Presenting my final piece

 

My main inspiration for setting up my final piece was of the Giants Causeway due to the hexagonal prism plinths. However, there are artist that have also influenced me. If you look at a previous blog post I had messaged artist Sue Hotchkis asking her about the ways in which she displayed her work. Mainly her work is hung by a gallery wall and this looks really effective as you can see white space around the piece making all the textural elements stand out.

I also took inspiration from Marjolein Dallinga a contemporary textiles artist who works with felt. I particularly like the “Bloomfelt forest” work she has created. A lot of this work is centred and surrounded by white space in a gallery setting. I want to centre my plinths in the room so that the piece can be considered from all angles. Her 3d felt pieces stand alone and due to them having space around them it allows the viewer to consider the piece from all angles and appreciate the artwork.

In addition, I took some inspiration from artist Dana Barnes who has casted shapes that she displays in a gallery setting. Each cast has space around it allowing a viewer to walk around her artwork and interact with it. This is something I really like so when doing sketches of my set up I have considered this. I have also thought about creating an impact by adding height. Refer to my sketchbook for plans of my outcome.

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Dana Barnes / Studio

Ideas for presenting my final outcome from looking at her artwork.

Dana Banes is another artist who has influenced me greatly during my FMP. Similar to Dallinga I found her through Pinterest and then found her personal blog and website. She has created work inspired by rocks and lichen and this is the work I can connect to most and relate to.

A lot of her projects are based around texture and space. When looking at the work she did using lichen it has clear connection to the ideas that I am exploring.

I made my plinths inspired by the volcanic eruption which made the giants causeway. Through my project I have found more interest in the way that growth occurs on everything from rocks, to lampposts to trees, growths form.

From looking at her blog and her artwork you can see that she is influenced by architecture and the natural environment. I particularly like the way she displayed her art work about lichen using the rocks in the studio space and then casting elements adding real life to the pieces using growing lichen they look really effective. The colours she has used reflect the outside world which is also something I wanted to demonstrate when making my final piece.

She creates very textural compositions and you can see that she works in an experimental way from her sketching to actually creating a piece.The presentation of her work from studio to exhibition is interesting in exhibition space she has hung many of the pieces and this is giving me ideas about my presentation by adding height it adds another dimension to the viewer. It gives a better idea on scale but additionally it can make the viewer feel something. Things that are larger scale can look imposing and be quite intimidating when looking at her work on her blog these are the feelings I get. I don’t want my work to be huge and have an imposing feel but it is interesting to see.

B, Dana. Dana Barnes Studio. Available: http://www.danabarnesstudio.com/projects. Last accessed 14 May 2017.

Majolein Dallinga Bloomfelt (secondary research) Inspiration for final outcome

When creating my final piece, I wanted to explore more artist that work with a textiles medium. As I was looking at felt making and weaving I came across Majolein Dallinga on pinterest. I then began to look a little deeper and found her website which shares images of all her current work. You can see from her imagery and her pieces that they are inspired by the natural world that surrounds us. What I like most about her work is that she includes her pieces back in the nature that she took the inspiration from. She has photographed them really well in what you would imagine to be their natural environment.

If I had more time on my project this is something I would have liked to explore, I think it would be interesting to take my felt pieces into the local woodland and capture them amongst other growths. Due to the time frame this would not be possible but it is potential for the future.

I like Dallingas outlook on her medium this quote is taken from her website

“Felting is an ancient technique which allows unlimited freedom in the creative process which demanding very limited mechanical intervention such as weaving in a loom.”

Which I completely agree with from using both processes in my final outcome you definitely have more freedom with felting as it is easy to manipulate and shape.On her website I am particularly interested in the “Sculptures” section this part of the gallery is where most of her 3d felt making is shown. I am fascinated by the way she shapes and manipulates the felt in order to make it appear like a real life form. The colours she uses and the techniques she has learnt are evident in the outcomes, I like how in her felt pieces she almost blends colours together like you do with paint. The work is finished to a high standard and she has photographed them well.

I particularly like how she has displayed her work in gallery space as well and this has given me ideas for presentation. I like how they look as if they are growing upwards and start on the floor. I additionally like the ones which have been hung as they add another dimension to the piece.

I have also looked on her blog she shares imagery of the things which fascinate her many of them are of the natural world. Her blog has also given me ideas on how to present work and how to talk about artwork as well.

Below is a video where she has put her artworks into the environment , I find this really interesting. If the time frame wasn’t so tight for my final piece deadline this is something I would explore. There is still potential left in my work and this is something I want to try  in the future.

 

Dallinga, M. (2012). Bloomfelt . Available: http://www.bloomfelt.com/blog/. Last accessed 15 May 2017.

Bloomfelt: Blooming forest. (2016). (Video) United Kingdom: Majolein Dallinga

Final Piece additions / Primary research

From idea to design

All my felt pieces where inspired by the images I had taken of my local woodland & Cumbria. Over the walls of my plinths I wanted to include the idea of stacked mushrooms growing beside it. For this, I would have to add wire to the felt in order for it to stay structured and remain horizontal. I attached these felt pieces with staples. Underneath I added wire which I wove into the wool to make the felt more stable. In my opinion this is the most successful pet of my final piece , I think it looks really effective as it looks as if they’re growing out of the side. I used cream and green wool that I blended into each other as often when you see mushrooms in nature they are turning white.

The images I took of the growth in Cumbria by the side of a rotting tree trunk fed my inspiration for my felt pieces. This growth had appeared near our caravan over night almost ! It is a really strong structure and has accents of bright colour yellows and oranges whilst it’s still relatively new to its environment. All through my felt making I have carefully selected colours to reflect those that you find in nature. The way that the mushrooms are layered gives a really interesting look to the piece. I wanted to recreate this within my final piece.

What was successful about making this out of felt is that felt is easy to manipulate. I gathered the felt using stitch to make it appear to have folds and creases like the mushrooms have in life. Using the wire allowed me to manipulate the shaping of each piece.

Setting up my exhibition

 

Setting up the show I tried many different arrangements I wasn’t happy with the first arrangement I tried as the sides of the plinths were too bare and I didn’t feel like it looked that effective. Also working and setting up in the studio was quite challenging due to other students setting up at times I didn’t feel as though I had the space to work effectively and do my piece justice. I waited at times for the studio to become quieter in order for me to work more effectively by having the space to be able to look and reflect on my work. By reflecting on my work it allowed me to see that the positioning wasn’t doing my piece justice.

I then explored with moving the plinths and creating smaller & and bigger spacing in between. After trying out different compositions I decided to place the plinths closer together like the giants causeway were each hexagon column is next to each other. I then decided with working on the left section and building it up. I put all the felt pieces in colour order I wanted to show the contrast between the colours starting from brown and blending to green. As I started building up areas of felt I took photos and stepped away from the piece to see what was working effectively. I used masking tape to attach the felt to begin with this allowed me to easy manipulate the piece and change the placement of the individual pieces. I then added the weave to the plinth and by adding wire it allowed me to easily change the shape of the piece allowing it to look more natural. I placed felt pieces over parts of the weave in order for the separate textile pieces to work in harmony together. I think this worked really effectively as the two do work together due to the carefully selected colours and shape I chose when making the pieces.

The felt pieces that I had made that where 3D I stuffed with bubble wrap and carded wool so that they hold their shape more. I then added yarns to this when I was happy with their positioning and made it look as though they were spilling out. By using brightly coloured yarns in some of the 3D pieces it allows the viewers eye to be attracted to different areas of the piece.

I then using filament wire hung my muslin piece above the tallest plinth and manipulated into looking as if it was coming out of the piece.

Once I was happy with the full piece I added felt beads to areas as decoration but also to look at though they where growing out of sections. Some of the larger felt beads I stitched to felt pieces to lee them in place. Others I used velcro in order to keep the beads in place but also make it discrete to give a high finish for the exhibition.

After much manipulation and experimentation with composition I am really happy with the final outcome. Seeing it in the exhibition space gives the piece the space it needs to be understood and looked at. If there was more time I still feel that the piece has a lot of potential to be explored in different environments , I feel although my project is coming to an end it still has potential and over summer I plan to try out the ideas I have.

Final Touches to Final Piece

Embellishing Muslin

Using muslin as part of my final piece , I decided to buy a meter of muslin from college for £2 it’s fine fabric and therefore perfect for embellishing. I decided in my final piece when designing the set up that it would look more interesting to have a hanging element to give the viewer the idea of my felt / weave piece starting from the floor and growing upwards. This would add height and create another dimension to the piece.

With the muslin being a fine fabric it allowed me to distress the material quite easily so I burnt some of the fabric and ripped it in places as well. I did this because then it could become a growth in its own right I didn’t want it to just look like a meter of fabric hung above my piece. To the piece I embellished carded wool of the colours used in my piece again with areas of brighter colour. I then attached felt beads which I made to the piece. This is so it connects with my final piece visually. But also because the felt beads add a 3D texture to the fabric making it look like there is areas of growing form coming out of it. Although the images are shown on a mannequin this piece will be hung above my plinths , this was to show development of the piece and how it could potentially be used. The mannequin also allows you to see how and where the piece has been embellished.

To hang the muslin I used filament wire this is so the viewer will not be able to see this creating more drama to the piece.

Overall I am really happy with the way the muslin worked. I chose to buy the cream muslin over the white muslin as I felt it fit more with the colours within my piece.

Before hanging in my exhibition I thought that the piece could be used as a garment I explored this idea on the mannequin to experiment with this. I think it looked really effective my wrapping it and draping it around the mannequin it added layers. I used pins to create folds and rippled areas. I think this looked really effective. However I didn’t want to create a fashion outcome this could be something I come back to in the future. I still think there is still potential within some of the elements to my final piece.

Upscaling felt for final piece

For my final piece I am using felt as my main material which I have bought online from World of Wool. I have bought different amounts of the different colours my main colour is a cream for the base layer I have 800g of this colour I have bought a 100g of shades of greens , browns and greys. I have also bought yarns and Saari silk from etsy and ebay. All my receipts are in the back of my sketchbook.

I am making my own felt pieces that I will construct from mohair wool fiber and will assemble them over the plinths to make them appear as if they are growing. I have been mainly inspired to make this piece by my interest in the natural world and how the natural world grows all around us without us really noticing.

I have been inspired by Antony Gormley after reading the book LAND his figures each day are ever changing due to weathering, erosion, the sea etc. I am fascinated by the way our natural world attacks what we put out there. I am interested in moss and lichen and the ever changing woodlands and this is mainly what my piece will be about. I have sampled some small 3d felt pieces and some flat pieces they will be attached to larger pieces and I will build layers in order to create the look I am desiring. However, in order to complete this look I need to go bigger and work bigger. Felt when making it naturally shrinks it is a quite unpredictable material to work with and you can never guarantee  the size it will be after wet felting.

The process

Making felt is time consuming firstly you use hot soapy water this is so the felt fibres attach together it makes the bonds strong. You need bubble wrap a woven cloth and towel. I start by selecting the colours used for the chosen piece I have used a lot of materials to mould around such as bottles, cups bowls to create shape. I have been working on my felt pieces for 2 weeks. I start by laying the fibers down over the shape and then adding yarns and materials to add additional colour and texture. Then adding soapy water and then you start by rubbing the felt using the cloth once it begins to mould you then roll and apply harder pressure to the felt so it “felts up”. Each piece roughly takes between 15-20 minutes.

Adding to the process

I plan to manipulate the felt after using the embellishing machine to add fibers and yarns to the felt. Also I plan to gather some of the felt adding pleats and folds. At the beginning of the project I looked at Issy Miyake the designer uses pleates and folds and you can see the correlation in the garments and the natural world. By adding pleats and folds to some of my felt pieces it will add more texture a better surface quality and give the effect of underneath a mushroom / tree bark.

What problems have I faced?

When making the felt it can be really tiring as you have to use a lot of pressure and rubbing of the felt to make it work. Additionally, some of the pieces have not held in position of a 3d form this is because I did not felt it correctly by molding it round the shape at the beginning. To rectify this, I have added starch by making a starch solution with my technician using a powder and adding water by putting the felt piece back around the shape it was meant to be and wetting with the solution. The starch has made the felt solid so that it stays in shape and holds and looks really effective.