Assignment 4. Installation
Da Vinci’s drawings out for a walk.
Part one: starting point
There are some places in the “wild” – not in my home, that I thought of using for the installation but at this moment it did not work out. Also a few “found images” on the walls (the cow on the building for example ( project 1 found images”) would require physical interaction i.e. painting/drawing over the wall of the house , I do not have the owner’s permission and not prepared to do it undercover . )) maybe one day I can find the owner and see what happens.
Different ideas run through my mind, one in particular – to do an installation relating to the Leonardo’s drawings. Sort of like letting them out for a walk in to the wild. Now I’m not sure if it is OK to use images from https://www.rct.uk/collection/themes/exhibitions/leonardo-da-vinci-a-life-in-drawing/birmingham-museum-art-gallery-birmingham/a-horse-divided-by-lines
for this project, but I’m hoping as a study model it is not a problem if source is mentioned. Also using example of Marcel Duchamp works – he used someone else products or works and created a new one; he called them “found objects” as an example, he used a reproduction of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa as a starting point to produce a work called “LHOOQ” in 1919. The reproduction is a copy partly modelled on his own face where he added moustache and a goatee.
The place for installation for the moment is going to be my garden, one reason is because I have no other places to do it and other is that I probably just shy of using other places. The final piece can be installed anywhere but for now I’m going to use my own place.
The actual idea is larger than I can possibly do, therefore I’ll try scale it down and use one – two drawings to work with. If it works – it would be great to imagine how this piece (or other) could be scaled up and placed/installed in the woods between trees – depending on a time a year visibility of the figure/drawing will change. Most visible this would be by late autumn, winter and up to late spring – emerging as a guardian over sleeping surroundings.
Ideas: using Leonardo’s drawing create pieces: using hessian as background/canvass, sticks/branches/ other natural elements to follow the lines; perhaps use wire and make a “skeleton” for the subject that can either stay as it is or get wrapped in hessian.
Use of hessian – because a lot of the drawings that remain are either on a tinted paper or paper aged and has the brown-ish colour. Also, it is natural material and will not damage the environment when places on site or left there for longer period if needed.
Sticks – I think they may help to create broken line and natural markings.
At this moment the largest I could do the drawing is up to A1 – it is mall but hopefully it will work as an example.
The drawing could be built using sticks that are attached to the material and then this would be attached to a frame as a “flag” of moving canvass. The reason for the frame is so if there is a strong wind/rain etc. the work will stay in place at least for a while.
I have attempted to build a horse, using Leonardo’s drawing as a guide but encountered a problem during the process – dried grasses/flowers are too fragile and kept braking off before I could finish the figure. below is what I have managed to do. If I can get more materials, I will try to finish this later.
I also used plastic and acrylic paint to follow the lines of enlarged original drawing and created a mono-print over hessian. I have placed a sheet of A1 paper behind, so the print is more visible. I like this print, what got transferred from plastic in a way mimics natural material and dried grasses that were used for the previous project. For the moment I have not decided how this could be taken forward, perhaps time will help to figure it out.
Sources for pics:
Part two – Installation
Taking a drawing of a horse and through thinking process arriving at this idea: I want this horse to see some sun… This drawing has been “hidden” from public and outside world for so many years that I feel it needs some fresh air. As well as that I would like to highlight the problem of how animals treated, particularly large (horses, donkeys etc.) that are kept for pleasure by people who have no means or experience. Sometimes they kept in back gardens where space is limited, food is limited (one large animal like that needs to have at least a field to graze upon) and supplied by the “caring” owners in a form of dried grass/vegetation/pellets. Unfortunately, sometimes even this limited menu is restricted by the time that owners manage to find. As a result, animals get malnutrition, develop muscle atrophy or other problems with their feet, and live in the space they share between their “kitchen” and “bathroom”…
I used a flat white plywood panel ( one of the pieces i had left over from my fitted shelving) and enlarged image of Leonardo’s Horse divided by lines ( image is taken from Birmingham museum website) to represent one of these lonely, thin (flesh and bones – board and line) , pale ( as if kept away from sun) animal.
Nails were used to follow the lines of the face – originally, I was planning to go over most of the lines but decided to stop here. I believe it has more impact and leaves the line drawing more visible. If I had the nails that are used for the horse shoes I would have used them instead, but in this case I feel the oval head nails do the trick – they linear, when the light hits them really interesting drawn lines are thrown out on to the board adding to the whole , perhaps as if horses hair is being blown in the wind. Also, they mimic the hatching marks that were used for shading.
Using green garden string I “drew” over some of the contour lines of the head. Here, I had a “happy” accident with the following decision – I had to leave the work for a few days obviously leaving the string still attached but next to the panel. When I returned, I found that it just looks as a “rein”. I’m going to use it as a tie to ground the horse while it is in its place.
Installation idea, before assembling, stand my “horse” tied to a piece of wood/stake in the garden. My garden in this case plays role of the concept behind the installation and a refuge/nice place for this animal to be in after rescue. Below are a few photos at the starting point and outside while working out the placement.
I’m not sure how to make it stand yet, but I will probably use a wood slice and make a groove in it.
I’m planning to put “food” in front of the horse and something that resembles the manure (I do not have the real thing) at the back. To highlight the enclosed/limited space I will make a pen around it. Just need to get it all ready and wait for a nice dry day.
After i have gathered materials (for the manure – cones and moss; cut out piece of hollow wood for a stand in the ground; metal fencing to make a pen , dried grass and an apple as food, and bowl of water) taking advantage of sunny dry day I have put the whole concept into an installation in my garden.
Couple of videos below:
installation project for the assignment, combination of famous drawing that was hidden from view and highlighting idea of large animals being kept in unsuitable areas
In this video the sun helps to produce shadows , but also my shadow got slightly in a way
in this video the sun has gone down a bit and creates longer shadows.
Overall i feel that the idea and concept for this installation has a larger potential and worked within the space i have. I personally like the idea and what the message carries beyond the use of materials here.
Some changes that could have been done or used to make a different view:
1.the panel I used here is a flat white board, as an idea it represents the surface that drawings/paintings are usually made on. Perhaps I could cut the shape of the horse out of the board in advance – so the figure is more “readable”. This might work if this piece was installed in a field. Also, the dimensions would need to be larger (at the moment the drawing was enlarged to A1) so the work creates bigger impact and becomes more visible in a large space. The format I used here would also work in a room – it would fit with the flat walls that have drawings hanging in a usual manner.
2. Installing in a field, for example – i would clear the area within the fenced lines as if the animal been there for a prolonged period and has eaten all the grass around it while the rest of the field is still full of food which is out of reach.
3. Possibly audio of the animal sound grazing or in distress could be played on a loop adding realistic experience of live animal upon viewing the work up close.
Overall this part of the course was quite challenging, I enjoyed working on projects but found some of them quite restrictive due to personal shyness and idea of other people judging. Mainly because i feel that not a lot of people around me understand or have an interest in modern art and unusual installations. But this for me to conquer and improve upon.
The great part about this experience is that i have opened up and found more connection with the surroundings, use of materials and explored places to a deeper degree on a personal level.
Also, this project helped me to start looking more and i hope to incorporate “found images” theme into the parallel project.