Self-portrait using lines: spider web installation

Halloween came early to UP this year.
We had spider webs all over the Fine Arts department as early as July:
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Self-portrait using lines
Plastic straw
1′ x 1′ (portrait dimensions)
July 2013

Task was to make a spider web using any kind of thread, and somewhere in there, put our face.
Spider Self-Portrait July 2013 (1)

I chose this spot because there were so many nooks and crannies I could latch on to.  Also wanted to make a big piece so I decided to use the cheapest thread I could think of: plastic straw!

Spider Self-Portrait July 2013 (3)

My intention was to do a messy, sheet/funnel web.  I didn’t want to give myself a hard time so I used white straw for the web and blue for the portrait.

Spider Self-Portrait July 2013 (5)

Half the time I had no idea what I was doing, but just kept spinning like a spider would spin and after maybe 2 days of working, I started seeing– or more aptly, feeling– the web.

I also spun a grid (in yellow) just to guide me in making the face:
Spider Self-Portrait July 2013 (8)

Here’s a saturated version so it’s easier to spot them:
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I spent quite a while dillydallying with the background web, and was afraid I was going to run out of time for the plate, so on day 3 I just went for the portrait.
Spider Self-Portrait July 2013 (14)

It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Felt like a conductor with an orchestra, plucking strings left and right to harmonize the whole.

I wasn’t aiming for a realistic face, so I was happy that this one turned out looking somehow like me:
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Next job was to complete the web and create a funnel for a spider under the portrait.

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Realized I didn’t take a good picture of the completed work, but you can see it partially below, behind me, taken on presentation day:

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That little blob of blue in the middle is my pet spidey, who kept my first installation piece company for the 2 weeks that it was up:
Spider July2013

Working with lines was not as time-consuming as doing a self-portrait with dots, but the fact that it was an installation piece limited our working hours.  We also had to watch out for mosquitoes in the late afternoon, as July was well within the dengue season.

All in all, completing this plate (was plate number 2 for Visual Perception class) was a proud moment for me.  An installation piece is something one can’t plan, so a lot of the process was intuitive play.  I liked working side by side with others– the positive pressure from having 16-year-old classmates churning out amazing pieces gave me many pushes to keep going and just complete the work.

Some more pics from presentation day:

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