Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Hair continued...

I have also become interested in the theme of preservation, which I think connects to hair-especially in the context of mourning and mementos.

I have started to think about the themes of hair and preservation using spider diagrams and lists.

I have used my own hair to try out hair drawing, starting off with a basic flower design.

I have also created three 'deformed' wax candles using crushed coke cans as moulds, which contain hair collected from the plughole of my bath, which can be seen, preserved within the wax.

Although I like the idea of using hair and enjoyed making these tests, I don't think the outcomes were particularly interesting, and I'm not sure how to take this idea further, so I have decided to move on to a different project, and maybe come back to this idea at a later stage if I can think of a way to bring it forward.

My hair drawing and design for the hair candles:

Saturday, 23 October 2010


At the moment I'm interested in using human hair as as a material for artwork.

The theme of hair interests me, as it's something that can define us and our appearance, that can represent different cultures, that carries our DNA, that can be seen as both disgusting and beautiful when placed into different contexts, and which can serve as a memento of a person

Physically, hair can also be interesting, with the many different options of style and colour, and different textures, lengths and smells.

Hair's fragility, how fine and breakable it is are also attractive to me. I have also always wanted a gorgeous long, thick head of hair, having thin and slow-growing hair myself, which may have something to do with my interest in it.

The Victorians used the hair of dead loved ones to create beautiful pieces of mourning jewellery- the hair was often put inside a locket but other times was woven into bracelets etc. They would also make pictures for the wall using the hair.

Looking at Victorian mourning jewellery was what inspired me to try working with hair.

Some examples:

American artist Melanie Bilenker is inspired by mourning jewellery and uses hair to draw pictures of mundane events-her work is small and usually in the form lockets, brooches,jewellery etc.

'Falling Asleep'

'Taking a Bath'

Artist Jodie Carey uses small amounts of human hair in her paper wreaths of flowers, which feel like they also fit into the theme of mourning.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Artist research for Shelter...

Francesco Simeti

Francesco Simeti plays with interiors and brings 'outside world' issues into the home environment in his wallpaper piece, 'Acorn'. The paper juxtaposes an old fashioned ornate wallpaper design with images of men in white suits clearing toxic waste.


This advertisement uses a bus stop filled with furniture to look like a home.


Artists Alfie Dennen and Paula Le Dieu have been specially commissioned to create these public artworks for the Olympic games in 2012, which feature LED panels on the roofs of bus stops all over London. The artists aim to surprise and delight, get people talking, communicating and tapping into their own creativity.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Shelter-final result...

Images of the finished bus stop and the process of decorating:

I think the finished shelter looks effective, and we managed to create what we set out to, despite various obstacles along the way. However, I think the overall look could be improved as it isn't very polished-it looks like it has been stuck up at night.

The feedback we got said that we had a good audience around the stop, so we achieved the entertainment value we wanted, but that we could have presented the work better in the studio. I think some unintended ideas were picked up on by people, and some saw it as a fairly obvious concept, but although it was, it was just intended to make people smile, and allow us to explore and experiment with our environment.

I feel this would be a great project to develop and we have agreed to continue decorating different bus stops around different themes in the near future.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

More Shelter...

Due to time constraints, we have decided to use shop bought wallpaper from a second hand shop, the floral pattern matches our theme. I have used my bird motif to decorate a lamp that will sit on the bench in the bus shelter.

We have also purchased light switches and plug sockets to add to the walls for realism and detail, as well as a table, lace for curtains and a picture to hang which depicts a bird.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Shelter- continued...

We have decided to create our own screen printed wallpaper to hang in the bus shelter. Each of us is working on a design related to the theme of birds and their shelters-nests etc. We feel a bird motif fits in with the chintzy, vintage style of decoration we have chosen to use.

For my design, I was inspired by reading about the Bower Bird, a bird species native to Australia, in which the male constructs a small shelter or bower in order to attract a female mate. Not only do they build this structure, but they also decorate it with flowers, grass etc, placed in patterns. Sometimes they even paint the walls using a mixture of their saliva, and pigment from things like berries or coal to create a kind of paste applied with a piece of bark for a 'paintbrush'. Each bird makes a different bower and after finding a mate the shelter is not lived in but left to disrepair. It is purely for the purpose of attraction.

An example of a Bowerbird and its bower:

I feel that this idea fits in quite well with the bus shelter, as our aim is simply to attract and interest people, make the laugh or smile, the decoration isn't supposed to be practical or permanent.

I did lots of different designs before choosing the final one. I decided to use bold, black ink pen to give a modern aspect to the design and make it clearly visible as it's audience would be passers- by. However, I concentrated carefully on changing line thickness and the flow of lines to keep the fragility, fluidity and natural feel that I think of when I imagine a bird.

Some of my sketchbook work for shelter:

This is my final design for the wallpaper motif:

Emma's flyer design to promote the project: