We received this brief at school to modify/paint a chair, I saw this brief as a great opportunity at the end of a long year to paint something completely abstract. I have had an old broken ergo kneeling chair lying around for about 7 years this was also a great opportunity to fix that chair.
I found a rusty security sign a while ago and had been intending to paint an image on it that utilised the rust texture, I thought this could make a great sculptural addition and go well with the worn and scratched wood of my chair, a kind of junkyard mutation.
The rusty sign kind of curves around where the knees would sit and forms a kind of a mini bench that you could possibly sit your lunch or ash tray on (nothing heavy!).
The artwork on my chair was inspired by artists like Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Georgia O’Keefe and the kind of colourful “fills” you find in graffiti
The concept behind the imagery is the formation of a creative work from the initial idea to thumb-nailing, concept roughs, failed experiments, finalised designs, execution process; struggle, mistakes! And finally: compromise!
From your point of view as you sit on the chair looking at the brief you’ve just been handed (as all ordinary decaying things often do) the rusty sign acts as a conduit for a good idea. The idea comes in slowly on the left hand side of the rusty sign, it’s simple and a little rough around the edges but there’s something pure about it. You cry Eureka! And set about harnessing the slippery devil. But it can’t be tamed and zigzags, and morphs in the hopes you wont catch it. You track it and beg with it to work with you, it remains aloof to your requests and proceeds to move toward your right knee. You beg and plead and finally bribe it with the promise of fame and fortune and it agrees to be your idea, drunk with power your idea goes to work on your masterpiece and multiplies into many fancy impressive colourful ideas. These ideas begin to circle you as they move toward your right hip, then suddenly they all want independence, a frenzied battle takes place fortunately the first idea wins out, the casualties are the bad ideas and the original idea takes with him a few of the more harmonious obedient new ideas, and they make their way around your left leg. At this point the ideas are pretty tired and just want to get to the end, they start throwing any shapes they can think of just to get from A to B, its just a matter of survival now as they make their way uphill, up the rusty ragged sign. As they get to the upturned part they’ve just about run out of ideas all of them except for the first one have just dropped off along the way, at this point you start asking yourself: “what was the point again?” Then you remember that first rough around the edges pure colourful idea, “that’s what its all about” you say and set about executing it, cursing yourself all the while that “you should have done this weeks ago when they first got the brief!” After all your experiences you remember the idea a little differently to the way you originally envisioned it and you send it out a little slicker, a little more streamlined a little less pure. But that’s ok you will learn from your mistakes.. Hopefully!
Heres a progression: