9th November

This week’s seminar was our final one before the festival, so we looked at making risk assessments for the space proposals. It involved knowing all the possible risks in our design and learning the different aspects of health and safety that would affect it. For each risk, we needed to create a method statement of the issue and identify the level of risk. However, the risks needed to be low to medium for us to pass health and safety standards and to make the design. In order to minimise any risks, we would need to evaluate the situation and work out any relevant control measures to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. An example from our installation include, the threads travelling randomly up and down a staircase which would create a tripping hazard. This risk could be reduced by sticking them to the floor and having them above 6ft.

As part of our ongoing discussions, we continued with the idea of strings and wool being tangled down a staircase and to develop this design. I thought about having a tree as the main focal point. I did this because if I was walking past and I just saw lots of bright wool I would wonder what it was about, however with a focal point you are no longer clueless about the starting point and can figure more out on your own about the design. Each of us brought designs to this session and we all interpreted the main idea in diverse ways. I had decided for a design based on the stairs whereas, the others had gone down the void falling through centre of the stairs. As a group they liked the way I had involved the staircase in my design, as you had to try and pass through it like a spider’s web. I believe that by designing the installation like this, would make it an immersive piece of art so people will more likely be attracted towards it to explore it from multiple perspectives.  (Image 6) After discussing our designs Kathleen suggested the artist Pae White as her exhibition, (Too Much Night, Again), work uses a wide range of coloured strings to create shapes as an influence to further our idea.

We then went around the University with Dick Straker to suggest places that we could use. The factors of colour and lighting would really affect the atmosphere we wanted to create and the response we would get. He then posed the question of what response did we want from it? Which all of us had overlooked and not considered yet, so for next week we wanted to discuss and make it appropriate for the response we wanted. However, we felt that the journey to the end product has got more developed and I am more confident about making a final output. The seminars with the tutor were really helpful as they made you consider questions that you don't think of yourself, this in turn will improve my work. Key things in my work, such as atmosphere and material choices are sometimes overlooked as I’m thinking about how to make something, so why not use those materials? For example, I used wool because it has the correct qualities to tie and is thicker than cotton and not because it has anything to do with the outcome, so we have tried to think about and consider how the materials relate to our work and make sure they have a reason to why we have used them.

Dick wasn't so sure about our material choices as he wondered if the reaction we wanted was a sense of warmth and comfort. If it wasn't then we had chosen, the wrong type of material. However, we have experimented with it and found that if you paint wool or cover it in PVA glue it creates a completely different effect, such as a sharp harsh uncomfortable feeling. We decided against painting them as the texture would become to intense, as the whole effect we want is a childlike web which needed to be comforting as the boy in the story is still a child, but the web is all tangled because he’s trying to grow up. As a group, we discussed the above possibilities and the only way we would want to modify the wool was by pulling the strands tighter, which resulted in them becoming firm not slack. We then considered how light could affect this as a dark space would be more atmospheric, however you couldn’t see the colour contrast in the wool so clearly. On the other hand, a bright day lit area would lose any sort of atmosphere. This could only be discussed further once we were aware of our allocated space.

For next week, we need to make a schedule for how the week will run but also to organise shifts for the Festival Day, so that we monitor our installation but also get the chance to look at others. In addition to this we wanted to get people to come and see it. Therefore, we needed to advertise so we thought in context with a design we will run strings along the floors so that people follow it like a trail and will come to our festival piece.


The group had decided that the space we were applying for was the second-floor staircase in the main building. That way we could have a tree at the top and the viewer travelling up the staircase getting more tangled as you got higher the greater the amount of wool and would make it more tangled and claustrophobic. This space is also day-lit therefore we would have little control of the atmosphere but would help make our installation look friendly and inviting.

© Lydia Moss, all rights reserved


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