Reflection: Heart of the City

Heart of the City was created in the 2013/2014 school year, for a 300 level drawing class. The weeks leading up to the main project were all perspective based, including various exercises on point of view and how to manipulate it. 

At the beginning of the project, everyone was told that two people in the class would have to split a "project closet" for use of wall space. As most art classes go, people lean towards wanting to do their own thing, but Pia (pictured below) and I actually took a chance on working together and volunteered.

The challenge put forth was an interpretation of perspective.

If my memory serves correctly, we had a week roughly, or a Thursday to a Tuesday, but I can remember the time turn around was short. Nonetheless, Pia and I got to work brainstorming our own ideas and then shared them with each other because we knew that we'd need a bridge aspect to the room or be completely separate, we chose the former.

After she explained her idea to me and I to her, it seemed that we had a really concrete straightforward scene of perspective (Pia's) and a semi-ambiguous one (mine) in its content. The materials used was 2mm colored masking tape and a surface.

Oh almost forgot, we also used a moveable staircase to reach the highest points, I think we found new respect for ceiling frescos, artwork from the Master's. Those stairs were unforgiving but necessary.

How we made it work.

We got to work quickly on our own sides first, as we knew it was going to take time and a lot of it. Plus, we would understand better once we could see it on the wall. About a day later we started to work out the 'bridge' aspect, which is when we decided that we needed a museum stand for the center of the room. Lastly, we both were to incorporate a hand or hand like objects on our respective sides.

I was more intrigued with how you could manipulate the material in a 3D way so that it changes the environment of the room for the viewer; we had the benefit of a room so I was going to make use of it.

  • I started my 'drawing' with the light switch as it's where people first touch the piece. The drawing bloomed from there in all directions.

  • The back corner felt tight, so I wanted to emphasize that feeling with the overuse of delicate 2mm tape.

  • The floor became a swimming pool of colorful tape between Pia's and my own work, which is exactly what we needed.

  • The museum block became a 3D representation of the work on the walls. Pia and I decided to make it a mini building with swirling primary colors. Atop it was tape work that connected the museum stand to the above light which physically connected the whole room.

I am the artist...What was I thinking?

As stated above the piece began with light (a light switch and yellow tape) but as I thought 'you can't have light without dark' so that's where the black tape comes in. For me the two represent balance. Along the process, the thought 'both take heart' and imagery of hearts are a topic I frequent in my work; however, the material was creating really slick lines so I really had to think the heart and blood/leaf* patterns out. The image needs to be recognizable without falling out of the style of the drawing.

I chose to only lift the black tape from the walls for two reasons:

  1. It shows up better in space.

  2. In dark times or "dark moments" in life, one's perspective is like a shapeshifter, which I correlate to the viewer moving in space allowing the lines to shift around them.

Simply put, it's an exploration of feelings through space and perspective.

In the end, the project was a success and earned Pia and I both an A. It was really great working in a collaboration which you don't get too often in art school, so thank you Pia Hoff.

*The leaf comment was a critique from someone in class, which I found useful and intriguing. As with any art, it is open to interpretation.