Time to bring all the bits I've made together: the diorama/display and the maquette/mini sculptures. Results!
(For the genesis of this project click on chapter one; Mini sculpture gallery making maquettes and diorama project. For chapter two click; Dioramas. For chapter three click; Mini timber sculptures.)
And so to bring things to this point: sorting my way through the many different avenues I struck down in realising my diorama display concept. There was a bit of hopping between different ideas as things cropped up & I circled around; I'll keep the words on this post to a minimum and hope that the flow of images makes some sense of this process with just a few explanatory notes throughout. It all kind of comes down to styling in the end...
So, keeping in mind the words: diorama/gallery/display/set/backdrop, I've done the following:
First, I made a typical shoebox affair, then a simple idea which looked pretty good, just slotting in a ledge for the sculptures to sit on, which looked surprisingly effective in the simplicity of it's visual trickery. The shoebox was kind of mad. After these came, oh, I don't know, a few things? I had a bit of fun at many points along the road, post production collaging on the old laptop too. And the spot of presentation styling at the end was fun.
I think I'll just do as I said and let the images flow; first, the shelf insert on empty gallery style space then the box arrangement:
Around about this point, I came across the very good work of Madame Peripetie on Behance. Her "patchwork" images for Step Magazine, I LOVE. In fact all her photos are amazingly good and the styling is quite stunning. The patterns and the almost perspective in this example below is something I've played with a bit before in other work. Have a look at her stuff on Behance, its great.
So I picked this up & ran with it for a bit. The following images were amusing to muck about with. True to my usual low tech style, I used scans of fabrics and PowerPt cut 'n paste on that old laptop as well as wallpapering my shoebox with prints. Cool fun.
In fact, I saw a wonderful shoebox-style diorama by Wafa Hourani at the Saatchi Gallery a few years ago. (The show as a whole was critically panned, but I thought there were some great pieces, this amongst them.) Qalandia 2067, shown below. It has a lot to say about living somewhere like northern Jerusalem. The Guardian described this piece as " funky, wretched, funny and terrifying... the models are replete with bars, patios, TV antennae, squalid little ramshackle dwellings and military emplacements...with an air of everyday menace and surveillance." I was captivated by this, looked at it for a loooong time. Its still with me.
Moving on, I created a small 'space', from flats of foamcore. After all that pattern and colour, the white & neutrals were so clean looking. (If you're wondering who the chaps in the diorama are, why its BassamFellows, nice men.)
Then, I went crazy for this new fabric I'd bought, which may have had a great deal to do with the fact that it was a serious bargain remnant and I made this great pair of pants with which I was most pleased. So, using a scrap of offcut from this brief diversion into sewing I looked at the simple yet effective single backdrop idea for a mini sculpture/decorative object display. Nothing spectacularly special about this, just looks kinda cool; assuming you also really dig this silly floral satin. My sewing is also responsible for the introduction of the retro looking figures in the following images; I scanned in the covers of some of my really old sewing patterns, they have great illustrations & I'm liking this, which is surprising as usually I'm not one for the hackneyed retro. (And umm, yes, I also spent some hours dressing them up with different fabrics style dresses; remember the paper dolls? I do like this kind of girly fun.)
Playing with this fabric got me looking more at backdrops; maybe it's this simple, I thinks to myself, maybe all I need is a mini backdrop for mini sculptures? Look at these:
So then I played with my fabrics again. First with a gorgeous black & white diamond pattern silk which I photographed all lovely & drapey, then with 2 digital print ponti fabrics that seemed tailor made for backdrops.
Mmmmmmmm! I'm liking these!
Ok, so I reckon I've got 3 ways to go here:
1: A simple diorama consisting of three vertical planes. I think as 'a room', this will be useful for seeing a sculptural piece in a room, or a neutral gallery like setting.
2: An enlarged image of an empty gallery space with a 'shelf' for perching the piece/s upon.
3: The simple graphic backdrop with these fortuitously available digital print fabrics.
So, time to get real with some mdf, build something proper like:
So here's the backdrop idea:
Next, the mdf diorama is going to be handy to have around in the future I think. Imagine the applications!. I made the left side panel movable and a false floor to have a look at how forced perspective would look; IE, if the floor was sloping as well as the walls. Of course, I realise now that with a shoebox style construction, with right angles walls & floor, the perspective is already there, simply by virtue of one's view being through the depth of it. But I like the drama of the angled walls on my one.
And the single image with a shelf idea, this is great to have around! It goes everywhere! This is also a very handy display, I think I'll put together a tutorial on making this soon.
It's an ongoing thing, this, the permutations are endless.... pictures from design magazines, made to look retro-ish with a hint of embroidery; what's not to love?
This has been a great project and I'll probably keep adding more to it as time goes on. For now I might stop there as I really have some other work I must get onto. Much creativity has been generated in the making of all the above; its been not only labour intensive but also most enjoyably diverting! But I'd better get on...more projects beckon.