Lesson video

In progress...


- Hi, everyone, and welcome to art with me, Mr. Di Salvo.

Today we're going to be looking at creating a sculpture inspired by the work of Chakaia Booker and Anish Kapoor.

So the equipment you're going to need today: you're going to need some tinfoil, some glue, and some scissors.

If you could please collect that equipment now and pause the video, and then once you've got that, hit resume and we'll carry on.

So away you go, please.

Okay, welcome back, everyone.

So we're going to look at today's structure of today's lesson.

So we're gonna look at the key words for today's lesson, and then we're going to look at who the artists are.

We're then gonna look at our materials and exploring those materials before we create our sculpture, and then we have a self-review and then an extension task for those that would like to do that.

So our key words for today.

We're gonna look at the following keywords: We're gonna look at biomorphic, which as you can read there, means life-form or lifelike.

And it comes from combining the Greek words of bios, meaning life and morph, meaning form.

Organic, organic forms look natural and they are irregular, and may seem flowing and unpredictable.

So we're gonna talk about something looking organic.

Not that it is organic, but it can look organic and you'll certainly see that from the artists in today's lesson.

Biotic, so we're going to look at relating to or resulting from living organisms. And so with that, we're going to look at this idea of using those three terms in our work today and how we can use those terms to describe the work of the artists and hopefully inspire our own work.

Now, the first artist we're going to look at is Chakaia Booker, who's a sculptor.

She was born in 1953 in Newark, in New Jersey.

She's internationally renowned and a widely collected American sculptor, so she's a really, really famous, sculptor and she's known for creating monumental abstract works.

So although the work that you can see there, isn't actually a particularly large-scale example.

Her work is huge in size, so we call it a monument-wise, monumental, meaning of a large-scale, and it's very abstract as you can see from there.

And her work has a biomorphic appearance, but it's not inspired by natural forms. So with that example, you can see there, it's not actually inspired by nature, but certainly it has this lovely organic fluid look to it, the kind of irregular nature of it.

That example there, that sculpture there is actually made out of recycled tyres, rubber tyres.

And so, the artist, Booker, she chose those because she's really fascinated by this idea of the rubber and the patterns on these old tyres and how it reminds her of the kind of ageing of skin and also of scarification, which is whereby people kind of scar themselves intentionally with patterns.

And so, she's sort of linked it to humankind, which is really fascinating.

On the right-hand side there, you can see a photograph of the artist, and again, she's wearing this amazing headdress, this living artwork, as she's been described as, and I think that's a great, great, great way to describe her, I think.

That's our first artist for today.

Our second artist is Anish Kapoor.

Sir Anish Kapoor, as he's been knighted by the Queen.

He was born in 1954 in Mumbai in India.

He's best known for creating large-scale public sculptures and his work has a fluid shape and form, which gives the hard materials used an organic feel.

Now the sculpture there, actually created for the London 2012 Olympics.

And you can hopefully work out the sort of size of that, because at the bottom of that photograph, you can just make out three people there, three or four people there, and how small they look in comparison.

So you've got this huge, giant public sculpture which is made out of steel, so an incredibly hard material, but because of the way he's been able to make that to fabricate it with the spirals, and the swirls, and the curves and such, it looks very fluid and organic.

Which is a really impressive thing to do, if you think about it, to have something such a big, heavy, hard material and make it kind of fluid, that's one of the great things about his work there.

So, we're going to use those two artists to hopefully inspire our work.

Now, in the middle is my example there, which I've created and hopefully you can see or make out some links to both artists.

Hopefully, you can hopefully spot.

The tinfoil was my homemade version of using a hard, and it is obviously a very thin metal, metallic material like Anish Kapoor's work.

And hopefully, you can start to pick out some of those irregular organic shapes, and spirals, and swirls, and such forth that link to both artists.

And that's what we're gonna try and do and combine them.

Now, again, I'm gonna show you how I've made mine but I'd like you to, equally, be independent enough to try and take ideas from the artists and use it in your own work.

Okay, so let's begin now, I'm just gonna go through my video demonstration and just bring that up now.

So trying to talk through, now, my example and how I went about it.

So you'll see, randomly, of all the things that I am doing here is, it might seem a bit odd though, but what I'm doing is, I've just found a random lemon.

Now, that seems a bit of an odd thing, I know.

The reason for that, and the reason I've wrapped it in tinfoil is because I realised that rather than making a huge, big ball of tinfoil and wasting material, I could just use an object that was actually just an old lemon, just a dry one.

But if you've got something like that, and you can, of course, reuse this afterwards, or a piece of fruit, or even a stone from the garden, it means you can wrap it, which gives you less tinfoil to have to use, but also, it means that you've got a really sturdy structure for the base of your sculpture.

And you'll see why it was really successful for me.

So that bit of randomness, you might have thought, was actually my thinking behind that.

Now the first thing that I'm doing here is I'm just taking the tinfoil and I've just started making sort of shapes to see the limitations of my material.

So you'll notice here that I'm just kind of doing things like, just twisting it around a pen, looping pieces together, just seeing how well it works as a material.

And I think that's really, really important that we understand that.

That we can just look at that as a material, we can just talk about: okay, how does it work? Does it fold easy? Can I twist it? Can I curve it? Then, we can talk about how it fits together, or begins to fit together.

Now, one of the great things about the resource we've got is I think that we've all got tinfoil in our houses, and it's relatively cheap, and I actually used very little tinfoil for this.

Maybe a couple of pieces, sort of so big at most.

And again, the sort of, the bit of the cheat there was definitely using that lemon, which was a real sort of, I was really pleased I thought about that because it's just really sturdy.

Now again, what I'm doing here is I'm just looking at the material and trying to think about what I can do with it.

What pieces, what shapes can I make? Will they fit together? And how they'll fit together.

And again, different thicknesses.

So the thinner pieces I found were really useful for being able to sort of twist and combine things, almost like making my own kind of thin wire to sort of tie things together.

Whereas the thicker pieces were of course, sturdier.

Now whilst making the piece of work, what I found really interesting was that it made me realise how both Chakaia Booker and Anish Kapoor, how they must have to work, because this was a very, very small sculpture, and quite a sort of, you can see there how small it is, but you have to start to think about how sturdy it is and how you can make it either stand up or do what it is that we're trying to do.

And this is on a small-scale, so for those artists, both to work on a monumental size, they must really have to think about how to make it sort of structurally sound in terms of not falling over and not being dangerous.

Because, that sturdy kind of base of my sculpture, because the rest of the sculpture kind of gets bigger as it goes upwards, which isn't really ideal to make it strong, we've got to think about that.

And it really made me think about their work.

Now, one of the things I tried doing was just, and if you want to try this, well I'd just be really careful, please, with your scissors, but I've just run the scissors along the edge of the foil to see if I can kind of make it kind of curve.

And again, some pieces snapped, that's learning about the limitations of our material.

Then I sort of managed to get it at times to make these really kind of interesting spirals and swirls, which I think looks really sort of reminiscent or reminds me of Anish Kapoor's work.

And again, making a piece, looking at my sculpture, seeing how I can kind of form it together.

And again, the great thing is that we can really hide all our joins because we were using just one material, which is really, really great, we can almost hide those joins.

Now, some pieces do work.

Some pieces don't work.

That's fine.

What we've got though, is that kind of sense of beginning to sort of realise now: okay, what could go where? What do I need to add to this to make it work? And again, I found that those spirals really reminded me of Anish Kapoor's work.

So, they were really simple to make, but I think quite an interesting form, they just have a real impact.

And they could link to this idea of movement almost, of maybe of like water, or of a hurricane or something.

So again, it's not meant to be of a thing.

I mean, the idea of being abstract, something which is kind of unusual and not lifelike.

Here I've just tried to sort of make my sculpture sound.

Now, you'll see here is what I realised I could do was to make that kind of sturdy kind of oval, sphere, sorry, not roll around so much was that I realised if I made a ring, a sort of little base for it to sit on, it would give me something sturdier for my sculpture to sit on, but also I could actually have other pieces joined to it and give that kind of, sort of similar shape to the work of Chakaia Booker's and have that sort of, bit of a wow factor, you know? That kind of movement that we will look at, that shows our link back to our artists.

And I think that the tinfoil is our take on Anish Kapoor using a very hard material.

And I think these wonderful kind of organic shapes then show a link back to and Chakaia Booker's work.

Now and again, we don't have the same links there to the artists.

We will have what's called a visual link.

So, it looks similar to the artist's work but we've actually combined two artists together here.

And again, just going through the process of trying to think, what could I add? What works best? Well that's sort of talking about composition there.

So when we talk about composition, we talk about how we are looking at what could we place where to make it more interesting? So as I look at my work, now, I'm thinking "Okay, what do I want to have?" I don't want to have too many of the same shapes so I've now looked at the idea of maybe I could use something just simple, like a glue stick or any object you've got, you could use now.

And just whether or not I can use that as a former to kind of form my material.

I quite like it because it reminds me of some sort of the centre of a flower, almost.

And again, it has that kind of visual impact.

And because you've got this kind of bigger, wider spiral, it does certainly have more of an interesting and a different quality in it.

It's again, having that balance between the shapes that we use and how we use those.

And again, as we were learning to use materials from a sculptural view, we're looking at the composition of it, how we can use it, what we can combine together, which bits do and don't work and really, really important that we just keep trying that.

And then we can look at where a piece can go, where it doesn't go.

How we make the composition a stronger composition showing a link to both of our artists.

Now, I would like you, or need, or want you, rather, to just copy what I'm doing in your work.

But I certainly want you to have that exploration of trying to combine the artist's work and an organic shape in your own work, okay? And again, not always a sturdy as it perhaps looks, but certainly it gives you a point there.

Now I'm just going to exit my video and return to our PowerPoint and I would like you to do the following please.

Just give it a second to load.

I would like you to, first of all, now, to pause the video when I to tell you to, and explore the tinfoil.

So by that, I mean, I want you to, as it says there, I want you to try and twist it, curl it, fold it, shape it, create shapes.

Don't worry about the sculpture itself, but I'd like you to do that.

And then once you've done that, I would then like to resume the video and then we'll talk about making a sculpture.

So away you go.

Okay, welcome back, everyone.

So you've hopefully got in front of you, all of the pieces of your material.

So you've hopefully got lots of pieces of tinfoil and curled pieces, twisted pieces, and so forth, and your next task now is to actually make that sculpture.

So, I'd like you to combine those separate pieces to make an actual form that, hopefully, links to both our artists.

Okay, please do that now and when once you've done that, please come back to the video and I'll give you your next task.

Away you go.

Okay, welcome back.

Now, I'm gonna talk about my own sculpture and the what went wells and the even better if's.

So, I'm really pleased with my work, that I've got a visual link to the artists, both Chakaia Booker and Anish Kapoor.

I think I've really successfully explored a new material.

So, I don't think I've sculpted with tinfoil before.

If I have, it's been a long, long time ago.

So, I'm really pleased with what I've learned by using it and I think that I'm really kind of pleased with the different ways that it's been composed.

So, I like the different shapes and how I've made this organic looking structure.

My EBIs, I think with my EBIs, I would like to maybe go bigger with it.

Not sure how I'd do that yet, but I think I'd like to attempt this on a bigger scale.

I think I'd like to use some different materials, or see how I could change the tinfoil in some ways so it's not perhaps quite as shiny, but I'd like to try it with a different material if I could.

I think I'd, again, be a bit more experimental in taking more risks.

So yeah, I think going bigger or maybe trying to use something like, I haven't got an old car tyre, maybe using something from, maybe finding a recycled material that I could perhaps use with this to see if I could kind of take the idea further and make a stronger link to my artists, I think, in terms of not a visual link, but a link back to the theme behind their work.

I'd like you to do the same now and I'd like you to self-review your work.

So I'd like you, in a second, to pause the video and write down two things that went well with your work and two things that you could do better and see if you can include the keywords that we've learned today.

So pause the video please and self-review your work.

Away you go.

Okay, welcome back.

Here's an extension task for you people.

So for those of you who'd like to extend your work even further, I would like you to try photographing your sculpture and explore projecting lights onto it, to cast shadows.

There's one task.

And if you want to, equally, as well look at drawing as a task, maybe you could consider creating a study of your sculpture and the shadows that it casts.

So, there's an extension task there for you and if you'd like to do that, please do that now.

Hit pause and then once you're finished, come back to me.


So that's it for today's lesson.

Thank you for learning with Oak National Academy today.

It's now time to take the exit quiz and I look forward to seeing you next time.