Here is my final video shot at Islington Mill by videographer Jody Hartley. I was really pleased with the outcome from the final edit and felt the track worked great with the neon sculpture and smoke.
In order to document my work, I employed 2nd year Photography student, Annie Feng to photograph my installation. I like the difference in styles between my own and Annie’s photographs. Mine are bright, vibrant and busy, where as hers are very dark and bold. This allows the neon colours to stand out, keeping the images clear and minimal. Both work well in their own way.
Inspired by the work of artists such as Dan Flavin and Ann Veronica Jannsens, Unit x provided me with an opportunity to follow an interest of mine, to work with the medium of light. To use this medium, I have implemented artificial lighting, smoke and mirrors in order to explore the theme of colour in a series of installation pieces that push the boundaries of perception.
In comparison to the practice unit, my work has developed significantly. I attribute this success to an increase in my organisational skills that has been allowed by breaking down an abstract task in to its components, in order to plan my actions, week by week.
In addition to allowing me to plan my actions, the breakdown of large tasks allowed me to take an altogether more considered approach to construction my pieces. An example of this was the infinity box. Commissioned by “Hold-Tight,” the box was comprised of three components; the frame, the lighting circuit and the outer shell. These were constructed carefully only after they had been designed on paper, the result of which was a high quality professional product.
In addition to the infinity box, I was commissioned by a major local techno night, “Meat Free,” to create two installation pieces that would be installed permanently at anew warehouse venue, Mantra Warehouse. Taking inspiration from thread artist Jeongmoon Choi, and light artist Peter Kennedy, I produced a light installation using fluorescent tubes and coloured filters and a UV reactive, neon thread installation. I have received a lot of positive feedback from this work, the thread in particular. For this reason I believe that this is an idea that can be developed further.
These commissions have enabled me to expand my portfolio and produce a strong body of work within my chosen context. Also, I have gained valuable insights into commercial artistic ventures from the experiences of working within a tight budget and liaising with other artists.
Furthermore, working on a larger scale finally gave me the opportunity to work with some materials that had previously been out of reach. This gave me both the experience and encouragement that was needed in order to develop my final piece.
Although the final piece was successful, there were many obstacles that I needed to overcome. Firstly, there was no space in the university for a sculpture piece of this size. In order to overcome this obstacle I sought out a space at studio/gallery/event space, Islington Mill.
Additionally, the specialized materials that I needed to create this piece were prohibitively expensive. As I could not afford these materials, I instead contact the supplier, CoverShield Ltd in order to arrange a sponsorship agreement.
Also, as specialist items, these materials were made to order, this meant that I was not able to get them until a few days before my deadline. Consequently, I was working under an extremely tight time scale however the piece, “Point of Light” was still successful.
“Point of Light,” combines my exploration of light and colour with Post-Modernist, psychedelic themes by suspending coloured fluorescent tubes in mid air in order to evoke temporary changes in the subjects perception, similar to hallucinogenic state.
Successful projects in my chosen context of event spaces has allowed me to realise that my work has more potential than playing second fiddle to a musician. For my final piece I have enjoyed working with the unlimited possibilities that creating a sculpture for a gallery of public space entails.
Currently, I am working on a large commissioned piece for Pangaea Festival as part of Hold Tight where we will be building several installations, including a 4-foot hologram. I will also be working on a commission for club night High Hoops over the summer giving me the opportunity for me to expand and develop my portfolio and website after university.
Even though I was pleased with the outcome of the installation, a fellow artist Neil Robbins who arranged for me to use the space in Islington Mill was also interested in the use of mirrors, lights and reflective surfaces. After seeing my work he brought along a 3d mirrored sculpture which he was currently working on and we begun to play around with it amongst the neon lights.
The bright tones reflecting on each individual triangle as the mirrored sculpture spun round was incredible. Both pieces worked so well together and this definitely has the potential to be developed in the future.
I began to play around with a smoke machine to see what effects this could add to the lighting.
I thought the installation looked great with the smoke as it filled up the empty space, as well as creating a coloured gradient inside the light sculpture. I believe this definitely has the potential to be developed further for the degree show.
My use of smoke was inspired by a visit to the Ann Veronica Jansens Welcome Collections exhibition late last year in London. I loved the use of smoke, colour to create a sense of confusion within the installation.
I will now be arranging for Manchester based videographer Jody Hartley to document my installation. This will then be presented at the degree show.
Unlike the original inverted pyramid design, I decided that the four smallest pink lights would instead faced down. This was due to the lights only being a fraction smaller that the previous square so it would not have become any smaller.
I preferred the new arrangement of the lights. It was futuristic, like something from Stanley Kubrick 2001: A Space Odyssey.
I experimented with the arrangement of the mirrors underneath the light sculpture to document the colourful reflections. I was able to get some interesting photographs, however as an installation as a whole I much preferred the structure alone.
I started to notice a lot of colourful shadows left around the room created by movement. The colours that were created fascinated me. After my eyes being exposed to the purple, orange,pink and green lighting for many hours, when I eventually looked out of the window across the Manchester skyline the sky was glowing luminous green until my eyes eventually adjusted back to reality.
All the colours that were created just from this light structure really got me thinking about how this can be perceived by each individual eye. It would be such a shame not to have this design shown at the degree show in person rather than just documented on film and photographs, as it doesn’t give it any justice at all.
Thursday evening I went back down to the venue to begin building the installation properly. I carefully took all the measurements of the roof/beams to make sure I had created a perfect square so that all the lights would be positioned correctly. Due to the beams running downwards this proven difficult to take the correct measurements.
Once all four hooks were in place to create the square shaped structure. I then used fishing wire to run this down to the center point of the square in the floor. This then created a template for me to work from when attaching the light sticks.
The design was much harder that first expected, it took several hours just to get the first 4 lights. The first square within the pyramid shape I was creating was the most important, if this wasn’t aligned up it would then cause the entire structure to be out of shape further down the line.
Several hours in the structure had really started to take shape and I was amazed with what I had created. It was better than I expected and looked amazing in the attic space giving it character. The only problem faced was that it did really brighten up the room.