Posted in Coursework, Notes, Part 3, Research & Reflection

Planned vs Emergent Art

I have been reflecting further on my tutor feedback (Howard, 2020) and how I apply myself to my work. I am starting to think that there is a concept in art that is similar to Planned verses Emergent strategy in business. (Riley, 2020) At one extreme art works can be meticulously planned and executed, including reams of preparatory drawings and other work. At the other extreme one might only take an initiating action and the outcome is essentially emergent based on relatively uncontrolled factors. There is clearly a host of possibilities in between.

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Posted in Coursework, Notes, Part 3, Research & Reflection

Research point: Clay

As with some of the previous research items of the course this is a fairly open research brief, though the context of Clay Modelling limits the scope of the research somewhat. I have approached it as a consideration of sculptural technique and the range of work possible with clay.

Donatello (c.1386–1466)

Fig. 1. Bust of Niccolo da Uzzano

Donatello will have made extensive use of clay in his work, though much of the clay work he produced will be visible now as bronze sculptures. The V&A website discusses (V&A, 2020) the tradition of Italian Terracotta Sculpture in the context of Donatello and others. They assert that Terracotta figures, like that in Fig. 1., were used as a cost effective alternative to completing works in more expensive materials.

Whether created as part of the production process for a bronze, or to provide a cheaper alternative for a portrait the use of clay in sculpture at this point was extensive. There doesn’t seem to be a readily available document of how Donatello would have worked with clay, but the most likely approach is that a solid form would have been made on an armature and then hollowed out. Its likely this would have been performed by slicing into the work, hollowing it and then putting it back together with slip. Some Terracotta Sculptures have an open back, which allows you to see the marks left by the hollowing process.

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Posted in Notes, Research & Reflection

Brancusi, Endless Column

Fig. 1 Endless Column

I have previously looked at Brancusi in general, and his “Endless Column” in particular. My consideration of his work, however, was brief and left me with little appreciation of the work. It was reading Anthony Gormley’s words on the work (Gormley, 2015:94) which made me think that this was worth focusing on in more depth.

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Posted in Coursework, Notes, Part 2, Research & Reflection

Contemporary figurative ceramics comparison

One of the challenges I was set by my tutor (Thompson, 2019) was to complete a comparative analysis of two pieces of sculpture. Having previous seen Annie Peaker work, and going to a making demonstration by Brendan Hesmondhalgh I decided that this was a strong starting juncture.

Annie Peaker

Fig 1. Annie Peaker Polar Bears
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Posted in Notes, Research & Reflection

Sculpture out and about

I wondered about starting this during Part 1 but didn’t get around to it. I’m going to document some of the work that I run into as I’m out and about. The idea is purely to document pieces that catch my interest, rather than everything.

City Wing

This is first up because it is very close to where I am currently working:

City Wing, Old Broad Street
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Posted in Notes, Research & Reflection

The OCA Journey Continues

The title was (mostly) provided by WordPress, but it fits the bill all the same. I started my OCA Journey with Foundation Drawing and then Drawing 1 (See and am now continuing with Sculpture 1. That, however, isn’t really the start of my Sculpture journey. For that we need to go back to about 2005, when my wife gave me a set of wood carving tools for my birthday.

The rose shown as the featured image was the first step in that journey, and was followed by a lot of carving related learning. The number of skills needed to create a strong wood carving is significant. Wood grain, sharpening tools and translating a maquette to a physical form is a highly summarised list. For amusement, this video will give some idea:

Along the way I realised that, at least to a degree, my lack of drawing skills were limiting my progress. This lead me to “Drawing on the right side of the brain“, and hence onto to the OCA. I am hoping that this course will start to pull back together what has become separate paths in making progress.