3.06. Motions

Back to the Studio!

This post is about my first installed art piece of the year. With term beginning after three months away from the studio, I was eager to investigate the part 3 studio space and start considering how to respond to it artistically.




My artwork this week is called “Motions”, which can be seen in a short YouTube video I’ve made (above). It is a combination of the two projects I worked on over summer: my animation work and my painting. Situated in a dark room, the painting hangs on the wall and an updated version of the animation is projected onto it, creating the impression of flickering blue lights dancing around on it. The animation is on loop, so the lights gently float around the canvas for two minutes before settling at the bottom and starting again.

Connection to Previous Work

This piece was created as a result of a slight error (or happy accident) on my part. My original plan, which you can read about on my animation post, was to place the projector on a rotating platform so that the animation could move around the room. The painting was not supposed to be involved and would have been a separate artwork entirely. However, the platform I ordered did not rotate automatically, so the animation would be static. Fearing that this would undermine the key artistic element of the planned artwork, I had a re-think.

I realised there were connections between the animation and the painting. Both draw on surrealism, both are abstract, and both are inspired by motions in nature. Both pieces also lacked something – the painting lacked impact and the animation was rendered static. Combining the two pieces together was the most logical solution to me, as they would complement each other and make up for each other’s weaknesses. I made the decision to project my animation on to my painting, using the painting as a screen. I imagined that this would create the impression of bringing the painting to life.

This meant altering my animation. It now had to be portrait to fit the shape of the canvas, and the background could not be black otherwise the painting would be invisible in the dark. While rendering the animation on Apple iMovie, I used a filter to give it a greenish tint, which made the painting more visible.

The End Result

I found that the resulting piece suggested motion and nature better than both the original two. I felt that when installed, it reminded me of a landscape with birds flying in front of it, albeit with a much more digital appearance. I was pleased with the overall effect and I was especially glad that I was able to loop the animation, so that the artwork could function by itself without me having to turn the projector on. However, I think the projection should have been brighter, because with such a dark painting the points of light do not show up as well as intended.

The feedback I got was very pleasing because my studio group immediately connected the piece with the starting point – nature. I was also pleased to hear such a variety of feedback, because I hoped the abstract nature of the piece would arouse a different response in each person. I got some other feedback that identified the lack of sound, which I had not considered – this gave me a new direction to consider.

The Next Step

I am really pleased with “Motions.” I feel I’ve successfully represented what I feel when I experience nature, without trying to copy it or achieve material likeness. The next step for me is to do more! I want to try and make bigger, more impactful pieces like this, and create a variety of colour and dynamism in my practice. As per my feedback, I want to try and add sound to the equation to create more depth my work.






Published by William Fowler

Hello! I'm studying Art and English Literature at the University of Reading, and I'm currently working with art films to investigate philosophical ideas of the 'real.' As always, my aim is to create pieces of art that are more than the sum of their parts.

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