During these strange times, my sister, my Dad and I have challenged ourselves to create artworks on a randomly selected theme. Our initial theme was CONSPIRACY, which is the sort of thing I would normally imagine would be right up my street, but I really really struggled with it.
Nonetheless I have loved the challenge of trying to come up with something. We gave ourselves three weeks to complete a project. I considered creating a new conspiracy and releasing it onto the internet to see if it got picked up, but if this actually had any success then it would probably be entirely irresponsible. Also, I doubt I could ever come up with anything to compete with the real world crazy theories out there.
I considered making a conspiracy survival kit of some kind, which was an idea I abandoned, but it did start to suggest the idea of creating something from the perspective of a paranoid conspiracy theorist.
Then I started developing an audio project purporting to be someone experiencing an alien visitation, in a sort of HP Lovecraft way, but I no longer pay for the software I have used in the past to do sound stuff, and I tried Audacity, but decided it would take too long to figure out.
Next I got inspired by the idea of the paraphernalia of paranoid conspiracy theorists – newspaper reports, government reports, diaries of madmen, blurry photographs, etc. and thought I would have a go at a mixed media picture incorporating these. The narrative is based around some kind of alien visitations to my local area of Talbot Heath, which is bleak, beautiful and bestrided by sinister electricity pylons – the perfect place for the odd abduction.
I attempted to create this but it turned out to be really rubbish, although I would like to return to mixed media one day and give it another try.
While I was thinking about an audio project, I considered building a helmet as a device through which to listen to the sound piece, and I sort of stumbled back into this idea and ended up building a papier-mâché helmet with crazy bits attached. It’s a garbled mess that started as the imagined work of a paranoid person that unintentionally adopted a WWII helmet shape, then started taking on organic alien qualities, and then felt like some burnished helm from a strange and ancient future.
I didn’t really finish it by the deadline but am happy to have done what I have done and quite happy now to abandon it.
It has a respirator mask, a Tesla’s extrudence, a lightbulb, a wire stragglement, and the blue thing is a speaker to play audio, which has a sort of Dalek quality that I thought was quite nice. All in all I was going for a quirky, cartoonish but dark tone.
The next project deadline won’t be for a while as my sister is moving house, but we did randomly pick the theme and it is SCENT…