Foundation 3D Assignment 2B – En Pointe

Upon watching the second dance video, the first words that came to mind were ‘tumultuousness’ and ‘chaotic’, due to the intensity of one of the segments in the middle. I then began my research to find sculptures to refer to that would emulate these keywords.

I found an image of this sculpture, the ‘Cyclone Twist’ by Annie Aycock, which I felt accurately portrayed the explosive energy I wanted to express in my own final sculpture.

Hence, I began experimenting with wires, with the intention of adding plastic planes along the sides later.

This is the result of my first trial. The top where the wire is tangled haphazardly is meant to represent the chaos, which then spirals into the  downfall, or exile, of the character in the dance.

This is the result of the second trial, where the spirals are more disorganised.

Upon the trial of using wires as my main material, I realised that the overall result was rather boring in that there was not much to explore in terms of formal expression. I wanted something more challenging.

Going back to the video to see if there were other words I could glean from the performance, I decided to focus on the ‘isolation’ that the main dancer was facing and keep the ‘tumultuousness’, or explosive energy, from my first observation.

I continued researching for inspiration.

This is a hanging stone sculpture by Lee Jae-hyo. I decided on this as my main reference for my final model as I found it interesting how he used many smaller modules to make up the volume of the overall form, as well as the hollow in the middle, which I thought I could use to express the ‘isolation’.

This was another image I found to be quite interesting and so I included it in my references.

To show the ‘explosiveness’, I searched for images that had a gradation of big to small modules/pieces. These are what I found and referred to while making the final model:

My main materials were beads and string. Before executing the actual model, I decided to plan out the grid of strings and how each line of beads should be organised.

Options for gradation of bead sizes
Diagrams for row 1-4 of strings
Diagrams for row 5-8 of strings
Diagrams for row 9 of strings (last row at the back)

After watching the dance, I observed that the whole piece was very organised and not actually as chaotic as I had first thought – even during the energy-intense segments. To translate this organisation into my sculpture, I planned for the string to be a 9×9 grid, keeping a consistency of 11 beads per string (except for parts that would form the hollow).

My intention was to create an irregular-shaped blob as the hollow which would get smaller and smaller from the front row to the row at the back to give the effect of an ‘explosion’.

The first type of string I used was the nylon fishing wire. However, I immediately came upon a few problems.

Firstly, the holes in each bead were too big to support themselves and stay in place when I threaded them through the fishing wire. Hence, to ensure that every bead stays in place, I put a bit of blue tack into each hole and threaded the string through it. For the beads with smaller holes, I simply threaded them through, then attached blue tack at the bottom.

Another problem I encountered was that the nylon string kept curving no matter what I tried to straighten them (soaking in hot water, taping them down over a flat surface, ironing). Only when I added a heavy ball of blue tack at the bottom of each string, would it be weighed down enough to stay straight. However, that would lead to each ball of blue tack sticking to each other which would cause even more problems.

My rationale for using the nylon string in the first place was because it was transparent and would therefore give the illusion that the beads were ‘floating’, but due to the many problems I had with it, I decided to switch to pale beige thread instead, which I felt also served this purpose and did not have any of the problems the nylon string did.

Top view of sculpture

I kept the strings secure by threading one side through the holes at the top so that both sides would have little chance of slipping through the holes and dropping off. I taped down the strings for extra security.

Front view of sculpture with irregular-shaped hollow gradually becoming smaller towards the back
Back view of sculpture with irregular-shaped hollow gradually becoming smaller towards the back

After I had arranged all the beads into the irregular-shaped hollow, I realised that due to the beads not being very densely packed together, as well as the strings in between, the hollow was altogether quite invisible. Hence, I decided to keep the hollow’s shape to a regular circle instead. This would still help me obtain my objective of expressing ‘isolation’.

Front view of sculpture
Back view of sculpture
Left view of sculpture
Right view of sculpture

This is the final model from all 4 angles. While I think I have been successful in expressing the keywords I chose (‘tumultuousness’ and ‘isolation’), improvement could have been made in adding more rows of beads for a more pronounced effect. However, I ran out of time and this was the best I could do. In conclusion, I think the final model suffices with regards to my intentions.


One Reply to “Foundation 3D Assignment 2B – En Pointe”

  1. – Main ideas of explosiveness and isolation were good key words derived to help drive the initial experiments.

    – There was good research on sculptures that tried to express these concepts. A fair attempt at testing some ideas out.

    – The decision to use hanging beads of varying sizes was a good choice, it however may have worked more effectively with a denser amount of beads, thus enabling the negative space to be seen more strongly.

    – Whilst the beading and strings were quite well made, do take note of the other areas of the model as well in future,eg. in this case taking care to ‘finish” even the foam boards nicely.

    – On the whole a good effort.

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