Behind the Scenes: The Making of an Installation Art

Behind the Scenes: The Making of an Installation Art

Conceptualizing the Idea: Where it All Begins

Like many creative endeavors, the act of constructing installation art begins with an idea. This germ of a creation blooms within the labyrinth of the subconscious, tumbling around within the cranium until it's ripe and ready to burst forth into the world. And let me tell you, translating this genesis of creativity into something tangible can prove to be a more complex task than trying to teach Rufus, my delightful yet stubborn Boxer, how to fetch me a cold one from the fridge.

However challenging it might be, the exciting challenge is the real charm of creating installation art. Each idea, no matter how abstract, needs an inclusive plan. Visualize it as a blueprint, or detailed map - a path to point you in the right direction. Sticking to a plan ensures that your creative pursuit doesn't end up as abstract as Lady's (my lovely Golden Retriever) dream of chasing and catching her own tail.

Gathering the Materials: The Artist's Treasure Hunt

Post conceptualization, the thrilling hunt for materials commences. This is not just a trip to the local art supply store, but an adventure akin to a scavenger hunt. Old junkyards, garage sales, or discarded items by the streets often become valuable sources. Fun fact: Once, I found a rusted bicycle wheel which later served as a poignant centerpiece in one of my installation pieces. This goes to show, treasure truly does lie in the eye of the beholder.

Never underestimate the transformative power of paint, adhesives, wiring, or even light. They often breathe life into mundane objects, creating layers of intrigue and meaning. Now, this process may bruise your palms and may even lead to breaking a sweat (or many) but remember, you are now officially an artist on a treasure hunt.

Assembly: The Puzzle Comes Together

Assembling the installation gathers as much importance as sourcing the materials. It's like cooking your favourite recipe with all those raw materials you gathered. This phase acts like the slow unfurling of a poppy bud, where each petal finds its rightful place, gradually revealing a distinct, spectacular sight. This process is, to put it mildly, as complex as teaching Rufus not to chase after Lady when she has a toy.

I recommend tackling one element at a time, gradually assimilating all the parts until the final picture emerges, just like when you're solving a complex jigsaw puzzle. Remember, the process should be organic; it’s less of a rigid science and more of an artistic dance with your materials.

Space and Placement: The Big Picture

Installation art is never created in the solitude of an artist's workspace. Placement within a larger environment is crucial to consider in the creation process. While working on an installation piece, there was a time when Lady (my golden source of inspiration and chaos) decided to "install" herself in the middle of my half-done artwork. Believe it or not, observing how her golden elegance stood amidst the chaos gave me an unconventional perspective about space and placement in installation.

Contemplate the intended surroundings of your art. The influence of lighting, the spatial layout including walls, corners, floor, and ceiling - everything comes into play. How do you want your viewers to interact with your art? From what angle do you desire your art to be viewed? These are critical considerations while working on your installation piece.

Viewer Interaction: Beyond the Role of a Spectator

A notable characteristic of installation art is its distinct ability to induce participation or interaction from the viewer, a blurring of the lines between spectator and participant. The power of interaction amplifies the experience of appreciating art, transforming passive spectators into active participants. In this context, I feel it's pertinent to mention a fun instance when I held an exposition of one of my early installations - a humble piece involving, of course, a few canine elements. My dear Rufus found himself captivated by the piece, much to my dismay, excitedly interacted by knocking over a crucial piece of the installation. Of course, this prompted an impromptu reconstruction before the actual opening of the exhibition.

Such incidents might seem disheartening, but they offer valuable lessons. Audiences will interact with your art in ways you may not have initially foreseen. It’s an opportunity for your pieces to lead a dialogue, enhance visual communication and bridge a connection between the art, space, and the audience.

Final Piece and Presentation: A Bow on the Masterpiece

The final piece of an installation art project is like a suspense thriller with that unexpected twist at the very end. Despite following a detailed plan, the cursory glance at the final piece always offers a few surprises, similar to Lady’s surprise baths when Rufus decides to drench her in dirt while playing fetch.

The realization could be a revelation, an echo of your creative spirit reframed by physical materials in physical space. Evaluating the final piece helps you understand your journey, observing how seamlessly you translated the intangible conceptualization into a three-dimensional construct. The presentation of your masterpiece signifies not only the showcase of your talent but a marker of your bold journey in bridging the realm of artist and viewer.

Post-Exhibit Contemplation

Once your masterpiece has met the world, found its audience, provoked thoughts, and stimulated conversations, it's crucial to take a step back and contemplate. Remember that creation is a process, a cycle, with each piece you create leaving an indelible imprint on your artistic journey. This is your time to consolidate all you've learned, all the surprises your creation has unleased, akin to the times when Rufus and Lady surprise me with their own versions of "installation art" in my backyard.

Mark these lessons, the transformations, and challenges that helped shape your creation, for they will become the guiding beacon for your next rendezvous with creativity. Whether your next idea waits around the corner or is already knocking at the doors of your imagination, rest assured - this journey is set to continue, one idea, one installation at a time.

Bryce Singleton
Written by Bryce Singleton
As a passionate art aficionado and writer, I creatively express my appreciation for the visual arts by producing engaging and enlightening contents. I work as a freelance art critic in Melbourne, specializing in modern and contemporary art. My writings have been published in various art magazines and journals, globally. I utilize my understanding of art to compose pieces that inspire, educate and provoke thought. Currently, I'm also authoring a book on the evolution of visual arts in the 21st century.

Write a comment