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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sculpture: "Self-Motivation"

This week we will look at another recently completed sculpture project.  In this project we were asked to take chicken wire and mold it to the body part(s) of our choice. Then, take those molds and abstract the parts and re-arrange them into something new.

This time around the completed idea came to me in a flash. I didn't have to go through the normal process of sketching, prototyping, sweating, and worrying...... It was fun to just jump in and see where it goes, making adjustments, and solving problems on the fly. The nature of chicken wire allows for this because its cheap, somewhat elastic, and easy to work with if you don't mind getting scratched up a bit.

I chose to model the chicken wire around my lower torso, lower leg leg and foot, leaving the shoe in place. My goal was to take the three body parts, abstract them somewhat and then morph them into a new configuration. But for me, this could not be done in a random way, for there had to be a purpose, an idea, or even a narrative behind it. I do enjoy narratives, however brief. I exaggerated the proportions of my lower torso, i.e. my butt, extremely elongated my lower leg, and left the shoe portion unaltered. By far the most difficult part of the build was in making the transition from torso to leg to foot. I was thinking in terms of modeling the the lower leg into something similar to an elephant's trunk, and have it taper down nicely to join the foot. I was not entirely successful. I wish it had been a smoother progression, but I learned in the process. The photos below show the work in progress.

Colored Duct tape was used for an outer skin, and I added an old belt of mine. The belt helped to separate the torso from the rest, and it added a real element to the un-real sculpture. It was important to me to have the piece be self-standing. The easy way out would have been to just let the sculpture lean back and let it be supported by the heel. Well, anyone could do that. It was important to me that it could stand on its own, to defy gravity and expectation in the process. In order to achieve the balancing act it required filling the "pants" with 20lbs. (9 kilos) of small pebbles. This was done using a funnel and adding one handful of pebbles at a time until a balance was achieved.

It was raining on the due day, so I wrapped up my piece for the trip to school in the back of my truck. Even though Duct Tape is water proof, I didn't want to take the chance of rain water seeping into the body, and adding additional weight and creating other complications.

I titled this piece "Self-Motivation". It is supposed to be fun, surreal, and perhaps a bit thought provoking.

Basic structure

Application of Duct Tape
Adding pebbles for ballast.
Safe arrival at school
I'm thinking that this could be a potential item for sale in the BuckToonz store, which will officially open this summer. Imagine a much smaller version of this sculpture, made suitable for a desktop, or a shelf display. It would be hand painted and made from wood or ceramic. Limited edition, signed and numbered. What do you think? Leave your feedback here or on my Facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. Watch out where you stick that funnel, buddy!

    Fun design, I like it.