From the beginning, I wanted a piece that could represent the human spirit in all its heroism and strength. Triumph and adventure was the aesthetic and mood that I wanted to evoke when looking at the statue. I wanted it to achieve the correct proportions and hold a pose that would convey the desired energy and meaning. Inspired by classic greek statues and romantic art, it was to be a figure of independence and ambition.
To arrive at the final piece, I continued to add more detail and finish the extremities of the figure. I discovered that stretching the plastic created an effect where the plastic would retain its shape after pulling it. This allowed me to create the outstretched hand, the hair, and the wisp-like effects of the base of the structure. I added these wispy strands to the statue to add the impression of dynamic movement and energy. The stand itself was made out of a paper cup and weighted with large paper-clips. This added mass would transfer the center of mass of the entire structure to be lower and closer to the base rather than hanging in mid-air.
The final product ended up being a great exercise in creative upcycling as well as a rather accurate portrayal of the aesthetic I wanted to achieve.
From a functional perspective, my goal was to have a reasonably good looking statue to be created out of materials that are normally considered as trash or low-quality. I also wanted to see how my drawing skills translated into three-dimensions when it came to proportions, form, and gesture. I believe that I have achieved these, and I found out that my knowledge of anatomical proportions did make the figure much easier to create. Although it was initially difficult to tell whether the materials would end up looking any good on the final product, I think that it ended up looking decent.
I also believe that the statue was an aesthetic success as well. The pose is reaching out for something more, looking to the distance. It seems to have the energy and gesture that I was looking for in the beginning. If it fell short in anything, I would have to say that the limitations of the plastic I used made it difficult to add further detail or to easily suggest certain features that I wanted to see from a finalized work of art. For example, the face is completely devoid of detail, and I was hoping to add at least a suggestion of the brow line, nose, etc. but was unable to do so in a way that looked professional with the given materials. This may add to the rugged nature of the piece overall, but it does limit how highly I would regard this in terms of artistic skill and value. Also, photographing the statue is difficult—conveying the 3D project into 2D without proper lighting and background is hard to do.
Altogether, I will keep the statue and possibly add to it if I discover a way to do so in the future. I may also give the statue an attempt in a traditional medium, but that would eliminate some of the uniqueness of an upcycled piece.