Plastic bag artists

Pascale Marthine Tayou

Pascale Marthine Tayou is a Camaroonian artist. He started exhibiting in the 1990’s and how exhibited all over Europe. The theme of his work is to target and combine issues of individuality and national identity. He also bases his work on Global consumption. His unique visual language is shows through the use of found objects and traditional craft.

This 10 meter high sculpture  called plastic bag was shown in Rome and made entirely and disposable carrier bags. It sends a message about consumerism and homelessness. The large scale of this piece really emphasises how bad these issues are in our world today. Its also the first thing you notice about the piece. Its also set in an appropriate place, a place that represents industry and manufacture. But also if abandoned where homeless people could take shelter. Its a statement sculpture with an important message that is also re purposing plastic bags.

ROBERT JANSON FLOATING PLASTIC BAG SCULPTURE

This project was created by Swedish architecture students. Their brief was to fill an abandoned room with a geometric structure. They inflated the bags with lights inside then tied them in geometric shapes. The jelled lights illuminated the fragile lights, the quantity of the lights engulfed the room. Its was described as a “magical ” place (https://designdodo.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/robert-janson-floating-plastic-bag-sculpture/)

The interesting part of this installation for me is how even though you can tell they are carrier bags, its shows the more beautiful and fragile side of the object. The etheral colours of the lighting emphasaise the magical feel the piece creates. I also think its a clever choice of material, seeing as they had to fill an abandoned room with a object that we regualrly abandone when weve used them. Again I am also a fan of the quantity and use of the space. Large scale installation piece are my favourite type of gallery/ space work.

 

 

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Glass

During this term my main workshop was with the medium of glass. It can produce beautiful and delicate results but can be tricky and painful to cut and manipulate

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Our first experiment with glass was with sheets of clear 3ml window glass. By attempting to cut 2 identicle ( as close as possible) piece of glass. This is to strengthen the design and create smooth and strong edges. Having a double layer also enables you to trap items inside.

I used the running theme of blues, teals and grey paints with cooper or bronze powders. I also used lots of copper wire or mesh. Unfortunately the copper  looses its amber glow when fired, but did turn a lovely wine red.

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The next technique was to create clay moulds and cast glass from them. I rolled some clay to roughly half a cm thick. With that slab i folded it over a bowls until it was semi dry, slumped between pipes and folded into unusual shapes. I also used stamps a fruit moulds to create texture and patterns that would hopefully effect the glass when slumped.

The clay had to be bisque fired so it would support the glass during the slumping process. After the clay had been bisque fired i gave each piece 3 coats of back wash. This pink liquid stops anything from sticking to the ceramic during the firing process.

I then cut glass to match the shape of the clay although a little bit small so it doesn’t hang over the side of the mould. The moulds then go in the glass kiln with the cut glass overlayed. The glass will sink down on to the mould and slump, if its done right it will then come off the mould but can sometime entrap the mould and not come off.

Bullseye glass is incredibly beautiful for jewellery. It comes in many colours, patterns and even textures. During this session we used a cutting tool that is like a mini ban saw for glass and a sander this helped create smaller and nearly identical pieces. This process again needs two layers of either the same bullseye glass or one layer and one clear.

 

 

 

 

Inspirations

Theres a few inspirations for my plastic bag project. i want to make a variety of objects and products that encourage the reuse and recycling of the commonly thrown away object.

Plastic bags can be intricate woven baskets…or hiding places for cats. There are so many possibilities for this ordinary and unappreciated object, Its a very versatile material due to its durability and recyclable nature.