Lost sight sculpture. Mitzi Pederson & Michael Johansson

A sculpture I created as part of the current project 'Ways of Seeing'

I had explained through my project brief how my 'Ways of Seeing' project was directing itself toward engaging the notion of sight and the possible processes of disintegration that interfere with the visual field. I had connected this to a wider perspective on contemporary art such that one might see different sculptural forms as perhaps not fitting a prescription of art but instead the works themselves exhibited a singular distorted vision of the artist.

I felt that throughout the project I was gravitating toward sculpture as my mode of chosen expression although how that might ultimately end up I was still very unsure of. I felt certain however that I wanted to make something out of found materials and very basic materials that I have already discussed in earlier posts.

I built an eye out of blue water tubing and the inner rubber tube of an old bicycle wheel. The metal struts that were suspended were part of an old bed frame. The white stick was plumbing piping and balanced on top was a spirit level. I wanted to create a sensation of the viewer looking through an eye that no longer contained life thus it had taken on a transparency. There was a robustness surrounding it with the firm blue lid and the metal frames representing the frame of the cheek and upper brow and I contrasted that with the dead flat curve of the punctured inner tube to reflect a sense that something beneath might not be functioning despite appearances of robustness elsewhere. The white stick was representative of a visual aid and I was interested in introducing the idea of distortion by representing its opposite. Thus the external spirit level is used to gauge a straight line and is required to determine the balance point. I had looked at the sculptural work of two artists in relation to this and both supplied different inspiration that amalgamated in my eventually developing this piece for my project.

Mitzi Pederson is an American sculptor. She describes her sculptures as 'spatial drawings' containing an ephemeral quality. There is a sense of the not being there in the use of her very thin and lightweight materials. I was particularly drawn to the contrasting curvature and straight lines of her pieces and visually first and foremost this is what drew me to her work. Her use of simple materials such as cellophane, wood and plastics equally interested me. They seem to silently comply with the expert balance that exist within the forms she creates. In her sculpture 'Untitled' 2006 shown below one gets the sense of the spatial drawings that Pederson uses to describe her work. Pederson also explains that her work tries to draw attention to things that remain unnoticed and whilst I do not have the experience to deliver such quiet subtlety in my own work I did appreciate what she was doing and did use her ideas in trying to work through presentational ideas for my lost sight sculpture.

Mitzi Pederson 'Untitled' 2006

Michael Johansson repurposes objects and creates new sculptures from the everyday and familiar. He plays with the memories associated with an objects former familiarity and function by creating new contexts for the objects to occupy. He obtains most of his materials at flea markets and in second hand stores. He is meticulous about form and colour as these are essential elements to his new sculptural forms. His work was not directly influential in terms of its presentation or methodology but I felt his use of found repurposed objects and what he managed to creatively achieve with them was very inspiring. I have a particular interest in manufacturing processes and I liked the way that he also reverses processes of production and takes a working object and disassembles it into a frame so that its once active function is now stalled. His direct influence on my piece was in his highly creative use of found objects.

Michael Johansson found objects repurposed.




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