Art & Design Magazine

I Tried to 'relate' to a Paper Robot but It Was an Awful Struggle !!

By Ainescannell @etchedweb
Well what I mean is ......... the participating artists, which included me, were all sent a package by M.U.B.E..  This is  the Museum  of Sculpture in Sao Paulo,  Brazil, where I have previously exhibited.
The idea or should I say 'brief' for this project  was that we would somehow 'transform' it by means of our own interventions with ideas / art materials and so on,  and so forth.
I tried to 'relate' to a paper Robot but it was an awful struggle !!When it arrived in the post and I looked at it I remember tossing it aside and thinking oh my gawd I can't work with that horror !!I considered not bothering to do it at all as I had so many things on my plate ( for a change!!) but then thought no - I have made a professional commitment and I should at the very least have a go at it.  If I then find that I really can't find a way to work with it - then I will withdraw.
Eventually managed to find instructions online and my clever friend Tatiana, who dropped round with her 5 year old son ( who loves all robot related matter)  put it together for me in no time.
So there it stood on my work surface  as a 3d cardboard robot and unfortunately I just didn't like the thing.  I imagine if I had - I might have given it a name.  So for now  it was just the "thing".
I tried to 'relate' to a paper Robot but it was an awful struggle !!
Eventually I decided that I could only work with it very much on my own terms as in I would take it apart lay it flat and then see if I could somehow make it into a collagraph plate of sorts.  The image above shows my initial  experiments with the lay-out of the pieces.   I thought  it  had the look of  South American iconography and textile designs so I started looking into that.  I came across some nice bits and pieces during the course of this research.
I tried to 'relate' to a paper Robot but it was an awful struggle !!
As I was doing this in a hurry I didn't take too much note of the sources and information regarding the little creatures that caught my eye.  Often they were just small details in a rug or a featured image on a piece of ceramic.  Made me remember a little figure I had used in my paintings when I was doing my bachelors degree and how I had found that quite liberating.  I had seen it on a billboard  poster, during the course of my long bus journey in North London up to the campus.  How wonderful it would have been to have access to the internet, at the time,  instead of 'lugging' huge piles of usually large heavy art books around in my shoulder bag which of course didn't do my back any good.
I tried to 'relate' to a paper Robot but it was an awful struggle !!
So I settled on a layout of sorts and stuck the pieces down onto some mill board.  I varnished it, back and front, and then proofed it but realized much to my annoyance (with myself) that of course the pieces were too raised up from the base plate.    It was a big plate and had taken me quite a while,  to ink up - so I thought "oh what the heck  - it's a unique piece of work I can just keep working on it 'as is' ".
I tried to 'relate' to a paper Robot but it was an awful struggle !!
Loved this little image with the jaguar warrior suit,  I came across too.    I seem to remember that these were the items that were placed in the burial site with the Aztec warriors and Lords.  A bit similar to the way the Ancient Egyptians "packed for the journey".     Mind you the Chinese did it in even more of a 'big way' as in,  when you consider the guy who had the Terracotta army created to accompany him to the afterlife - to ensure nobody tried to push him around.   Talk about being paranoid .......or maybe just O.T.T.
I tried to 'relate' to a paper Robot but it was an awful struggle !!
So that's what I did - I collaged it a little and also worked onto it using my trusty Carbothello pastel pencils (water soluble).  I got there in the end using five of the pieces from the pack.  I specifically wanted it to be a 'fold-out' print too so that it was like some map or thing that would be put into a pocket.  Hence the folds.
I tried to 'relate' to a paper Robot but it was an awful struggle !!
References:
Museu Brasileiro da Escultura  M.U.B.E.
Betty Esperanza's short Video made as part of making her  Troyart piece.
There were about 300 pieces in total in this exhibition and I just could not select  just one or two
pieces to include in this post - best to have a look at the project blog.
Troyart Blog     http://toymube.blogspot.com/

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