Monday, 23 May 2011

New Model Kit Designs

I’m currently working on some designs for a new series of wall-mounted low relief sculptures. Like my And When I’m a Man piece (which was made from 12 casts of my own body), these new works will be based upon the pre-assembled Airfix-style model kits that many of us used to make when we were kids – except that these new ones will be much smaller than my original life-sized one. For this project I will be working in collaboration with the on-line arts magazine, FAD and the California-base industrial designer, Noel Wilson.

And like my second model kit based sculpture, Baby Kit, which subverted the whole point of the model kit (being that the sum of all its parts didn’t actually make a whole), the new series aims to do this a little more subtly by substituting just one element with something from an unrelated figure. In the case of this working drawing the left arm has been replaced with an octopus tentacle. In another design I have substituted the right leg for that of Daffy Duck.

This design which is based upon Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man drawing probably won’t be part of the new series of sculptures. It was just an idea that I had whilst I was sketching out the tentacle element of the first drawing and I couldn’t resist putting it down on paper to see how it looked.
Although I’ve always loved da Vinci’s drawings it wasn’t until I copied out the head and torso section of his Vitruvian Man that I really got a feel for the brilliance of his draughtsmanship. There’s a wonderful accuracy and economy of line in his drawing. I would advice anyone to get a piece of tracing paper and copy one of his sketches – just for the feel and flow of it.

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