Wednesday, 27 April 2011


I have been thinking of ways in which I could possible dispaly this peice for the end of year assessment show.
Depending on how many eggs i decide to use, and whether I use whole eggs, or the egg shell pieces, or both, I want to try and contain them in a small cage like structure, or something that is the size of the space one caged hen gets to live in. Very relevent sizing I think.
So I have to come up with how i will display these eggs in the space of less than an A4 sheet of paper. Exact measurments vary for the size of the space each bird has but on average its about 3/4 the size of A4.
So Im thinking wire base perhaps, as this is what they live on. Im not sure how the eggs will stay on this so perhaps a small shelf the same size to put the eggs on....

Golden Eggs

An alternative experiment to using jewels is to spray paint the egg shells gold..
This way i could produce elegant looking egg shells, but much quicker and on mass.

I have painted the egg shells as a whole, and also broken them up and painted them, so there are just fragments of golden egg shells.

(kind of reminds me of Jack and the Beanstalk - then hen who lays the golden eggs)

I think these would look good on mass production, as the eggs are produced for us. But Im not sure wether to paint just the outside or the inside also...

I think maybe combining the two ideas, of jewels and gold together could produce a nice, very royal effect. So next i think I will paint the inside of the eggs gold and then put jewels on top also.

More eggs shells...

So i finished another egg shells with the jelwels, although these are not two halfs of the same egg, which i should have made sure of. This was more of an experiment though so i will use a whole egg for the next one. I want to use two halfs of the same egg as then you will be able to see they can fit together, and perhaps I will fit them together to display them, so from the outside it looks like a normal egg with a crack one side, but with a closer look withing, sparkling jewels will be hiding...

Flying Kites in Glossop

I say flying, but for me it didnt really go that way...
I made my diamond kite from clear plastic, with a frame made from wire and sticks. And thats where it all went wrong...
I thought a diamond shape kite was a safe way to go and my stick frame re-inforces with wire and cable ties, how could it not fly... even just a little bit..?
It turns out that sticks don't hold up to well in a big gust of wind. As soon as I stepped off the coach in Manchester from Liverpool, before I even got on the coach to Glossop, it was broken.
I tried to mend it best I could with some wire I had in my bag and was hopeful it would hold.
When we got to Glossop we had some breakfast, and egg roll, and then headed up the kill to fly the kites.

Trying to be optimistic,Ii attempted to fly my little broken kite but it was no use.

My little failure of a kite...

So I whipped out my back up plan...
I wasnt going to fly a kite, I was going to kite a fly.
Result!.... kind of.

My fly on a string, blowing in the wind... (this fly died of natural causes)

Flying high above the hills...

Some more successful kites of the day.

A little diversion

After looking at Claire Morgan's works a little more closely at her use of objects such as dead flies and decaying fruit and plants, i had a quick go at taking some photos of my own dead flies and flowers.

I think I prefer the Black and White version, although in the colour photo the fly can be seen more clearly...

I kind of reminds me of the idea of death the skull brings in Vanitas paintings... maybe I could use this as a starting point to creat some kind of alternative Vanitas scene with unusual items such as the flies...

one down...

One egg shell finally finished, took quite a while to try to stick them all down without pulling them back up again! But I am quite happy with this.

Maybe many of these would look effective, or perhaps just one whole egg, in two halfs, decorated like this would look more 'special' and another contrast between the mass production of the eggs I am showing.

I also experimented making fabric flower to decorate the eggs shells with. It didnt really turn out how I had hoped and I wasnt very impressed. Im not sure if it was the type or colours of fabric, but I think it ended up looking more like an easter treat. So I think I iwll give this one a miss.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Egg Shells

So I dont have any taxidermy to use, and it looks like it could be quite difficult to get hold of without spending alot of time or money!
Ive had a go at using egg shells following my egg box idea from the Time Line exhibition.
Similar to Angela Singer I have tried using beads and jewels to line the inside of the egg shells in an attempt to portray a smiliar message about the cruelty to animals but particulally within the intensvie farming industry, starting with caged hens.
I think this is an industry very easily over-looked by the majority of the worlds population, only seeing what is on their plate and having no idea or now care as the where it was come from and the welfare of the animals that were used to porduce this for them.
So with this project i want to try and provoke some kind of concern for producion of eggs, and the contrast of the sparkling jewels will hopfully be recognised as an great contrast to the extremely grim conditions these chickens live in for the mass production of egss for humans.

I began using only red beads, but because they are all the same size they ended up in creating quite straight edged shapes, a bit too organised.

I got hold of some jewels and much prefered this effect, the different colours and sizes.


Some more artists I have discovered who use taxidermy in the art work. Not for the same reasons as Angela Singer Im sure, and some even do their own taxidermy, like Polly Morgan.
Claire Morgan uses taxidermy, and sometimes untaxidermied dead animals in her work so demonstrate the innevitability of death upon us. Also to represent freedom, especially when using birds and ofen having them crash to the floor perhaps showing there will always be something in our way or to bring us down.
Polly Morgan was first a taxidermist then an artist creating work from the aninlas she taxidermied.
She has created some beautiful pieces, such as the blue tit in the glass case below, looking so piecful in its eternal rest upon a book.
Both use the taxidermy in a very different way to Angela Singer, but still, the use of the dead animal is still the prominent part in their work and the different ways they have each used them is what has interested me in them.

Claire Morgan Fantastic Mr Fox

Claire Morgan Captive

Polly Morgan Blue Tit

Polly Morgan Morning

Thursday, 31 March 2011

New favourite artist

So after having the thoughts about the banning of battery hens, and animals rights in general, i had a little look online for any artists who share my political views about the cruelty to animals.
This is when i came across New Zealand based, English artist Angela Singer.
I love her use of recycled taxidermy animals to portray the cruelly of hunting and killing of animals by covering them in what would seems to be beautiful jewels... but that actually ooze out blood red beads from where the animal has been cut open...
She uses various animals, having them donated to her by collectors when the taxidermy has been damaged.

Timeline in the Link

Asked to produce an image of the past, present or future, from 1980-future.I struggled with this for a little while, as there is so much i could put up... personal memories, world wide events... etc.
And I cant quite remember where the idea sparked from but then i realised what is an important date or me in 2012.

The banning of intensively farmed eggs....hopefully! Although this isnt quite true, its a supposidly when condition will become better, more space for the chickens with perches and nests. But will still be caged hens for our bargain driven country.

So i thought about doing a small illustration representing this, and then figured my message might be more understood, or perhaps not, by using an egg box lid (free-range of course) and stuck it on the timeline where i figure January 2012 would be.

Now we just have to hope it actually happens!

My little egg box...

Some more experiments....

Just a few more experiments with making wings and feather in different materials... Scratching into cardboard

Using white fabric and wire

My own Balinese kite

A miniture experiment of my own Balinese kite...

Balinese Kite...

This is a bird kite from Bali, bought back by my dad many years ago. Memories of a fruit filled, boiling hot stop over on our move from New Zealand to England.

Im loving the amazing bright colours, but the design and painting is so simple.

Perhaps ill try and make one of these for myself to fly at Glossop....

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Hawkins Bazaar

I went into the joke shop to try and ind a silly present for my brothers birthday, and finding nothing suitably silly i came out with this 50p find instead.

Thinking it fits quite nicely into my bird theme, i might take some ideas from this later in my project, perhaps creating some wigs out of puzzle like pieces...

More wings...

A few more experiments trying different ways of making feathers and wings...

Sewing into white fabric, no outline, just free hand.

Tried a bit of origami, but i don't think ill go down that route... not yet anyway.

Cotton-wool feathers with wire...

And trying the sewing again, this time on white card but without a food on the sewing machine, a bit of free hand sewing.

I will carry on with the cotton-wool feathers and the sewing, perhaps trying some layering and different material to sew with and different ways to attach the cotton cool to the wire. I used cotton-wool as it is very light, feather like.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Another trip to Liverpool

Off to see some exhibitions in the Fact, Tate and Blue Coat Galleries.
First up was Nam June Paik in the Fact. exhibiting here were video works by the artist and a piece using lights and lasers. I wasn't too impressed with the video works, its not really my kind of thing but the laser piece was great!
Called 'Open Transmission', the piece was a big ti-pi type structure suspended about 50cm from the floor, just enough space to crawl under and lye on the mats beneath.

I could have stayed in there a lot longer than would have been acceptable, it was very absorbing lying watching the lasers make all sorts of shapes...
Then we walked on to the Blue Coat Gallery where the exhibition was Underwater. There were a few interesting pieces but my favorite was a group of pieces by Seunghyun Woo, Another Tree (2010). This was a selection of sculptures made from a wire frame with plaster an acrylic paint built but around the frame to create futuristic like plant life under the sea.

Finally was a trip to the Tate, where the Nam June Paik exhibition continued but i did not go in. I just browsed around the rest of the gallery, seeing things i have seen quite a few times, but then realising there were a few new pieces which has been added. One was made entirely of toast, another with book suspended in a glass wall (John Latham- God is Great).

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Making Wings

So i have started experimenting with a few different ways o making wings. I want them to be as realistic a possibly, and life size, but don't want use realistic materials to make them, such as feathers, so i have start of using paper.
I have drawn out he shape and size of a feather and cut it out so i had the basic outline. I then scored into it to create something resembling a feather and made a few of these at different sizes.

I did the same thing with a whole wing shape and scored out each individual feather so i was looking like the wing was made up of many feathers (and hopefully not just a big mess of scratchings...)

I tried this a few times with different shaped wings...

I am quite pleased with these, although i think if i try some on thicker card the patterns of the feathers might be more obvious.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Starting on another project

Whilst the Mary Greg project will be on going i am going to start on another project focusing on a theme of 'flight'. Loosely based on the Glossop project, which i ill be making a flying machine for, i will be also be looking at birds and flight. This all stems from a hobby, previously mentioned below, of bird ringing, enabling me to get close up first hand images on birds and their wings. I have started by creating a few very quick sketches of birds in flight from a trip to Portugal this summer and will be particularly be looking at the shape of the wings of different types of birds. initially i will be working towards the idea of recreating the wings of different birds, so different shapes and sizes, and i will try to create these in various materials, and they will be life size. this means tiny tiny wings of a Goldcrest to much larger wings of a Stalk...


I will be focusing on this project while Mary Greg will be second in line for a while.