10 Feb 13 by JP Delaney
I received an invitation by email from a Florentine gallery called Otto Luogo dell'Arte [LINK] (translates as 8 Place of Art) to make an "8" for a show to take place on the 8th March which is International Women's Day.

Login to comment

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#13096

initial base structure

The specification was just to make an "8", and that dimensions were to be 20cm x 20cm i.e. tiny.
This was the gallery I had made the dream vagina https://artprocess.com/delaney/6964 for a couple of years ago. As they weren't exactly enthusiastic about that when it arrived (I think it was exhibited in the end in an outside alley). Then there was a bit of a fight after the show about who was to pay for the shipment back to Ireland, so I was quite surprised to hear from them again.

Anyway, back to the 8. Supposedly men's ideal of female physique is an hourglass figure which is an 8. However that probably wouldn't pass muster with Femen https://femen.org as being something to celebrate on Women's Day. Considering breasts as 8, I asked my wife for a bra to see if it could be a useful start for something but it was just a formless uninspiring piece of cloth without it's contents. In the end doodling I can up with a sort of idea for a little sculpture, and began.

Little 8

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#13097

Little 8
base structure

This is the wire frame structure. It's a little difficult to work with at such small dimensions. I'm not sure how it'll work out at this stage and am a little afraid it might end up quite boring. Nevertheless better get on with it (it has to be ready before the end of the month), as I'm curious to see the frame covered.

Little 8

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#13098

Little 8
After applying paper and glue

Uh uh.. that's not exactly what I was hoping for. It's now a lumpy formless mess waiting to dry out. I've covered it with paper soaked in rabbit-skin glue to get an idea of how it looks. Next I'll cover it with a layer of boiled-up gesso to give it a uniform colour and texture before covering it with jute, and take it from there. At least that's the plan. I can't say I'm terribly confident with how it's going.

Little 8

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#13099

Little 8
After applying the gesso

A hot coat of gesso to give it a uniform finish to get an idea of a pretty boring box. I'll try adding some substance to give a more smooth curve to the rounded sections, but I'm not terribly hopeful for an interesting outcome with this one up to now.

Little 8

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#13100

Little 8
2 nipples

So here I've cut out the holes of the eight. How's it going? I can't say I'm terribly enthusiastic with the progress so far. The holes sort of help by adding a modicum of curiosity, but as yet there's still no reward for the viewer, and the piece is sloppy and absolutely forgettable. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do anything with this to endow it with a little significance so I'm banking on the next stage of applying the cloth - jute (yet again) I think - to give me some idea of how to make it at least a bit interesting.

Little 8

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#13101

Little 8
After applying the jute

Looks like a square birds nest. That's the jute layer applied, and waiting to dry out. I'm sort of dallying with leaving the raw cloth as it is, or do I add a new coat of gesso to bring it back white again. Not sure.

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#1989
25 Feb 13 20:12

..... the muddy excavated look is strong and good .. to my eye anyway. What about a white circle around the lower opening hole . Art by comm-it-tea !!

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#1990
26 Feb 13 06:02

Hello Tony... thanks for your comment. There's something there in that art by committee idea of yours that might be worth exploring. Let's keep it in the back of our minds to see if anyone has suggestions on how to develop it.
Anyway, sorry I can't follow your instructions on this one as just before leaving for 4 days at home in Ireland, I applied a fresh coat of gesso and rushed out not having the time to take photos. I'm writing this in Dublin airport now on the return trip (not too happy about that - I'd love to be back living in Ireland), but am looking forward to seeing how the thing has dried out. Like you, I do like that raw jute look though, and may end up using it again in the finished piece.

Art By Committee.. I do like it! Sounds like it could be a bit of fun too.

Little 8

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#13102

Little 8
After gesso-ing the jute

The jute has been given a coat of gesso, is dry and ready for whatever's next. I'm thinking of leaving the breasts white as they are now, and adding another layer of raw jute to the frame as a contrast. At any rate, I'd better speed up - it's the last day of Feb and this has to be delivered in time for women's day 8th march.

Little 8

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#13103

Little 8
More jute and pink paint

I received an email from ladies of the gallery stating that the show had been delayed until the 16th, instead of the 8th March.
A bit disappointed (as I'd been intent on having this ready for international women's day), I emailed them back saying at least it gives me more time to mull over the piece.
They then sent an interesting reply warning me that whatever I was preparing will be a gift to the gallery, and will not be returned (they figured I was in Ireland). I thanked them for the advance notice, but then said I was more used to deciding myself that I was the one to give a gift, and not someone else deciding that for me.
I added that I thought it was an exploitation of the artist, as all the artists I know cannot afford to donate their works when they're generally poor as church mice, and eagerly look to a show as an opportunity of selling.
I had been hoping to open a debate on the state of artists making art today, but needless to say, it opened instead the floodgates of acrimony, and they angrily withdrew their offer of a proposal that I make them a gift. Very considerate of them.
[An aside: why do I have this problem with women - a little criticism and instead of relishing a debate, they petulantly and infuriated scream I never want to see you ever again!]
Anyway enough of that. Here's a couple of photos of the current status. I've added a new layer of raw jute leaving the breasts exposed as the gesso'ed layer beneath (but they've gotten a bit splashed with the rabbitskin glue in the process). I then mixed a dusty pink oil paint thinking it'll give a feminine touch to the protruding wires, but I think instead they look like bloody spikes giving it a slightly gruesome aspect.
Let's see how it looks when it dries. I'll probably give the breasts a clean coating of gesso, and take it from there.

Permalink: https://artprocess.com/delaney/6976#1991
06 Mar 13 15:50

This is really a funny story... Some people have some nerve.... Good for you to answer what you did. By the way this thing about criticism, it is my experience that the difference between men and women is that while women respond with infuriated screaming, men respond with the most irrelevant, bitter, sexist comments that have nothing to do with the subject of the criticism whatsoever...
Well, there are exceptions of course. I tend to talk seriously only with them.

Now, the reason I am writing here is that, when I opened AP homepage today and saw this image, before I had the chance to read anything about it, I thought:
Uops... teats! Well done J.P.!