Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Horse Movements

To prepare filming for my horse segment of my film I filmed some test runs, trying different methods of stringing the legs and moveing them. To prepare for this I made a quick zoetrope of a horse running so that I could break up the separate stages of the movements of a horse and then try to replicate them with the puppet. When trying to film the zoetrope it just became a blur so this is an image of it.
The test films don't have a set background nor is it properly lit and the movements are very shaky. It's all groundwork at the moment but it has helped to see the development on screen, as I can see all the faults and work on improving them. I also felt the horse looked a bit bear so since this video have added a proper tail, that is waxed paper as the wax tail kept snapping and also added some wax to create the hair of a horse.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Christmas Development

After completing the first part of the Platt Hall project I returned to my Glossop project which was still focussing on winged horses vs. normal horses. When I first came back to it I was lacking a lot of inspiration. I knew where I wanted it to go but I didn't want to go straight there because I felt like I was rushing it to much.
Not knowing really what to do I just began to draw horses. There was no real aim or goal point I just needed to feel like I was doing something.
I began by drawing a large horse with wings using printer ink and a broken part of a withey stick.

The drawing was just a way of splashing ink around and trying to make a texture but I didn't feel it really succeeded in creating movement. I continued drawing in my sketchbook, looking for a way of drawing horses that was new and didn't look like a mimic of someone else's style.
Because of this I began to stop trying to draw the horse but focussed more on its shape. I began to sketch a winged horse standing on its back two legs and then with felt drew the basic outline. I then cut this out of paper and made a stencil painting on it with white against a black background for a clean and modern look, no like the traditional fine art drawings. I then decided to contrast this with the image of an ordinary horse and so did it the same way but painted this stencil black against a white back ground. To add some continuity I painted a line through both and wrote the quote 'It is not how things exist that is mystical but that it exists' across both. I had a lot of bother trying to paint writing and in this image it is still not write in white but will be fixed.

Moomin Workshop

Back in September, I was asked if I wanted to take control of a workshop for children at Bury Art Gallery, where I work on a casual basis. I said yes because I thought ti would be really good experience to have responsibility of my own project and to make my own materials for people to use. I was sent a list of options and chose to make a Moomin Board Game as I was also doing our Summer game project.
After helping with other workshops in the past I knew that the age range was under 10 and generally 8 years and under so on this basis I began to think of how to make a board game kit that would be simple enough for kids to understand but also interesting enough for them to want to do.
I began to break down the basic parts of a game deciding on the board, dice and counters. I chose to base my board game on the Monopoly design as it was simple and familiar to almost everyone.
I wanted the lines big thick and black so children could also treat it like a colouring sheet so they could colour it in how they want or add tissue paper and stick other things to it. I also created a worksheet that had the net of dice displayed on it so that children could cut it out and then create their own dice, getting them more involved. As this was supposed to be based on Moomins (as we have an exhibition on them now) I also drew out Moomin characters that could be cut out and used as counters. 

Finally, to make the game more interesting I also created a series of Moomin squares that could be coloured in and stuck on to the board game to add a few more difficulties to the game ad to add some sort of challenge. However, as a chronic worrier I worried that some children would get bored so i also created a 'Snakes and Ladders' type game, replacing the snakes with the Groke, a character from the Moomins books. i was worried some children wouldn't have the attention span to make a game so this way they had a ready made game to colour in and play.
I still worried that cutting the counters and dice for this game would still be too much for the even younger children so i also made a simple spot the difference and wordsearch that bored children could just pick up and do or colour over.
As for the actual workshop, only two children actually turned up so it was all a bit of wasted effort and a bit of a fail. However, it did give me a good taste of what it was like to prepare and run your own workshop and I did enjoy creating the material and having people use them, if only a few. Some people did walk past and were impressed and stole a few sheets and the gallery workers seemed pleased with what I had done so there wasn't much more I could do myself.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Tables Review

I forgot to add my post about the Tables Review we held in November....
A Tables Review is where everyone in the first year had to set up their work so far in their spaces so that everyone can look at what people have been up to and give suggestions on how they may progress.
For my space - because I was originally a hot desker, I had to steal someone's space who wasn't in (so I thought) - I displayed the different puppets I had made (latex, wax, egg and cloth, paper mache and salt dough) along with the moulds I made them in. I also displayed by doll house which at this point was just a front of house and my Cross Course Crit Poster that I still haven't brought home to scan in for my blog.
We had time to go around other people's spaces and I was impressed and surprised by the sheer diversity we all had created. Just some of the work I liked was a series of Would Like To Meet... posters that had some seriously disturbed people advertising themselves, which made me laugh. I also really liked the paper quilling project. These were rolled up paper made into swirls, bowls, flowers and people. I hadn't seen this done before but thought it was really, really good. The pieces were really well made and would like to see where the project is going but there was no indication in the space.
As for my own pieces, the feedback I got was good. People seemed to like the fact that i had tried using various different materials and suggested more of what I could use such as Polymorph, which is a mouldable plastic that i had never of heard before. The wax also seemed a popular choice, and was part of the reason why I chose this mdoel for the final project.

Meatyards Exhibition

On the 17th Decemeber the Whitworth Art Gallery held a one off event featuring the Meatyards Art project, who are a group photographer/artists. The event had a series of photographs projected against the large white wall in the big room to the side. In the next room there was also live music from an array of musicians.
Although I enjoyed some of the photography I found the slideshow a bit irritating because I couldn't really keep track of who did what and couldn't walk up to the photographs and have stare for as long as I want. The photographs that interested me most were the Coronation Street 50th anniversary photographs. I am an admitted Corrie fan but they were taken in a very 'filmic' sense and were also really dramatic, which is more of what I like than ordianry shots. The photo of Ken Barlow by the crash site was particularly impressive. On the Meatyards blog there is a particular part of the writer saying how people probably like the 'filmic' shots because it is more of what they expect, and people like what they expect. This may be true but I still like it. There is also an expanded exhibition of the Corrie photos at the Generation Pop Gallery from 28th January so i'll go along to that....
The whole atmosphere of the night was really good. The music was good and it was really busy, plus, I was often distracted by the blizzard that was building up outside, through the wall length windows so I would love to go to more nights like this.
As for the Whitworth itself I don't pay enough visits there, but to get to the exhibition we had to walk through an inside forest. I thought this was brilliant, I love interactive things, where you can create different worlds inside a world and is something I would love to do. It also felt very Fairy Tale-like which is something I also love to work with and with the snow that night it felt like walking to Narnia.
I didn't think to take a camera, so I don't have the pictures but I did get this from the meatyards website, it doesn't say who to credit it to bt I'm pretty sure that that is my silhoutte on the right as it looks like my posture, so that must mean something.

Platt Hall Presentation

On the 14th December our Platt Hall project came to an end for the first part as we presented our ideas to Liz, who was from Manchester Art Gallery and lobbying to raise the funds so we could have the chance to put on our event.
The day before we had set up our separate parts in the Link Gallery so that we could then present by our pieces to Liz as an illustration to our ideas. Because I did my project with Philippa Watkin we displayed our pieces together, which were two doll houses, of our own homes and a large key which we made to show the idea of scale we wanted to work with.
Philippa's doll house (left) My doll house (right)
Before the exhibition I offered to create the poster for the exhibition. For the poster, I wanted to bring together Mary Greg with her own collection while keeping it simple so that it could be easily understood. After some sketches and initial ideas I thought of creating a photo montage as I was looking at all my photos from the Platt Hall visit. I began creating it like a collage that built up the face of Mary Greg so that it was like the collection was fused with Mary, while it also worked on the idea of patchworks, which we had seen a lot of at Platt Hall.
The actual presentation went well, I think. It was quite relaxed so i quickly calmed down and as I was presenting with Philippa the pressure was somewhat taken off as we could share talking duties and jump in if there were any questions we couldn't ask. On the whole we could answer most questions apart from whether we were planning on having a Mary Greg walking around Platt Hall - as would be in our doll house. It, however, felt less like an interrogation ad more generating new ideas if we were to progress with the project.

For now, however, we have to wait to hear whether we get the go ahead for the project.