Some of my favorite art accomplishments during my time at BYU came from assignments where the professor gave us some kind of parameter to work within. I’ve always like so-called problems to solve in art–I seem to thrive creatively on limitations.
The following thingamajig (I really need to come up with a name for it!) was constructed for a sculpture class. It was sort-of a Gestalt exercise. We were asked to:
1) Come up with an interesting 3-dimensional shape, in any medium.
2) Reproduce the shape (as many times as we wanted).
3) Join the reproduced shapes together in an interesting way.
In other assignments for this particular class, we’d been learning to work with steel (welding, forging, etc), and stone carving…
But for this particular assignment, I thought it would be fun to try and do something bookbinder-ish, since that’s where I excel. It was a gradual evolution, but eventually I wound up creating the shape below:
All of these photographs are the same object. I really wanted to make an interactive shape: something that could be held and manipulated and played with to make multiple shapes. The pieces are joined together with Japanese hinges, (my mentor saw what I was trying to do, and was the one who introduced me to this kind of hinge). The hinge works in a similar way to a Jacob’s Ladder, in that the hinge allows the two joined pieces to hinge in two directions. This means that the green cube pictured above can be turned inside-out into a blue cube.
This project was very satisfying, and someday I hope to expand more on this theme and see what I can come up with.