Can we go through the thicket to the… Thick of it?
I am a countryside ranger and am passionate about the countryside, biodiversity, climate change and producing artwork.
I had this idea to make 6 opera sets; these were to be painted with fluorescent paint and displayed in the dark. However, never having worked on a large scale, I was tempted to take the opportunity to paint large gestural paintings based on peering through hedgerows. I used fluorescent paint as I love the wow colours, they make me feel alive. I deconstructed and reconstructed a fruit box. This was popular, so I made two more.
A friend suggested I used a nursery rhyme to pull together the diverse models for sets which had now expanded to sixteen. I decided to make a film with singing. Another friend bought a motorised potter’s wheel. I thought I could animate the film by spinning my models, this also linked into the rhyme I was to use: The wheels on the bus…
I used a variety of materials to make the models including shop bought figures and vehicles, I resin cast the sea and made a 3d digital print of an enlarged pollen grain. All of these models were painted with fluorescent paint as I was going to shoot the film in almost total darkness.
I did many film tests to see if I could film under black (UV) light. The models looked amazing. However I had to accept that due to the low level of light the definition of the film would be low.
I realised that I could use the paintings, sculpture, models, screen printing and film to tell a story told under UV light. I decided it would be an installation and came up with the title: Can we go through the thicket to the… Thick of it? This is to describe the difficulty we are having sorting out human made climate change.
In the installation I made at Samphire Hoe education centre, I handed out little narrow beam UV torches so that visitors could explore the five sections: the human tribe (screen prints), The thicket (large paintings), The stars (sculpture) and the models in front of the main focus of the nursery rhyme film.
As visitors came out I did a short anonymous survey and I felt exhilarated at the success of my installation. It is inspiring me to do more work. I want to thank staff and colleagues for their support during my course, and I have found out that I want to delight and provoke.
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