With only a few days left before we were due to install the artwork we still had quite a few things to do.
Kath Howard and Jess Bent attached the grey frames to the images with a glue gun and staples. Unfortunately, the fixtures were a little loose but would be suitable to hang in the Council House during the exhibition duration. If we were to make more framed images for requested orders we would pva glue the frames to the images, clamp them and staple them straight away to make them stronger.
We also needed four plinths which we asked Martin France, Fine Art Technician to help us with. Martin did a fantastic job of the plinths in the limited time we had.
Maddy Crossley and Jess Bent made the smaller viewfinders to sit on the plinths using foam board, gaffer tape, reflective tinted film and grey paint. Although these pieces were not as polished as the viewfinder and wall pieces, he did not matter as they would probably be handled quite a lot during the exhibition.
The main sculpture had quite a lot of finishing touches to be undertaken. These included covering the base with canvas and painting it to give a cleaner finish and making the end rotating piece and attaching it to the main body with a cross frame. Lee McDonald was a fantastic team-player and stayed all day – sometimes until 7pm to work on the sculpture and get it finished. We were really happy with the resulting piece and were nearly ready for install.
During the week commencing 14 April 2014 we began to make significant progress on the sculpture and wall pieces. We had managed to weight balance the main octagonal structure on the pivot and were starting to feel more confident with the piece.
Kath Howard and Jess Bent had now spray mounted the prints (printed at PCA’s Creation) to the hardboard which Martin France, Fine Art Technician had cut out. We were all really pleased with the results and received some positive comments from our peers.
We still needed to create a reflective quality to the inside of the sculpture and although we initially thought about using the roll of window tint we had salvaged, we felt that this would perhaps not be reflective enough for the kaleidoscopic element. Lee McDonald suggested buying some Mylar which is a reflective plastic sheeting. We managed to buy some from a local shop and myself and Maddy Crossley cut and spray mounted it to the inside of each side of the octagonal viewfinder.
Although, we had initially been quite worried about whether we would manage to complete this project on time, we were now feeling really positive with how the artwork was coming along and I was quite proud of how well we were working together as a team.
On 11 March 2014, I took over the sheets of MDF to the woodwork department in PCA’s main building. The MDF was salvaged from Studio 11 and to be cut into the eight sides of the octagonal viewfinder.
On 13 March 2014 myself, William Danby and Maddy Crossley started to put together the main structure of the viewerfinder by using small diamond shaped pieces of wood to attach each of the eight sides together. These were then sanded down and painted. We were originally going to buy blue paint to reflect Plymouth’s Ocean City but found some spare paint in Studio 11.
Myself and Maddy Crossley also marked out a scale drawing of the Council House foyer space using the floor plans I had designed and William’s prototype sculpture to see how it would look:
William designed and measured out the pivot structure which I took over to the woodwork department to be cut into an angled bridle join.
The sculpture was beginning to take shape and gave us an added boost and the motivation we needed to step up the pace on the sculpture and wall pieces.
More construction photographs can be found on The Future of Plymouth blog at
Kath Howard and Jess Bent took control of wall pieces and costing – working out that eight 60″ x 60″ printed images mounted to hardboard would cost approximately £45-£50. The images would be spray mounted to the hardboard and a wooden handmade frame would be attached to each one and painted grey to match the base of the sculpture as well as being a neutral colour that would not distract from the colours in the images.
During these early stages Jess Bent also produced a Risk Assessment for the exhibition:
During our discussions on 14th February, Lee had mentioned the idea of creating a viewfinder which would focus on small sections of the Council House’s interior features. After thinking about this further, I mentioned the idea of giving the viewfinder a kaleidoscopic effect to further abstract the Council House features and give the viewer a different way of looking at the space.
As the idea of cladding the walls was going to be too costly, we decided to concentrate on making a sculptural piece – namely the viewfinder and discussed this at a meeting in Studio 11 on Monday 3 March.
After looking at the plywood which was available at Studio 11, we felt we could utilize it to make some of the viewfinder and set to work in creating basic plans.
Lee had mentioned that the cost of mirrors for the internal kaleidoscopic structure would be expensive, however Will suggested that we could use some reflective film which we had salvaged previously.
Will Danby sketched out some rough plans and we decided to create an 8 sided viewfinder to create an octagonal cone shape and we measured the plywood accordingly.
We also discussed the colour and initially thought about black. However, we felt that black may be too formal and might come across as a bit intimidating. We had previously mentioned using blue to compliment Plymouth as the “Ocean City”. Lee also suggested orange – as it would be something bright, colourful, unexpected and create a strong visual impact
Will later made a smaller scale mock-up of the cone and posted images on our facebook group page:
BA (Hon) Fine Art, Critical & Curatorial Practices