Material, Form, Surface

As the closing/opening looms on Thursday, and today (Tuesday) I feel the physical effect of several hours spent covering a sculpture in foil or covering a wall with balloons, I reflect on some of the themes in my recent work in OVADA:

I was aware of the predominance of wood in the space, which I felt offered a couple of questions: In what ways can the hardness of wood be differentiated from other materials?  In what ways can the colour of wood be differentiated?  Not being much of a painter (and thinking that the wooden surface could go further than just becoming ‘painted wood’) I considered wallpaper as a possible solution.  What’s great about wallpaper is that it’s a classic means of disguising material, unifying any disparate elements, and replacing its surface with a visual pattern whilst retaining its overall form.  Bearing in mind the original Merzbau’s setting in Schwitter’s home, I also thought the use of wallpaper would be a playful nod to the domestic within the workshop setting of OVADA.  I really enjoyed how these coverings altered the character of the structures and subsequently affected their relationship to surrounding objects.

Maintaining the form while altering its material perception was a key goal for covering the square pillar in wallpaper, as well as covering the ‘Thing’ sculpture in foil.  In retrospect, I suppose the use of aluminium foil is also a reference to the domestic, but my desire to use foil came from a curiousity about how it could offer a very different material presence to that of wood.  As a covering, foil transforms things in a manner similar to wallpaper (albeit with much more textural detail) but it also has this unmistakable sort of space-age quality.  This prompted me to use the foil on its own in a spatial arrangement.

Balloons add a softness to the environment and highlight areas of containment within the space.  They are also another means to introduce new colours and patterns.  Between the two balloon pieces there is a great contrast in colour, and I enjoyed observing the effect generated by one set of coloured balloons versus another.

It’s unlikey that all the balloons will still have air in them by Thursday evening, and I am interested in their potential for showing the passage of time on this project, much like the dried-up daffodils that have hung in the space since the first weekend.  Overall, I hope these additions complement the wooden material in the space and offer food for thought on the relationship between material, form, and surface.




One thought on “Material, Form, Surface

  1. Nice thoughts Michael. I really like the foil covering over the sculpture I made referencing The Thing. It also seems life a bit of a comical nod to the old foil hat protection from aliens reading ones thoughts!


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