Friday, 25 December 2009

Wide-screen: moving on

It occupied my studio for about six month. Now it has been packed and stored to move to South Square Gallery next February.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Studio test projections

Some test projections using the new projector :-)) recorded with a small camera :-(
The video below is a taster - with sample footage not yet cut to fit the screen. Reality looks definitely better.

More views of seascape projections ["What you see depends on where you stand."]

Monday, 14 December 2009


Spent some time looking for projectors to fit Fr-Agile (and budget) and updating my vocabulary with the technical terms involved. Then I found that the chosen model is available in the US only: start again from square one.

Once the European models have been chosen ordering proved to be another adventure. When Next day delivery doesn't materialize 'Out of stock' is a reoccurring explanation... Yet I'm hopeful that in the near future the postman will ring and bring some nice parcels - not for Christmas. Meanwhile I've amended the floor plan again to fit the throw-ratios of the ordered projectors.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Southsquare Gallery

A visit to Southsquare gallery in Thornton where finally two time-based sculptures [Fr-Agile: projection on wide-screen and close-up-screen] will have a debut in February 2010. Hurray ;-)

Larger space, view towards and from the gallery entrance: Things* seem to fall into place:
Amended plan 14 Dec 09

The smaller space with a view to the adjoining larger space

*namely curved screens and projectors

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


See also: Sounding Blog

Midsummer Place
Milton Keynes
8 September 2009 8pm

After an intensive 48 hours the piece is installed. It went well - thanks to the good cooperation with all involved, namely technicians Martin, Paul and Ray; and Sally who kept me going.

For a next time I wished to have another set of my hands and eyes assisting me. It can be difficult at times to be in two places at once, especially when you're on a scissor lift four to seven metres above ground.
Video of Sounding with the background noise of a shopping centre as soundtrack. Do they fit together?

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Sounding installation

Sunday, 6 September 2009 (image by Sally)
We started installing Sunday evening as soon as Midsummer was more or less empty, except for Martin and Paul who are licensed to handle the big machine to reach the 20m high glass ceiling, Sally, Gavin and all the kids and - most important - Mrs Smith who, when I went hectic, so helpfully took charge of the sewing machine. [Many Thanks to all of you!!!!!]

Most of the work had to be done during the dark hours. During daytime I prepared bits and pieces in Midsummer's underground world - a strange but genial contrast to the world of the shopping centre above my head.

You can see more images about the installation in a separate album and in the video's below.

7 September 2009, 20:19
Unwinding third bobbin for second band.

7 September 2009, 22:00
Unwinding fourth bobbin for second band

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Sounding, commissioned by FringeMK 2009, will be installed at Midsummer place in Milton Keynes from September 2009 for two month.

This project and FringeMK 2009 are supported by Midsummer Place, Arts Council England, Arts Gateway MK, Milton Keynes Community Foundation and thecentre:mk

You can see images of work in progress and the final installation on the Sounding-blog.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Fathomer and firechecker

I always wanted to work in an 'open air studio'. Now 'health and safety' issues make it possible.
One of the best joiners in town built a wonderful device to prepare the bobbins that will be unwound in Midsummer Place: Colin's fathomer looks like a giant loom which allows to wind 18 reels simultaneously onto one rod. At the same time the ribbons are 'firechecked': metre by metre is sprayed with a flame retardant fluid, then dried and wound up; a slow process.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Sounding mock-up

A mock-up of the situation at Midsummer place on a scale 1:10 using 25mm ribbon - so in this respect not quite to scale - 4mm would have been 'correct'. Also, no skylights here. Nevertheless this exercise helps to find out about angles and proportions.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Sounding and Fathoms

vitruvian man'Sounding fathoms out the height of the space'. It is the human scale that interests me in this vast space (Midsummer place).
Both bands will be one Fathom wide and composed of 36 ribbons. So, each ribbon will occupy half a 'Handbreadth' or two inches.

Image: Vitruvian Man by Da Vinci (source)

A Fathom is a unit of length used to measure the depth of water or the length of a nautical rope or cable, equal to 6 ft (1.8288 m)

1. to measure the depth of; sound
2. to get to the bottom of; understand thoroughly

ME fadme fæthm (akin to OFris fethm, OS pl. fathmōs), the two arms outstretched (to embrace, measure), akin to German faden, thread

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


Trying to mount a span of about 20 metres of 40mm and 25mm ribbon. The first attempt in the afternoon felt rather like experiments in kite flying - too windy to span and fix the bottom bit into our lawn...
But then around 9pm the air was still, so conditions were more fortunate and I was allowed to take some dusky images.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Amended plan

Further theoretical experiments for the sea-scape screen assuming that a lens with a throw-ratio of 1.2 would be used. This would allow for the projector to be closer to the screen - if floor based - or else to be ceiling mounted.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


Meanwhile I've tested a royal blue ribbon, held against the light the blue looks almost fluorescent (hard to capture with a camera).
The material weighs about 223g/m2, so, a band of 1.8m x 30m would be about 10-12kg. Added to this will be the pull needed to keep the bands straight. Made of polyester this ribbon is strong and has little elasticity. Yet when I spanned a length of six metres I found that it was quite flexible which is good. Little effort was needed to straighten it.
I made a small sample-band - not to scale - composed of 6mm ribbons. Each band is twisted by 180 degrees, as if going with the movement of the sun. So the light is caught differently - which would show better using a wider ribbon.
This trial seduced me to order a bit more Grosgrain - enough to make some bigger samples.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Light cones

Have been experimenting further with projectors and settings. This helped me to understand that the projectors and their cone of light will be part of the sculpture very much. So, the three dimensions of the screens determine which lens will be appropriate.

I've been offered to show Fr-Agile at Southsquare gallery next February. Below is a sketch how screens, projectors and light cones might fit in there.

Close-up screen: throw ratio 1.5 - 1.95 (aspect ratio 4:3) / Seascape-screen: 6.05m/3.65m=1.65 => throw ratio 1.5 - 1.7 (aspect ratio 16:9)

Friday, 10 July 2009

Fringe Festival 09 Milton Keynes

It looks like a proposed piece, Sounding, a site-specific piece for Midsummer place in Milton Keynes commissioned by FringeMK 2009, can go ahead. So, I've started looking for materials to build this installation which will be a new challenge size-wise.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Test projections

Projection-tests with some video footage Jo had prepared. The size of the studio space forced me to project from the hall outside the studio through the door to get a reasonable distance to the screen. So, the set-up isn't as planned but nevertheless gives a taste of what it will look like.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The second half

Joining the two parts of the screen is a tricky step which I dread a bit. After some hiccups I'm forced to take things slowly. And finally... step by step it all seems to take shape.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Seascape screen

This screen is composed of 30 silk threads per inch which contract to about 55 tpi because of the twisted shape.
Currently I'm fixing three of the six bands needed. It takes quite a while to adjust the threads' tension and the density at the bottom. Lots of tiny movements, but after a day I feel as tired as if I'd really worked... Yet - I had a visit from a small assistant, probably interested in helping me: a spider (can you see it on the image?).

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Seascape screen

4m x 2m x 3m (w x h x d)
Both beams - floor and wall - are about 3m long.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Coastal erosion

A sort of installation or rather destallation(?):
Recently we walked along the beach near Withernsea which is a bit further North from Spurn on the Holderness coast. The sea continues to eat into the cliffs and the barbed wire which once marked the cliff edge is now suspended in mid air along with the fixing poles. Some of the eroded material is swept further south where it will build up Spurn peninsula. See also: Spurn cycles

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

First layers

The first four layers of the floating red block (see sketch) have been fixed.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Preparations for new work

Over the last couple of days I was sort of an industrialised woodworm: drilling 10000 holes into two boards. As Stefan quickly calculated all these holes amount to a length of about 100 metres. No wonder I had to change the drill bit from time to time.


Working towards The Hepworth Wakefield
Wakefield Art Gallery commissions: Wordscape

WORDSCAPE was on display at Wakefield Art Gallery from November 2007 until March 2009 when the gallery closed due to its imminent move to The Hepworth Wakefield:

"After nearly 75 years at its current location, Wakefield Art Gallery will close to the public on Sunday 29th March 2009.
The building on Wentworth Terrace is to be replaced by The Hepworth Wakefield, a new purpose - built Gallery on the historic Wakefield Waterfront designed by the award-winning architect David Chipperfield."

This project was supported by the Arts Council England.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Proposal for site-specific work in a Gallery in Sheffield (December 2008): Two pieces related to light. Their proportions will respond to the dimensions and character of the bright ground floor Main-gallery space. The titles are working titles.

Split: grey and white Viscose gimp threads form a sort of wall. Sections of the threads are cut away and replaced by invisible thread splitting the "wall" into two pieces.

Floating Red is made of suspended brilliant red Mohair threads which form a floating brick shaped body.

The big window of the main gallery faces (south-)west and is almost square: 2m x 2m. This is the warm and sunny side (if there is a sun shining...). Another smaller window towards the sculpture garden faces (north-)east - the shadier side - and is about 0.75m x 1.9m.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Close-up screen

It's done.
In a strange way the polyester thread and the fringes at the right edge remind me of the water- foam and the threaded polystyrene I observed at the start of the On Spurn residency a year ago (see post of 7 April '08).

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Threaded screen / first part

Ready to go. The challenge is to keep the density and tension of the threads evenly. Also, the material is extremly slippery and difficult to knot.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Warp for close-up screen

The screen will be made of a shiny white polyester embroidery thread, 60 tpi (threads per inch).

It's happened again: the miracle that hundreds of fine threads (1300), one after the other, found their place on the loom, the tool to organize this all. Sometime while handling the warp it all looks very muddled...but then it worked again.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Close-up screen

A 1:1 outline of the screen for projections of close-ups. While working on this I realize that the shape of the screen isn't only 'defined' by the proportions of the image (video). The waves back then in August '08 came from east, so they move from left to right in the image. The shape of the screen has to go with this movement.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Humber Mouth

I received a Humber Mouth special commission 2009 award to show one or the other of the FR-AGILE screens at the literature festival in Hull in June this year. This is wonderful because now I can start to complete the screens in full size.

Saturday, 21 February 2009


A site-specific installation commissioned by FRINGEMK 2009. Sounding will be displayed in Midsummer Place in Milton Keynes from September '09.

Midsummer-Place is a building approximately 20 m high featuring a wave form roof which spans a concourse of about 60m x 90m between the old and new part of the shopping centre. Daylight enters through five skylights of about 4m x 20m and through the two glass façades towards Midsummer Boulevard. The roof is supported by 48 crossbeams which rest on two rows of pillars, six to support the low part of the roof and six for the high part. A couple of trees and the odd bird join the congregation of shoppers among the cafes and food stores within the building.

Once inside the building it is difficult to grasp the vastness of the space. The huge volume above the retail area is filled with light and air but there is little to guide the eye. I was surprised to find that each of the 52 tiny looking glass panels which compose one single skylight must be about 1m x 1.5m. The following proposal relates to the height of Midsummer Place and to the way light illuminates it.

Material: royal blue man-made string with a silky sheen
Dimensions: One or two bands, approx. 30 - 40m x 1.8m (1 fathom)

Near the west entrance one or two threaded bands will span between high points of the skylight and roof supports, similar to stretches of warp taken from a loom. The bands will twist slightly while keeping their width of one fathom from top to bottom. Sounding fathoms out the height of the space and ‘puts it into perspective’.

Sounding will be composed of man-made thread which captures and reflects the light. Depending on the onlookers position the shade, shape and transparency of the piece will change.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Seascape projection @ Cupola

Over the past couple of weeks I've been glued more or less to my desk writing proposals and applications. And now I really look forward to making something real!

Possibly one of the Fr-Agile screens will have a home for one month at Cupola Gallery in Sheffield next July. Below is a plan how it will sit in the space.

View from projector fixed underneath ceiling