3D – En Pointe

AMA by Julie Gartier

Struggling and Letting Go

The dance piece which I have chosen was the first video, AMA by Julie Gartier.  The words which I wanted to express was “struggling“, and “letting go“. I felt that the dancer wanted to express the pain of losing her unborn child; how she was being weighed down by her grief, and how she felt lighter when she finally let go of her grief at the end. Hence, I decided to portray the emotions expressed by the dancer in the video instead.

Inspiration / Process

// Idea 1 – Vertical 


Inspired by Matt McConnell’s wire sculptures, and other vertical sculptures, my initial sketches were mostly vertical; elements curving upwards and getting lighter, as I wanted to portray the notion of how the dancer was getting up from the lowest point of her life, and letting go of her grief. However, I decided to change the idea as I felt that in the video, the process was not always going uphill or smoothly; how she jumped and leaped, but kept falling back to the ground and it took her several tries before she can finally reach the surface of the water – like she was being weighed down by the grief and was unable to return to the water’s surface that easily.

Hence, instead of doing something that only shows that the elements are going up, I wanted to do something to show a movement or a flow which is going both horizontally and vertically; to show the struggles of the process of letting go of one’s grief; how the dancer tried to leap from the ground but she falls back down to the ground, and how she tries again.

Initially, I wanted to use wire mesh but I felt that it was rather difficult to twist it into the spiral shape that I wanted. I wanted to have a spiral which was initially very tight and close, which gradually spreads out to show the notion of letting go. Hence I decided to use wires instead.


// Idea 2  – Spiral / Nautilus Shell

My initial prototype was made of the thicker aluminium wires and a translucent gauze-like material. The idea was inspired by a nautilus shell and a fibonnaci scale, showing a spiral gradually opening up; which can portray how a person slowly lets go and open up again. The wire suddenly touching the ground near the end was to portray how the dancer falls back to the ground for the final time in the water, before taking a final leap to the water’s surface. However, I felt that the idea did not really work out because cannot really see the notion of letting go, and people cannot really differentiate which one was the starting point and which one was the end.


// Idea 3 ( Final ) – Spirals

My final sculpture was mainly inspired by the works of Richard Sweeney; where the curves, twists and the lines of the pleats in his works depicted a sense of flow. Jennifer McCurdy’s potteries were also an inspiration; I felt that the smooth curves and twists in her works were very elegant and interesting as well.

Final Sculpture

Front view of final sculpture before attaching fabric mesh

My final sculpture was made out of two thicker wires, closely intertwined and are tied together by the smaller and thinner wires. Fabric mesh was used to cover the areas between the wires to make the idea of depth more visible; which was initially rather difficult to see due to the overlapping wires / lines.

The sculpture or spiral starts off with curves which are smaller and closer to the base. This represents how the dancer was initially overwhelmed with the grief, at the beginning; where she was lying on the floor and her movements looked sluggish and smaller.

The spiral going upwards represents how the dancer made an effort in trying to let go of the grief; moving and getting off of the ground. The spiral going back down sort of represent how the dancer was not strong enough or ready to get over the grief yet; how she drops back down onto the ground after her leaps.

The spirals gradually gets bigger to mirror how the dancer’s movements were gradually getting more expressive, bigger, and she jumping even higher; like she was more determined to let go of her grief and to reach the water’s surface.

The sculpture eventually ends with the two wires going in different directions instead of forming another spiral. This was to represent how the dancer was finally able to let go at the end; how she felt lighter and was finally able to return back to the surface.

The wires were bent unevenly instead of smooth curves to represent the internal struggle of letting go. Initially, I wanted to do something which resembled Richard Sweeney’s works; smooth, twirling curves. However, I felt that it would not portray the struggling / hesitating emotions that the dancer was feeling; the notion of letting go was never smooth-sailing. The uneven widths of the spirals were also to further amplify the struggle. The wires eventually gets smoother curves near the end to show how there are no more struggles. The fraying edges of the fabric mesh was also to further amplify the emotions; the torn feelings, and that these feelings were never smooth / pretty.

Overall, I felt that I struggled with the sculpture; the idea and process looked rather simple, but it was rather difficult to twist the two thick wires into rather similar spirals, and it was tedious to tie and cut the thinner wires together with the thicker wires. It was rather time consuming to attach the fabric mesh onto the spirals, and as well as to trim the excess mesh.

Assignment 2A – Polyhedron Dreams ( Research & Process )

Planar Model Process: Tetrahedron

My initial planar model was made of 6 planes, 2 sets of 3 similar planes.

Initially, when I thought about making something to resemble a tetrahedron or imply its shape, I thought of making something symmetrical and angular. However, after completing the model, I felt that it did not look very interesting from different angles, as they were almost all the same. Hence, I decided to change my planar model.

Initially, I had difficulties drawing the different perspectives on paper. I wanted to use a big triangle as my dominant plane, without placing it in a way that it was one of the entire plane of the tetrahedron. Hence I wanted it to be tilted at an angle while being supported by another shape. It was then, when I placed the linear model over the two shapes that I felt that if I created and arranged shapes which touches all 3 points / ends of the triangular plane on every sides, it would be able to imply the shape of a tetrahedron more clearly.

Final Planar Model



Final Model Research:

Triangles and Arches, Alexander Calder, 1965         Beta Paper Installation, Richard Sweeney

I was inspired by the works of Alexander Calder, especially Triangles and Arches, where he uses triangles, but distorted their shapes and forms by making them curvier. I felt that it was interesting, and how it resembled like dolphins hopping out of the water and going back into the water.

Richard Sweeney’s Beta Paper Installations has also inspired me to create curves instead of flat planes. I liked how the creases and the bends of the papers greatly suggest a flow.

Untitled, Alan Brain                                      Untitled, Alan Brain

I was also inspired by the paintings of Alan Brain, where he uses mostly geometric shapes, but distorted them in a way where it did not look like the usual flat geometric shapes. I felt that movements or flow was implied through the distortions.

Bojes Chapel, Africa                                                            Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

I felt inspired by these wavy architecture as well.



Final Model Process:

Initially, I had problems trying to visualise it and putting it on paper. I started out with trying to envision the original planar and linear models, and how to make the planes break apart from one another.

My linear + planar model and my Combination model prototype. Inspired by Alexander Calder, Alan Brain, and Richard Sweeney, I decided to make curves using geometric shapes made of cardboard. I used the same planes from the planar model; same / similar shapes but bigger / longer to amplify the idea of movement as the planes looked smaller when I creased the flutes to create the curves.

My prototype model. Used cotton thread to hold the planes, but felt that it looked weird and out of place like this. Also felt that the rubber bands were rather distracting, and it comes off easily.

Hence I decided to remake the model. It was rather difficult to catch the angle while using hot glue gun to stick the chopsticks together. Removed the extra plane in my prototype, and swapped the positions of some of the planes. I decided to use cotton thread to hold an entire side of the planes to the chopsticks instead of just holding it from the ends. I felt that this could portray the notion of movement, and looked less out of place compared to the prototype.

Final Combination Model


Assignment 2A – Polyhedron Dreams (Final)

Line Model: Tetrahedron



Planar Model:


Initially, I tried to do something which consisted of many triangles and are symmetrically balanced. However, I felt that it would looked a tad bit boring, as it looked the same from almost every sides. Hence, I decided to change the design, but kept the usage of mainly triangles and angular shapes.

I decided to make the planar model resemble a triangle from every view by ensuring that the ends of all the shapes create an overall implied shape of a triangle / tetrahedron. I took rather long to catch the correct angle / size; planes kept protruding too much out of the linear model as I was unable to calculate the angle, and I had troubles cutting the slots at the correct angles.



Lines + Planes Model:

As the concept is about “breaking free”, I decided to to use the same materials I used for the planar model ( plus cotton thread ) to imply the concept of breaking free from the tetrahedron shape, and as well as “breaking away from the norms”.

When we think about cardboard or triangles, we would visualise them as something angular and flat. Hence, I decided to create curves using cardboard  by creasing and cutting the cardboard with different flute directions, to convey the idea of “breaking free from the norms”; cardboard being flat and can only be folded in right angles. I was also inspired by some of the works of Alexander Calder and Alan Brain, where they uses geometric shapes, but not in a usual flat way.

Furthermore, I wanted to imply the movement of “breaking away” from the original tetrahedron shape by using the same shapes / planes I used for my planar model, placed in a similar position, with the shapes being longer and bigger to dramatise the idea of movement. I felt that the curves of the shapes help to suggest the movement of breaking away as well; the biggest plane resembled how a paper would look like when it is being dropped, and the prism shape looked like how a paper would look like when the wind carried it up – and are going in different directions.

I created triangles using chopsticks, and glued them together in different angles to imply the movement, and as well as to support the planes. I decided to use cotton thread to support the planes, and as well as to further amplify the movement.