Vaughn Bell

Vaughn Bell is an American artist whose work takes form in installation, sculpture, video, performance and environmental art. Her undergrad work focused on ‘Nature and Culture : Human Perspective on the Natural World’.

She creates interactive projects and immersive environments which affect the ways in which we relate to our environments.

One body of work she has produced I find particularly inspiring and interesting is the Personal Biospheres – living spaces into which people insert themselves at eye to ground level to intimately experience the sight and smell and touch of a growing micro world. Some are single person environments whilst others can accommodate more than one person.

Her work has often explored the boundary between people and plants – this I was intrigued by, it quickly brought about visions of living cities, buildings formed from living environments or totally immersed in plant life, fashion that is grown, cared for and that has a life literally in season. Her work work has addressed making plants wearable clothing (first picture) and treating plants as pets to be loved and nurtured. 

Bell has been employed as a ‘staff artist’ by Seattle Department of Transportation working on arts planning and integrating design enhancements into public projects such as trails , side-walks and bridges.

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Field Group Formative Assessment

Today we gave a presentation for our Field subject group (Migration) and our tutors.
I feel the presentation went well, we all spoke quite easily and contributed to the presentation. Nothing was left out apart from talking about the video.

We have a clear plan on what we need to do next and how we want to proceed, we just need to ensure we fit it all into the time we have left before handing in for marking.

The next task for me would be to talk to Matt the ceramics tech dem about a suitable glaze and about booking a kiln for firing.
We can all get together to finish off the surfaces of the hearts which are a little rough and need sanding smooth before glazing.

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Clare Twomey

Born in 1968, UK. Lives and works in London, UK.

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Clare Twomey is a British artist and a research fellow at the University of Westminster who works with clay in large-scale installations, Sculpture and site-specific works. Over the past 10 years she has exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, Crafts Council, Museum of Modern Art Kyoto Japan, the Eden Project and the Royal Academy of Arts.

Within these works Twomey has maintained her concerns with materials, craft practice and historic and social context.
– Copied from http://www.claretwomey.com/profile.html

Some of my notes from the lecture:
– mostly works with clay
– Clay direction came from time in Edinburgh uni.
– MA at Royal Collage -5yr studio time
– teaching and studio practise and then into research, she questioned this, what is research actually?
– Practise now resides in research
– site is important, some works are site specific, problems resolved on site – work, problem, space, possession of site.
– working collaboratively allows the proper realisation of ideas, allows freedom of ideas beyond singular artists skill base, now no need for every skill e.g. Engineering in large projects.
– uncertainty breeds questions and creativity, fuels the thirst and hunt for answers or the reasoning for efforts.
– she has become very interested in the space and performance dialogue.
– does not make physical work often maybe a few times a year now. Mostly research and writing.
– what do you want to be your legacy? face your ambitions.
– role of the art work should be to trigger a thinking process.
– good deed exchange, see website.
– Conciousness/ Conscious, 20,000 tiles, working with industry to produce them all, rational to movements and decisions.
– Trophy 2006 V&A wedgewood and V&A collaborative first ever, she was invited to make a work, thousands of plamsized blue porcelain birds in V&A sculpture gallery.
– Blog ‘Why Make?’
– blossom – 2008, Eden project
– Ask big questions ? – don’t always have to make….
– never be afraid of the question, grab it by the horns.
– dialogue can bring about ideas , pieces and inspiration unexpectedly and set you on a new, better or surprising route.

What I think I really took away from the talk most was the practises of asking big questions and ensuring to engage in dialogue about the work and other ideas.


Tuesday 28th Jan Basic Electronics and Soft circuits Tutorial with Jon

Explored some basic electronics ideas. Used conductive thread and ink on calico to create soft circuit to light a red LED and also incorporated a switch. We also discussed potential uses and applications of different materials and looked at several smart materials, for example conductive foam.  Jon introduced us to some EL Wire and EL sheet, these were very interesting, Id love to use them in a project at some point. The workshop with Jon is now over but I shall be continuing to investigate and teach myself electronics and arduino. I am very interested in Smart Materials and conductive fabrics and using them in interactive installation or sculpture.

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FabLab Talk @ Tommys Bar 18/03/14

This was a very exciting talk given by a representative and member of Fab Lab Barcelona, the European Fab Lab Mother-ship if you will, about the Fab Lab coming to Cardiff and what Fab Lab is all about and the opportunities that it brings with it. We saw lots of exciting projects and proposals and that what the extent of what can be made is perhaps only limited by the imagination of the maker. Projects are fantastical varied and of all sorts of scales from big to small, high to low tech, simple to complex. There were lots of things show to us that I had never seen before anywhere on the internet – it was very up to date. I went away feeling very inspired and excited, about which elements exactly though I am not sure of…

There is lots for  me to research and get involved in – FabLab Exchange and the Masters MAA Research Fabrication are of particular interest to me.

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Letterpress Induction

On Thursday 6th March I attended a Letterpress induction at Howard Gardens led by Tom. Some interesting background info and also showed us a portable screen printing kit that used inscribed wax sheets for stencils that he had found in a car boot sale, keeping my eye out for one, may even make one! The letterpress itself is quite small and looked fairly simple but apparently was a bit tricky to get set up properly. Setting the lead type was quite time consuming although not particularly difficult, practise will see to shortening setting times. The ink seems to get everywhere. The rollers pass over the rotating ink plate and then over the text just before the paper is levered up against the now inked text. It was quite a fun process although generally working with the type tray would take a lot of getting used to. My print was only partially successful, it worked, but I had confused my D’s and P’s…..so it didnt work quite as properly as it should have.

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Manual CNC or Milling Machine Workshop

Thoroughly enjoyed this induction. At first the machine is massive and quite intimidating with all its leavers, vices and assortment of bits and cutters. But this quickly gave way to delight at the accuracy and precision that can be achieved and on such a large scale too! It seems to have few limitations so far, though doubtless I shall discover one or two as I gain more experience with it. I want to set my self a project using mainly just this machine so that I can become practised and proficient at using it – this would allow me to integrate it into future projects with a little more ease as I could have a better idea of what I could and could not achieve on the machine. One small project I have been contemplating is making light up climbing holds which will need moulds, model board and the milling machine may be perfect for this. They would be quite abstract and even complicated angular shapes, it  would be interesting to see what I could create…

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