Monday, 9 November 2009

Spaces, Narrations and Representations

Introductory Project Weeks 1-6 The brief for this project was to collect 5 references which relate to our research concerns and represent spatial sequences in different media. The references were:

1. A short spatial sequence from a film
2. A spatial sequence from a novel or book (max 300 words)
3. An architectural sequence from a building we have visited.
4. A painting, abstract of figurative that establishes a relationship between the spectator and the virtual space of the painting.
5.A spatial sequence from a piece of sculpture or installation art.

We spent the first week of the project discussing our research concerns in small groups and had to come up with 6 words that described our ideas. My 6 words were: alteration, intervention, evolution, ownership, context and memory

I have quite clear ideas about what I want to research and explore during the year so found it quite easy to pick my words and find my examples. I am interested in the evolution of our built environment; the disused and forgotten spaces within cities and our treatment of historic buildings. With these ideas in mind I quickly decided on a piece of sculpture: after researching the artist my ideas developed and I found a piece a piece of text in a novel and a film sequence. The architectural sequence was inspired my a building I had visited whilst on holiday in the summer and the painting by the Turner Prize exhibition at the Tate Britain.

My final 5 references were:

1. Scene 1, The Old Steel Works from 'The Full Monty' by Peter Cattaneo.

2. Time Passes from The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf:

" Nothing stirred in the drawing-room or in the dining-room or on the staircase. Only through the rusty hinges and swollen sea-moistened woodwork certain airs, detached from the body of the wind (the house was ramshackle after all) crept round corners and ventured indoors. Almost one might imagine them, as they entered the drawing-room, questioning and wondering, toying with the flap of hanging wallpaper, asking, would it hang much longer, when would it fall? Then smoothly brushing the walls, they passed on musingly as if asking the red and yellow roses on the wallpaper whether they would fade and questioning (gently, for there was time at their disposal) the torn letters in the wastepaper basket, the flowers, the books, all of which were now open to them and asking: Were they allies? Were they enemies? How long would they endure?"

3. The Danish Jewish Museum by Daniel Libeskind.

4. Richard Wright - No Title, Installation from the Gagosian Gallery NY 2005

5. House by Rachel Whiteread, London 1993

After finding our 5 examples we then had to use them to create a spatial sequence of our own in both a 2D and 3D format. It was quite a difficult leap to move from analysing the references to creating our own piece of work and I initially found it difficult to see where I could go with my idea. After some group discussions and further research I decided to look at the idea of negative space and casting, this was mainly influenced by my sculpture reference; House by Rachel Whiteread. I still did not know what I wanted to cast though but decided to buy some plastacine and experiment with it in my own house. This led to a series of 3 small impressions of a fireplace surround, wooden carving and a brick pattern. I liked the impressions so much I decided to photograph some of the more interesting and unusual parts of the house and presented the images with the impressions at a tutorial.

The tutorial went well and after discussing the ideas with Ken (course director) I decided to continue using my house as a subject for the project. I moved from London into the house in Epsom, Surrey in August and it is currently being refurbished. It is a grade 2 listed Georgian cottage (built around 1660) with a later Victorian extention which used to be a shop but is now part of the house. All the alterations over the years have a created a rich history which is very visable throughout the building. It is these memories which I would like to capture through my molding.

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