Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Art on the Wall Piece

bowl form with cake decorations

I've been working on my Art on the Wall piece for the Capital Theatre's Fourth Street Theatre a few weeks. The theme is metal, so of course I planned to use bike parts, but in combination with some ceramic forms.

the first arrangement of bowl forms and sprigs (at random)

I threw some concave bowl forms with wiggly rims to mimic open flower forms. I added some cake decorating things into a sprig molded form to suggest the flower's stamen. I also made some small forms from sprig molds of bicycle gears and other parts. 

too many bowl forms
Once I started planning the form, I learned about a group of plants called hyperaccumulators, which are plants that pull metals from the ground and store them in the fibers of the plants themselves. These plants can be used for phytoremediatio--for cleaning up the environment. I get a kick out of the idea that I made flowers for a project whose theme is metal, and then it turns out that there are real plants that have an excess of metal.

spiral bowl forms with "leaves"
I made more flower forms than I needed and then tried to think of how to arrange them inside the prescribed shadowbox form. All the Art on the Wall pieces are done on or in the same square gessoboard/shadowbox. It is a different process to work within a constrained form for a project than to build a free-standing sculpture in which all the dimensions and surfaces are my choice.

close up shot of the gears around the edge of the form

The arrangement I ended up using for the flower forms is an attempt to gain some control over the very regular, square, and not-very-exciting form of the project. The flowers themselves vary, so they are arranged in a spiral. I was going to make it a fibbonacci spiral, but I should have started planning to control the sizes of the forms more than I did.

finished piece: it is very difficulty to photography shiny metal in a small studio

As I worked through the project, I was experimenting with metal pieces as leaves and sepals. The irregular placement of these hopefully adds to the interest when viewing the entire piece. One factor that I included to entertain me, but that may not work for my audience, is that two of the flowers can spin on their bases.

Art on the Wall opens September 8 from 5:45-7pm at the 4th Street Theatre.

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