Sunday, 5 September 2010

Exposing the invisible

I have just watched a really interesting lecture on Ted Talks by Nick Veasey.

Nick uses x-ray machines to take pictures of anything from large machinery, nature and normal everyday things.

I was shocked to find he is literally suffering for his art because he has been exposed to radiation on two occasions, but despite the dangers the results he can achieve are truly outstanding. He gets under the surface and shows us the beauty and complexity of anatomy in a way we have never seen before.

The painter and the pendulum

Tom Shannon is an artist who merges science, nature and art together to create fascinating works of art.

He uses a pendulum with an elaborate remote control device to control the flow of the paint on the canvas once gravity takes over.

He first started experimenting with pendulum painting back in the 1970's.

Tom Shannon: The painter and the pendulum | Video on

Seasons Animation

Here is a short animation I collaborated on entitled 'Seasons'. We used oil paint on glass and used cut outs to create the changing season.

Exquisite Corpse

Here is a piece I did for a brief last year called the Exquisite Corpse.

For the brief we were asked to form a small group and pass round pieces of paper which we each wrote an adjective, noun or verb. These words would then form the basis of our corpse or Le Cadavre.

The words I chose for my corpse were:

  • Rapidly
  • Dead Rat
  • Hammer
  • Nicely
  • Bouncy
  • Hat
My inspiration came largely from Lou Beach an amazing collage artist, whose artwork can be very surreal much like the work of Terry Gilliam.

Las Meninas: Swaps

Thumbnail sketches of ideas for my response to 'Ghost'.

I was playing with the idea of an adolescent going through the change of puberty and tried to capture how they might feel.

I decided to take the face from Ron Mueck's sculpture and fade a portion of it out to create a ghostly image and the other half of her face was meant to be a butterfly mask showing her transition from awkward adolescent to a beautiful young woman. I liked the idea of having her appear out of a cocoon like a genie in a bottle.

Las Meninas: Part 4

Ron Mueck

Ghost 1998

Fibreglass, silicon, polyurethane foam, acrylic fibre and fabric
unconfirmed: 2019 x 648 x 991 mm

This was the winning sculpture for our summer project and for me one of the most intriguing of the 3.

Mueck is a master of super realistic sculpture. Ghost depicts a 7ft tall adolescent girl who stands against the wall with the look and posture of unease.

Was she uneasy because she was uncomfortable with the way she looked?

Was it because she was made to stand there like a freak with everyone pointing and staring at her?

Or was it that she was going through the change of puberty and just wanted to get the hell out of there?

These questions gave me a good starting point for the visual response.

Las Meninas: Part 3

Reg Butler

Girl on a Round Base 1968-72

Bronze, paint, glass and hair
overall: 815 x 1575 x 1092 mm, 271.5 kg

Butlers sculpture was one of a collection of 4 made in collaboration with his partner Rosemary and was taken from Francis Bacon's paintings of reclining figures. As in Bacon's paintings her face and body looked unusual and took on a futuristic appearance which wouldn't be out of place in a science fiction film. This piece made me feel slightly uneasy, I think because of the expressionless face and dead eyes.

Las Meninas: Part 2

Germaine Richier

Shepherd of the Landes 1951
Cast 1996 in bronze.

The Shepherds in the Landes region in the south of France used to use stilts to help them see over the areas of scrub and marshland where their sheep grazed (taken from the Tate website).

I found this sculpture fascinating! The shepherd took on an almost alien form like something from the film 'Close Encounters' the face was deformed and which ever way I looked at it it seemed to have a different expression. Many of Richier's work features characters that take on part human part animal form. "My figures are original beings. Original and independent - that's what sculpture should be for me"