Gardens Project 13: The Tale of the Hapless Amateur

Gardens Project 13: The Tale of the Hapless Amateur

Gardens

This is the kind of back where I was six months ago post, although inevitably I’m in a slightly different place. Work has meant that I was restricted to only a few hours a week and had begun by the end of March to resent it. As I write I have one more day to do before I am retired again.

I’ve got the start of the project to a workable state – there will be a lot of tweaking and tinkering before I declare ‘finished’ – and I think there is something of a story there. I’ve been moving, scaling, positioning, testing and retracting every aspect of the environment over the past couple of months. I’m trying to break the process down into a series of things I’m happy with and things I’m unsure of. The things I absolutely hate (for the moment) I just consign to an unused scene.

The combination of dilettanteism and lack of knowledge is the big drawback to making any project, every step I take with the head set on I see more errors.

My notes for this latest iteration read

‘hands not controllers. Fire out of sync on the torch. Stone texture unconvincing. Leaves too thick generally and difficult to navigate without instruction. Needs an indicator for the portals. There is a long wait for chapter one to load – needs a cut scene. Unsure about the news, not great when falling but OK when fallen? The roads aren’t smooth enough. Lots of the buildings don’t meet the ground very well.

There is too much empty space and aimless movement in the scene – I cut fourminutes out of the video moving between scenes over empty terrain. The main road is a disaster. The water in the boating lake needs to be moving and it needs to appear to be besides the sea. Savick scene is too empty and needs colour removing. Greenway was better in the previous iteration.’

At the moment I’ve decided that what’s missing overall, barring the glaring omissions, is the sense of confinement in each scene so I’m splitting chapter one back into three or four parts and making sure each section is clear and easily navigable. The trick is to limit the possible movements but make it appear as if there are places to go, if only you could get there. I think the aesthetic is going to change as well – it needs to look much more like its been drawn.

The Gardens project posts start here 

Drawing

I’ve carried on drawing every day and you can see the April images here

On May 5th I completed two years of drawing every day.

Gardens Project 13 The Tale of the Hapless Amateur

Coffee cup, drawn on 5th May 2022 two years after starting the daily drawings.

The drawings are posted to Twitter and Instagram each day.

Other Stuff

I’ve updated my Yorkshire Artists website, https://yorkshire.art/directory/artist/ian-latham/

and made a 360 video of the garden. The first part of it I inadvertently inserted the wrong clip so from about 25 seconds in for abour 90 seconds you can manipulate a flat image in space with your mouse button.

VRD Gardens Project – Preamble

New Blog Post:

Before I get really into this new piece I’ve been tying up the ‘geranium project’, I started with a map and plotted the pathway through the different spaces now that I’ve rendered them as separate with their own weather, and introduced doorways to the next level. I’ve also registered as a developer on Viveport and submitted the VR world as an Art & Design App for review. If it’s accepted it will be available for free to anyone with a Vive and will also allow me to point people somewhere to get it when I enter competitions and look for exhibitions. I had to develop a visual identity and supply all sorts of images as well as filling in lots of forms and uploading a zipped build file. Fingers crossed.

map of geranium

Map of the Geranium Project

geranium viveport thumbnail

geranium viveport thumbnail

geranium landscape image

geranium landscape image

Gardens Project: Preamble.

For a while now I have wanted to make work that explores the philosophy of the garden. Artists as varied as Joan Miro and Derek Jarman have had a strong attachment to garden spaces, not to mention Monet, Cezanne, or Ian Hamilton Finlay. It seems to me that as a person matures whilst they retain their breadth they can seek to contain or centre themselves in a more defined space. This is not generally a place to hide, it is rather a high point from which to view the world.

I have begun thinking about a mixed reality artwork built around a series of gardens and hung around an autobiographical framework. The piece will present a ‘player’ with a pathway through different locations in a virtual world built for HTC Vive and Occulus(?) that represent particular times historically; 60’s, 70’s, 80’s etc., and particular times of life; early childhood, teenage, young adulthood and onwards. The separate gardens will contain evidence from my history and the wider world in the form of photographs and headlines, and be soundtracked by contemporaneous music and news sources. Each garden will be accompanied by a physical sculpture developed from these sources and each of these will act as a trigger for an Augmented Reality piece elucidating the sources.

I am interested in the way we build ourselves into our spaces and our spaces into ourselves as we age, and through this what the environments we choose lead us to and from.

I’ve been reading for background and I’ve put a bibliography at the end of this piece.

This is a video of a draft I made to put forward for exhibitions and funding.

Reference list

David Edward Cooper (2011). A philosophy of gardens. Oxford Etc.: Clarendon Press, Dr.

Jarman, D. and Laing, O. (2018). Modern nature : the journals of Derek Jarman, 1989-1990. London: Vintage Classics.

Miró, J., Yvon Taillandier, Lubar, R.S., Lippert, K.C. and Reeves, J. (2017). Joan Miró : I work like a gardener. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

Young, D. (2019). Philosophy in the garden. London ; Minneapolis, Minnesota: Scribe Publications.

Lockdown Continued… (notice the calmer Title Case)

The VR world from the geranium project on simmer – www.simmer.io/@IanLatham/the-geranium-project – takes 8 minutes and 7 seconds to load.

The latest WebGL build on my own website – www.ian-latham.com/geranium/build – takes 11 minutes and 39 seconds to load.

I’ve spent hours trying to work out how to make the things load more quickly but everything I try seems to make little or no difference.

I participated in an online event for the Doncaster New Fringe art group, a kind of delayed open studio evening in which artists film their work and upload the videos to a website. This is the video I made Art Bomb Video for Doncaster New Fringe I found some old 3d models I made for sculptures over a number of years and built a VR environment for them, I then made an awful video of my studio and me explaining what I’d done in fluent gibberish and placed that video inside the VR world. I recorded that through the computer and there you go.

Other than that this week has been a lot of gardening, building a greenhouse, and the endless frustration of Unity!

greenhouse

My New Greenhouse

I finally got the WebGL build down to 6 minutes and 17 seconds! Or at least below 7 minutes over several tries, the load bar doesn’t work properly though.