Currently up in the Glass Gallery space is the BUGS! Exhibit featuring the work of Sculpture 1A artists. Students looked closely at the way little critters are formed, honing in on the patterns, formations, shapes, and details that nature has provided for them to survive. As students worked on the project, they were asked to consider the connections between artists and scientists using the studio space as a laboratory to experiment, wonder, design and problem solve. Students made connections by investigating how artists and designers have also looked at bug forms for ideas. Specifically, students looked at historical armor, and clothing designers such as Alexander McQueen and Issey Miyake. Students also looked at how the product packaging around us might have been influenced by bug and insect bodies. Some visual artists Bay students looked at were Tom Friedman, Mindy Shapero, and Dmitriy Kirstenko.
The project began with paper–simple paper explorations folding, bending, twisting, crimping, and transforming this everyday material that our hands touch. After students became comfortable with the many actions an artist can impose on a 2-D material to make it stand and be dimensional, they then began working with other materials. Those materials were only white: cheesecloth, felt, tracing paper, Bristol board, vellum, and tape and glue. As students worked, they often referenced their bug specimen drawings done with charcoal and ink on gessoed kraft paper. These observations helped them make choices and consider proportional relationships. There is something about the absence of color that allows an artist to really zoom in on form and surface. Students then were off on their different ways to making the bug specimens of their choice come to life. Students also thought about making a form that was bigger than their head, but smaller than the human body. The idea of exaggerating these little entities was interesting to students, enlarging and amplifying their parts.
Come visit the exhibit and look closely. You will see how students thought through the process of designing and constructing their BUG forms.