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May 14, 2012

As my work is ‘idea driven’, I often find myself working in media I have not worked in previously and because of this, there is a lot of exploration, trial and error and problem solving involved in the process.

For my Seven with Another collaboration with musician/composer, Robert Davidson, we decided to realise the physical part of our sculptural/sound piece, Stitched Together, in digitally printed card. Given my experience as a fine artist and based on our mutual discussions about what we wanted to achieve from the piece, I took it on board to create the physical object.

As we were involved in the fifth edition of the Seven with Another series, the theme that loosely held the collaborators together was ‘five or one fifth’. With this in mind, Robert and I created a series of five responses in pattern and sound, combining the patterns into a sculptural work and the sounds into a soundscape. We decided to use the pentagon (five-sided shape) to contain the patterns and create a three-dimensional object.

While I have worked with paper in terms of printing (giclée, letterpress and wallpaper), I hadn’t worked with it structurally before. Because of this and the large scale in which we wanted to create the form, it was imperative to the development of the work that I make a number of prototypes to understand the materials, iron out any issues and ultimately know exactly what we were going to make so that I could arrange efficient digital printing of the card.

The quarter scale prototype (pictured) was the most helpful tool in the entire process. There were several iterations of prototyping prior to and post this to understand what we could do with a five-sided shape, but the quarter-scale model provided the final form for the sculpture and configuration for the patterns (which were overlaid at a later stage). It was also valuable when explaining the project to Robert so that he could comment on and contribute to decision making; to our generous sponsors, Colour Chiefs, who undertook the large format, flat-bed printing of the card; and to both our curators and the installation manager at the Brisbane Powerhouse so we could co-ordinate the best location and installation method for the work.

Working in this highly methodical way is inherent in everything I do. Breaking down each project into bite-sized pieces, allows me to work across new media, scale and site.

Seven with Another runs until Wednesday 16 May at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Visit the official website for details…

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