The Constellations

   by Selma Catovic Hughes for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: The Constellations

Inspiration Artist: Joan Miró

“...I feel the need of attaining the maximum of intensity with the minimum of means. It is this which has led me to give my painting a character of even greater bareness...” - Joan Miró

While I was inspired by the final painting, “The Constellations……”, it was ideas embedded in Miró’s process of making his work — simplicity of form and color — that most interested me. I noticed that while the individual elements may appear to be simple in their form, the colors and juxtaposition with each other created intense, vibrant and musical composition.

Intent on capturing this complex balance of characters and re-creating the depth of layers I set out to use a minimal palette of materials: shredded paper, wire, glue and blocks of wood for the base. Delaminating the painting into series of layers, I created fixed, elevated and interchangeable elements. The main concept was to create one simple element, a circle, which could be further manipulated to create new shapes and compositions.

The main figures - Star, Bird, Eye, Lion and Butterfly – were created in the series of steps: 1) Strips of paper were rolled and glued into circles of various sizes. 2) The circles were assembled according to the number of parts required for each figure. 3) Each circle was gently manipulated (push/pull/flatten) but never cut until the desired shape was accomplished. 4) Designated colors were applied to each piece. 5) The wire structure was applied and the figures were assembled.

The wood blocks were cut to the appropriate sizes, and small holes were drilled into each base in order to securely display the figures. I chose not to glue these individual figures onto the main blue background, allowing the continuous re-invention of the composition, much the way that the viewer’s eye recomposes Miró’s original based on mood and mindset.

Incorporating music in my presentation played an important role during the process. Music was a significant influence for Miró as he created his paintings, Similarly, Miró’s painting had great impact on many musicians, including Joan Guinjoan, the Catalan composer, who was inspired by Miró to create his series Obra Primera: Constel-lacions, Ambient I Ritmes, which I chose as the score for the video.

“...The simplest things give me ideas...” - Joan Miró