Unit 78 Developing and Realising Fine Art Ideas

I’m having trouble uploading presentations to wordpress, and also powerpoint sharing websites, so for the moment, here is a link to my presentation in Google Drive.


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These are some sketches of ideas for my sculpture. They are all inspired by the work of Henry Moore in the use of abstract shapes. Almost all of them are based on relationships with people close to me, except for number two that is inspired by my passion for graphic design. The idea I like best is number six, which is the drawing in the bottom left-hand corner. I would like to recreate this in photoshop and make it appear to be carved in bronze.

Digital Art is the term used to describe artistic works that use digital technology as an essential part of the creative process. Some argue that this type of work is not real art as infinate copies can be made and so there is no original. It can be entirely computer generated or can be taken from other sources such as scanned photographs or images drawn using vector graphics. 3D graphics are created through the process of designing imagery from geometric shapes or polygons to create three dimensional objects.

This piece is by Mark Wilson, one of the pioneers of digital image making. He created images like this one using digital software that he ran several times to produce a large number of images, and then drew the most successful images together. The final appearance of the piece depended on his own editing process.

This is a print showing a curved wall and is one of a series of 19 digital prints incorporating
traditional woodblock printing and digital design. It was the result of a workshop held at Wimbledon School of Art, in which the artists explored the integration of traditional woodblock printing with digital
technology. This piece really reminds me of the work of Richard Serra and shows how a sculpture could be translated into a digital format.

This is the work of graphic designer Amirali Ghasemi and is from the series Parties that shows young Iranians socialising in private homes, their faces and other exposed flesh blocked out to protect their identities and also to call attention to the subversive nature of their actions under the current
regime. Ghasemi states that depending on their contexts, his works ‘are interpreted very differently and associated with subjects such as censorship, women’s rights, the hijab, and Islam’.

Peter Kennard has used computer-aided design in his work since 2002. With the help of Kat Picton Phillips, he has produced a portfolio of 15 plates addressing the American invasion of Iraq
in 2003 and its consequences. The images are scanned composites of old war medals purchased in Camden Market, London, their ribbons severely distressed by the artists. Of the project, the artist have said, ” wrote ‘We gritted the scanner, bled on it; threw torn-up rags, flags and ribbons on it; poured oil then stamped on the stuff, burnt it and spat on the lot…In some of the images we used photographs taken with great bravery by documentary photographers in Iraq. Their commitment to keeping us informed often showed us the extreme degradations that this war has brought upon the Iraqi people.’”


Made in the late 1950s to mid 1960s, site specific art started as a decontextualisation of the museum space. The term refers to the artists intervention of a specific space, creating work that is integrated into and explores a relationship with its surroundings. It applies to work made by an srtist in a landscape either by manipulating the terrain to produce earthwork or by creating temporary or removeable art. It can also apply to an environmental installation or sculpture created especially for a particular gallery space or site.

One example of site specific art is Soft Shuttlecock by Claes Oldenberg and Coose Van Bruggen created specifically for the Frank Lloyd Wright designed rotundaof the Guggenhein Museum. The work humourously deflates the imposing structure of the building and diminishes its relative scale while underscoring the museums role as a site for both culture and education as well as entertainment and recreation.

An example of earth work is Robert Smithdon’s Spiral Jetty, asculpture built from mud, precipitated salt crystals, basalt rocks, and water. It is built on the Great Salt LAke in Utah. The water level of the lake varies with precipitation in the mountains surrounding the area, revealing the jetty in times of drought and submerging it during times of normal precipitation.

The Gates was a site-specific work of art by Bulgarian artist Christo Yavacheff and French artist Jeanne-Claude. The artists installed 7,503 vinyl “gates” along 23 miles of pathways in Central Park in New York City. The work was also specific to the season they were erected in, winter, as this is the only time when the trees have no leaves and so the gates can be seen from a distance. A visitor to the project said, “I saw the drawings, and I thought they were extraordinary, but seeing the scale, and how it mimics the terrain of the park, and then the interaction with people, and the light through the fabric as it changes color — it’s just extraordinary.”

The Red Ball Project is another example of site specific artwork, but that has the ability to be moved in order to become specific for somewhere else. The project began as a commission by Arts in Transit, an award winning public art bi-state agency based in St Louis but since then, artist Kurt Perschke has traveled around the world, squeezing this huge red sculpture into various spaces, such as under bridges or inside arches or even bus stops. Perschke has said of the project, “As RedBall travels around the world people approach me on the street with excited suggestions about where to put it in their city. In that moment the person is not a spectator but a participant in the act of imagination.” He calls it an opportunity to engage with the public – people get to interact with it, touch it, push on it, jump against it.

I really like the idea of making my project site-specific, but because I am creating digital art, I dont think its really a possibility. I think site-specific works because it gives the viewer the opportunity to interact with it – they need to be able to be near the structure in order to get a sense of its scale and feeling. Though I still may experiment with placing my sculpture into various locations, I feel that it would most be suited to quite an empty space, like in the piece I took inspiration for the project from. My sculpture is going to be personal to me, whereas site specific art has the ability to become something to, and ignite emotion in the viewer, so I think placing my piece in a blank space would allow its subject to become the main focus and doesn’t really let its surroundings influence or change what it means to me.


Richard Serra is an American minimalist sculptor known for working with large-scale assemblies of sheet metal. His early work was quite controversial and extremely disliked by some (his sculpture Tilted Arc (1981) that was installed in Federal Plaza in New York was later removed and destroyed. The subject of an artist’s rights to his or her work was heavily debated and he said at the time, “I don’t think it is the function of art to be pleasing.”) but he has more recently grown much more popular, he thinks the key to this is his use of curves.  Much of Serra’s work hangs on the idea that the viewer is the subject of the piece, they’re experience becomes the content. This idea is shown at his exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in London, a show that uses giant steel curves. Sean O’Hagan who interviewed Serra for The Guardian said of the work:

The monumental weight of these burnished sculptures is tangible as soon as you enter the space. Though big and airy, it seems barely able to contain them.

One of his pieces for the show consisted of two huge curves of oxidised steel, one convex in shape and one concave. The experience of walking along the two is said to be radically different, though they are identical opposites in each other. One is said to loom above you, feeling womb like and the other is said to feel as though it is in danger of falling away, drawing all light into its centre. Many of his pieces seem to defy logic as well as gravity. I think in my own work, trying to create a feeling of the piece might be difficult because of its digital nature, but it is something I would like to explore – to see if something that doesn’t really exist can convey an emotion to the audience.

Henry Moore, from Yorkshire, was a sculptor who worked in stone, wood and later in bronze. He quickly estabilshed himself as one of Britians leading young artists, emerging from the modernist movement in the 1920s. Abstractions were his primary motif and following African, Precolumbian and Mexican exhibits at the British Museum, much of his work was inspired by primitive, organic forms but also drew on elements of abstract, surrealist and classical styles. In the documentary Five British Sculptors (Work and Talk) by Warren Forma, Moore said, “In my opinion, everything, every shape, every bit of natural form, animals, people, pebbles, shells, anything you like are all things that can help you make a sculpture.” In 1946, Moore’s sculpture was presented at a one man exhibition at MOMA, New York. Two years later, he won the Internation Prize at Venice Biennale. After 1950, with sponsorship from the British Council, he executed large scale public projects. His exploration of his signature reclining figure lead him to an increasingly abstract style in his work. Earlier figures deal with mass, while his later work contrasts the solid elements of his sculptures with space, both around and through them. Following the birth of his daughter, Moore’s sculptures began to feature the depiction of a family unit. Moore’s heightened success later provided him with the means to work increasingly in bronze. Many of his sculptures during this period are at a monumental scale of which he had always desired for his work. The size of these sculptures, that celebrate the beauty of organic forms, have an overwhelming presence that creates a relationship between the sculpture, the site and the viewer. I like the way that Henry Moore uses parts of his own life as inspiration for his sculpture, and this is something I would like to explore in my project.

Anthony Caro’s famous work is constructed and welded in steel, compromising beams, girders and other found elements in bright colours. Following on from working as a part-time assistant for Henry Moore, Caro achieved widespread recognition in the early 1960s after his 1963 Whitechapel show that featured 15 abstract sculptures, a style he abandoned his previous figurative way of working in favour of. His work caused a sensation, some people refused to call it a work of art but his idea of placing his sculptures on the floor, bringing them into the spectators own space, made a huge difference to how they were received. Caro said, “when I began, being a sculptor might have meant producing statues of generals on horseback. But I always pushed forward, and have had a career that would have been unimaginable even to myself back then.” For my own work, I would like to take inspiration from Caro’s idea of the place in which the work is place has an effect on the way the viewer perceives it. In regards to the shapes used in his work, I think they are a little more impersonal than I would want to use in my own, I think I would like to include more fluid forms that suggest something more intimate.

The idea of digital art for this project was inspired by this picture I found whilst looking through the V&A website:

The piece is by artist Paul Brown and depicts a 3-D computer simulation of a free-standing sculpture. I was surprised to see that it was made in 1983, as it seems quite modern for its time. I decided I would like to do something like this using Adobe Illustrator, but make a piece that means something to me. I like the idea of it being quite abstract, so in order to start thinking of ideas for my own project, I am going to look at the work of other abstract sculptors, as well as other digitally produced artwork. I would also like to look at some site specific art, to see how this would impact my sculptural piece.