The Perception of Memory

   by Sydnee Davidson for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: The Perception of Memory

Inspiration Artist: Salvador Dali

I used the kit box for the base (unfolded and trimmed). Strips of the canvas were glue to the corners to keep them at 90 degree angles. Paper strips were glued over the die-cut holes in the box.

I'm not a fan of the green floral foam blocks because they make such a mess! So I decided to make it even MORE of a mess by shredding it with a cheese grater and making turf to add texture to the ground. Because it's porous and would soak up my paints, I sprayed a layer of white primer over everything. Acrylic paints were then used to paint the ground.

I didn't have proper wood cutting tools, so I tried scoring the plywood board with an x-acto knife and then splitting in half (lengthwise) to use as the background. It did not split clean, so I had to glue and clamp pieces back onto it. Once the boards were cleaned, I glued part of the balsa wood on the backs to merge the two halves of plywood together. Acrylic paints were used to paint the sky.

The waxy clay was used to make the cliffs in the background and the rock at the center. I’ve never used the clay before. I’m used to soft Sculpey. So the hardness of the clay was a bit of a challenge. It crumbled when I used sculpting tools over it, and was too afraid to heat it up so it was a little easier to work with. Eventually I got the hang of it and was able to achieve what I had envisions. I also used primer on the clay pieces since I thought my acrylic paint wouldn’t stick to it.

Because I didn’t have the right kind of wood sculpting/cutting tools, I used the 2 of the wood blocks as is to create a base for the table on the left. I used 2 planks of balsa wood sheets and glued them to the top of the blocks, then painted everything.

Originally I had envisioned to make a wire frame of the tree and then wrap glued paper strips around it, but due to the scale of the tree, I figured the paper wouldn’t come out very smooth. So I decided to use more of that wax clay to cover the wire. Primed it and painted it.

I wasn’t really sure what the white thing was in center of the original painting, so I guessed that it was some kind of blanket or piece of cloth. So the canvas would be a good fit.

What originally inspired me to recreate this painting was the plastic beads. They looks liked they’d make a great melted clock. But I didn’t think I could achieve the frames and adjustment screws with the plastic, so I opted for sculpey. All but the orange clock were made with sculpey and painted. I even had to rig stands (a clump of foil, a second tree wire frame, and a metal index card box) for the clocks so I could bake and harden them. The fly on the clock next to the orange one was also made with sclupey. I used a pen to draw the hands and numbers.

The orange clock is made out of the plastic beads. I originally was trying to think of what material that came in the kit would create a clear solid shape for me to buff out to recreate the orange clock that looks like a water droplet with ants stuck in it. I tried pouring the Elmer’s glue into an ice cream scoop. It took forever to dry and dried solid. So then I did the same thing with the plastic. I melted it and molded it into another ice cream scoop. Then had to smooth it out before painting. I used a high gloss coating to give it a shine effect.

It appeared to me that there were eyelashes inside the blanket in the original painted. So I racked my brain to think of the material I could use to make the eyelashes. The fibers in the rope seemed to be the best bet. So I extracted a few pieces and glue them to a strip of leftover cardboard from the box. Then painted the lashes black and glued to the blanket.

I'm a little bummed that I didn't get to use all of the materials that came in the box. If the painting was more complex, then I would have. But, I was really set on recreating this piece, all because of being inspired by the plastic beads and making them into melted clocks, which, I didn't even end up doing! I couldn't think of another artwork that inspired me as much.