Four days before the show we got the space to ourselves. We had been sharing the workspace with a few other artists and It felt great to take ownership of the space and our work could now come alive and inhabit the space. We constructed the bigger pieces and played with their position. We considered how we directed the viewer through the space, the view on entry (the glamour shot!) and how we directed the audience to look through, into and upwards. The positioning of the lighting was important. We wanted the audience to create shadows, so that they became part of the work. We considered the idea of the audience as voyeur and participator. The lighting obviously lent itself to the theatricality of the work and created a brothel feel… well according to Seb!
Dan Howard Birt came in towards the end of the install to support us. The curtain had been hanging down and we pulled it back to reveal the domestic scene of the foam potato chippings, which previously been seen from the front as a shadow. The original idea was that the audience/viewer would walk behind and become part of the work as they would become a shadow. However this was happening already with shadows being created on the wall. Having the curtain pulled back seemed to embody the original idea of Stagestuck. Of a space of revealment and concealment. Here the viewer/participator’s was front and back stage , in front of and behind and ‘in’ the stage. The curtain hung this way also made reference to the history of the curtain in painting and the symbolism of the curtain as a meeting space of the conscious and unconscious, the known and unknown similarly to David Lynch’s use of the curtain that was discussed in an early Stagestuck blog.
On Sunday we took over the stage space at BOM. It felt really good to get our work into it’s space. As we thought through ideas we experimented with the positioning, we started to get a sense of what could happen and what was happening.
Luckily the space is a really good size and our pieces feel like they can breathe and any concerns we had about how the colour would work together were dissipated.
Unfortunately, we have lost quite a few days in the space due to our work commitments, both of us catching colds and having to clear away our materials and work for other events. But given these constraints and the 3 weeks to make, we are pleased with our output, and we could not have done it without the students support.
Thank you to all the City and Islington College students who braved the cold this week to support us with Stagestuck. Seb and I are now looking forward to starting the installation on Sunday and playing with how sculptures work together, the moment of truth!
Two weeks have flown by. It has been energetic, productive and very cold! We continue to make things and are thinking about and planning the installation, which will begin in a weeks time ready for our end of residency show on the 8th of December. We have started promoting the show; you can see our blog post on the UAL Postgraduate Newsletter.
We have had to slow down a bit this weekend, as there are lots of events/rehearsals on at By Other Means. It’s good to have a few days rest after such an intensive time.
The three musketeers from the far mystical land of CANDI (City and Islington College); Olga, Leanne and Morgan.
When we arrived here at first we were lost… but then Helen miraculously appeared from the opened door and we were relieved to finally arrive at our destination. When we walked into the space, our first impressions were “woah this is awesome !”. As we walked further inside, towards the studio we thought “woah, this is even cooler”.
If it weren’t for this workshop, I would’ve wasted my time at home, but here I am painting rugs and creating a paper mache to create a skirt full of colours for an anthropomorphic sculpture!
As the day went on, the outside got darker but the studio was still bustling with life and creativity. Throughout the session, we were blessed with cookies, tea and coffee – bringing warmth to our lost cold souls.
Through the collaborative process of making and thinking a narrative has emerged of morals of sexual taste and our collaborative sculptures, unapologetic dumb performing objects.
We don’t want to reveal too much as we want the show to tell the story, but we are exploring how the objects and installation can question the audience and take them out of and into their comfort zone. Helen.
Many thanks to Dan Howard Birt, an artist, curator and lecturer, who is mentoring us for our residency project.
Dan visited us for the first time to see and discuss our work today. Dan is insightful and analytical. He has a great ability to to verbally translate visual art, to articulate what is there, what is happening.
He is extremely active in the contemporary art scene and passionate about the visuals art . He is always very generous with his time and sharing of his knowledge and thoughts. Thanks again Dan.
We are 4 students from City and Islington College: Alex, Carina, Nema and Jordan and today we came in to help with Seb and Helen’s installation.
We worked on a range of jobs, Alex and Jordan helped with the papier-mâché, which will become a skirt for a sculpture. Alex and Jordan got messy as it became a bit of a “sticky situation”. They stuck to everything, including the paper, which made the task increasingly difficult.
After an hour and half of work they decided to do something a little less messy and opted for painting a piece of sculpted folded paper. For this they tried to make the paper appear like flowing fabric, while also making it into a rigid object, like it was caught in the wind, frozen in time.
Nema painted polystyrene covered in mod roc, whilst I painted cardboard netting , which was originally packaging. I painted this in blue emulsion paint mixed with clear acrylic gloss. We enjoyed ourselves and hope to come back soon 😀
In the first few days, Seb and I became acquainted with each others ideas, the materials and the space. The emphasis so far has been on freedom, play and the generation of ideas through the assemblage of found and made objects in order to give us a sense of what form the show might take in a months time.
We’ve been using discarded collage cut outs as a device to inform sculptural works, turning images into objects using varnish and creating body like forms through stitching together found domestic items and furniture. Through these processes and the collaborative discourse around them, we are starting to understand what might be meant by the term ‘Stagestuck’. Seb
Seb and I started making work together at the weekend. We hadn’t collaborated together before; finding a way of working became an interaction and exchange of thoughts, ideas, skills, knowledge and experiments. We began responding to our found and collected objects, playing with leftover cutouts, making forms for paper mache, building structures, bringing disparate objects together, and pouring paint .
We discussed how the sculptures can be ‘doing’ sculptures. That they have their own life-anthropomorphised. As we continue to work together a narrative is forming, but I don’t want to say too much about that at the moment . It’s proving very exciting and dynamic collaborating, it is challenging too because decisions you might not normally question yourself on or have to explain, you sometimes need to in a pair. I think that the installation will reflect something our working relationship.