Swansea Group – 5th November 2016

Jason and Becky began their Masterclass by ushering the students downstairs into the exhibition space to experience their VISCOSITECTURE exhibition that was taking place. Students walked around the exhibition space and spent time experiencing the light changes and sounds. Jason and Becky asked the group to voice their thoughts, Jake started the group off by saying how he thought it was “great, very unorthodox, I’ve never seen anything like it before or been in a place like this.” There was an excited chatter in the exhibition space- the scene resembled a nightclub due the crowd/ sound/ lighting. Elicia spoke of how she felt afraid in the space due to the loud noise.

After the group had engaged with VISCOSITECTURE and discussed their own feelings/ interpretations, Jason spoke about how the current stage of the exhibition was meant to represent breaking something and give the feeling of being disturbed. The viewer is not meant to be sure of what is about to happen next. The black outs/ sudden changes of light and lack of pattern to the sound reiterates that. Jason spoke of how they gathered their original information from looking at and drawing from maps. The shapes in between their lights symbolise the space between buildings in cities as the exhibition has progressed, the position of the shapes have altered.

“Why is the plinth and the light above always yellow?”

Jason: “The plinth started at the front of the exhibition space and has gradually made its way to the back of the space. The yellow symbolises that it has moved back and finally joined with the above lantern.”

“Where did you draw inspiration for the noises that can be heard in the exhibition”

Jason: “The noises are completely experimental but created with a purpose. We can control how you feel through noise. The noises are actually domestic sounds that have been slowed down due to the show looking at outside space vs inside space.

In the education space the group were given an A-Z map and were asked to piece together each cut out page to form a large scale map of Swansea. Pages were spread across the large table and Jason and Becky aimed for the group to work together to join it and make a large map. This was a team building exercise and encouraged he group members to speak to one another. Jake was very quick to piece his parts of the map together and said that he enjoys doing jigsaws at home and found this exercise similar. Demi who is normally late for Masterclasses as in her own words she “gets lost/ confused easily’ described the exercise as her “worst nightmare – you know how often I get lost, I am not too good with maps!” Demi decided to take the role of cellotaping the map pieces together as apposed to finding missing pieces. Eventually as the large map was completed the group were excitedly finding where they lived/ showing the group.

The next task was for each student to find a place on the map that they like or somewhere that makes them happy. The had to place tracing paper on top of the map and trace a shape from their happy place. Jake chose to draw over the Llangenith area as he has been to the beach a couple of times and he enjoys visiting there. He was struggling to find another happy place before remembering that he enjoys visiting the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery’s Art Club and also Mission Gallery’s Portfolio workshops. One student traced over her favourite beaches and also ‘Home Bargains’. Almost everyone traced over their houses.

Students were then asked to simplify their design into a five sided shape using tracing paper and tracing on top of their tracings. One student needed a bit of guidance when it came to simplifying his design into a shape. The student loves tracing things and all of his drawings contain a lot of detail so he is not used to creating simplified work. Becky helped him to figure out what was best to do with the shapes that he had traced. The group then began creating panels for their lanterns; hey were given new pieces of tracing paper and were told to be free with their drawings. They didn’t have to use rulers and they were also encouraged to layer their drawings.

When the group were told that they would translate their drawings into lanterns Demi struggled to understand how it was possible. Becky showed Demi a couple of photographs that were taken during the set up of VISCOSITECTURE. Demi didn’t realise that the lights in the exhibition were made from tracing paper. This helped Demi to see how the lanterns would be made and gave her an idea of the final product.

Scissors/ Cardboard were handed out. The group were asked to map and cut out the top and base of their lanterns. The tracing paper was then attached to the sides to form the lantern panels. Jason and Becky helped the group to attach string to their lanterns. The group were then led back into the exhibition space, Jason used the attached string to staple their lanterns onto the surrounding wooden structure in the exhibition space. Their work then became part of the exhibition. Small lights had been placed inside of the lanterns which were turned on and made the lanterns stand out in the dark space. Demi recorded a time lapse video of the lanterns in the exhibition space on her phone.

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