To create a better world by using art to make an active change. I destroyed my original oil paintings.
Shredding original oil paintings? Creating a whole new artwork with epoxy resin? Selling NFT's? Writing a book? Donating money to the charity Team Trees?
How does all of this link into anything of one similarity?
This... is my final year project for my college course.
In my final year project, I was set the brief of “Re-Imagining” our town.
I didn't just want to just create a page of something and hand it in across a desk for this project, no. Anyone who knows me, will know that I just have to create something with a little more zing to it; I needed to create something that would make a real impact... so I chose to Re-Imagine our town by focusing on the environment.
I decided the best way I could do this was to create a series of oil paintings, depicting the same landscape over a period of time to show how it’s changed, as well as two variations for the future, one filled with plastic waste and pollution, and the other, a clean environment using renewable energy.
At the end of this project, I destroyed all four original paintings live in Nelson Town Centre, which you can watch here.
They were put through a tree shredder, with the remains being put into epoxy resin to create a whole new artwork. This links in with "Re-Imagining" the town, and art by connecting traditional oil paintings, with contemporary ideas.
The original artworks are now being auctioned off on the OpenSea platform, with the profits being donated to the charity #teamtrees
Anyone can put in a bid for the NFT's here.
The Re-Imagine Project Auction ends on the 30th June 2022
All the project details are here
A Brief Overview
This project is a final year project for college.
Creating a way in which traditional art meets contemporary ideas to shape the way in which we can make a difference to help the planet and environment.
What Re-Imagine Has Done
As part of the Re-Imagine project, four oil paintings were produced on A2 canvases.
They were then destroyed using a tree shredder, and the remains put into epoxy resin to create a whole new artwork.
The originals were then sold as NFT's with the profits being donated to #teamtrees.
As well as that, the book "Time To Make The Change" was published in part with the project, teaching people how they can help the planet and save money.
Re-Imagine Project Brief
For this project, we have been set the brief of “Re-Imagining” Nelson by In-situ (a project art organisation based in Lancashire).
I have chosen to 'Re-Imagine' Nelson by focusing on the environment. I wish to display the ways in which individuals can make changes to the environment to improve it, as well as show ways in which a landscape have changed over time.
I intended on creating a series of oil paintings, depicting the same landscape over a period of time to show how it’s changed, as well as two variations for the future, one filled with plastic waste and pollution, and the other, a clean environment using green energy.
At the end of the project, I plan on creating my artworks into NFTs, destroying the originals, which will then be put up for sale (on an environmentally friendly server, and service engine), and the money gained will be donated to an environmental charity. With the remains of the artworks being put into epoxy resin to create a whole new piece of art.
The paintings as part of the project played a key part as a whole, as each one would depict the same landscape over period of time, showing change from before we cultivated the land, right up to how we have polluted it, and also showing a world in which we are using renewable energy to make it a better place for all.
Never having painted this way before, I knew I may hit a brick wall, so I spent time devoted to learning this technique. This involved countless hours of reading as well as watching many tutorials (my favourite being with my idol, Andrew Tischler).
I feel these paintings turned out brilliantly, and I thoroughly enjoyed using oil as I felt I achieved unique textures for the paintings themselves.
You can view all the paintings here.
Re-Imagine Book "Time To Make The Change"
The affect of the paintings would only go so far to make an impact on people, so I decided to write a book to try and make a larger impact on people. The book explains ways in which individuals can make small everyday changes that will help the environment, and save them money, as well as not having to rely on countries, and companies to make a change. The book is 136 pages, and is available on Amazon.
The creation of the paintings was all and good, but I needed this project to make an impact, so naturally, I decided that I wanted to destroy the paintings, and sell the originals as NFT's on OpenSea.
A lot of people have a negative view on NFT's, but I wanted to try and see if I could make a difference on that perception.
The original paintings were photographed in high resolution up close, and then had the images stitched together to create one high-resolution detailed image of each painting to be sold as the NFT's.
The NFT's are being sold here for auction.
Destruction of Re-Imagine Paintings
In order to actually do the destruction of the original paintings, I needed permission.
Pendle Council needed assurance from both In-Situ and NCC to cover my project, and that they take responsibility for the health and safety.
InSitu were very kind to give me instant assurance. But as for the college, I went back and forth with the head of the art department trying to get permission but was told approval would take up to one week as this had to go through both the health and safety team and the marketing department.
Wanting to speed things up, I went to chat with them in person. A very helpful lady in the marketing team put me in touch with the personnel I need to speak to. I then managed to meet with the head of health and safety, who looked over it all and gave me the full go ahead, so I was delighted permission has now been granted.
It may have been obnoxious of me to go over a few heads, but I couldn’t just sit around and wait for other people to move my vision and project forward. Meeting directly with those who could help ensured I wasn’t stuck in a chain where my project could potentially fizzle out.
I did, eventually get permission to do my destruction with a tree shredder live in the town centre.
You can view the destruction live stream here.
Re-Imagine Epoxy Resin The remains of the paintings after the shredding were placed into epoxy resin of an A2 scale mould, being 20mm thick, and LED lights around the side to illuminate from within. This is to create a whole new artwork, and also depicts my theory that we can recycle anything, back into the idea of “re-imagining”. By using epoxy resin, the final piece will not be recyclable (you cannot recycle epoxy resin), so this will work to show that some things that help the environment are not thought through with the long term in mind. A perfect example of this is to do with wind turbines. These structures are great and work exactly as they were designed, but very few know that we have absolutely no idea how to truly recycle their blades. As Sciencedirect.com explains “wind turbine blades are primarily made of composite materials that combine high-tensile-strength fibres with polymer resins to form glass- or carbon-fibre-reinforced polymers (GFRP or CFRP)”. Yes, they are not polluting the environment, but the blades on the turbines do need to be replaced, and so we have no actual use for the blades themselves once they are worn. There is a similar case for solar panels, and the energy it takes to produce a solar panel will never match the energy that it puts back in. These are just but a few. With that in mind, using non-recyclable material such as epoxy resin will hopefully make this point hit home. I am also using epoxy resin as it will be able to trap air bubbles within it as it dries, so it will have oxygen within the art piece itself, which will communicate the idea of working on par with the environment and creativity. This will then create a sculpture-like artwork that is viewable from any angle. Evaluation of Re-Imagine Project At the start of this project, I was given the brief of “Re-Imagine”, which in short, means that I had to re imagine Nelson town. I chose to focus of the environment as the main subject of my project, while also focusing on how people in Nelson can make a change to help the planet. In order to do this, I came up with a range of different ideas, and I eventually chose to go with an idea I had of destroying original artworks, and using the remains to create something new (this would link into the idea of re imagining something, and would also look at how recycling works, so the artworks would have essentially been ‘recycled’ to create a new artwork. After contemplating on this idea for a while, I decided that I needed to do something with a little more bang to it, so I decided that I wanted to explode the artworks. I decided the best way I could make an impact was to create a series of oil paintings, depicting the same landscape over a period of time to show how it’s changed, as well as two variations for the future, one filled with plastic waste and pollution, and the other, a clean environment using renewable energy. I got the my reference image for this from a local archive, and then ‘Re-Imagined’ the landscape over a period of time, depicting the ways in which we have affected the landscape, and could affect it in the future. The first painting is based on a time before we cultivated the land, the second is during the industrial revolution, the third is a future representation that shows a world filled with plastic if we don’t make a change to help the environment, and the fourth is a future representation of what the landscape would look like if we made use of more renewable energies. Each of those paintings were painted in oil paints on an A2 canvas. I really wanted a way of connecting traditional art to contemporary ideas, and so I decided the best way I could so that was to use the newest form of art within the market, which was NFT’s. I did a whole load of research on NFT’s, and then decided that once the paintings were destroyed, I could list them for auction as NFT’s. In order to do that, however, I would need to have high detailed resolution images of each painting and then upload them in high resolution ready for auction (this links into using photography within my project). This is where I decided I could also promote the use of environmentally friend NFT’s, as they had gotten some bad reputation around harming the planet, (but only on certain blockchains), so I did my research, and decided to go with the polygon blockchain to sell my artworks on. But I ended up using the Ethereum blockchain, as polygon doesn’t support auctions. I then decided that I still wasn’t doing enough to really make an impact, so I decided that I wanted to publish a book. This book is titled “Time To Make The Change”, it is 136 pages long, and available on Amazon. The book outlines my project, and details the ways in which individuals can make a change to help the environment rather than having to rely on the big countries and companies. It also teaches people how they can save money while helping the environment as well. (This may not seem like it has much to do with my art course, but graphics is part of my course, and I learnt how to create a book cover, and its contents.) I then also looked into the ways in which I could destroy the paintings, and the best idea was to use a tree chipper. I wanted to do a live public performance of the destruction of the original paintings in the middle of the Nelson Town Centre. After some back and fourth with the college, they finally gave me permission to do the destruction with a tree chipper there. This was also livestreamed on YouTube. The whole event went down without a hitch, and I am so pleased with how it all went. I was really nervous ding public speaking, but I was surprisingly comfortable when doing it. With the profits gained from the sales of the NFT’s, I decided that I wanted to donate them to the charity #teamtrees. With the remains of the original paintings, I wanted to create a whole new artwork using epoxy resin, with the chips from the paintings placed and solidified in the resin to create an actual displayable piece of art. This also went down really well, and took a good week to allow the resin to dry, but it looks amazing in my opinion. Overall, I feel my project want really well, and I managed to make an impact on people, which was the biggest thing I wanted to achieve. I also managed to get some PR around my project with two local newspapers, and BBC Lancashire.