15 Dolls, Painted

Upon completion of the painting of the dolls, I wanted to take place them in a shoot, contrasting them against a white background. As a group, the dolls looked great. A student commented that they looked like something out of a horror story, but a ‘fun’ one, which I felt summed them up perfectly.

All of the dolls gathered together created a brilliant and bright aesthetic.

We set the studio up with soft box lighting, to maximise the intensity of the colour of the dolls, with the illumination of the room.

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I set the dolls up, as though they were having a school picture, or a family portrait, in order to personify them.

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Richard Wilson

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Richard Wilson works on a large impacting scale, which shocks a viewer. Wilson’s seminal installation 20:50, a sea of reflective sump oil, which is permanently installed in the Saatchi Collection, was described as ‘one of the masterpieces of the modern age’ by the art critic Andrew Graham Dixon in the BBC television series The History of British Art. I personally believe that this is due to the ‘on the edge’ feeling which you may experience when viewing, and entering the piece.

Creating an enigma, and confusing a viewer, is something which I hope to do with my project. By first painting the pot dolls bright garish colours which would not usually be associated with their tradition, and then leaving them alone outdoors – personifying them, I will hopefully create a similar response and emotion, though on a smaller scale.

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‘Filling Holes’

With my project I am hoping to gather a body of interesting work which all subtly links. I decided to revert back to the direction in which my project was initially going, with ‘filling holes’ – which were mentioned in The Beatles song, ‘A Day In The Life’.

Tutor Kim give me a box of small plastic colourful cubes. I wasn’t sure what their purpose was, but instantly (after seeing them spill), I thought of how they may possibly be a good filler for a hole.

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When I began adding the cubes to the broken down post (above), I initially planned on completely filling the chunk which was missing. As I was added more pieces, I realised that I did not have enough cubes to completely fill the space. I also found that the adhesive which I was using (silicone gun) was not the right one for such a large space.

I decided to stop this one and photograph my progress. I left it at that point and carried on searching for more holes to fill.

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Filling the pavement cracks was an automatic desire, as the size of this crack in particular seemed to be the perfect size as I walked over it. The pieces slotted in this space very accurately. I felt that if someone was to walk past and see it they would be left questioning the installation.

Though this piece created enigma, I did not feel that it was as impacting as I had hoped.

I saw the two holes in the pavement (below) and was confused as to what their purpose was, or why they had been left there. They looked as though they had been left mistakenly in the ground, like cue dots on a film screen.

These were good holes to fill. As it was on a busy path they were small enough to fill within a matter of a few minutes. I got many funny looks, but that’s all part of the performance.

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Adding a series of these small installations is part of my project to create unexpected moments of happiness within the public.

‘The World of Street Art and Graffiti’ by Rafael Schacter

In the book read, “the act of writing on walls is an equally ubiquitous and elemental act, one linked to the primal human desire to decorate, adorn and physically shape the human environment”. – Reading this statement infused that with it being a primal human desire – it should be shared with all of the public and hopefully appreciated by all. It also made me question that if we really do have a primal desire to decorate, why do we live in such dull urban environments, with droll looking apartment blocks and dirty crumbling walls.

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‘Time Flies By’ by How & Nosm – Boneyard Project, Arizona

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‘Dot, Dot, Dot’ by How & Nosm 

In the future I aspire to create projects as large and impacting as the aeroplane above, painted by How & Nosm. Seeing pieces such as this one remind me of my childhood, as they look as though they could be  large, life size toys. These kinds of work ass a whole new level of excitement to the world of art, which keep it energetic and positive.

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“The Mess” by Akay and Brad Downey is another energetic piece which reminds me of my child hood. Children often have a desire to draw on things and  deface them. Creating the piece above must be satisfying for the artist to engage their inner child.

Unfortunately I am not financially equipped to be able to buy a car and deface it, but I do feel that using a similar style on smaller found objects or discarded house hold items which may otherwise be quite precious or valued may create a similar impact.

Within my project so far I have spray painted a collection of vintage pot dolls. For some collectors this may be as precious as a car, and therefore communicating a similar emotion to the frustration of a defaced car.

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Invader is a street artist who uses mosaics to build his pieces. He recreated fictional characters, such as figures from games, that a large majority of the public are likely to recognise. By using popular figures, Invader makes the viewers feel more involved and connected with the work.

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ZEDZ, curator of the above two pieces, was at the forefront of the original 3D graffiti movement. After a collaboration with architect MARC MAURER, they decided to for the design team DELTA-MAURER-ZEDZ.

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Adam Bartholl creates a hazy terrain between digital and public art. It would be similar to create similar ideas by creating scenarios outdoors in which it appears that electrical objects are being plugged into walls/buildings/trees – creating juxtapositions and humour.

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Mark Jenkins creates hyper-realistic humanoid sculptures. His work adopts and absurdist sense of humour, compelling an engaging response from the viewer. Jenkins ‘strives to create a moment of pure theatricality in the street, and turn everyday space into art and drama’. This approach to street art is very unique and shocking. Engaging such an impacting response and connection from a viewer makes a piece more memorable and entertaining. Creating theatricality within the street is a concept which I may practice in my further education.

With placing dolls outdoors, and in urban settings, I am already creating a slight theatricality, with a strange humourous twist. With the dolls often being described as ‘creepy’ I believe that when people see them alone in the street, it may be quite memorable for them.

Jenkins was influenced by the works of George Segal and Juan Munoz – who also created humanoid figures of a realistic nature.

Jenkins use of a large and open public canvas inspires me. I feel that his ability to communicate and explore social issues such as homelessness and environmental degredation, whilst placing works within the settings in which they take place, is very talented and creates a successful and interesting project.

It is quoted by the author that the sculptures ‘surprise, scare and enchant’, which I hope to create within my pot doll project.

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Above pieces by Jan Kalab

‘Bright Bazaar’ by Will Jaylor

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Flicking through the Bright Bazaar book was pleasing to the eye. It was interesting to see colour schemes which I use and appreciate from an interior perspective, as appose to my use of them outdoors.

With the book being so aesthetically pleasing it inspired me to want to create a book documenting my works. I plan on researching the costs of doing so.

Creating a body of work

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Jeppe Hein’s project massively influenced me to come up with an idea which I feel is more interactive and exciting, similar to his ‘Please Touch The Art Work Project’.

I come up with the idea of leaving multi-coloured pot dolls around the centre of town (as I have had many pot dolls donated to me). The body of work will all be connected and people who see the dolls will be invoked to create conversation. I plan on leaving a note with the doll, in order to encourage the public or the person who finds the doll to place it in another place and take a picture of it there, which they can then send to me, so that I am able to record the movement and activity of the doll. By doing this I will hopefully gain an insight into the activity of other people within the town.

Social Media has become a massive part of our lives in the 21st century with:

  • Around 14 million Monthly Active users for the UK on Instagram, with 39% of its UK users being aged 16-24.
  • A figure of 12.4 million in the UK active on Twitter.
  • Around 30 million people in the UK active on Facebook.

After researching these statistics I am assured that Social Media is a brilliant platform to interactively discuss and share my art work – creating an exciting project which regulates unique and random discussion.

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The process of undressing, spray painting the doll, spray painting the clothing and then redressing the doll is extremely simple and quick. I was able to complete the above 5 dolls in a time period of five hours.

 

Project review and self assessment

From the beginning of FMP I have desired to create work outdoors. After looking at the NY Times ‘getting the art out on the street article’ I felt I understood the importance of engaging with viewers outside of the gallery.

Originally, I planned on transforming large depressing sites within Blackburn. Now my plan has changed. My ideas are now more focused on engaging with the viewer by creating unexpected moments of excitement and curiosity – similar to Steve Wheen with his pot hole gardening. I was also initially planning on carrying on with my weave project (from Unit 5), where as now I wish to carry on with objects which are recognisable to people as being a household item – though still bringing through the theme of vibrant colours.

Recently, I was given a box full of pot dolls by a family member. At first I thought that I would have no use for them, but them I thought of the potential juxtapositions which could be creates. So far I have experimented with placing and building many objects outdoors such as:

  • Plastic cubes
  • Plastacine
  • Banana skin
  • A telephone
  • A painted brick
  • Colourful pourings of plaster
  • Minimalistic graffitti
  • Painted rope weaves
  • Ready made brightly coloured plaster casts

Placing the telephone on the wall created the more comical imagery.

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Placing an item which we would usually consider as in indoor item outdoors creates a juxtaposition, which I then exaggerated with the bright garish colours. Adam Batholl’s USB stick in the wall (below) inspired me to experiment with materials such as the phone as it a humourous and surreal installation. IMG_8495

After feeling success with the imagery which placing the telephone has created, I have decided that I will use the dolls to create a body of juxtaposing outdoor work. All of the dolls are of traditional pot doll dress, and look really dates and Victorian. I plan on using the vibrant colour schemes which I have previously been addressing within my project to decorate the dolls and make them more contemporary and strange.

Within my project I still wish to create interactivity and involvement from the public, as I wish it is  something which I have succeeded in so far. It makes the project more exciting and narrates a movement of the project. As I plan on leaving the pot dolls outdoors, I will attach notes to them which encourages the finder to move the doll, and respond to me via social media with an image of where the dolls new destination is.