Monday, 26 October 2015

Independent Arts Practice - New opportunities

My residency/exhibition in Gallery 3 directly led to two new opportunities:

1) Creating work for an upcoming Diwali celebration to be held at Ipswich Corn Exchange. This will include projecting inside the Grand Hall of the Corn Exchange during the event. It may also include projecting onto the exterior, 'Corn Hill,' side of the Town Hall for a number of days before, and during the celebration.

2) Taking part in the group show, 'From The Studio Floor.' This also is to be held in Gallery 3. I will be exhibiting one digital painting inside the Gallery space and there will again be a projection onto the front of the building. There is also the potential to create an installation for the front lobby of the Town Hall.

For both of these projects, I will be collaborating with Mark Aaron to develop visuals & sound.

Independent Arts practice - Key questions

Synopsis of study:

I propose to investigate 3 key questions which were identified during my’ Concepts and Contexts’ assessment. These questions are primarily centered around how I can build a sustained engagement between viewer and artwork. These questions are:

1) How do the visual elements interact with the spacial concerns of the work? The fragmenting of the picture plane has created work which the viewer can walk through, around, and view from multiple angles. For the first time, I am creating work with real physical depth. The images I have fragmented so far, were originally created as 2D images. I will consider from the outset how the visual elements I create can exploit the environment in which they will exist.

2) How do the visual elements interact with time parameters within the work (rhythm, emphasis, pace, trauma)? Animating my paintings/patterns has introduced the element of time into my work. This is also a new concern for my practice. I will consider how I can use rhythm, emphasis, pace, and trauma to evoke response in the viewer. I will also investigate how sound can be used as a means to reinforce or complement visual time based elements. The software I have used thus far to animate my work is limited in its capabilities; part of my investigation will include experimenting with more appropriate software platforms. I hope this will help me create more sophisticated compositions.

3) How does form, analogue or digital, impact on the reading of the work? So far in my investigation, I have used handmade marks/gestures, scanning these and translating them into digital images. I consider the work which ‘appears’ to be more handmade, to be more resolved at this point. However I will consider if I can effectively generate and use digitally generated imagery. This links back to my original MA proposal in which the question of how effective analogue and digital processes are at ‘connecting’ with the viewer was first raised. I see this module as an opportunity to explore this question in greater depth.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Independent Arts Practice module

As part of my Independent Arts Practice module, I will be working in collaboration with fellow MA student Mark Aaron. While currently in the process of developing several different projects, the main focus of our practice centres around combining projected visuals with soundscapes. We are also looking to create interactive works. Currently we are working on recorded pieces but are moving in the direction of live performance. In this first collaborative work, Mark has created a soundscape to which I have responded with visuals. These first two images contain layers used to create my animation in AfterEffects. We plan to build a series of collaborative works in this way, either I will create visuals, to which Mark will respond with soundscapes, or, I will respond with visuals to a soundscape that Mark has produced. Once a body of work has been created, it will be exhibited in a series of guerrilla projections throughout Ipswich.


Gallery 3 Videos


LLOYD EVANS TEXT COLUMN from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

LLOYD EVANS PAINTING COLUMN from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

Gallery 3 - Setting up & initial experiments



























































Gallery 3

This project was the first of my Professional development projects I
managed to negotiate. It  culminated in an residency at Gallery 3
at Ipswich Town hall from 18/08/15 - 22/-8/15 with a private view
on the 21st. Gallery 3 is effectively a large function room which is
situated on the first floor of the Town Hall. When not hired out for
corporate functions it is available for artists.
l would be using the space as a studio in which to experiment
creating new works, exhibiting the culmination of this on the evening
of the 21st.

During the residency the gallery will be open to the public so that
they can experience the evolving work and contribute ideas.



Paperwork - Performance



















LLOYD EVANS PAPERWORK PERFORMANCE2 from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

LLOYD EVANS PAPERWORK FROM AUDIENCE from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

LLOYD EVANS PAPERWORK PERFORMANCE1 from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

I believe the Paperwork project to have been a great success,
it presented me with a fantastic space in which to project and
brought a large audience to the work. I have been able to
collaborate with other creatives, and it has pushed me to learn
how to use After Effects. It also provided me with a body of
work I feel confident to use in my portfolio. However I see the
most successful aspect of the experience is the opportunities
it may have sparked for the future. After collaborating with
Mark Aaron we both have agreed to work on further joint
projects, with several ideas already in the pipe line. Through
the Roof Productions were also very happy with the work
and have expressed an interest in working with me on future
performances. We have already discussed a project in which
the projection is more integral to the performance and possibly
interactive.

The experience has also confirmed my desire to continue to use
projection as the method of presenting my images. Projection
allows me to work on a scale I have never found possible with
other media, enabling me to produce immersive work on a
limited budget. The whole paperwork project cost as little as
£77.57 and the work itself occupied a 10 metre x 10 metre
space.

The biggest challenge I faced during this project was time. Time
to experiment and test my ideas at Dance East was limited, If I
had known what I know now about lighting rigs etc it would all
have been a much smoother process. I really needed at least a
day in the space to test and experiment.
This project has also confirmed my developing idea that the most
effective way to get ones work seen is not through the traditional
gallery channel, but through attaching oneself to events such as
these, which bring with them an audience the size one would
struggle to attract to a gallery based exhibition.

Paperwork setting up & Dress rehearsals








Paperwork - Studio test









































LLOYD EVANS BANNER TEST2 from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

LLOYD EVANS BANNER TEST from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

LLOYD EVANS TEXT WARP from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

Paperwork - tests

In my first Projection test I identified two issues. The animation
needed to be more visually confusing, and secondly it needed a
sound track.
I went back to the original After Effects document and continued
to add further layers of text and numbers. In the end I had 6 saved
compositions of varying complexity. I ended up using the 5th
composition for the final outcome after finding the 6th animation too
visually confusing. I still wanted a balance between the intelligible
and unintelligible with key words or phrases emerging from the mix.
I also had to consider the banners on stage would further distort
and obstruct the flow of text. I have been considering using sound
for my current work and have been greatly influenced by Brian Eno’s
view that music can give you a que as to how long you should view
a work, effectively holding the viewer attention. Never experimenting
with sound before and due to the tight deadline I considered the
best avenue was to seek collaboration with another artist.


Paperwork - Contextual research


Paperwork - AfterEffects

My two key tasks were to create my ‘Management Jargon’
animation, and to design and test my banner deployment system.
Taking the jargon I had collected I copied it into a Photoshop file,
each separate paragraph or phrase on a separate layer.
This was then exported into Adobe After Effects. I intended to
create a simple animation with text traveling either horizontally or
vertically across the picture plain. It was a steep learning curve
but once I had established how Key frames could be set it proved
relatively simple. A host of You tube tutorials helping me overcome
each technical obstacle.

I soon established that background interest was needed, deciding
upon a layer of small zeros and ones set to a low opacity.
This helped add to the general ‘clutter’ of the work, making it more
visually confusing. After the success of using numbers to add
confusion in the background I also added larger sets of zeros and
ones at full opacity to appear in the foreground. These clusters of
numbers generally travelled faster than the text, creating yet more
visual interest. I used text of varying sizes and opacities to try and
create the illusion of depth so that the work appeared as a deep
unintelligible field of information. I slowed the movement of the
smaller & duller text so that it appeared it was in the background.
With larger text in the foreground appearing to travel through this
illusionistic space faster due to its proximity. This helped reinforce a
sense of depth.

I also experimented with text traveling at different angles and
appearing to move towards the viewer. However I felt this over
complicated the composition and so decided to keep the path
of the text fixed to horizontal or vertical. This seemed to fit the
impersonal mundane quality of the work.
In response to feedback that earlier animations looped too soon at
around 30 seconds I set the duration of the work at 3 minute 30
seconds. With each piece of text representing a layer I soon had an
animation with over 200 separate layers.
However I had encountered several issues with my first attempts:
The document was far too large, in order to achieve a high
resolution I had set dpi to 300 and the canvas size to 70x70cm.
This had made it slow to work with, and when I attempted to
render a clip I was presented with a 3 day wait. Also because I was
importing the layers from Photoshop the text seemed to lose clarity
in its translation.

I decided to abandon my first attempt, halving the size of the
canvas for my second work and avoiding using Photoshop, instead
text was generated using the After Effects type tool. This seemed to
work much better, render times were down to 6hrs and text didn’t
pixelate to badly when test projecting the work in my studio at over
6 metres.


















AfterEffects screenshot


























Banner system

Paperwork - Idea Development

With this mass of management speak I had the building blocks to
create the work. However there were still two key issues:

1) What software would I use to create the animation? - So far I
had been using Adobe Photoshop’s very limited animation tools to
create my work. I had already reached the limit of its capabilities
and needed to use a more sophisticated programme to realise
a professional outcome. The answer was to use Adobe After
Effects, as a programme I had not used it before but it had been
recommended by both Shaun Camp and Marcus Williams. It was
also able to work with Photoshop files so that artwork could be built
in Photoshop and then animated in After Effects. - However this did
still leave me with a sharp learning curve and not much time.

2) How was the work to be displayed and deployed? - Because
the director wanted the work to be viewed in the intermission it
needed to be stored during the first half, and quickly deployed at
the start of the 20 minute intermission. It then needed to be quickly
taken down again for the second half. Added to this was the issue
that there were to be two back to back performances, so it needed
to work twice.

My answer to this problem was to use banners of paper which
could be wound up and attached to the lighting rig, then be
dropped when needed, and ripped down after use. Aesthetically
I favoured this solution, by using reels of perforated fax paper I
could create an office like maze through which the audience could
wander. Perforated fax paper is also incredibly thin, no more than
60 GSM which would allow the projected image to be seen on both
sides of the columns.

Paperwork - Think Outside the Box!!!

While watching this first rehearsal I heard ‘Think Outside the Box’ a
number about the over use of management jargon. The whole song
being written as a string of generic sound bites often used in the
office environment.

I decided that office Jargon would be a great subject matter for
my installation. Text could replace the hand drawn brush marks of
earlier work. Creating dense patterned fields of unintelligible text
from which key phrases could emerge. My starting point for this
being the lyrics of the song ‘Think Outside the Box’. I then started
collecting phrases, clich├ęs, and business mission statements until I
had a large store of jargon to drawn on. I wanted to make the work
banal, like in the musical information would be conveyed without
any clear understanding of why or whats really being said.


Paperwork -Rehersals

I was very conscious that the work I produced should relate to theproduction, I did not want to simply exhibit some of my existingwork. I wanted to produce something specific, which in some wayechoed themes in the main production, while at the same timeremaining distinct.I therefore arranged to attend rehearsals to get a feel for the work,hoping that this would prompt ideas.During this first rehearsal I managed to get a good feel for theproduction. It was also an opportunity to talk with the Writer AmyMallett. She talked in depth about the work, explaining its themesand messages. While very much still being a musical with songs,dancing, and jokes the work clearly had some underlying ‘dark’themes. Including institutionalization, harassment, loss of identity,etc. The office in which the musical is set is deliberately generic.The audience never exactly learning what the business does. Paperis filed, forms are filled, and orders are made. All without any clearreason, there is air of desperation which pervades many of thescenes.



Paperwork - The Physical Musical

This project became the main focus of my Professional
Development module.

The opportunity came about via a chance encounter with the
director and writer of the work during an exhibition opening. After
they outlined their upcoming production at Dance East I showed
them some examples of my work from my Concepts and Contexts
presentation. - Their feedback was very positive and they explained
how they felt my work might reinforce the contemporary feel they
were aiming for. They proposed that we meet again to discuss how

my work could feature as part of the production.

We discussed many ways in which the work could feature before,
during, or after the performance. The preferred option was that
the work would be seen during the interval on the main stage. The
audience members being invited on stage to wander through it.
After my Concepts and Contexts presentation I was keen to create
more work in which the viewer could move through an environment,
becoming part of the piece. 

However this created the problem that the work would need to be quickly set
up and then dismantled before the performance resumed. My final
outcomes for Concepts and Contexts had taken a whole day to set
up. It was agreed that I would go away and consider solutions to
this problem to see if this option was feasible.
We both agreed there might also be the opportunity to create a
permanent installation for the duration of the performance in the
foyer.

Synopsis
The story is set in a everyday office in 1980’s England, the main
character is the son of the recently deceased chief executive.
Arriving at the business to assume his fathers role he is mistaken
for a management trainee and taken on a whirlwind tour of the
business.


Ipswich Marina videos


LLOYD EVANS TUNNEL from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.
LLOYD EVANS TEXT BOAT from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

LLOYD EVANS MARINA1 from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

Ipswich Marina

The main focus of my Professional Practice module was to take my projections out of the studio, testing them in different locations to see how context affected the reading of the work. After making initial inquiries into a variety of spaces I had three potential leads, Ipswich marina, Dance East (Jerwood Dance House), and Gallery 3 at Ipswich town Hall. Work exhibited in these three locations went on to form the basis of my Professional Practice work.

The Marina sits at the heart of Ipswich's recent regeneration and features many interesting structures including; warehouses, yachts, Cranes, and well as a range of modern and historic buildings. After meeting with the harbour master I was granted permission to use all there external power sources, effectively enabling me to project from anywhere on the middle island of the marina. This is a space to which I will return to test future work.











Scouting For Locations

I have been looking for sites where I might test some of my animations. Ideally I am looking for  unexpected spaces, where the viewer may chance upon the work. I've been considering both outdoor and indoor spaces, ideally I would like to exhibit on or around Ipswich waterfront. I have been contacting companies located in this area and trying to find out owns certain empty buildings.