26 November 2015

Community engagement

So that’s my initial round of community engagement complete.  It’s been fascinating and inspiring, with amazing visits and wonderful creativity.  Thank you.

And a special thank you to UTC Oxfordshire for not only being so hospitable and supportive of my work with their students, but for also providing space for my sessions with GWP residents.

My job now is to develop sketch designs for a public art installation using the research and ideas from the work I’ve done at GWP over the past 6 months.

In the coming weeks I’ll share these initial ideas online for feedback, and I would hope to work with all the groups again as the final design evolves.

Thanks again for all your support and interest so far, and I’ll keep you posted.

19 November 2015

W.I. session: projected light

Today I worked with Rachel and the Great Western Park W.I. group at the Northern Neighbourhood Community Centre, building on the “Projected Light” theme.

Here are some photos of the evening:

 Some great ideas and good discussion too.

UTC Oxfordshire: digital projections

Earlier today I worked again with UTC Students, this time creating simple animations.  Up to this point we’d mostly used the digital projectors only as a light source.  The students now made digital animations to be projected into theatrical mist.  The mist highlights the projected rays of light, and animated lines and curves become 3D forms in space.  For example, a projected circle becomes a cone, a projected line appears as a wall of light.

Here’s a short example of a student’s animation:

The shapes in the mist are wonderful, but it’s magical when you stand inside the projected image facing towards the source –  like you’re in a colourful tunnel of light.  Straight lines appear as walls:

  Pixelated curves look like strings of light:


16 November 2015

UTC Oxfordshire: projected light

The previous session with UTC Oxfordshire students was all about form and structure. In contrast, last week's was based on light.

As the day progressed their ideas got more experimental, using lenses and reflections.
We used a digital projector as the light source and theatrical ‘haze’ to accentuate the light rays, generating some interesting and gorgeous effects.

Coloured filters over JET vacuum chamber image.

Light rays accentuated by haze.

Rays re-focused through a screen and convex lens.

"Gear" stencil.

Rachel with lens and stencil.

Making stencils.

Reflecting light off folded card form.

Light reflected off folded card form.

Slots of light give a kind of "tunnel" effect.

Using stencil as screen.

Concertina screen.

Playing around with it.

Afterwards was another evening session with GWP residents. Along the same lines, but different approaches, and no smoke machine this time (to avoid fire alarms!).

Multiple cooling towers.

Coloured leaf stencils.

Didcot heritage stencil.

Remembrance Day stencil.

I’d quite like to use light some way in the public artwork, and it’s good to try images that work with natural and artificial light, with lenses, and illuminating curved surfaces.

15 November 2015

UTC Oxfordshire: card sculpting

Last week I worked with students at UTC Oxfordshire, exploring themes and structures for my public art commission at Great Western Park.

I was very impressed with their approach and attitude, and they developed some beautiful creations.

Here are a few snaps from the day:

“Tallest towers” exercise for various structure types.

Sphere prototype.

 Crystal structures.

Fusion chamber form.

Experimental shapes.

The students' final artworks.

Their artworks are great visually, but what’s even more valuable are some of the concepts behind them.

We discussed ideas of knowledge networks, focus, investigation, perseverance, experimentation, energy, all of which make brilliant subject matter for a piece of site-specific artwork.

I then ran a short project in the evening with a small group of GWP residents. They had some interesting ideas with a heritage slant, including the Roman occupation, Ridgeway, Didcot Power Station and the Great Western Railway.

My plan for this week is to run two more all-day sessions. The activities will be different for each, but both based on light.

Tomorrow there is a session for all GWP residents:

Public art at GWP

Light and projection workshop and discussion

Monday 16th November 2015:  18.15pm - 20.30pm. 
Meet at the main entrance of the new technical college at GWP. 

UTC Oxfordshire
Greenwood Way 
OX11 6BZ

We'll be experimenting with digital projection and silhouettes into theatrical mist. Should be excellent!

Please let me know if you'd like to attend.

W.I. poster

9 November 2015

Light Projections with Sport for Streets

Following our earlier tour of Diamond Light Source, Rachel and I worked with Sport for Streets and local kids to run an evening light projection workshop outside the Community Centre.

Lenses, spotlights, mirrors, screens and coloured film were used to create experimental light displays.

We were flat out and a bit lax taking photo's, but Rachel did shoot a few video clips:

Many thanks to Dave Edwards from Sport for Streets for his support throughout. 

Diamond Light Source: tour

It was great to visit, and although it was a very small group, there was some excellent discussion of ideas for the public artwork.

Also good to discover that synchotrons are available in pink.