Work in Progress – Group 2
Saemundur Thor Helgason
Report by Group 2:
Identifying connective concerns within such a rich and complex environment is not easy, but from the first presentation on Monday 26th March we began to identify some key, shared interests in relation to Bologna. Individual presentations of each other’s previous practice helped us to develop respect and understanding, and explorations of the city streets and buildings provided inspiration and materials. Initial ideas were explored by making maquettes, prototype sculptures and trial videos. All worked extremely hard to negotiate the challenges of the project, gradually building a strong group
dynamic by maintaining respect and consideration for one another’s ideas and individual practice, augmented by a productive system of mutual support and collaboration.
There was a breakthrough in terms of collaborative production and positive group dynamics when we went to work in the geodesic dome tent and began to make work directly in response to the space and the materials found there. There was relaxation, away from discussion and worrying about developing a specific idea, plan or model, and an emphasis on exploring the physicality of the space and materials directly. This produced some lively and inventive outcomes that had a positive impact on the development of the work made and presented at the Front of House final show.
Each of us was able to understand the strong sense of shared context present in our work in the use of line, space, perspective, texture and materials. ‘Tools’ to touch the top of the dome tent were constructed and tower of branches on a processional platform. A video that literally echoed the visual and sound experience of walking through the medieval porticoes of Bologna, and a temporary installation that was resonant of the structure and towers of the city were all made in one very constructive day.
We then spent another influential and productive day in the city centre of Bologna, exploring the dynamics of spacial composition and the relationship between the human body, found objects and temporary structures on site.
This positive experience encouraged the development of an idea for an ambitious collaborative piece to be installed in the Front of House space. The suspended, linear piece engaged boldly with the scale inherent in the architecture of Bologna and the interior at Front of House.
The tensioned string made reference to the perspectival viewpoints, emphasised by the seemingly endless arcades in Bologna, the elevation of the domed cupolas and the beam of light that marks out meridian line in San Petronio. This sense of line also literally ‘echoes’ in the video and sound installation and in the free standing sculptures that incorporate the rich colours and textures of Bologna.