Gap Crit– My Gap Critique not only allowed me to install my work in different environments but it also let me see others reactions to my work and how they felt towards it.
Pillows– In using a domestic object everyone can relate to for comfort, I found a way to project my ideas of the body into them. This made me want to create a narrative through domestic objects that everyone can relate to, altering the meaning of these objects.
Leaving the Figurative– Through leaving the figurative form I created globular forms which allowed me to express the sensation of being within the body rather than the visual form of the body.
Trip to Derby to see how to Build a Motor– Wanting to make a kinetic piece of art I went to Derby to meet up with an engineer to understand the building of motors. This gave me the knowledge I needed to design and create my own motor
Initial Tumour ideas– The tumour series is a piece which allowed me to channel my core emotions into my work. The development of the tumours helped me develop my skills in working with wax and other materials this helped with the making of “Phil” through the use of wax and wool to create its surface.
Cell XXVI Louise Bourgeois– This piece of work made me question how to capture the human form as a symbol of a mental state rather than a recognisable form.
Paul Thek- Meat Cables– Meat Cables allowed me to question ways of installing my work in different environments for example around the building, high up or low down to make the viewer question if they were intentionally left in these locations or abandoned by the artist.
Deleuze on Francis Bacon– In reading Deleuze’s philosophical readings of Francis Bacon’s work, this inspired me to infuse myself not just physically but mentally into my works of art.
The rubber hand experiment– This demonstrated to me how powerful art can be and challenged me to create a piece which we as an audience can feel our own sensations within.
This developing product by German designer Stefan Ulrich is a pillow that moves to the sensations of your body giving the realistic feeling of a body next to you. I stumbled upon this on the internet when I was looking for ways to create my motor for my breathing piece. Initally I was interested in the way this piece mirrored movements of the body however as I began to understand the piece it became more than just a moving pillow. The sensors on the pillow react to the slightest human touch using artificial muscle technology this piece moves realistically as a human body. This piece was made to cure loneliness and aid our emotional wellbeing.
The Designer states – “People already bury themselves in possessions and shield themselves from real life with technology. So if robots and objects can fulfill all their emotional needs as well, why do they need other humans?” (http://www.thewire.com/national/2010/11/robot-blob-pillow-will-cure-loneliness/18339/) Overall I feel that this design illustrates our need for human- like companionship and comfort against loneliness.
I saw this piece at the Venice Biennale in September and it was one of the first kinetic works of art that truly inspired me to explore the world of kinetic art. Trees pulled out of their roots were placed around the Pavilion outside and inside the gallery space these trees slowly moved around the spaces outside and in however the ones displayed outside had the most impact on me. Without knowing that these were a piece of art I didn’t give them my full attention, only when I saw them in the corner of my eye moving did I realise this was a piece of art. At first I was scared and shocked however I became intrigued on how it was made. The piece also had a sound element of rustling leaves which was really realistic. The artist’s intention for the piece was to be a reflection on the constantly evolving state of nature. By producing connections between natural and technological elements, the artist experiments with unpredictable relations between nature and culture.
Clare Chapman is a painter who paints obscure flesh-like pods oozing pus-like material out of them. These odd bulbous forms are painted with pastel pinks and reds making them feel at first very pleasant and inviting but when your eyes try to focus on to what is happening in each painting something has gone wrong within these bodily forms. They are about to burst or have already burst through their membrane through uncontrollable growth or something rotten within them. Overall these paintings are very fascinating reminding me of bodily tumours.
Robert Gober’s works of art suggest the body through the use of everyday objects transforming them into sculptures. Using a bag filled with a dense material he slouches it against the wall creating bodily folds and makes them permanent by using wax and resin to make a visual likeness to the human body. Gober adds human hair to the male torsos he makes to give the look of chest hair. Untitled, a torso of a male is slouched against a wall firstly looking realisting however under closer inspection the body shape is made out of an ordinary everyday bag. This work lends itself to ideas of body image and Freudian ideas about sexuality, memory and loss, themes which Gober also examines.
Within my work I am also investigating how to humanise everyday objects like the duvet I am shaping to become a globular, bodily form that breathes. Looking at the work of Gober is interesting for me as I can see not only his use of material to create realistic flesh but also how he transforms the everyday object to express the slouched form of the body.
Reshaping the human form, Hess is an artist who is mainly photography based. He photographs bodies encased in translucent fleshy membranes trying to push their way out. Representing a re-birth his work is powerful as it expresses the struggle of being confined to the flesh were are bound to. Depicting ideas of self and the world Hess is illustrating the internal body and the external world around us. Fascinating yet repulsive these works that remodel the silhouette of the human body allowing us to sense the emotional state of the subject.
Patricia Paccinini is an Australian contemporary artist that creates realistic new forms of life. Her sculptures are disturbing as they retain a similarity to the skin textures of humans. These odd unusual sculpture look like realistic species of a human hybrid that hasn’t been found or discovered. With big cartoon-like eyes the pieces contain a certain cuteness about them as well as being eerie and unnerving.
Gigi Barker creates skin-like covered seats that are infused with pheromones to create the sensation of sitting on human flesh. The silcone blobs take on the identity of human flesh and the smells that come out of them are human pheromones to enhance the viewers’ experience of the work. This furniture not only retains the texture and visual qualities of human skin but it also releases scents of the body when they are moved and sat on. In allowing her audience to interact with the artwork they can touch and fully engage themselves with the work. Recreating the sensation of sitting on a naked body might make some viewers uncomfortable. However by having the sensation of skin in everyday objects like seats, may enhance our everyday experiences like sitting down and feeling the sensation of another body may be beneficial for people suffering from loneliness.
Matthew Botvinick and Johnathan Cohen’s (1998) visual rubber hand illusion experiment consists of placing one of the subject’s hand out of their field of vision and placing a rubber hand in the position the hidden hand would naturally rest on the table in the view of the participant. Someone would then in sync stimulate both the hidden hand and the rubber hand, for example stroking the index finger. In doing this about 80% of subjects after 15 seconds of stimulation will begin to experience the rubber hand as if it is the subjects real hand. Even when the participant is visually aware that the rubber hand is fake, the brain adopts the rubber limb, by matching the visual with the tactile sensations coming from it. If the rubber hand is threatened the brain creates physiological protective responses as if it was the participants own hand being threatened.
This demonstrates that with minimal stimulation the mind can adopt a limb as if it were part of the body. The sensation of the body is extended to this inanimate object (the rubber hand). This experiment effectively demonstrates how the mind can be easily manipulated to feel their own sensations within an inanimate object that contains a manufactured representation on of a human limb. In our mind extending bodily sensations into object that merely represent the human form makes us have a heightened response to it as if it was our own body. When the rubber hand is threatened the mind responds in the same way which it would respond its own hand, this overactive response to an object as being an extension to oneself may allow us to further understand how we may feel our own bodily sensations within works of art that lend itself to bodily sensations. I want my degree show piece to have a bodily presence that allows its audience to feel their own sensations through it.
Dongwook Lee is a sculptor of hyperrealistic miniature forms of people encased in syringes and pill packets. His figures are often nude and are on the scale of insects giving them a grotesqueness on a small scale. In these medical instruments and pill casings these micro figures are inspected with the same unnatural scientific glare as Lee connects the clinical with the natural body creating distressed forms contorted into these objects. Lee’s work emphasises the uneasiness we have with the physical bodies we are confined to. This hyper realism raises awareness to the bodies we are encased in and how fragile it really is.