Model making for an installation

I’m part way into my final major project and I have a solid theme established of a family story from the blitz during WW2. Drawings related to the event will be made using milk on paper which is then ‘cooked’ in the oven to burn the milk and reveal the image. This technique is quite unpredictable but that lack of control over the outcome adds a looseness that is very appealing.

It’s now time to consider how to construct an installation for the outcome so I have made a scale model of a potential space. The full size space will be 8 feet deep by 4 feet wide and 6 feet 6 inches tall. The model replicates an under stairs space where my family hid during a bombing on the night of March 19th 1941. The plan is to have minimal light in the space and a curtain at the front, so visitors will enter and experience a feeling of confinement to enhance the emotive experience.

The space will be lit from behind a forward facing wall that resembles a set of stairs coming towards the viewer. Slats or holes in the stairs will allow just enough light through to create shafts of light and illuminate the pictures hung in space.

The mock up below shows a light shining from behind the pictures (which will be A3 in size). While this lighting is casting some rich highlights and shadows I will also explore whether light coming from above creates more impact. Light from above will replicate war time search lights but may also have more of an ethereal quality.

The actual images to show is work in progress. As a test I have scattered historical family photographs on the carpet beneath the drawings. My aim is to create a museum construct that has been interrupted by a deeper and darker memory of the event, hence the drawings will not necessarily show reality but I am looking to abstract them and possibly venture into fantasy. More about this in the next post…

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