U-Hang residency: Week 3

The pressure was on this week, as I needed to finish my final designs in time to get everything made and set up. I like creating modular work that requires lots of time and patience at the end to get everything in place. There have been a few points this week where I’ve questioned my reluctance to take shortcuts – why print a thousand squares that need sticking on a window individually instead of one big square with the design printed on? It’s made me realise that this stage of the process is important to me – arranging the modules as I go, deciding on the final design there and then and seeing it come together bit by bit – it all feels rewarding. I started the week by getting some samples made – laser-cut card based on the window pattern design, cut-out vinyl with elements of mosaic patterns and printed clear vinyl to ‘colour in’ one of the internal windows.

Playing about with these in the space gave me an idea of what worked best, and the next step was to decide which areas of the building I was going to install work in: the white space above the glazed bricks in the landing, the glazed brick wall in reception and an arched internal window that looks up to the stairs to the landing.

Finally, having decided on the design elements I wanted to make, I needed to draw digital versions of these, ready for cutting and printing. Again, I couldn’t bear to take shortcuts – drawing every single mosaic tile felt important. I use a graphics tablet for drawing, and discovered that the ‘wrong’ way I hold my pen (which I never changed because, despite being told off for it all the way through school, it works…) causes problems on a graphics tablet. So, at the age of 33, I’ve spent a considerable part of my week learning how to hold a pen.

Clutching my pen correctly and with the designs at the printers, I’m now nervously waiting to pick up the final work and get it installed…