The Geranium Project (R&D) 26

As it has been Christmas I’ve been a bit desultory about the blog, and concentrating mostly on things like celebrating and visiting relatives. I have done some work on the animated sequences for the VR and the narrative. The next post will address these and forwaard planning for the end of the project in February. This post is a copy of the self evaluation exercise I have completed, as far as possible, using the form I submitted to get the funding. I pulled out all the aims listed and addressed each one. It does show that there is a good amount of overlap in the submission sections but it also shows that I’m well on track to meet all the expected outcomes.

Project Evaluation:

A: Tell us more about your project and what you want it to achieve.

AIMS From A:

  1. Create a space that tells a story

    1. I created the original space as a rectangular environment, with a 4.8m x 3.6m footprint and 2.4m high, with drawings on three sides. Entry was intially through a door in one of the long sides, this was later changed to a corner on the same side to allow for a ‘light lock’ to keep the interior dark. I made a series fo films which were projected onto the short side furthest from the entrance, and recorded a set of soundtracks to accompany the projections. The drawings in the interior of the space were developed from drawings of the original garden from which the project is developed, the films are all of the same space, one simply a long take of the space from a static camera with a soundtrack of background nosie recorded at the same time, birdsong, faint road noises, distant machinery etc., the other films are made from sections of motion captured film during early morning and late evening, edited together to exploit the characteristics of the light. Over these are played two recordings, one combines a section of TS Eliot’s ‘Burnt Norton’ from the ‘Four Quartets’ combined with Tennyson’s ‘Tithonus’, the other is a paraphrasing of this combined poem in my own words. The space was presented to the public on several occasions and used with groups of students and local artists. After evaluation of these events I dismantled the space and reassembled it in a more organic form, to build in more sculptural elements, increase the opportunities for interaction and render the environment more confining.

  2. Make a virtual reality space or online space that is explorable and has a narrative component

    1. I began the VR space at the end of July, after opening the studio for the Doncopolitan Crawl, and had a working prototype by the end of August. The space has developed considerably since then. At the end of December the space has three garden spaces made of photographs and four gardens created from drawings reimagined as 3d models. The poetry from the installation has been split into parts and used as a voice over. The Vr space is now entered from a simple model of the studio and I intend that this space can be created for each location that it is shown in. From here you enter a 3d model of the installation, with the same interactions, and progress through the video screen (now presented as a split cloth moving in the wind) into the first garden, the ‘summer garden’, from here you move to the end of the garden and towards the first drawn garden through a mist filled tunnel. At the end of this garden you pass through another tunnel to the ‘rain garden’ and at the end of here through another tunnel to a version of the drawn garden which is massively raised in scale. From here a long tunnel takes you to the ‘frost garden’ from which you pass through a tunnel to the ‘painted garden’. Passing through here takes you into the longest tunnel through which you enter the ‘drawn garden’ which uses elements directly taken from the drawings and lofted to create a space littered with forms which you must navigate through. At the end of this space a tunnel brings you back into the studio where you started. Each of the spaces can be fully explored and each features sounds, birdsong, snatches of conversation or reading, that are encountered only in certain sections of each garden. In the tunnels there are longer narrations indicating what you might expect and how you might proceed in the space you are about to enter..

  3. Present to an audience and use them to help refine the experience.

    1. The installation was presented to the public at an open event for Doncopolitan Crawl on July 23rd, I set up an exhibition with work by my two graduate artists, Kim Haines and Luke Roberts, as well as installation installed downstairs by Andrea Berry, a local artist recently raduated with an MA from Sheffield Hallam. On the night we had around 80 visitors, 62 of whom visited my installation in its first iteration. After this I staged another event in October with talks by Andrea and me and had 13 attendees, 9 of whom tried the VR environment. On the following two Wednesdays I had students from Barnsley College BA Fine Art visit with lecturers, a total of 36 visitors, 21 of whom tried the VR. Visitors to these events were invited to feedback their thoughts and suggestions on whiteboards and through conversations. I blogged this feedback at the end of October. Additionally 14 more people have visited the studio at various points abd tried out the VR space. All of this has been useful for the overall development of the experience.

B: Tell us how this project will help to develop your work.

AIMS from B:

  1. Develop my practice through collaboration with specific individuals…

    1. Wayne Sables (Film and Presentation)

      1. Met with Wayne on six occasions so far, really good discussions about the direction of the work and where it fits in a larger perspective. Good contacts established with Doncaster organisations, Marcus Isman-Egal from dcstrust and Tim Hazeltine from Doncaster Council, as well as Sally Lockey from RUOS. Wayne also encouraged me to enter the Aesthetica Art Prize and provided good contacts and opportunities for Luke and Kim.

    2. Iain Nicholls (VR – Technical)

      1. I met with Iain on three occasions and he provided significant support for the development of the VR space, the navigation would have taken so much longer without him. Had some difficulties sorting out another meeting due to diaries.

  2. Develop my Understanding of Large Scale Presentations…

    1. Mike Stubbs (Creative Doncaster)

      1. Mike has visited the studio on three or four occasions and provided a lot of food for thought as well providing encouragement for the development of the environment. Some suggestions have been difficult to implement and maybe point towards things I’m not ready to consider, others have contributed to radical developments in the work itself.

    2. Dan Tucker (Sheffield DocFest)

      1. Dan never answered my emails so I didn’t establish contact.

  3. Employ Two Graduate Artists and help them develop their practice

      1. Luke Roberts and Kimberley Haines have been working with me since July, they have attended all the meetings with mentors, helped set up the exhbitions and taken photgraphs and helped shepherd people through the installation and VR. They have also spoken to Mike, Iain and wayne about their work and opportunities to develop their own practice.

  4. Test the work with other Doncaster Artists

      1. Eleven Doncaster creatives attended the event in October, and all experienced the work and fed back on its merits. Additionally three other Doncaster based artists have visited the studio occasionally and tried out the environment, giving me valuable feedback.

  5. Become more collaborative in my approach to my own practice.

      1. The project has encouraged me to be more collaborative in my approach to work, and challenged me to consider the degree to which you can lose your voice when working with other artists. The greatest challenge through the project has been to keep the direction I wanted to travel in especially when that direction becomes more difficult to articulate and other influences are precise in their opinions.

C: What will your project focus on?

AIMS from C:

  1. Develop my professional practice

    1. My professional practice has been validated by the allocation of ACE National Lottery Project Grant Funding. One of the most significant results of the allocation was the change to way I was perceived as a serious artist in regard to a commission with the NHS. Early in 2019 I was meeting a brick wall when discussions options to advance a project, when I subsequently backed off because my commitments to The Geranium Project limited my time the client decided to wait for my availability. This professional acceptance has been the most revelatory effect of my experience this year, considering that I am highly qulaifed and experienced as an arts educator I was pleased to be recognised in this way by ACE and gratified that it opened some previously closed doors. In short I’m taken much more seriously now.

  2. Try out new approaches

    1. Whilst I have worked with 3d modelling and installations in the past, the virtual reality world building is a new departure and the project has served the purpose of allowing me to try out ways of displaying this material to the public.

  3. reach new or different audiences

    1. The audiences who have experienced this piece have been largely new to me, and I am seeking more opportunities to display the work for all sorts of people.

  4. work with new people

    1. As I have indicated earlier I have worked with three artists in a collaborative manner and assisted with professional development for two recent graduates. I have also provided exhbition opportunites for three local artists during this project and built up a number of contacts for future opportunities.

Public Engagement

D: Who will engage with your project?

AIMS from D:

  1. Stage Exhibition in Early February presenting VR world and Installation.

  2. Secure opportunity to display the piece during Doncaster Creates, Donny Debates in 2020

E: How will people engage with your project and what experience do you

want them to have?

AIMS from E:

  1. Develop a non-linear narrative for the space

    1. ongoing but see 2.1

  2. Build an immersive environment that can be experienced alongside a Virtual Experience

    1. see 2.1

  3. Test the installation with groups of students

&

  1. Invite audiences to consider the narrative and feedback

    1. The installation was presented to the public at an open event for Doncopolitan Crawl on July 23rd, I set up an exhibition with work by my two graduate artists, Kim Haines and Luke Roberts, as well as installation installed downstairs by Andrea Berry, a local artist recently raduated with an MA from Sheffield Hallam. On the night we had around 80 visitors, 62 of whom visited my installation in its first iteration. After this I staged another event in October with talks by Andrea and me and had 13 attendees, 9 of whom tried the VR environment. On the following two Wednesdays I had students from Barnsley College BA Fine Art visit with lecturers, a total of 36 visitors, 21 of whom tried the VR. Visitors to these events were invited to feedback their thoughts and suggestions on whiteboards and through conversations. I blogged this feedback at the end of October. Additionally 14 more people have visited the studio at various points abd tried out the VR space. All of this has been useful for the overall development of the experience.

F: Tell us how you will make sure your project reaches people.

AIMS from F: (Future Developments)

  1. Arrange exhibitions away from the studio

  2. Publicise the piece through local media

G:People who will benefit from your project

Beneficiary Type

How many people will benefit from this project?

Actual Participants

Artists/ creatives/ museum specialists

10

21

Participants

40

39

Audience (live)

40

139

Audience (broadcast, online, in writing)

40

150

Total

130

349

H: Tell us how you will evaluate your project.

AIMS from H:

  1. Maintain blog of progress weekly

    1. blog address www.ian-latham.com/blog has been kept each week, with two breaks for holiday, during the project, currently this post is number 26.

  2. Keep a record of mentoring sessions with WS and MS

    1. Mentoring sessions have been recorded through contemporaneous notetaking and written up as blog posts with analysis.

  3. Get feedback from Graduate Artists

    1. will be provided at the end of January as part of the review/reporting process.

  4. Get feedback from Local Artists and people viewing the project as it progresses

    1. see above and blog posts etc.,

  5. Produce a reconciled budget statement

    1. Presented as an appendix in the submitted report.

4 thoughts on “The Geranium Project (R&D) 26

  1. Love this detail Ian thank you. Of course it reveals the need for a particular mind set to seek and be open to feedback and integrate what some might see as ‘hoop jumping and bureaucracy’ (including me) into the project cycle. It’s taken me many years to accept these ‘controls’ as part of the project not just an additional burden.

Leave a Reply to iansblog Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.