Reflection on the art works process and story
By Bianca Polak
29 August 2006
The paper artwork
During the first process of creating the paper artwork within a short time frame, I tried not to think too much and just play with the paper, and created different shapes that were integrated together. While doing that, my initial reaction was to roll the paper, and it became an asymmetrical form. To contrast, the next one I created was another rolled up paper, which I made symmetrical. To connect them I folded the symmetrical roll exactly in the centre and the asymmetrical roll not in the centre and interconnected them.
The third shape came out as a folded square kind of shape, that I used as a pillar to support the other two shapes. The black paper was torn into two parts and positioned on top of the supporting shape to contrast with the two cone shapes.
The story for this (actually it’s not really a story) was not difficult as it was shaped while creating the artwork, to show contrast between symmetrical and asymmetrical. And though the symmetrical and asymmetrical are positioned on two sides of the “platform” they are interconnected.
Figure 1 - Front view Paper artwork
Figure 2 - Back view Paper artwork
The clay figure
To recreate the very intuitively made paper artwork into a clay figure was quite a challenge. The material is very different and especially coming up with a representation of the torn black sheet of paper was difficult. I started off with the terracotta clay, which was quite coarse. I quite liked the rough texture of it, but it made it hard to model with.
My initial intention was to make the white colour figures with the terracotta clay and the black colour paper represented with the grey colour clay. The grey clay was very smooth, but kept sticking onto the table and was hard to model as a flat object because of that reason. Finally I decided to do the whole thing in terracotta clay instead. There wasn’t much of a story to tell about the clay work, as I had tried to copy the original paper work as closely as I could in the different material.
It was interesting to see what other people mentioned about the final artwork in clay that in my opinion didn’t quite represent the paper work well. Some saw it as a butterfly or as two (broken) slippers.
If I were to do the clay artwork again, I would probably choose to do it differently, to represent the symmetrical and asymmetrical forms by using the grey, smooth clay for symmetrical and the coarse, terracotta clay for asymmetrical and represent the contrast between them. I feel that I have tried too hard to use the clay to make a copy of the paper artwork, whereas I knew that would be impossible and I should have thought along a different line to represent the concept and essence of the work instead.
Figure 3 – Paper work and clay work together
Figure 4 – Clay work