Month: May 2008


My engravings have been destroyed – people witnessed it and no-one tried to stop me – a pointless waste.

War and Conflict.



Brief Outline

I chose War and Conflict as the brief for my final piece. I wanted to challenge myself and this was the brief that would involve most research for myself, war is a subject that has never interested me. It appalls me that people still believe in fighting for their country and I consider it a pointless waste of innocent life.

The initial research I did, looking at war artists and images of war made me decide early on that I did not want to go for the shock factor. I wanted to produce a series of art works that were originally considered controversial but is now just a work of art as shock values have changed. Guernica did this for me, each image within the picture is harrowing, mothers cradling dead children and animals in pain.

Unforeseen events and handling

My main concern was not being able to draw a conclusion from all my work and research – I worried that I may have discarded really good ideas in favour of safe ones. All I could do was have a drink and ignore the safe ideas!

Knowledge and skills gained/developed

I have learnt that I should not be afraid of my ideas – my final destruction of the artwork was the scariest thing have done since the bungee jump 8 years ago! but it also proved to be the most satisfying.

Strengths and weaknesses of artwork

I am worried that by not gluing the glass into the medal box I am asking for it to be dropped or shaken, but I am pleased that had the courage to destroy so much work.

What extent the assignment met the original brief

it is no longer a series of prints but a medal box containing the remains of my glass art engravings. My original thought was war is pointless – what was my point in working for hours and hours engraving huge pieces of glass just to destroy them – what is left – just fragments. I interpreted the brief as a series of memories, shadows and remains and that it what I hope I created.

“We are all connected to the threats, realities and memories of war” The medal box is accompanied by a slip which reads from “the Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Army) presents his compliments and by Command of the Defence Council has the honour to transmit the enclosed Awards granted for service during the war of 1939-45. This is my connection to the 2nd world war – it was the slip that accompanied my fathers medal.


Week 1

Planning stage.  Mind map thoughts, make final decision on project

Week 2

Research, visit library, check internet, art galleries

Week 3

Look a techniques, experiment with digital work, photography

Week 4

Explore art techniques, different types of media

Week 5

Work up images, review work up to this point

Week 6

Take all ideas and try different ways of presenting them

Week 7

Pull it all together, don’t be afraid to go with my instincts


I have decided on the pillars in the library as my space for a site specific piece. I have been looking at the work of Sol Le Witt , Richard Long and Dan Flavin and am particularly inspired by Jenny Holzer. Her series of Truisms including “A little Knowledge Goes a Long Way”.

I started looking into using neons, my initial idea was to produce a hologram and as there is no limit to budget I did some research into the company that produced some major holograms – Madonna playing with Gorillaz at the Grammy’s, Girls Aloud appearing in a window o Super Drug in London and David Beckham at the Olympic Launch for 2012. The company, Musion Systems Ltd could not give a quote without a full brief but they did invite me for a visit – unfortunately they are in London.

So, I did the next best thing and contacted the Camera Obscura at Edinburgh Castle – they sent me all sorts of interesting but totally baffling stuff about holograms. I went for a visit, did some experiments at home with 3d images. I filmed some ideas on my camera phone but am having problems downloading them.

I was also intrigued by the old magic mirror – antique optical toys. I have decided that my final idea for my site specific work would involve placing a cylinder of mirrored glass round the middle pillar in the library – then to draw an anamorphic image in chalk of the floor, I dont want this to be a permanent image as people get bored quickly – I only want some people to see it and others to hear about it.

I chose the fairy tale image of Puss in Boots from all the old victorian images I could find.  I like the idea  of using intelligence to map out your future.  And the library is the source of learning

“As for the cat, he became at once a great lord, and had nevermore any need to run after mice, except for his own diversion.”


Been mostly working up my images – experimenting with different media techniques. Did some mono prints from my chosen areas of Guernica worked with different colours of ink and acrylic on different surfaces of paper – wall paper was really interesting also thick white paint gave the illusion of light – a main part of my proposed final piece.

Got some daylight printing paper from the camera obscura and developed a series of pieces of the images – giving an actual shadow print

Did some screen printing using the image of the bull – reproduced it on photographs I’d taken of the light shining through the engraved glass to experiment with layering techniques. I have been thinking of the best way to present my work, the idea of a regimental series of images still appeals to me however due to the final size of the 10 panes of engraved glass and the dependability of sun shining(!) I have decided to incorporate one of my first ideas and try it as a digital piece.

I have successfully photographed the engravings with natural light casting a shadow and this gives me my series of images. I have also made several recordings of war poems and added effects to give them an echo (to convey memory and thought), I narrowed it down to two successful recordings and have tried adding them to i-movies. I cannot seem to find a way to drop my recording into youtube to copy the path and put it on my blog, I am now trying to upload it as a picture show (it looks amateurish but it does shows the series of images and the recording. – SORTED!!!

I am trying to reproduce the light and shadow by using an overhead torch and filming the panels in my studio.