Spring 2011 I built this paper sculpture in an empty 4th floor lunchroom in Concordia’s Visual Arts building. 3 weeks and so much graphite powder most days I looked like a coal miner. The piece was suspended from the ceiling on rubber ribbon, and it was light enough that it moved when breezes blew in through the window.
making the Paper Ship
The original plan, each shape was supposed to represent a flat section
I settled for a ship-like shape, with two main flat panels that I planned to clip and velcro to a matt-board structure
starting the drawings
I started in the centre and worked my way out
This was the lunchroom on the fourth floor of the Visual Arts building.
No one ever used it, so I didn't feel bad about taking it over.
I drew, then cut around the drawings
As I finished each section I started hanging them on the walls so that I had enough room to step across the room.
Originally I wanted this project to be an intervention, I wanted to keep the lunchroom tables in place and just have the drawing rising out of the table
rubbing graphite up to a sheen took forever.
I was trying really hard to saturate the surfaces with thick layers of graphite because I wanted to incorporate sound circuitry into the piece, using the graphite as a conductive element...but I couldn't get the graphite to conduct electricity in a useful way
beginning the installation... I set up a grid of string up in the rafters. Then I used that to attach black ribbon and rubber to rubber hooks glued into the drawing
Pete complaining but still helping me hang the sections, Mona is on the other side holding the drawing so that the paper didn't rip as we raised it.
Personally, I thought this was cool, and liked eating my lunch with this on the table, but no one else thought it was interesting. I caved in and emptied the room.
detail of paper cutting
clipping the two halves together. Each panel was delicate and ripped a bit, but once they were clipped together they became quite solid and strong, breezes blew in and made the whole thing rock back and forth
Taking the drawing down...
The first image in the gallery shows what is a pretty basic working methodology for all my projects: I drew up a careful master plan, drawing out patterns for each section of the paper sculpture, roughly calculating the number of pencils, liquid graphite, paper, rubber and hardware I would need… And then completely ignored the entire plan and decided to make it up as I went along. This is always helpful. I will be following a mental map that’s lodged itself into my brain. BUT a lot of the technical disasters I encounter building robots also happen because of this tendency. Ah well… I’m learning very slowly and very painfully to be a better technical planner…