Magical Museum

For the Christmas holidays, we were given a project entitled ‘Magical Museum’. We had to research an obscure exhibit at our local museum that fascinated us and create an alternate exhibit for a joint 1st and 2nd year exhibition.

I chose the art of New Guinea, as I found quite a lot of artifacts in the Liverpool World Museum. My plan is to create alternate, modern material versions of the works which are made of mainly wood, plant fiber and pigment, which are traditional methods. I will be using plastics such as perspex and acrylic to create these updated versions, as a contrast to the organic materials used by the people of New Guinea. The traditional materials in the works of the exhibits are what really stand out to me, they display passion and patience of the craftsmanship used to create them.

I really like the effect of opaque and translucent plastic together. The work of Patrick Hill and especially Gary Webb have influenced my decision to work in this style.

During the 2008 Liverpool Biennial I came across Webb’s work in the Liverpool Tate gallery, namely his piece ‘ Sound of the Blue Light’ (2002). From my notes at the time, I observed –

‘ The sound element in Webb’s sculptures offer an empathetic point of entrance for the viewer, who is confronted with an unfamiliar mixture of forms and materials.’

Taken with my Olympus OM10

From the Tate website:

Webb developed his practice during his BA at Goldsmiths College of Art (1994-7). He specialises in sculptural assemblages uniting traditional and modern materials in unexpected combinations and configurations. Mixing abstraction with geometry and synthetic found objects with invented forms, he has created a unique hybrid language of his own. Much of Webb’s work is an attempt to make tangible internalised emotions. Initially expressed in spontaneous drawings, they are then developed into three-dimensional objects which frequently bear only tangential relationship to their starting point.

Mrs Miami, 2005

I really like the aesthetic of the clash of these materials and textures. I may draw or texturise the materials I use before cutting the pieces. I will try to vary the opacity and thickness also.
More examples of his work –

These works seem to be drifting from my original idea for my project. I really like the juxtaposition of materials in the last image (Déja Vu, 2003) , in particular the amethyst crystals and perspex. I would love to see more of his work in person, and I’d go as far as to say he is one of my most favourite artists.
My final pieces for the project still need to work as a graphic design responses.

Another artist who works with similar materials is Patrick Hill, whose work I discovered in the Saatchi Gallery

Forming (2007) Glass, steel granite, canvas, dye, paint, glue

Hill’s sculptures are based on the philosophical ideals set by artists such as the Naum Gabo during the Constructivism movement, Gabo’s industrial media being emblematic of 10th century progress and optimism.

Magnolia Blvd. (detail) (2006) Wood, glass, canvas, denim, brass, dye, bleach

More info here – http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/patrick_hill.htm

So, where was I. Yes, the New Guinea artworks.
I have used Adobe Illustrator to trace and simplify photographs I have taken at the exhibit –


The colours are currently temporary as they will alter as I choose the plastics for the 3D pieces.
I have done more vectors for this project however this blog post is getting long and I’m getting tired! Will post more tomorrow.

Webb developed his practice during his BA at Goldsmiths College of Art (1994-7). He specialises in sculptural assemblages uniting traditional and modern materials in unexpected combinations and configurations. Mixing abstraction with geometry and synthetic found objects with invented forms, he has created an unique hybrid language of his own. Much of Webb’s work is an attempt to make tangible internalised emotions. Initially expressed in spontaneous drawings, they are then developed into three dimensional objects which frequently bear only tangential relationship to their starting point.
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