Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Birthday Presents - An Unfortunate Duty

Informed by my sister I had not chipped in for her birthday present I thought I had chipped in for in March, she said "not to worry, me and my house mates saw a piece of art in Vienna that was the sky line of the city with a light behind it. You can make us one of them of London".

"Oh really, I can can I??" so I was given the measurements I was set to work. So far I have this...

Her and all her house mates have been incorporated into the city scape. I will begin by layering up and making each image 3D then I will cut out windows and back light it using a strip light designed for kitchen counters. It will have a similar effect to this...

it will have a similar effect to this, this is just a light box I made with some pictures in, you can see how the light from it back light the cathedral above it, the light will be stronger in the London sky line though as it will be directly behind the picture as opposed to here where the light box is the source of light.

Up date, Up date, Up date... With regards to my wares on sale in the hippy hole!

Before I went on the great escape to Germany I made some wares to sell in the Hippy Hole, Liverpool. I have done really well, already sold 3 pieces. I spoke to the shop assistant the other day who said the customers are perplexed by the Liver Birds piece. I am chuffed, she said people stand there gorping over it for ages. I am so so so happy, it has sort of turned into a little exhibition so I am making more things to show and to sell...
Liver Birds Piece

In progress... Jazzed up hairbands and fancy collars, watch this space.

Never buying vac form bricks again!!!! Our great discovery June 2014

These are vac form bricks...
it is basically a sheet of plastic that is vacuum formed to look like bricks and then you paint it. It is used by set builders to create a brick effect on buildings. This is they aren't that good and they are really expensive!!

We got a better idea!!, what to do with you off cuts of wood!??...

1. cut them into similar sized pieces, sand down the edges, glue them onto some ply and staple them from the back.

2. mix and apply a textured paint to knock the wood back so it looks like stone.

3. leave the cracks grey so it looks like cement but paint the bricks in various bricky shades.

4. cut a big hole out of you set and attach the bricks behind it, render your set texture up to the bricks and jazz up with a bit of greenery, Bobs your uncle an old wall with exposed brick where the render fell off and NO WASTE!!!

Fusion Festival, Larz, Germany, May - July 2014 - Let Me Introduce you to NAGEL STRASSE

Kulture Kosmos is a really special place, its probably my favourite place. It is an old Russian air base in the Muritz area of North East Germany, every year it hosts the Fusion Festival and for the past 4 years I have been lucky enough to go there to make installations and sets.

The site has many aircraft hangers like this one...
this is the workshop hanger where you can borrow tools and make things. Other hangers on site are venues for the festival including a cinema, a theatre, a cabaret they have their own mechanic and bike mechanic. There is really nowhere like it in the world.

They have cars like this...                                     and you can drive stuff like this...

This year after my 3 previous years working with an English crew there I was invited to come and work directly for the festival. Put with three complete strangers all from different countries we were commissioned to build a street facade for the festival that held some significance to the place.

We began here...

an incredible yet completely terrifying abandoned willage 20 kilometres from the site. Part of the old East Germany this area is littered with such places. Inspiring projects and communities exist in some of them but so many are left to rot. This willage was originally built in the Nazi era and then occupied and used as a Russian army base that housed families. You can see both eras in its architecture and in the remnants left there such as the tiles, signs and shoes... so many shoes!!

This place was so inspiring, we decided we wanted to create a place that captured the feeling of this space but reclaimed the history and became timeless and other worldly.

So we took our inspiration and some windows and doors and began with this...
With 5 weeks in hand we got going.

We began by laying all the windows and doors out with what looked good with what. Taking inspiration from the abandoned willage and our findings. The buildings quickly took shape and soon started to develop their own character our willage or as it would later be called Nagel Strasse had begun.

We each took on our own building that was our little baby and had three communal buildings that we each put ideas and work into.

And this is the beginning of my building...
the little house of the crazy old lad, whose son lives in the attic making TV arial's (well everyone needs a back story!!!

I started by building the wooden flats (painted green in this picture) each hole fitted the windows and door I had found for my housed.
I then started making my roof, I wanted it to be a sort of cartoon version of the roof's I had seen in the willage. I had found the small window positioned on the top left of the roof in the willage and wanted to incorporate it into my design. I then decided my roof should be burnt out and to fit in with the old decrepit look we were going for.

I then painstakingly cut individual tiles for the roof and had a hissy fit because I thought at this stage it looked crap!

I painted my roof and used a blow torch to burn the burnt out parts. I then attached guttering I had found. But it looked to nice, it was ready for a big old dirty dirtydown.

And a dirty down it got! and a chimney and lots of weird props and features I made along with a TV arial I made that was a reference to the people in the former East Germany that made their own TV arial's so they could watch western television.

Here was the finished result, my little house for the crazy lady and I felt like by the end of my time creating it!!!!!

And it sat in our street with all our other weird and wonderful houses. It took blood, sweat and tears but we got there and we were so so proud.


 The festival were so pleased and will put it up every year! My favourite comment was when a photographer came to photograph the set. She was told "we made absolutely everything you see" she asked "what do you mean? You made what?",
"the street"  we said quite offended that she wasn't impressed.
"the street?", "I thought that was real"

Smashed it!! I thought!!!!!!!!!!