I've had a lot of progression over the last two weeks. Since meeting Kenny I've been building up plaster on the mosquito armature I made over the summer. Since I made it this summer though, when I didn't have access to the wood or metal shop, the armature is quite weak, and bends when the mosquito stands on its own slightly. So it's become a bit of a disaster. I've decided not to invest any more time into it just now, as I need to restart using a better armature and I may potentially switch materials.
I originally chose plaster because it could look more refined and smooth than paper mache. However, it is extremely tedious sculpting the plaster and building it up and due to the shapes I'm wanting to create you have to use multiple layers and this makes the legs weaker... you can only add so much plaster at once to a vertical plane... anyway. I also chose plaster because I feel due to the environmental content of my work that using resin or foam would be wrong. Yesterday I spoke with Konomi, and she showed me a book that used a processes of coating paper mache in natural glue and then sanding and rubbing with an embossing tool. The end result was very smooth and uniform texture, with no sign of the layers of paper it was made from. Another possibility is paper casting, which Konomi told me about also. We have planned to try making casting paper on Monday. This could be smoothed over the surface of paper mache or clay (or generally anything) to make an irregular paper-like surface. I think either of these could be an interesting tactic, and I'm going to explore them in the following week.
Today I went to printmaking and pulled to prints of the center section of the beach crap (informal title) print. Since I put this on the internet last, I've decided to break the image from a 4-colour screen-print into a single grayscale halftone layer. I think that doing this unifies the image contents. In addition this creates confusion as you approach the print in close up, so the viewer must stand far away from the print to see the contents of the image. I really am happy with this as it is so important in discussing the confused future of our environment that we have a broad perspective of the issues at hand. I am very pleased with the scale of these prints.
This evening I did a test to watercolour one of the prints. I'm interested in adding a colour element that seems in progress, or unfinished somehow... I was happy with how this layer looked, but I did not like how the colour disrupted the surface bitmap pattern of the print. I am going to try to find a way to place the watercolour element underneath the halftone print, and potentially through printmaking creating a watercolour-ed "look" instead of actual watercolour. I was discussing this with Ailsa and she showed me the website of Catherine Rayner, who has an aesthetic similar to what I had described. In the following week my plan is to project the halftone print image on the existing print I have made, to match the size and pattern. I will then remove the existing print, while leaving the projector registered to where the print was, and fill in the watercolour details as I would want to print them below the halftone layer. This way the more spontaneous watercolour can later be broken down and manipulated into a screen-printing layer.
So I have a lot to work on. In addition for my pecha kucha I've decided to present on narrative (art writing) in visual culture, which is Week 8 of Visual Cultures. I am attracted to this topic as I've recently been looking at the work of Charles Avery, and how his story of his imagined world relates and unifies his prints and sculptures. It is also important to mention that as Charles Avery works from a purely fictional narrative, my narrative would be rooted more in science fiction, I would discuss our world as it could or would be from an omniscient point of view, vague as to if the narrator has been recorded and is deceased or is currently living. I think that this form of writing could unify my work as it does Charles Avery's, and this process feeds well from last year's Case Study. Instead of a textual form of art writing I am interested in spoken narrative. In the following week I'm going to begin reading the texts for Week 8 seminar.