Archives for category: Art

Hello! It has been a very long time since my last post – I have been busy writing essays towards the completion on my MA. (Not an experience I wish to repeat!) But i am happy to report I am now finished, and back in the creative world! 🙂

This weekend it was the Hayes Carnival in Hillingdon, and I ran an art workshop for young children and their families.

The theme of this years carnival was ‘Stardust’ and the carnival also wanted to convey the topical message of sustainability.

Using bottle tops and other used and discarded plastic items from local businesses, I invited the participants to ‘make their mark on the Earth’ by using the pieces to create a world globe. The bright and colourful globe looked healthy from a distance, but on closer inspection highlighted the litter strewn environment in which we live.

It’s never quite the plan, or even anticipated at the start of a project but there always seems to be quite a large element of repetition in my work. Having spent the past days and weeks continuously cutting out leaves for my ‘Sustainabilitree’ i think my right hand has now moudled itself to the shape of my scissors. Knowing that i would need in excess of 8000 leaves for the tree, i was adamant that i wanted to cut them by hand. This was largely because i wanted each leaf to be unique. I was aiming for the Sustainabilitree to be as realistic as possible to fit in with the fact that it would biodegrade back to nature in the same cycle that a real tree would. I also had worked out in advance that i would be able to cut out 5 leaves at a time using scissors. In reality, this didn’t prove very easy so, i literally cut each leaf out one at at time…

So here are all the components…

The Trunk – the plastic objects visible through the bark demonstrate the items that bioplastics can now be used to replace. (Photo taken on possibly the only day of summer this year 😦 )

The Branches:

And the Leaves:

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The photograph below shows the brown biodegradable sheet i have been working with to make the bark of my biodegradable tree for Stanelco PLC.

Thermo-forming sections of this brown sheet over the clay mould (shown above) transfers the texture imprinted on the mould to the biodegradable plastic sheet. I made the mould by using the clay to adopt the texture of a real tree bark. Once i have formed enough sections of bark i will melt all the small sections of together and will eventually have what will be the trunk of the tree.

As well as the bark texture the trunk will take on the shape of familiar plastic shapes in certain parts of the trunk as seen in the photographs below.

After cutting all the bark sections out i saved all the left over bits to use to make the branches – REUSING 🙂

To follow, the branch making…

After receiving 48 000 visitors at various locations across Manchester, Bog Standard Gallery is now at it’s first London exhibition

Apthorp Gallery

Barnet Open

Thursday 8th May 2008Sunday 15th June 2008 12.00PM- 4.00PM

artsdepot’s answer to the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition.

This annual event, now in its fourth year, will offer an opportunity for talented visual artists to exhibit their work. Ranging from ceramics to photography, installation art to oil painting, The Barnet Open will showcase a broad range of styles and mediums in a contemporary gallery setting. The exhibition is the product of an open submissions process with local residents, artists and community groups having the opportunity to put their work forward for selection. The result will no doubt be a vibrant group show by compelling artists.

My work for Stanelco is well underway now 🙂

After spending quite a bit of time getting to know the material and it’s capabilities i am now working towards three very different installations.

Getting to this point was quite difficult because the material is usually fed through industrial machinery, popping out several hundred pieces of the same product all with a purpose or function. But how could this be used to make art?? (And can ‘art’ and ‘function’ be used in the same sentence??)

What i wanted to know was what the capabilities of the material were if i had a big lump of it sitting in front me me in my studio with an array of tools! Well, I am stronger than i look but this stuff is tough! So for this reason i went down the route of trying to design something big made out of lots of smaller components. I spent time thinking about the material being made from a natural renewable source, and the way it biodegrades right back to nature. I liked the idea of showing this full cycle in my work, as well as demonstrating the biodegradable potential of the material, yet at the same time showing that despite all this that it is completely functional and wouldn’t biodegrade if you didn’t want it to!

Meanwhile, since i started this work i have had a huge bag of biodegradable pellets taking up space at my Mum’s house and she keeps asking me why it’s still there and why it’s not biodegraded out of her way yet!

I don’t want to say too much now about what i am making until i have got a little further with it but soon i will upload photographs of my progress.

Trash Luxe is a collection of work by young designers who specialise in finding beauty in humble materials or salvaging otherwise unwanted goods, which they use to create dynamic, luxurious pieces.

This exhibition was extremely interesting not only in terms of the work itself, but the way in which it was chosen to be exhibited and especially the choice of venue.

Held at Liberty’s among their existing range of luxury items, this gave the work a real sense of luxury too. This was interesting because if the range had of been shown in a second hand shop i would have seen it in a completely different light. With environmentally friendly products often costing more to produce there is definitely a place for them in the luxury market as well as the extremely contrasting more hippie world!

As well as the choice of location for the exhibition what also fascinated me was the reaction of people about recycling and recycled products and i think this is something i would like to analyse further.