I researched many areas into Marine Biology and the effect we are having on the oceans and how the marine life is adapting in some areas.I became interested in the thermal ducts and vents on the sea bed and the effect they have in their environment.
I developed many artistic ways of expressing this research as a mixed media artist, many in the form of sculpture and installation pieces.
This is one of the processes I documented.
I observed squid and octopus on nature programs, on the television and also visited and observed them at our local Sea Life Centre. This was necessary to be able to make a clay model of an elongated squid. Why elongated? because I had also visited our local science lab at the University and had taken photographs of the specimens within their glass bottles and containers. I learnt how these were made and I then with a squid from the fish merchants, installed my own small squid specimen.(This then progressed into larger works for the Gallery Exhibition,see www.janeclarkarts.com )
I made a clay model which I then cast in plaster, removed the clay inner, so I could then pour latex into my squid mould.
I then heated and poured Vinamould into the plaster cast. This would enable me to make further latex squid.
This squid mould was then coated with several layers of latex to form a “Skin” of a squid.
I then had to make the 6ft long tendrils. this I did by first in clay. A very long and patient process. Remember to put your sculpture on a board so it can be moved and dry throughly.
This is one side of the tendrils. (Each glass tube had a left and right tendril made from textile and latex).
(See first picture above).
When the tendril was completely dried a clay reservoir is built around it. You need to make sure the sides are high enough so the clay sculpture can be covered with the Vinamould mixture. Also that they are sealed well too your board. I placed a coil of clay all around the outside of the reservoir add smoothed it up the sides to ensure the seal.
This is then ready for the rubber like vinamould to be poured in. This is a process in itself because it needs to be heated to a certain temperature and care taken at all times.
When the Vinamould is completely cold and left to cure for a couple of days you can remove it from the reservoir. Then you need to remove the clay sculpted tendrils from inside. They will break because the Vinamould expands and puts pressure on the sculpture.
I made textile innards,these I made and dyed the appropriate colour. These acted like a core and inside the mould and then dyed latex was poured into the mould and soaked into the textile. They were left to dry for at least two days. Here you can see I moved them outside in the sun to add the drying process. Just take care though because of the nature of latex! When the tendrils were able to be tipped out of the mould they then had to be left to cure, like most rubber or plastic does. Each tendril was made in sections to get the length, I also had to remember to place them a certain way for left and right.
The left and right tendril sections were then joined to the squid “skin” with more latex.
As you can see above I made four squid the largest, was 15ft in length.
See the first picture to see how it all came together in the Installation.
This Installation is available for further Exhibitions.