ART5105 : City Puppets For this module you must look closely at the city of Birmingham and research the diversities of city living. Birmingham offers a unique platform for ideas and is socially and culturally rich and varied. While you are travelling or moving through the city, look around you and study the ‘workings’ of the city. Look at people, life styles, social activities, interactions, influences, groups of people, solitary people, mechanisms, machinery, animal life, club life etc. Following this research you must design and make a professionally constructed puppet, or a group of puppets that represent a niche of Birmingham life. Your puppet does not have to have human form. It could be animal or abstract but be sure that it is representational of the city. Your research could be about the structural mechanisms and alternative aspects as well as the people.
Antony Gormley- ‘Field for the british Isles’
I love this piece and really love the way each individual clay figure has its own personality and has been moulded by a different person every time. I really like the idea of this intertwining in my work. Its about people becoming obsessed with their jobs/lifestyle and being taken over by their work and forgetting about other aspects of their life and who they really are.
I decided I wanted to make an army of figures that were all the same but then hand them out to my friends and family, telling them that they can decorate/scratch/paint/chop their figure in anyway as long as it reflects their personalities. I also thought about making a video that tied into the brief of city life as that is a running theme throughout my work and then projecting the video on to my figures.
After I had made a couple of figures I started giving them out to family and friends to decorate.
I started to get some great responses from people and therefore wanted to continue to hand out my figures and see individual responses to the task.
Production of the video
I wanted my video to reflect the chaos of city life, rush hours and people within it. At first I started filming places in town that were always busy and were guaranteed to have lots of people.
Though when I put all the clips together and edited it with music I found the video to literal, i wasn’t happy with it and it wasnt how I wanted my video to look either. So I decided to start again but this time film in the dark and just concentrate on city lights, pollution and abstract shots.
First video experiment: https://vimeo.com/64596728
Second video attempt
FInal Video: http://vimeo.com/64600083
I wanted the footage to be out of focus so vehicles and lights were nothing but blurred moving dots. I also thought about how it would look with my 3.D work and decided something abstract would work better.
Once I was happy with the footage I had chosen I started to edit the film in Adobe Premiere and add some music that I saw suitable so I could start producing my final film.
Possible presentation ideas
As i began to collect more and more of my decorated figures I started to think how I could present them with my video.
Although I like the idea of the hanging one, I think for both my video and 3.D work the middle presentation would work the best. Using a shelf to hold up my work and then project through the figures with the light reflecting on to them.
Final video and 3D work