Isolated Moments – Installations at Home

The next in our Isolated Moments series, aiming to keep spirits buoyed and creativity alive during COVID-19 global social isolating and quarantining measures, comes from artist and Fermynwoods Education Curator, Emma Davies.

IMPORTANT: This activity involves repurposing cardboard packaging. Please make sure this is not packaging that has recently entered your house, as the latest scientific information suggests COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours.

Much of my work as an artist involves using reclaimed, household and DIY materials, through painting, sculpture or installation. Making art needn’t be expensive and reusing materials imbues a sense of history and meaning in the work.

This workshop challenges you to make a sculpture and/or an installation, on your own or with the whole family.

Find some old scraps of cardboard or packaging material. Corrugated cardboard works best because it’s sturdy and has a great texture.

If you have some scissors and string you are all set, but you can also use any other materials that you have available including leftover paint, rags or decorating brushes. This activity can get messy so protect surfaces and floors! Have a bowl of soapy water ready for cleaning hands before, during and after.

  • Choose a colour that will be your base colour.

  • On both sides of the cardboard lay down the base coat – not to thickly, skim across so that it leaves marks and dries quickly.

  • Add another layer in a different colour if you have one.

  • When dry, cut the cardboard into interesting shapes. Curved, jagged, uniform or random. For an installation, larger shapes are more effective. Any offcuts can then be used for a sculpture.

  • For your sculpture, cut slits into the different pieces of cardboard to enable them to slot together. Experiment with how different shapes look before committing. How does your sculpture look from different angles?
  • Decide where you would like your installation to be and clear clutter from the space.

  • Use a pencil, a screwdriver or the end of some scissors to add holes to the corners of your larger cardboard shapes. Thread the string through the holes and hang them up across the space, tying the ends onto curtain poles, fixings, garden rails or trellises.

  • Can you transform the space with colour and material?

  • Take photographs of your sculpture and installations at home. Experiment with different lighting effects, angles and heights.
Installations at Home

Emma Davies

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