Documentation; 11/03/16 & our professional development after University; ‘PHOSPHOROUS’

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My idea for my final piece for the degree show

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A series of steel pieces I have cut and am intending to utilise as the top and bottom of the frame that will hold my sculpture.

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A mock up of what the frame will look like underneath the object.

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The top and bottom of the ‘frame’ completely welded together.

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My shoddy welding

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A buffed and ground out corner of the Frames that I messed up with in welding.

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Some sketches of how the frame will fit together

This past week, I have issued myself a challenge; to create a 1 x 1 x 3m frame to fit around my sculpture and act as a symbol of ‘control’, as well as ‘frame’ the object in it’s wider context. I have never welded before, nor have worked with steel. And yet, I feel like I am being drawn to this method of creation. through a welding workshop yesterday, I was able to learn this craft and skill, and within the hour I was welding the pieces that I had cut the day before (both length-ways, and their angles, in order for them to fit together) into a square frame for the top of my sculpture, and for the bottom of my sculpture as well (see; https://www.instagram.com/p/BCsm3d3k6Mx/?taken-by=malformities).  There have been issues along the way, but I believe the object is coming along well, despite my less than stellar welding at time. I am currently drilling the holes for the frame, and waiting for a delivery of bolts in order to affix the rest of the frame together (through this aspect of bolting the longer pieces of metal to the two separate frames, I am making the frame portable; thus allowing me to take it apart and rebuild it at another time much easier, as well as allowing it to be easy to store), and will hopefully have a semi finished sculpture by next week.

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I have also been experimenting with hanging the sculpture in the way that I want to, and how I will affix the object together. Here, I have experimented with a method of hanging the objects with Rope, and hanging it so that the tree branches all rely on one another for support. This adds a human quality to the branches, which, combined with the wool, makes them appear damaged and/or dead. therefore, the crystals, as a symbol of re-animation, rebirth and consumption, appear more like the mold that grows on the flesh of dead matter. This way of hanging also references the ‘lightning bolt’ once more, imbuing the sculpture with an ethereal, almost spiritual aura; therefore, reflecting the dead, and the ever consuming cycle of life, death and rebirth. This way of hanging is very effective, as well as the new way that I am experimenting with crystallising the branches; in which I crystallise aspects of the branches with a larger, more prominent variation of the crystals, and attempt to cover as much of the rest of the form with the smaller, more ‘fungal’ growths; therefore, as the whole object is not crystallised, it provides a ‘possibility’ of growth, and taps into the symbolism of potential energy that is held within work like this, and hints at a possibility that the whole branch WILL become crystallised and consumed at a point in the future. Therefor,e I believe that this is how I will attempt to crystalise the branches; not fully, but still with enough coverage to hint at the growth that will take place upon this object with the crystals.

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Myself and Sarah Padbury (https://sarahpadbury93.wordpress.com/) have also been furthering our professional practice by exploring ways to keep ourselves going after university, as well as providing us the opportunity to create and exhibit Artwork. Due to the Abacus closing down, we have taken it upon ourselves to create a studio complex that will provide studios for ourselves, as well as other freshly graduated and/or emerging artists that require a space,to further the artistic growth of the city. We have been applying to a variety of scholarship and bursary programmes in order to fund this venture, and have been meeting regularly with Es, the careers representative for the School of Art & Design, as well as having taken classes and attending workshops in order to better formulate and hone our business model, and our pitch. These companies and organisations that have been approached for help are; the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship, the Woon Kai Fellowship programme,  VCS Cymru, 02 Thinkbigger (following on from our success with the 02 think Big program, which allowed us to put on ‘Substance’, our group show last winter), amongst others.

Our pitch for the studios, which we have been honing with the aid of Esyllt George and the Steps entrepreneurship program in our University, goes as follows;

‘Phosphorous’ – A set of studios within the heart of Cardiff’s City Centre. 

We are intending to create an open studio space that is alive with artists who can continue to work as a collective; bouncing ideas off of one another in order to continue our involvement with the cultural and artistic growth within the City. From this, we hope to create an other space after the closure of ‘the abacus’ that enhances the life of fellow creative minded people; we aim to achieve this by providing a platform for their practice to mature and evolve. We also aim to resist the looming cultural cuts from the Cardiff council that threaten fellow creative establishments within Cardiff, by seeking funding from outside sources. This allows us to be an independent and forward thinking artistic establishment that can withstand the cultural cuts that seem to be occurring not just in our own city, but throughout the country. To continue the cultural DIY Spirit of the scene within Cardiff, we must adapt and evolve past traditional means of artistic representation and preservation, and instead work towards a more autonomous ‘creative model’.

The title ‘Phosphorous’ comes from the idea that phosphorous is a substance, that emits light (enlightenment), when exposed to the air. The symbol, the alchemical symbol for the substance, relates to the alchemical idea that ‘light symbolises the spirit’, and were especially interested in matter that held this ‘light’ within it. They also believed that Phosphorous held a ‘perpetual fire’ ithin it; and this relates to our desire to keep the fires of the artistic scene ever-perpetuating within the City.

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