When testing projections against the polycotton fabric, it was clear the certain colours that worked best when looking on the rear side of the fabric. I tested this video (but forgot to take a photo):
It showed that the best colours were the bright ones such as reds, oranges, bright blues and greens etc – anything dark got washed out, and anything close to white was not as clear, therefore, when I am making my visuals, I need to keep bright colours in use at all times to create a clear and crisp visual for the audience.
After doing some more research into rear projection and the type of fabrics that are usually used, it became apparent that the popular fabric to use is a Spandex or a Spandex variant called Moleskin Matte (US) because these have a slight stretch to them, so they can be pulled tightly to create a smooth, clean surface for projecting. I understand that in the UK it is called Lycra rather than Spandex, so I searched for double width Lycra in the UK and could not find it anywhere. I also tried to get a large amount send from America, but with shipping costs this was not going to be possible.
Forgetting about Spandex/Lycra, I found out that Fabricland stocks both black and white, double width polycotton (which I know works from previous tests), so I purchased a sample of each colour to see which would work best with the rear projection of my work. Although both colours did work with the rear projection, the colours and outlines of the visuals were much clearer with the white polycotton. After this experiment, I will now go and buy large amounts of white polycotton for making the surface of my cylinder.
After exploring the artwork of Lorna McNeill, it made me very interested in the colours and shapes that are projected when a light source is refracted/reflected through a medium, such as perspex. When looking through the #kineticamuseum hashtag on Instagram, I came across two videos of what look like reflections but are actually light projection:
It is unclear who the artist of this work is, but I will be taking inspiration from it when creating the visuals for my project.
While looking at reflection art, I found artist Ela Boyd. Her work also heavily features elements of reflection and colour distortion through varying means of projection and holograms. As with the other examples of reflection and refraction art that I have seen, it is the colours and subtle movements – creating limitless shapes – that attracts me to this type of work, and is definitely something I wish to explore within my own visuals.
I was very inspired by the work of Lorna McNeill at the Kinetica Museum workshop; she uses a variety of materials and light to create her sculptures/installations, which are built to represent the journey of the Universe. I like the reflections that the light causes against the surface of the other materials.
After researching more into Lorna and her work, a theme of reflections begins to emerge, as displayed in the images below. The infinite colours and shapes that are formed when light is refracted through materials and objects is amazing, giving an almost magical overall appearance.
I spoke to Lorna after her workshop and she told me to get in contact if I ever had any questions about her work. I emailed her asking about fibre optics and the complexities of working with them, and she was very helpful in her response, however from what she explained, working with fibre optics can be a very complex and costly medium. I have ordered a small amount of fibre optic wire to experiment with because I feel it could add a new dimension to my project.
I am also going to explore reflection and refraction art further, as I would like to incorporate elements of this into my visuals.
To be able to have a rear projected cylinder, a suitable fabric/material needs to be chosen. Ideally the material chosen would be full width (to fit the ceiling height) and it would be able to be around 8m in length to fit the circumference of the cylinder.
Firstly, I took a couple of different fabrics into uni to test on a projector. These fabrics included curtain blackout lining, and 100% cotton sheeting. As guessed, the blackout lining fabric blocked the light and did not show anything through to the rear side, therefore meaning that this would not be a suitable fabric for my project. I then tested the cotton sheeting, and this allowed for the projected image to be seen both on the near-side and on the rear-side of the fabric, without it bleeding through to the wall behind, therefore showing that this type of material will be suitable for the build of the cylinder.
A few people mentioned to me about using polypropylene sheeting, however it is not easy to get hold of in such large amounts, so it would need multiple sheets, therefore creating a gap or overlap in the cylinder that I do not want.
Using cotton is cheap and easily accessible, so until I do any further research to find any better solutions, I will be using cotton. The image below is of the rear side of a cotton fabric, and the image can be clearly seen (although this was taken in daylight, so it will be even clearer when it is darker).
The Thin Veil 2017.
On February 17th I visited the Kinetica Museum exhibition – The Thin Veil. I decided to go as I was already in London that day, but I left the exhibition hugely inspired by the works that were on display and the artists that had produced the array of works.
The works are described as performative and immersive, ranging from light installations sculptures, projections as well as holographic artwork.
The image on the left is an installation by Andras Mengyam; it is made from a sculpture made of out perspex shards, and a projector. The result of the combination of the two is that the projected image is distorted and reflected around the room.
Another piece of work that intrigued me was ‘In Vitro’ by UBIK Teatre (centre image). This work used a small projector and test tubes, projecting images of humans and plants into the test tubes; giving the illusion of entrapment. I liked this piece specifically because it shows that even a project that small can represent different ideologies to create impact.
Throughout the day, various workshops were running, so I went to one taken by Lorna McNeill about ‘Transforming from Stardust’. During the workshop, we were asked to draw and write about the evolution of planets. We were then shown her response to this journey through her light installations, that use fibre glass as the predominant material.
I wish to explore the work of Lorna McNeill further, as I was fascinated by the use of light and reflections to create sculptures.