Amazing Reactions

Four days into my degree show and I have had an amazing response to my installation DISCOVERY – Exploring Your Own Perception. The installation is thankfully working how I’d envisaged and so to have been very pleased with the response.

I’ve had wonderful compliments and people arriving who have been told they must come and experience the installation.

Degree Show Opening Night

What a great evening. My final degree show opening night was fantastic with a constant flow of people coming to view my installation:

DISCOVERY – Exploring Your Own Perception

Had loads of highly complimentary praise and feedback following my instructive guidance around the artwork.

Many visitors were so impressed they were telling others to make sure they came and experienced my installation. That has to be the highest compliment of all.

Third Banner Painting

Still have one more banner painting to do. The reason for the delay is I haven’t yet decided what to name it. I can’t paint it until I’ve named it because each of the three banners relate to the three principle senses we use for perceiving space around us and this one relates to sound. (The other two are sight and touch.)

My idea is to create a sound wave image of the title of my show. Unfortunately, I haven’t got a name for it yet. Will have to decided by end of today as planning on starting the painting tomorrow.

After much searching online for a App that can create sound wave images, I discovered I had something on my phone already.

This is the sound wave of: “Perception of space”


…and below is a variant, but also spoken more clearly: “Our perception of space”

Sound Wave


Not quite light tight yet!

Windows now blacked out.


Unfortunately there is light flooding in from the ceiling area!

Turns out this and the adjoining room was once a single room. A dividing wall was built to create two rooms. The ceiling has profiled shaping to give it more strength, but the wall was built to meet the ceiling and not fill in the gaps.

light pollution

Difficult to photograph, but after around 5 minutes when my eyes adjusted to the light levels I could see everything in the room. That’s no good. The idea now is to temporarily block the gaps next week when the Genie will be used to install my banner paintings.

Refraction and reflection – creating illusions

To display the pigmented resin droplets I’ve chosen to illuminate them from beneath. This has brought its own set of issues including what light source to use and how it is to be powered. The preferred method the battery powered unit of two LEDs set in the plinth for each resin droplet. LEDs are very bright, but also generate very little heat and so are safe in a confined space. With an isolation switch outside of the plinth the lighting unit is also easily controllable.

Lighting from beneath gives me three main benefits. Firstly, the light unit is hidden from view. Secondly, I have more control over the spread of light and in so doing there is less light pollution in the installation room. Third and finally, I can create some deceptive illusions with the refraction and reflections produced in the droplet as you can see from the video below. From an approaching angle the droplet appears to to be solid blue, but as the viewpoint changes so the droplet appears to change as well.

Photo luminescense

Using clear casting resin has been a whole new way of working for me although I had some prior knowledge, but using photo luminescent powders in resin is completely new. After much experimenting and trialling I’ve reach a point that I’m happy with. However, it wasn’t/isn’t without its problems. The initial issue was there were only four colours available that I could use. Green, Aqua Marine Blue, Cobalt Blue and Violet aren’t exactly a wide spectrum of colour, but that’s what I had to work with. Secondly, I didn’t know what ratio of powder to resin would be needed to get the effect I was after. Thirdly, of the four colours the Green and Aqua Marine react far quicker and better to UV light (and hold the charge longer), with Cobalt trailing a little way behind. Unfortunately Violet seems to struggle on all counts needing much more light to charger the particles, but even then it’s not great. The jury’s out at the moment as to whether I’ll use Violet.

Keeping control

A key factor with the way I work and what I do is keeping control of a tight budget as a student. Working on such large scale projects and exploring an ever wider array of materials and processes tends to mean, for me at least, that my ideas and concepts are ever increasing in there complexity and scale. This of course in turn can also mean material costs spiralling out of control.

I had estimated at the beginning of the project the overall cost of materials to be between £1,500 and £1,600. Although I had enough funds to cover this initially, the unplanned expenses of life severely ate into these funds. By refining my original concept I have managed to get that figure down to around £1,100.

I have learn an extremely valuable lesson here. In the process of refining, and therefore reducing costs, I have managed to improve the overall installation and make a much stronger piece of art.

Extinguishing the light

With the assistance of Danielle and Glen (uni technicians) the room I’m using for my degree show is being blacked out. Because of the planning I’d put in from the start and being organised, I have all the materials to complete the job without any wastage and therefore unnecessary expense by over ordering.

By the end of today the room should be light tight with the exception of the entrance door, which is why I’m building an inner chamber around the door to enable control of light pollution from outside when visitors enter the room.