It is the final day and time to get everything up and ready. I was very happy with the trial run of my piece undertaken last night and have simply added the top drawer to make it complete. I finished off the inside of the drawers by selecting the best made insects I wanted to display inside them, choosing one bee, two ladybirds, three dragonfly, four beetles, five moths and six butterflies. Once they had been chosen (based on best glaze results, minimal breakage etc.) I supported them off the bottom of the drawers using a small amount of strong gold wire. I am so happy I went through with this original design idea as it displays each insect perfectly. Once I had done this for all of my insects, I moved on to the outside of my drawers and added more gold leaf. Through the gold I wanted to heighten the precious qualities but I feel that this effect also ages the piece in an elegant way and emphasises the spiral shape that is an integral part of the work. As I was adding the gold leaf I allowed it to float down onto other areas of my work, dusting the frame and the tops of other boxes with gold. I feel that this further emphasised the delicate and magical qualities. As people brushed past, gold was lifted up into the air and swirled around my work.
I then moved on to hanging my arm branch piece. I knew that I wanted to display the arm to the left of my two walls, allowing the sunlight to fall onto it and providing a solid focal point beside my statement.I started by drilling a hole into the strong line of the wall. This was a little higher than I was planning, but is the only place in the wall it is safe to hang heavy things from. I adjusted my work to this by allowing the silk scarf to hang with a little more length than I had origionally planned, which in hindsight allowed me to add more twists and knots, adding much needed strength. I wanted my arm piece to be a little below head height, meaning that people would have to peer down at it, truly making the effort to see. I believe that by encouraging people to look more closely, they will see things they may have missed at a glance. They may appreciate that this is a good philosophy for life and that by taking the time to observe and to properly understand things, it is incredible what you actually discover.
Finally I hung my frames. I wanted to do this last as I wanted to get a feel for the impact my other pieces were having in the space first. From my trial layout I already understood what my frames may look like on the wall, but I wanted to get the composition perfect, so I asked some peers and tutors what they thought about my proposed order and shape. As a result, a few frames were switched around from the original layout and then all that was left to do was hang them. I wanted to be very cautious that I did not hang them too high to stay in keeping with my concepts. It is very important to me that the viewer must be taken out of their comfort zone and encouraged to bend down or sit on the floor to view all of the paintings. This encourages the viewer to be more childlike and suggests that like in nature, you must take a closer look to fully appreciate what is before you. It is also very important to me that the pictures appear to be displayed in a random and haphazard fashion , much like the plants they represent would grow in nature.
I am very happy with the final results. As I tend to work right up to any deadline, I only had an idea of how this would all look in practice in my head. But this has exceeded my expectations and I feel that what I have created is even better. I feel that the last minute switch to two walls instead of four helps my work appear flowing and incites movement. When I first finished the frame, It was much larger than I expected and without the boxes and drawers to soften it , looked rather scary and like an instrument of torture! But the contrast it provides to my ceramic work, is stark, making the ceramic edges appear softer and the glazes more delicate. The larger shape allows you to view the drawers more effectively and encourages more interaction and contact with the piece.
Throughout this year I have struggled at times to move away from the figure and figurative work. But I feel that I have finally succeeded in creating an original work, that is abstract but yet contains figurative aspects. I feel rather proud of the piece I have created.