Thursday, January 10, 2008

forwards to backwards

Installation view of Saltmilk and other wonders at IASKA back on '05... my first foray with the actual as opposed to the purely projected

I have, so far in my practice, not had to confront the practicalities of nailing the object. Through a lens, the object is always just your own version of a dream, anyways. The only time I've ever actually used objects (if i'm going to be correct about this) - I put them thru a series of lenses, which created the final imagery... the object becoming incidental, put there as a form of proof, rather than a necessity.

a twig, backlit by a slide projector, going thru a plastic lens... which flipped the image and resulted in a distorted stand of tree-ish projections which moved in the breeze as the room was quite drafty...

Now, however, for my forests, objects are needed. And they have to be absolutely exquisite and exactly right in their actuality, not just in their recorded form. And I am now realising how much I have to learn to take this project from concept through to something that actually stacks up. I have to make tiny forests of trees. They need to be robust enough to survive in an underwater installation in a harbor. This will not be easy. Arg.

Fortunately, I am hoping that my concerns can be off-set slightly by my new mentor, who I'm having my first meeting this this arvo. The further I go forwards with this project, the more I realise that Fiona Hall might just be sent down from heaven for my own wiley purposes... at the very least, she may be able to offer some advice on taking model making from much-loved concept thru to, well... a forest that doesn't look crap.

my lens-trees.. made of dried weeds from the back of the old basketball court in Kellerberrin

I have accepted that I may need to make a great deal of awful models before I arrive somewhere useful with this forest thing... so I have begun, and I will endure. But there's many ways to skin this particular cat, so I'm trying to keep in mind that my abstract forest doesn't need to flow completely from my hands... it will be a process of modeling alfoil and wire, collecting twigs and somehow assembling something that can be molded and cast later on down the track, to result in the final objects... a fluid forest of metallic trees that bend in the ocean current.

Anyway. It is interesting to embark on tree-making and realise that the shape of a tree, in my head at least, comes from my time making Saltmilk at Kellerberrin - I did a residency there at IASKA in 2005. And the trees I met out on this deserted saltlake, they embody the quintessential tree to me. And knowing this, I can now forcibly 'branch out' (heh..) into other tree-like forms, having identified my baseline...

saltmilk. an amazing place. that's caked salt on the ground, and these are the trees i mean...

The trees at saltmilk were long-dead. They still ruled the lake, though... they were black texta against the sky and the salt. And I spent a *lot* of time beneath them, wading around in the sulfurous salty slush that was that strange place... I was trying to make an animation that did justice the the yawning sky above saltmilk... and it worked.. kinda... here 'tis.

So as a result i spent the other night making trees out of tinfoil which all looked like they were from that place... not intentionally... but i needed to start modeling trees so i could get the first few hundred disasters out of the way... and now i have. Started, that is.

my first tree. it's a start.


tjoyy said...

are you familiar with Vera Moller's work?
She has made some beautiful and touching forest - often from under the ocean

the june fox said...

wow - thankyou - good reference..

tjoyy said...

Hi Have to admit that I have been inspired by your work; thanks for sharing - I especially like the way you have laid out your blog as links/references to your ideas

really great
- Show quoted text -

praccus said...

Wow, that saltlake animation really is illuminating, I loved it. Reminds me of the ongoing troubles and divergence between earth and sky x