MA Mid Point Review
MA Digital Art Mid Point Review / Project: Mandalas of Light / University of Art London / 2012-14
Drawing and Trailing with Light, self-portrait / 2012 / Terry Long
The best way to describe my chosen medium for the MA Digital Arts course, and the method that I am mostly using for it, is to relate it to the art of chinese ribbon dancing. But instead of using ribbons made of silk fabric, I create ribbons of light by trailing and drawing through the air. This gestural three dimensional drawing and painting performance is captured on a digital still camera in a long exposure usually lasting between 5 to 30 seconds, and can sometimes consist of several retakes to create the desired effect. I have been experimenting throughout the MA Digital course with different kinds of light, including LEDs, tungsten-halogen, strobes, poi (ignited wire wool), candle light, and sunlight through prisms. I have tried different methods of drawing and painting with the light, including using the digital camera as the drawing and painting tool, also a light prism, multiple lights, and a moving pendulum light. My most recent experiments have involved removing the camera lense and both drawing and painting with light directly onto the digital sensor, which I find is a rather difficult and haphazard procedure and approach. I have recently purchased a full sized digital sensor camera to further my work in this area. Examples from these tests were not ready to include for this review. About 75 to 80 percent of the backgrounds and settings used so far for this digital course and blog I specifically created for each project. The rest have been taken from my stock of photographs that I have taken over the last eight years.
Post production, which is done with photoshop, can take between 5 minutes to three or four hours depending on the complexity of the digital layers and sections used, with some works consisting of up to 24 or more layers. Sometimes there is no editing or post production, as in the example below…
Concerto in Light No.1 / 2013 / Terry Long
This is one of my most recent action paintings in which I tried to evoke visually the multiple interweaving sounds of an orchestra. It was created in the air with two LED hand held lights. The physical size of the painting area was around 1.5m (5ft) square. The exposure was 15 seconds at f22, using a Tokina 17-35mm lense on a Nikon D700 DSLR camera, mounted on a Manofrotto tripod. The performance was done in total darkness.
Background, Subject and Theme
Between the 4th and 8th of May 2011, a group of Buddhist monks from the Drepung Monastery constructed and deconstructed a large sacred coloured mandala sand painting at the University of Redlands in Southern California, where I work. I was one of 2,500 people who witnessed this ritual and event. I was lucky enough to be invited to try out the sand painting for myself. It was at this time that I experienced a kind of epiphany, and came up with the idea of using light, instead of the traditional coloured sand to make my own mandalas, creating I think a much more transient method, and Zen like experience which has become the subject and theme for my MA digital project.
Influencies and Inspiration
A growing list of artists, including the Buddhist monks, composers, art movements, and other areas of interest that have both influenced and inspired me so far through this MA Digital course can be found here… https://terrylongimagery.wordpress.com/ma-digital-project-proposal/
Silentium / 2012 / Terry Long
Inner Path / 2012 / Terry Long
Cymatic Mandala in Blue / 2012 / Terry Long
Prismatic Mandala / 2013 / Terry Long
Boomerang Mandala / 2013 / Terry Long
Enigmatic Mandala / 2013 / Terry Long
Arabesque 2 / 2013 / Terry Long
Micro Mandala / 2013 / Terry Long
Petros Mandala No.7 / 2013 / Terry Long
Dusk Mandala / 2013 / Terry Long
Hawaii Island Mandala / 2013 / Terry Long
Midsummer Night’s Dream / 2013 / Terry Long
Rembrandt’s Mandala / 2013 / Terry Long
Amsterdam Mandalas / 2013 / Terry Long
Midnight Garden / 2013 / Terry Long
Motorway Mandala / 2013 / Terry Long
The following are examples of Action Painting with Light that I have been experimenting with.