Making sculpture maquettes – adding a paper model to the existing sculpture

I made two maquettes last week, but I still haven’t written them up here. This process was very material heavy and I didn’t feel inclined to write anything about them here until now. I think I was still processing what I had made!

The reason I wanted to make a maquette was to understand my painting in 3D – to build a model of the experience I have when I paint outside. Because when I paint outside, I am condensing a 360 degree experience onto a flat plane, I do this by looking all around me when I paint, but describing this 360 experience with gesture and colour on a square flat plane.
So this maquette is a way for me to think about describing my experience as a 360 degree painting/sculpture/instillation, since that would be more accurate to how I record the landscape. The sculpture, which I stand in the centre of when I paint/ have the experience outside, the becomes a frame for my lived experience, and holds up the painting that records it.
– This is all super weird!

First, I made a lil mini paper structure, with an octagon net shape:

And used thick wire (the same stuff I used for my bigger sculpture) to support the paper and hold itself up – the reason this wire is so good – it can support itself!:

I realised from this that to make the top of the shape pointed, two sides of the shape overlap, so the initial net of the paper shape needs to have more sides than the finished shape will have. So all my structures have 8 sides, so I needed to make a net with 9-10 sides, depending on how pointed I want the top of the paper model to be.

Next I made a model that would sit on top of the existing structure! I wanted to see how it would look to have the structure next to brushstrokes that encompass the structure.

MESS. Good mess.

I used acrylic paint to cover the card. I painted it once the shape was glued together, which made the process a little precarious, but it also meant I could paint knowing which sides would match up.
I made marks with colour and gesture that matched the kind of marks I make when I paint in the woods, using colours from my most recent plein air paintings.

This is the finished sculpture. Which is best viewed by holding it up and putting you head underneath / inside and looking up…

This works! And is a really interesting concept. I am building a sculptural experience that replicates my recorded lived experience for viewers to experience for themselves. Is that a bit self absorbed? Lol.

This is an interesting piece to talk with others about, and show when they are in my studio. I really like letting others hold up the maquette and look inside! Seeing how they react is fun, it’s a very childish act.

It’s interesting that this one paper mache and wire sculpture is becoming so many things:
– an independent sculpture
– a perspective tool to paint with
– a model in drawings and paintings
– a sculpture in the landscape through photographs and image manipulation
– a conceptual framework for my experience, religious buildings, etc.

I would love to make a structure like this that you could actually walk through – life sized. There would be the question of how I paint it? And probably a lot of other things to sort out, but there’s something, for next term.

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