lumin ortis footage

May 6, 2010

This is an edited piece of some of our work that took place on the night of the festival,


May 6, 2010

Professional Project Evaluation

To give us real world experience the professional project was assigned. It gave us as a group and as an individual the whole production process that would be needed for the real life situations that will occur after the completion of further education. The process would conclude being assigned the work, interacting with clients, pitching ideas, preparing budgets, group meetings, the actual full body of work and then exhibiting our pieces. Our clients were the ‘Lumin Ortis’. A group of third year events managements students that had the task to create a light festival situated in the Bournemouth Gardens. The specific brief for this was to create instillations that would take place in the open public space of Bournemouth’s Central Gardens, transforming the gardens into a spectacle of light. With illuminations and projections showcasing the talents of both loacal artists and upcoming artists from the Arts University College at Bournemouth. Engaging in the themes of light, the unique history and setting of the gardens with a green conscience.

As a group we first went down to the gardens to see what part of the landscape we preferred and where we thought people would be most engaged in, see what we could work with and could use to our advantage. As a group we chose a ‘wonderland’ theme that would fit perfectly with the gardens, all producing our own parts we could combine them to showcase our talents as one piece.

My idea was to create a troop of mushrooms, the fungus that is in every woodland but non-appreciated would become a large spectacle of light. I sketched out designs and figured out how I would actually produce the sculptures so that practically it worked and got an idea of what it would like and the easiest way to integrate lights into the sculptures. I needed something sustainable that wouldn’t buckle, I used chicken wire to make the shell of the sculptures and wrapped them in plaster of paris to complete the pieces. Difficulty first came when I had to apply the lights to the smaller models. I used small parasol lights that were powered by a small battery pack containing aaa batterys. There were 20 lights on the length of wire and then by making the cap of the mushrooms hollow I had to push everything inside and singly skewering the holes around the base of the caps I pushed each light separately through. The hole was very small in the bottom making it difficult for my hand to maneuver around. The inside was also filled with sharp wire that was cut to create the hole. Then pushing the lights through the sheets of plastic that were plastered over made it even more difficult. This become very frustrating and the lights were sometimes damaged through the process and needed soldering back afterwards to get them working again.

I also made a large scaled mushroom that was around two and a half feet in height. I had to make a base that would sustain the top without toppling, using the same technique with wire and plaster I made it very sturdy. Difficulty came with making the cap as it would keep dropping with the weight of the wire. I had to slowly apply the plaster day by day and let it dry so that the weight of the wet plaster wouldn’t completely flatten it out. It didn’t come out the way I previously planned but the quirky look that the plaster gave it definitely gave it an interesting look. Once the main part of the modelling was completed I used acrylic paints finish off the look of modelling. The next stage was installing the lights, my first idea was to cut hole in the top and use reflective card and make them into cone shapes that would slot into the holes so the light could be slotted down into them and producing a better effect from small amounts of light that would be produced by the LED’s. I then came up with the idea as I accidentally dropped the click on lights into a cup and found it hard to get it out as the cup was such a perfectly tight fit and then realised that this would be perfect to slot my lights into. I then purchased coloured tumbler cups and measured the diameter and cut the wholes into the cap of the mushroom. The result was perfect and they came out just as planned.

On the day of the exhibition we set everything up around midday and become an enjoyable experience, the events management were very welcoming and helpful. It was only last minute though that we had been told that our space had changed and that we had been moved to a completely different part of the part which meant that we were placed on a hilly part, this did cause complications for installing the mushrooms as the previous plan was they were going on flat ground and something sturdy but this meant I had to dig into the earth to give enough stability for it to actually stand up. This did eventually work but this meant it made the height of the mushroom a lot smaller because about a third of it was actually in the ground. As for the rest of the piece, we were now provided to fill a lot more space than previously intended so we had to spread the light instillation further than expected which lead to it looking a lot less effective than it would have in the smaller patch.

Overall the professional project was a successful outcome and my experience with working in a professional environment has gave me a great confidence boost that will be carried throughout my future work.


May 6, 2010

I used garden wire to make the base of the mushrooms. Chicken wire was to rigid and didn’t give the free motion that i wanted so I opted for this. I wrapped the wire around cylinder options like bottles so that it came of like a spring. keeping the centre at that width i made one end small and the other larger so that i had a base and tip for the mushroom cap to sit on. I wanted it to slant and this was naturally achieved by i couldn’t make the wire the same length equally so it just naturally made it bend one way.

After the process of making the base out of wire i then added the plaster of paris to it. I had to do it one half at a time and allow it to dry. once one coat was done it was easy to keep applying over the top to give it a certain sturdy thickness.

Once the plaster was dry i applied acrylic paint. The acrylic seemed to be better than using spray paint, I have learnt this from previous projects.

i also painted white spots on to give it the cartoon magic mushroom look. I done this because of the vibrant colours that the acrylic gave off. You can also see here the the cap of the mushroom is placed over the base. I’m glad it managed to stay up.

I cut holes in the bottom of the mushrooms so that they could just slip onto the base and also because the cap was hollow it was able to hold the batteries and lights within and would be very easy to change over if the batteries ran out. You can see me here trying to push seperate led lights through holes in the sides. I used a wooden skewer to push holes through the plaster and with a lot of time and frustration i pushed each individual light through the holes and superglued them into place. Some of the lights weren’t working by the end but Damien managed to find the problem and solder them back togther for me.

As you can see in the birds-eye picture above there are a few lights that didn’t decide to work, but from the gist of things it was looking good and i was pleased with the results. Would have been good if they lasted for more than 20 minutes at a time.

This is the first layer of plaster going over the top part of the large mushroom. There was a lot of excess hanging off the edges but once dried they were just easily bent underneath and when the plaster was then applied to the bottom it was just stuck down. i had to apply a lot of thick layers to this so that when it rested on the base it didnt just push trhough and buckle the top.

From hanging out of my bathroom window i took this picture to show a higher angle of the finished plastering. it was drying here and i just wanted to paint it. I applied around 5 layers of plaster to both base and cap, this meant alot drying was needed before any paint could be applied.

Here is most of the top painted red. I wish i had a larger brush but beacuse of the texture of the plaster i needed a fine brush to push the bristles through the holes otherewise there would have still been a lot of white showing.

Finished and ready for some lights to be added.

i measuered out the diameter of the tumblers and cut holes in the top of the cap to insert them. I didn’t want to do to many otherwise the frame would have buckled upwards when the base went inside. I used the wire cutters becuase there was a lot of wire, it become a bit tricky.

I painted the inside of the cups white so that you couldn’t see inside, this picturesa bit dark to really tell but it didn’t look to good when you could see all the wire and excess plaster hanging about through the cups. i also painted white rings around the edges so they looked like the white spots on the magic mushrooms.

This is the final outcome. I was pleased with what i had achieved. With more money i would have liked to produced more but am very happy with the outcome of the instillation.

Making the Model

February 25, 2010

i needed a flexible material that could be shaped easily but still be durable. Chicken wire seemed to be a perfect material for this so I went wilkinson and got a roll and started to put it together

i wanted the height around one meter and the width about the same. I also purchased some tin clips so i could cut through more than 1 piece at a time making it easier fro myself.

First Model

February 25, 2010

just using paper mache i put together a small mushroom made from two parts. This would be so it would be easy to wire up for lighting.

After this i cut out some holes in the top so i could test how well light would project through it if I held a torch or other light source up to it.

This was the result. It worked because of its small scale. For a larger model i will need more light and reflective materials to be inserted into the holes

Alice in wonderland

February 24, 2010

We all talked about ideas and tried to come up with a theme that we could all work around. An alice in wonderland theme seemed to be an interesting idea as it linked with our previous projects we had been working on. We would all do our own pieces and put them together to make a single theme in one plot on the site. I went with making a mushroom from the caterpillar on a toadstool theme.

Here are my first sketches on the idea

My first idea was basically just one big toadstool with light coming out the top of it. I worked out how it would be put together which i have showed in the diagrams but this was not a substntial amount fof work to be done over the months we had. I thought a selection of smaller mushrooms to go around it would look good and brighten up the scene a bit more. Lights coming from out the bottom where the gills would be intead of from the top and make differnt styles even really fictional styles to give it that ‘enchanted’ felling

Checking the environment

February 24, 2010

After checking out the brief for ‘Lumen Ortis’ the artificial light show. We headed down to Bournemouth gardens to check out the area and to find good locations and talk to eachother about ideas that we could do as a group. After a walk around we Chose the under pass  and a small trail through some bushes as good places. There were also some spirally looking trees that looked good that would work well with what we had planned.

Lighting types

February 24, 2010

Lighting Types

  • Mirrors and other reflective objects work well during the day and can help at night and during whiteouts if coupled with some form of light.
  • The simplest light you can use is a few of blinking bicycle safety lights; you should set them so they can be seen from any direction.
  • Chemical light sticks can help, but they will fade out too soon and would have to be replaced daily.
  • Use battery powered lamps such as the large round “tap” lamps that you push to turn on or off.
  • Use larger flood lights connected to a power source with enough power to last the night.
  • Use solar LED lanterns.
  • Use EL wire (electroluminescent wire) to light up the perimeter of your installation.
  • Blinking lights get attention faster than lights that are always on and blinking lights use less power.

This is a handheld solar LED lantern, costs around $35, it has 6 high bright LED lights with more than 10,000 hours of life. It can be charged both by solar and crank, solar taking up to six                  hours of daylight. This could work well with what i want to achieve.

Light installations

February 24, 2010

I found this video from LED light installation at ‘Burning Man’ festival from 2007.

This is just such an amazing piece, especially from 2.23 where its interacting with the person.

I like the way this is programmed, the way it flashes and moves round makes you really follow it and get a feel for it

The tentacles

February 22, 2010

where we previously arranged to project the future cinema piece which was in a back ally. There were vents that we were going to use to incorporate a projection. The idea of tentacles creeping out of them slowly growing with flashes of light would have been very effective. Here are animated sketches that i done for the scene