Choosing to place two figurines side by side on the plinth is a big risk for the work, I hope it will talk about the language of mass production these figurines speak. The plinth holds both the original and a plaster cast of the figurine. Cleverly I’ve also positioned the figurines so that at certain angles you can only see one of the figurines! This was a real exciting surprise for the work. The figurine in place compliments the colours used on the boarder too.
I still haven’t attached the border! Went back on the whole plan today too- I decided to change the plinth I wanted it on, putting it on the eggshell coloured one instead of the other two. The height of that plinth felt at a much more realistic level to that of border in a home setting. I also played around with the level at which I wanted it. I want the white wood to show through as I feel that is a success of the piece. So I think I prefer the middle image of the three here.
Another busy day in the studio again today! I started by wallpapering the plinth I stripped bare yesterday, another fantastic pattern, very difficult pattern to paste with; but worth it and got there in the end. After I had finished the plinth I really enjoyed the look of all three of them how they were. Annoyingly, I didn’t want to paint them! The white of the wallpaper looked so good against the rim of the bare wood. I knew I needed to bite the bullet and get painting but not before taking some decent ish photos first. It was whilst taking the photos, I took one of two plinths together and this lead to alarm bells ringing in my head – two look good don’t they Rach?
Once I had the stuff it was time to get wallpapering! I immediately loved the wallpaper I used on the smaller plinth, it reminded me instantly of my grandma’s and it matches so well to the boarder and figurine. I could see it taking form now, matching up the colours to the embossed wallpaper felt like I was getting somewhere. I’ve scraped the next plinth free of it’s former wallpaper ready for a re-vamp tomorrow and I’ve got the colours ready to go! I decided to scrap the idea of a 4th plinth, I went to get the wood cut today but just before my decision I realised there is no real need for another one, it may just look cluttered. Although beforehand I felt it would look too much like my previous piece, when I shifted the plinths around it didn’t feel like that at all. I did get some other wood cut though! For the tops of the plinths. This has worked out fantastic! By placing an extra piece of wood on top it allows the paper to fold underneath it, by covering over this with wood it covers the mess and makes the plinth look incredibly neat. I’m really pleased with today’s progress. The plinths are beginning to become; “architectural walls.” – and interesting I almost see them as the formations of tower blocks.
I really enjoy the plinth with torn wallpaper on its own, but with the figure on top it loses its appeal. The figure gets lost and is no longer the central focal point. If I am going to leave the section at the bottom it’s going to be have to be very subtle and it could be criticised that I’m trying to replicate reality again however it could compliment the figures.
The plan with these ornaments, as it was before; I want to place them on plinths, placing art works on plinths is a very “fine art” thing do. This was something that was mentioned when getting feedback on my piece; Untitled (Ornamental Figure), again the titling; a very fine art thing to do. I agreed with the majority that generally I don’t like works being Untitled however for this piece they kind of liked it. It’s very fine art way of titling, yet it was almost emphasizing the setting that the piece was in. They said that it was a statement about being made by an artist- for a contemporary art setting. When I began making the work, the use of the plinth was about taking these figures out of their home context yet bringing back somewhat of their original context by using the wallpaper. This is what I intend to bring through in the next series of plinthed ornaments.
When I began thinking about the plinth some more I remembered the 4th Plinth; situated in London’s Trafalgar square. The plinth was originally intended to hold an equestrian statue of William IV, but remained bare due to insufficient funds. Since 1999, the plinth has become a home to temporary contemporary art works. Contemporary artists are commissioned to make works for the plinth. Some of these artist include Antony Gormley, Yinka Shonibare and one of my faves Rachel Whiteread! Her piece Monument is pictured above. The newest addition is Katharina Fritsch’s: Hahn/Cock. The big blue cockerel also pictured above. I really like the idea behind the 4th plinth and I think it relates really well with what I’m doing here with my wallpapered plinths.
I found some really interesting articles about it too: This one about Rachel Whiteread: http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2001/may/27/features.magazine47
and this one about the latest Fritsch’s Hahn/Cock where it says; For Fritsch, colour is what transforms a sculpture from a naturalistic ornament into a symbol. “It evens it out, makes it abstract – like a visual sign, an icon. That is important: my work is always on the borderline between a detailed sculpture and a sign. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/jul/24/katharina-fritsch-fourth-plinth-cockerel-sculpture
I’m also continuing with the wallpapered plinths. I was really pleased with the aesthetics of the covered plinths so would like to continue this, however rather than just ornamental figures on plinths, experiment with other domestic objects- considering lamps, telephones photo frames etc. I particularly liked the idea of the lamp. I was imagining the lamp covered in magnolia paint yet the light still shining beneath. The lamp, alongside these other objects, also covered in a coat of magnolia, will emphasize the forgotten objects left behind when one moves home. The objects remain within our memories of that previous home but in reality those objects, those walls have been forever removed from the present. They’ve been painted over and removed. The lights are on but Nobody’s home- a great potential title of the piece.
Last week I had a go at dipping some more of my grandmas old ornaments in magnolia paint. I’m using this process as a way of of removing the remnants of a time gone by. I still prefer the original magnolia figure but it was a nice experiment with which I may use these figures for future works. I also want to mention that I got a an amazing book out last week including a fantastic interview with artist Ruth Claxton. In discussion regarding her ornamental pieces I particularly liked these two comments- “They are seductive objects yet equally they are disturbing; they are not returning your gaze because they are in some way blinded.” and this simple but brilliant comment- “a mini utopia on your mantelpiece.”