Over the last several days I’ve been working to create the concept design and folding pattern for my Reincarnations sculpture, funded by York Art Gallery & part of my AA2A+ residency at York College. As mentioned in a previous post, the work is a response to the York Art Gallery’s studio ceramics collection – and is called “Reincarnations” as a reflection upon the gallery’s recent renovations & upcoming re-opening this summer.
I chose the subject of an insect transforming from a pupae into an imago (the final stage of metamorphosis) as the shape of my piece. The artwork will initially be packaged into a cocoon-like box (recycled from the boxes used to store the ceramics at York Art Gallery) – then will open to reveal the wings, torso, head and limbs of the insect inside. These will variously be made of cardboard and ceramics – and can be assembled together to create the final sculptural form.
I still have a long way to go before this vision will be fully realized, but I did finish the concept sketch – please see here for an image– then I designed the folded “net” and assembled it together into a small maquette (please see here , here , and here for some photos).
The finished maquette was largely a success – though there are many small issues I need to fix. The most challenging aspect of this project is trying to create a design that allows both ceramic and cardboard to connect and reinforce one another; difficulties such as weight and the unpredictable shrinkage of clay in the kiln are things I will have to sort out still. Also, there will be some vacuum-moulded plastics for the head area, wings, and possibly the “abdomen” area of the insect – another experimental element I have yet to master. Stay tuned for further developments. In the meanwhile, please see the following pics of the maquette (note the “head” area is empty in this version but the real one will have a vacu-formed plastic bubble containing a ceramic temple-like structure, in allusion to ceramicist Ian Godfrey – one of the artists well represented in the York Art Gallery pottery collection).