Why size really does matter. Part One: My Flies are Undone!

juliealicechappellart

I am occasionally asked by people, “Why don’t you go bigger, make really really big Bugs?” Well, does size really matter? No, not at all. But from a practicable point of view size really does matter. It basically all depends on how much space you have.

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Tiny Computer Component Bug

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The diverse variety of materials I am presented with upon opening up electronic gadgets can facilitate different forms and shapes and inspire new design possibilities. Of course, to find the pieces that fit perfectly together requires collecting, sorting and displaying literally thousands of components.

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The displaying of the found objects in one’s working space is vital to the process because it is a discerning eye and a forager’s mentality which brings the separate pieces together to form the whole. It takes a lot of looking and searching through all the components to find ‘just the right one’. Then of course…

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The Bees Knees. Part Two: My colourful Nuts

My bee hive with honey comb is going to require some really big Bees to compliment those huge honey cells. This piece in progress is inspired by a story I read about a hive of bees local to an M&Ms factory. The bees had apparently been attracted to colourful sugary substances in waste bins at the back of the building. This resulted in the strange colours in the honey comb. Its nuts! isn’t it?

My hive is all ready and waiting for some bees. All of my Insect artworks come from discarded and obsolete computer and electronic gadget components but to realize this piece I may have to resort to buying brand new components. It will have to be called a ‘semi upcycled’ piece maybee? We shall see! What will bee will bee…
Two of the Bees shown here are available in my Etsy shop. Here are the links:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/621202465/the-jewelled-turquoise-honey-bee-mini?ref=shop_home_active_3

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/607140458/the-sunny-honey-bee-circuit-board-insect?ref=shop_home_active_6

 

The Bees Knees. Part One.

You would think that bees would be one of the easiest insects to make from electronic components but not for me. Except for the legs of course which these yellow resistors are perfect for. They remind me of the chubby, pollen carrying bees knees.

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My main problem though is to create lots of creatures that are all exactly the same because, of course, bees are communal…hive animals. Its rare to find electronic components or pieces of circuit board that are all alike. This is why I often claim that I create no two pieces the same.
Solitary bees are no problem to create. Here are a couple: The Sunny Honey Bee and the Jewelled Turquoise honey bee

. . Finding tiny and complex, rich turquoise coloured circuit boards fired my imagination for the latter which I have created, inspired by actual real live turquoise bees. Photo: Theophilus Photography. They are beautiful!

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Getting the tiny proportions right is occasionally a problem but in my art studio (named ‘Wonderland’) size doesn’t always matter. Sometimes it does: Here is a Honey Bee in perfect proportion to a Purple Emperor Butterfly.

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Elektronika

Just received in the post from the Czech Republic, its the DPS Elektronika A-Z magazine for

which I did an interview.

Its a geeky mag all about high tech electronics and computer technology.

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It would all baffle me even if it was in English…I would be none the wiser.

The good thing is that they have an art section.

I don’t have a clue what it says but I’m in there with some pretty amazing artists!

Including the Tube Map Radio by Masahindo Shindo (Design Museum, London).

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(photo © Hitomi Kai Yoda)

Visually, in the magazine, the art looks stunning! So I Googled all the artists for some extra

info…

Well. I’ve always thought that circuit boards look like miniature cities….haven’t you?

Yuri Suzuki is an installation artist and circuit board genius who designed Tube Map Radio.

Commissioned by the Design Museum London and created in collaboration with engineer

Masahiko Shindo, the Tube Map Radio was inspired by various media sources such as

‘Secret Life of Machines,’ a British television show that described how various electronics

worked and by a spoof diagram created by the original designer of the London Underground

Tube map, Harry Beck, which shows the lines and stations as an annotated electrical circuit.

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(Original Tube Map Drawing by Harry Beck)

 

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(photo © Hitomi Kai Yoda)

 

Iconic landmarks on this new circuit board map are represented by components relating to

their functions, including a speaker where Speaker’s Corner sits and a battery representing

Battersea Power Station.

Taking away outer casings, Shindo and Suzuki wanted to make the components visible

because it is difficult for ordinary folk to understand the complexity of the workings

inside the casings of modern electronic gadgets.

By creating a “narrative to explain how electronics work,” they hope users will be

encouraged to mend their own broken gadgets.

Well that’s a small step forward in the battle against planned obsolescence.

And Its not just art! It is also a proper working radio!

More soon on the other amazing featured artists…..

 

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“How do you make the wings?” Mixing the old with the new

juliealicechappellart

The question most commonly asked about My Insect and Animal art is, “How do you make the wings?” Moth Well, it’s a fairly long process. Firstly a do a few Google searches of ‘natural history and insect photography’ to find images of clearly visible wings that appeal to me and that I think would work well incorporated into one of My pieces. 10649532_947435761937138_2666882823733547848_n Then I do a few sketches and drawings which enable me to get the feel of the shape. I will not directly copy one set of wings from a photo I find but will take all the best bits and put them all together till I get what I consider to be the perfect wing. 21-09-2014 11;07;58(1) I will then paint the wings in the highly detailed manner of the illustrations in old natural history reference books, the traditional style of entomological drawings and paintings, painstakingly executed, by illustrators that I…

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Why size really does matter. Part One: My Flies are Undone!

I am occasionally asked by people, “Why don’t you go bigger, make really really big Bugs?” Well, does size really matter? No, not at all. But from a practicable point of view size really does matter. It basically all depends on how much space you have.

995572_664537600236290_864857300_n

Tiny Computer Component Bug

DSC08348 DSC01258

The diverse variety of materials I am presented with upon opening up electronic gadgets can facilitate different forms and shapes and inspire new design possibilities. Of course, to find the pieces that fit perfectly together requires collecting, sorting and displaying literally thousands of components.

DSC07313 DSC02230

The displaying of the found objects in one’s working space is vital to the process because it is a discerning eye and a forager’s mentality which brings the separate pieces together to form the whole. It takes a lot of looking and searching through all the components to find ‘just the right one’. Then of course you need the space for experimenting…

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Knowing how much space the collecting of components for my tiny sculpture’s take I am reminded of the artist Edouard Martinet who creates beautiful sculptures from found objects… one of my favourite sculptors,  I marvel at his incredible works and, giving that all the large components for his pieces all fit together perfectly, Martinet uses a huge array of components in order to find ‘just the right pieces’. Kitchen utensils; pots and pans, cake tins, bottle openers, cooker parts. Car and motorcycle parts; hub caps, chain guards, head lamps, car doors, windscreen wipers, speakers, radios, flashlights, the list goes on and on and I wonder at how much space he must require. I would imagine… a great deal of space!

waspWasp by Edouard Martinet:
Abdomen : steel tips for boots, bike headlights
Thorax and head : steel tips and bells from bikes and typewriters
Eyes : vintage watch case
Antennae : spectacles arms
Legs : bike brakes , bike chain , spoon handles
Wings : glass

“When Edouard Martinet was 10, one of his teachers introduced his pupils to insects, but in a rather obsessive way. Subliminally, the fascination sunk in to the young French boy. Fast-forward 40 years, and Martinet has become the art world’s virtuoso insectophile, transforming bits and pieces of cast-off junk culled from flea markets and car boot sales into exquisitely executed insect, fish and animal forms. What sets Martinet’s work apart is the brilliant formal clarity of his sculptures, and their extraordinary elegance of articulation. His degree of virtuosity is unique: he does not solder or weld parts. His sculptures are screwed together. This gives his forms an extra level of visual richness – but not in a way that merely conveys the dry precision of, say, a watchmaker. There is an X-Factor here, a graceful wit, a re-imagining of the obvious in which a beautifully finished object glows not with perfection, but with character, with new life. Martinet takes about a month to make a sculpture and will often work on two or three pieces at the same time. It took him just four weeks to make his first sculpture and 17 years for his most recent completion!”
(Wall St Journal)

redantRed ant by Edouard martinet: 65X42X22 cm
Thorax and head : sauce spoons, car parts
Eyes : marbles
Abdomen : bike or motorbike headlights
Antennae: small bike chains
Legs: cream chargers , brake parts , chains, alarm clock feet , spoon handles

mothMoth by Edouard Martinet: 78 X 42 X 17 H cm
Wings : moped chain guards ( rusted and patinated)
Abdomen : motorbike headlights
Thorax : very old car headlamp
Legs : large upholstery tacks , car boot hinges, pieces of windshield wipers, bike brake parts, chain guards
Head : old rear position lamps , bike parts, pieces of a daisy wheel
Butterfly trunk : clock springs
Antennae : aluminium heating resistor

In my own studio (tiny spare room), filled with boxes and shelves and trays full of possible Bug components, spilling out into other rooms, the mind boggles at what kind of space Martinet’s Creative practice must require. So, for practicable reasons, in the meantime I shall remain small scale. But the temptation to make bigger is too much. I have already started. Its exciting!…there will be a couple of BIG pieces revealed at a later date….