After taking the wall drawing down last Monday I finally managed to separate most of the wool and blu tac and here are the photos! I accidentally had the camera setting on a raw file type and had to ask in today’s class how to change it – that’s my excuse for taking so long to put the photos up here! Anyway its good to have it all done now!
I got on the front page of the Sunraysia Daily- I’m so excited!!!!
By Liz O’ Brien
Sept. 21, 2012, midnight
SARAH Curtis is weaving her way to artistic success.
The 19-year-old is creating a mural from wool and Blu-Tack on the wall of Merbein’s Uniting Church as part of her Bachelor of Visual Arts course at La Trobe University.
She’s spent about 20 hours weaving the wool across the red brick wall to resemble a butterfly.
“It’s an assignment for the course I’m doing, you have to do a large-scale wall drawing,” she said.
“I did a butterfly because it represents my faith, changing on the inside and that kind of thing.
“And because it’s on a church, it’s appropriate.”
Sarah said she photographed the church, then created her design around the picture.
“I did a few rough sketches first, and took a picture of the church and did sketches on top of the photograph to work out proportions.
“I wanted it to be temporary and I thought wool and Blu-Tack would be easy to take off.
“I’ve never heard of it being done before, so I just thought I would see if it worked.
“It’s turning out nicely and sort of how I imagined.”
As she’s worked on the project over the past two days, Sarah has attracted a lot of attention.
Standing on her portable scaffold, the teenager weaves her brightly coloured wool up and down the red brick wall, and photographs her work along the way.
For more of this story, purchase your copy of Friday’s Sunraysia Daily 21/09/2012.
The feedback I got from the passes by was really positive. The school kids looked really engaged as well as the adults walking with their shopping. But by far the more responsive age group were the preschoolers who yelled out and pointed at the wall which was rather amusing. A few people stopped to ask questions and even came across someone who is connected to one of the current honors students here at LaTrobe uni which was quite an interesting conversation. The ladies from the church were really engaged and excited by the whole project and stopped by a several times over the two days. They also gave me full access to the church hall so I could make a cup of tea whenever I liked etc. They also gave me permission to store the scaffolding in the hall overnight which was handy. They were so conscious of keeping the wall ‘vandal free’ that they made a ‘don not touch notice’ overnight, which was nice and something I hadn’t thought of. The donated balls of wool came in very handy and I didn’t even use all of it! This meant that the project was quite affordable as the blu tac was the only experience. I had originally thought I could return the wool afterward, but after experiencing balls of wool getting very knotted in the gusts of wind this may not be possible, I’ll have to decide when I take it down. I’m hoping the wall will still be in good condition for the other members of the church to see on Sunday. If this is the case I will probably take it down on Sunday afternoon.
I forgot to mention that the wall is best viewed up close to see the delicate line work, but also looks all right at a distance to see the whole picture. I think I’ll take a few more photos up close to paint more of a picture of what the wall looks like close up.
Well after 2 days and 16 packets of blu tac later I’ve finally finished my wall drawing. I started at 8 am and went till about 3:30 today and even though I didn’t manage to put antennae on the butterfly ( due to height difficulties) I think I can say that this drawing is complete. One of the ladies from the church made a ‘do not touch’ sign and stuck it on the wall overnight, and thankfully the wall wasn’t tampered with so I was able to just finish where I left off.
The weather wasn’t quite as good as yesterday with a few spots of rain and reasonably strong winds threatening the drawing, but i was all good in the end. I was visited by a few friends and also by the Sunrysisia Daily (just for the record I didn’t tell them, I was dobbed in my someone I know! Even though I wasn’t all that fussed at the thought of being in the newspaper as I had hoped to remain the ‘anonymous artist’ who made a wall drawing.However I was more relaxed when they explained and began to set up for the photo . What they did was take a sheet of glass, got me to stick some blu tac and wool in zig-zags around the outside and got me to lie on the grass in front of the glass and they took the photo through the glass. So it looked like the wool and blu tac were suspended in mid air.I had another 2 friends stop by around the same time and they took the photo of the Sunraysia Daily taking the photo,which look rather funny i think! It was a great idea and it looked really cool!
Overall I think the contrast to the wall improved so that i was actually visible from the road, like I had wanted it to. Also it engaged with the general Merbein community by creating something a bit different, which I hope will encourage their envolvment with the visual arts in the future.
Its been a really exhausting , but successful day for my wall drawing. The weather was absolutely perfect and I ‘m pretty close to finishing it. It took a while to getting into the swing of it and after the first 3 hours I had only done a few lines that were hardly visible at all! However once it had ‘sketched out’ the design it became rather straight forward. The only consideration I hadn’t really prepared for was the way the different colours would look on the wall. I would have thought that bright orange would show up well – but a apparently not… whereas the red that i though would camouflage too much, showed up quite well although not nearly as much as the yellow.
These were the very first lines of the wall drawing
And these photos show the general progression of the work
and after the scaffolding arrived…
The response from the community was jsut as i had hoped, i got some curious looks and even some funny comments from the public. My favorite was when school boy remarked to his friend “Oh is that’s made of blu tac? That’s fully sick!”. A big thank you to the lovely friends who came to visit throughout the day, and in particular the two kind people that provide the scaffolding , i very much appreciated it. Below is a succession of photos showing the development of the drawing over the course of 9 hours. I will hopefully finish the drawing tomorrow morning.
I’m going be doing my wall drawing today and its sooooo exciting! I’ll do the bottom half of the wall this morning and hopefully have the top done this afternoon. I’m thinking that getting the proportions done correctly will be the hardest part- it’ll be right (or near enough!). If anyone is going to be around Merbein today i’d be more than happy to make you a cup of tea or have a chat. I’ll also be taking photos as I go so as to documenting the work.
Wall Drawing Methodology
I will be creating a large ‘line drawing’ using blu tac and wool as a drawing medium. The terra/cotta coloured brick wall will be covered with multi-coloured wools in different line patterns to create the image of a butterfly.. I will use scaffolding to reach the higher parts of the wall. As the wall exterior, it may be subject to poor weather and has a large tree in front of one section (that interferes with viewing parts of the wall). Also, the drawing may become victim to vandalism due to is location on a main road. For this reason the drawing will be completed early to mid week to try to minimise the potential of vandalism that is most likely to occur on the weekends.
Wall drawings have been around for centuries; first discovered in caves, to frescos in the renaissance and now the variations are almost endless in the contempory art of today. Sol Le Witt has made hundreds of wall drawings by simply giving instructions for someone else to carry out to make the drawing as apposed to doing it all himself, an idea I found quite interesting.
Elizabeth Makenzie does faint graphite drawings on the walls around artworks in gallery spaces that interact with the surrounding art evoking interesting questions about their meaning and purpose. Both Kirsty Jall and Debbi Smyth use thread and pins on walls to create intricate line drawings that are so carefully executed that it is hard to believe that the images are made from thread at all. I find these works most intriguing as they relate directly to my work through the use of similar medium. From a distance the thread seems to appear as though it is a fine liner pen on a white surface.