The Grey Oval 2. 2nd Gap Crit

This was the set up for my second Gap Crit. I utilised the grey oval again alongside my small shelf prototype. I was very pleased with both. I showed both to gauge how successful each piece is.

The smaller piece changes colour gradually from green to pink. The change in the coloured light is almost so gradual you do not notice the change until it blinks back to green from red. The Oval is a static colour in that it does not change however it does reflect. Although using two optical ‘tricks’ one in each, I have started to think about possibly combining the two within one piece of work. I’m interested in how the changing light interacts with the shape inside the box and how the light interacts with its surroundings.

An interesting comment made on the oval is how the light surrounding the O looks pink in comparison to the light from the centre. The light is in fact a white light but looks pink/red in comparison to the blue grey of the O. Another comment is how the centre looks as though it is a void. It has infinite space. You can see the corner of the room from above the O moving down behind it yet through the centre the corner is lost thus creating a confused sense of depth.

Points I should note for future development:

1 – How changing light interacts with objects

2 – How this light and static light interacts with the surrounding space

3 – How light interacts with colour pigment in contrast

4 –  Think about optical strategies such as reflection

Tutorial Advice with James Green.

After making two of my boxes and painting them white ready to start making objects to be positioned inside I had a group tutorial with James. This changed my idea rather dramatically but still allowed me to use the boxes I had already made.

After discussing with the group my original ideas to create a sculpture within the shelf and then engineer the light to add colour to the objects, it came to light that that working on a bigger scale may actually be easier than small scale, and more interesting.

Others mentioned that before I decided to work small I was in fact working with a larger scale and why I decided to down scale. In my first gap crit I utilised the whole room and flooded it with light with minimal objects but rather large in comparison to the smaller objects that I have recently been using. In my second gap crit I also utilised a found object which I refer to as the O. Previously I have played around with the lighting of the O in the dark space looking at the coloured shadows that the light produces on the walls and shapes behind it. I think I downsized partly because of cost to make large shapes as well as the cost to light them. The larger the object the more LEDs needed to create desired effect. I also though that space may be an issue with many people asking for dark spaces.

However from feedback from the group and guidance from James I was encouraged to be more extravagant with my final project. In stead of having two shelves with sculptures inside them, why couldn’t the shelves or the shapes become the sculptures themselves?

So I have decided to make another 2 boxes to make a total of four and light them in a way tha would allow the light to spill out in to the room like my previous Gap Crits.

Making the box.

After trying out some possible ideas in both a small staged box and on a plinth I thought the composition worked bes within the box setting. I came to this conclusion as it means I can stage the scenario within the box thus creating a more controlled environment for me to create the best results with the light. This also allows me to easily hide wires from the lights and any imperfections that the objects may have picked up in the making of. Only having one viewpoint allows for more control and ease of making.

So from the small found shelf that I used as a trial composition I then needed to make something similar but up scale it. I wanted the structure to sit on the wall like a box shelf at head height so needed to strong enough to hold the weight of the box and the fixtures, lights and objects that would be inside. I also had to take into consideration that I need space to hide wires and enough room to make fixtures without damaging the box also.

This is what I designed and created. Using 12mm MDF I essentially made two boxes which after made one would sit inside the other leaving a 6cm boarder from the outside edge to the inside edge. Between the two shells as I started to call them I placed supporting pillars of MDF to give the box both strength and to wedge the boxes into the right position ready for the front panels to be placed on.

This design created a hollow frame for me to be able to hide wires and allow me to place on the wall easily. The space between the shelves both at the top and the bottom would be slotted on to brackets already placed on the wall. The shelf would sit on these at two points securely.

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothkos’ work has inspired me a lot and reviewing his work in this late stage has allowed me to make some critical decisions on how my final piece will inevitably look and feel.

With Rothkos’ work the canvases are large filling the whole wall and the whole of the viewers visual field at times. These great expanses of colour have been cut and pulled forward and backward buy the clever use of colours in contrast. Colours seem to float in front of others while others are pushed backward and never ending. The simplicity of the technique used creates such a dramatic effect.With just two colours a void can be created!

Pictures of nothing.

This book Pictures of nothing, Abstract Art since Pollock by Kirk Varnedoe is a great insight in to minimalist and abstract artworks. The book proposes questions such as “what is abstract art good for?” questioning what its use is for individuals and for society as a whole. When a lot of minimalist and abstract looks as though its about or of nothing… often just a white canvas or cube, they do not show anything other than themselves.

This elates to my work as I’m particularly interested in how light represents the illusions of light. I’m not interested in it conveying any other message that what it is. I feel that this is important to people and society as it allows people to appreciate the simplicity of things and allows for time to slow down.

I personally enjoy the more minimalist pieces of artwork as they are not trying to allude to anything of the world they merely exist as they are. The white canvas represents a white canvas.


Frank Stella

Frank Stella like Jasper John thought that painting should be viewed as it is as a whole, independent from what it is trying to represent. The individual hand painted brush strokes although there being 12 in the same sequence on each piece are unique. It is this repetition of the same action that give the abstract expressionist piece its charm. Same action different outcome every time. The lines are not perfect but neither are they too messy or do they fall out of the rules set by the artist.

Stella is rejecting metaphorical associations and symbolism that may suggest spirituality. This is rather different as art is seen as an expression of self and a means to express ideas and symbols that would correlate with others emotions.

The painting is what it is.

1959 Marriage of Reason and Squalor

Light Box

I’ve been looking at ways in which I can display my work. Previously I’ve set up scenarios on top of plinths which have looked great but don’t give a sense of depth as there is no background other than the top of the plinth itself. I found this small shelf in the studio and spruced it up as a trial display system.

Using the models I have previously made I’ve placed them upon the shelf which now has a silver metallic base and a light green curved background. At this point I do not have colour changing LEDs installed however I do have different coloured bulbs that I have been able to interchange within the framework which gives some desirable effects.

Although looking good with a static light I feel that the subtle changing of light will achieve the aims I set out for myself. The changing of the light will allow me to change the structure and colours of the objects without changing the objects themselves. Augmenting the reality of the space inside the setup.


Work space.

I rearranged my workspace this weekend and tidied it up to make space for some of the small models I’ll be making thins week in preparation for my gap crit on Thursday. Previously I have played around with lighting but only in a dark room or space like in my previous gap crit. When rearranging my space I decided to light a few of the forms I have collected and made within my space as it stands in the bright studio space. 

The effect isn’t quite so dramatic at the effect you see when in a dark space but I deffinately think it is something to consider. As the studio lights are on a timer/motion sensor the lights turn off after a while and the difference between the colours of the shapes dramatically change. You wouldn’t think that the objects are infact the same from the first to the second. 

This links to ideas on colour discovered and put forward by Cevreul (More info). Simultaneous colour contrast, hue and luminosity.


Current Artists Statement

Artist’s statement – Eloise Barratt

In my work I aim to explore ideas surrounding colour and how in the west, colour is often viewed as a secondary quality under the primary quality of form. These ideas came to light when discovering contemporary artist David Batchelor and his book ‘Chromophobia’ highlighting attitudes towards colour in the west. Firstly colour is regarded as alien and therefore dangerous, often referred to as some sort of foreign body such as the infantile, the primitive, the kitsch, the feminine, the queer, the oriental and the pathological. Colour is seen as a fall from grace, similar to a fall or relapse into drug addiction where a psychedelic world takes over. Secondly, colour is regarded as a secondary quality of experience, and therefore unworthy for serious consideration as it has been relegated to the lowest level of the worlds hierarchy.

My work aims to bring colour out of the dangerous and the trivial, hopefully rendering colour within the realms of the sophisticated and the establishment which it is not currently considered. Using sophisticated scientific understanding on how the eye sees colour and experimentation in colour constancy, colour in contrast and light and dark, can create colours in the eye that are not necessarily true to reality.

I use both ready-made and mixed colours within my artwork alongside coloured light to create an interactive experience of colour.

Beau Lotto

Beau Lotto is a neuro scientist who comducts small social experiments involving colour in contrast, colour correction, colour constancy and augmented reality. You could say his work explores how we see the world and what happens within the eye and the brain when we see, and how we understand and interprete reality. Lotto thinks that colour vision is complex and in no way fragile. We do not just see the colours of objects as they are but as they are useful to us. The eye corrects and fills in colour where it isn’t so that the world makes sense. In fact the eyes peripheral vision does not see colour, only the point of focus and surrounding areas see the colour and fill the grey spaces with the learnt colour. This is unnoticeable as the brain works so quickly to understand the reality it is seeing.

Link to lottos ted talk and website below

Ted talk         Website