Charlestown Harbour/ The Eden Project

On 7th September 2016, the second project had begun in Cornwall. The project was an intense one, lasting only for three days, and travelling for 6 hours on the coach to get there was exhausting. Nonetheless I had a brilliant experience both artistically and socially within this short amount of time.

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The first stop was at Charlestown Harbour, where we were placed into groups, and had to complete a series of tasks to demonstrate our ability for creative solutions. After researching the works of Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long, we were determined to create a land art piece that portrays an orderliness against the disordered sea waves crashing against the shore. The piece was constructed using richly textured seaweed, pebbles and rocks of all sizes.

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The circular shape was ideal, as it complimented the roundness of the rocks and pebbles, and encouraged a focal point towards the center. The seaweed was arranged to act as a compositional device to guide the viewer’s eyes into the center, and then all around it. The orderliness of the artwork is what makes it satisfying, especially when using materials from nature that are wildly grown, with no control over themselves. I also loved how parts of the art piece sits on different levels from the ground, and for improvement, I would have experimented with this aspect further.

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Having a firsthand experience of the Eden Project was absolutely incredible. I was mesmerized by how there was a dedicated spot to the world’s most important plants, as well as the rarest ones too. I was encouraged to develop new techniques of drawing and mark-making, after witnessing the rich variety of textures in the Rainforest Biome.

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I experimented with a wax candle, and using it as a resist once I used charcoal or watercolors over it. I found that one of the most successful techniques was my overlapping drawings, as I liked how the branches of the trees (or the lines) intertwined with each-other, especially across a double page.

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The image below is my favorite double page spread, because I love the effect that blue creates, it’s a calming, refreshing cool color just like the green that compliments it. My lines are loose as it was a result of a blind and continuous line drawing. The soft pastels created a hazy effect which I find in many of Monet’s paintings, and it is even more similar due to the subject of nature too.

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water-lilies-1919-1 Water Lilies, Claude Monet, 1916

All drawings were observational, and I produced a lot over three days. I had become a little rusty in drawing from life towards the end of the summer, however practicing it every hour during Cornwall for three days helped me feel more prepared to dive into the exploratory stage projects now. Having completed a primary research of Eden plants, I realized that the project could be developed into a more refined one. I think I should try longer, sustained drawings too, to improve on capturing finer detail.

 

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