These are some of the other thoughts about weight I have cogitated over the last few weeks.. before my mind meandered off in a more theoretical direction..
We have this redundant cast iron fire surround sitting in our toilet.. framing a blank bit of wall. I was contemplating how individuals perceive through bars of our burdens the lightness of freedom.. not sure if this idea works.
Does any one want the fire surround.. it is available to be collected.. provide your own sky.
And then my mind wandered around the thought that when you are doing a drawing it is just a line on paper.. the weight is conceived in the mind of the viewer.. so these two drawings are playing with that idea.. one drawing makes sense to the mind.. but the other does not.. with that load the thin man underneath should at least look as though he is straining.. instead he is just a little peeved.
So in the next drawing I wanted to experiment with making two objects of the similar shape appear to be of different weights .. starting with the idea of something the shape of a metal bar. I might come back to this again.. as the lighter bar is too translucent and ghostly. I want it to appear lightweight, but still a physical reality..
Ideas about physical realities led towards thoughts about large passenger aircraft.. boeings.. and how a 100 tonne dead weight at one end of a runway is lighter than air by the other end of the runway.. of course it still has the same weight, but as air passes over the wings they generate lift with increasing strength as speed increase.. You can see this if you look at a large jet about to take off on a long haul flight: at the start of the runway the wings positively droop towards the ground, with increasing airflow over them they move gradually upwards until at takeoff they skywards. My painting shows what happens and here is a photo of Boeings new plane to prove the point.
And positively the last in my blog backlog on this subject..
THE CREDIT CRUNCH:
I was struck by how lightweight are words applied to the really huge financial mess made by the banks, hedge funds and other corporate gamblers: bubble, billions, trillions, derivatives (expensive bubbles), greed, bail outs, bonuses.. And in contrast, how heavyweight are the words used to describe the consequences for the poorer individuals and nations, debt, insolvency, unemployment, repossession, hunger. So I tried doing a collage exploring this idea using cuttings taken from the newspapers when the crisis was dominating the news. Again, I am not convinced this is finished.. and it is horribly unsubtle.. but I just felt so angry at the time i wanted to do something to mark the injustice.
I have this project to produce drawings in response to the word weight. It is a purely a means of measurement, but of what? There are units: gms, kgs, lbs, tonnes and tons of units presumably a different one for every unique society in the world. And the same object would weigh a different number of kgs if measured on the earth or the moon.. so gravity has a bearing with Einstein and Newton getting involved. The same object will weigh a different amount if still of moving, eg an aircraft becomes lighter as it accelerates.. actually the wings generate lift acting upwards whilst the weight still acts downwards due to graavity.. so maybe that is a red herring.
And in a drawing does everything have to be explained.. a picture of an apple falling is synonymous with Einstein..
This is what wikipedia has on weight: Weight is a property of matter on the earth. The earth pulls matter to it. This pull is called weight. The matter pulls the earth too. Things weigh different when they are at sea level and on top of a mountain.The weight of a thing can be measured with a scale. The weight is a number showing how much the earth pulls the matter. The number needs a unit of measurement to be useful. The unit of weight used in science and engineering is the Newton, which is actually a unit of force. This is because weight is nothing more than a force.
This was the second 3d module, we had to make a sculpture using an armature and additive method with wet plaster. Direct modelling from the previous sculpture made in in the first module.. ie ‘not a thinker’ earlier in my blog. I started off making a chicken wire shell as before but it was all wrong, as with this method one starts with the absolute inside of the head and work outwards towards the skin. This was tricky as I deliberately never filled in the face on ‘not a thinker’. I dumped my first effort and started again.
When I saw Giacommetti’s head on a rod that inspired me.. in HMP Holloway I remember being told that an inmate who talked too freely to staff was called a ‘Gob on a Stick’.. and so my sculpture started with setting up the Stick, then creating an armature using bubble wrap for brains, a prickly branch for the lower internal parts of the mouth, tough reeds for the cords, muscles and tendons that run through and enable the twist of the neck, and brambles to represent a collar bone framework on which to hang bracken based alveoli of the lungs. On Nicola Hicks’ sculptures of plaster and straw, the straw shows through to good effect and I wanted the natural materials I used to convey meaning and be evident.
I wanted the sculpture to represent just the soft tissues under the skin and bone.. and I was partially pleased with the result but not wholly. Whilst bubble wrap brains pleases me conceptually (quite often feels my own head is stuffed with bubble wrap), it was not easy technically as the plaster wouldn’t stick to the bubble wrap and if she was bumped flakes would fall off revealing the plastic underneath..meaning she was very difficult to transport. However the natural materials used took the wet plaster beautifully and this is an idea that I would like to develop further. I don’t feel the Gob on a Stick is fully finished.. but I am waiting to get her to Edinburgh before I do any more.
I read this Haiku by Jim Norton:
You walking ahead
the grass springing back
erases your steps
and it got me thinking about the memory stored by a weighty imprint upon a soft surface. Yesterday I went for a walk in a blizzard on a mountain top; our footprints in the snow were gone very quickly and the memory of our presence lost. I wanted to store my partners presence when she went off on a trip to Iona.. and took her imprint on the turf and froze it with wet plaster. Bad news for the worms… also the grass went a bit brown and scummy .. so as a method of preservation of someone’s presence it needs refining.
Johns comments on this post have had me looking at Andy Goldsworthy.. similar thoughts about capturing a time and presence.. When Goldsworthy made the piece below I hope he was wearing a raincoat.. oh John says he wasn’t!
Mono prints done today.. with mixed success! You may think I have uploaded the last print the wrong way up and don’t know how to correct it.. how ridiculous.. the model was undertaking extreme yoga at the time.
This is the result of the first three week sculpture rotation in which we had to use linear materials (cardboard, paper, wire) to make a constructed sculpture from a model who sat for us for 3 mornings. Inspired by the idea of drawing around the figure, I made the form of the head, neck and shoulders. The hollow interior with no thinking equipment inside the empty space meant she could have no personality, or face with which to express herself.. so I left an empty space at the front.
Now that I have finished making her I find the dark hole of her head and the way it channels towards the throat demanding in some way and the emptiness quite poignant.. but I feel there is more to say. Her empty headedness may indicate tranquility, or emptyness as in unthinking foolishness.