a much larger piece for the final show.

Now I know what I’m doing process wise, I can start planning out my pieces in detail. There are a number of key questions to ask now:

  • Finishing: do I leave the fringes or try to remove them?
  • Do I want to frame the final pieces?
  • Finalising how to shape the piece – based on topology of my memories or the place?
  • Keeping the decisions intentional: dictating the colour and form of the final pieces
  • How important are the labels and titles?
  • Do I make an accompanying essay/book/drawing to go alongside the pieces?

I know that I want it to be clear that the work is weaving, but not to make it explicitly a textile/basket form – i.e. so it just looks like a tapestry. This will be best served by covering up the fringe edges – either by process or by framing. One more test required here!

As to the shape, I need to decide what each of the pieces will be first and then plan out their shaping method and colouring pattern.

Lots to do!