Foam Canvas Development

While thinking about different ways to make my Park Seo-Bo inspired foam canvases I came across a handy tool, masking tape. Unlike the razor, masking tape allowed me to make clean, straight foam-less lines on the canvases which I believe to have a powerful aesthetic. I have also been mixing up the ratio of shaving foam to PVA glue to give different textures and effects once dry. The more glue, the lighter and fluffier the end result.  This process has allowed me to learn a lot about the application of the foam and how it dries and I will apply this knowledge when covering the walls of my degree show space.



Inspired by Lucio Fontana, I also tried cutting the canvas and putting light behind it to see how effective this would look but I was not as fond of this technique.


Getting back to the razor, I created canvases inspired by the white acrylic on my fashion film photographs ( complimenting the animated effect these strokes have, whether they be made with razor or brush.


While deciding what to do with these canvases, I wanted to see how successful they would look on the gallery wall. I enjoy the canvases displayed together on the white wall much more than on a foam covered wall as this makes them stand out less. I also placed the canvas on a wall where the foam does not cover the area around the canvas.


While scraping shaving foam off my studio wall, I found use for the fallen debris. I scraped shaving foam off one of my less successful canvases using the same tool that I use to apply the foam. I then reapplied this dried foam back onto the same canvas using the same pallet knife to add pva then sprinkling the foam back on. I love the amazing texture this creates and how I am using the same mediums, tools and techniques as I have previously been using but I am given a completely different result. This action relates to my theme of urban voids by removing what was on the canvas, just as the buildings and life were removed from the urban voids. I then fill the canvas again just as I hope to fill the empty land with the memories that my audience holds of them.


I am not yet sure if these canvases will be displayed in my degree show space as I am still figuring out how my space will look, but I am learning a lot while creating them and enjoying the medium of shaving foam even more.


Full of Foam

I stumbled across the technique of having foam and PVA on Facebook while procrastinating from doing actual work, and I have never looked back since. I have found this texture to be really exciting to passers-by and always draws people into my studio space. The majority of viewers are completely unaware of what the medium is I have used, they just love how it makes the wall come alive. I hope this technique fascinates my audience just as much at degree show and pulls them into the void. My urban void. I have been playing about with the application of the foam, using pallet knifes (left below) and pushing metal plates onto the wall to create a suction effect (right below). It was also helpful to see how the foam would look on a larger scale as I hope to cover a full wall in foam for my degree show.


As well as working directly onto the wall, I have been applying the shaving foam technique to canvases. Inspired by Park Seo-Bo, (see blog post, I have been working with the application of the foam and also the removal of it. I applied lines with a ruler, scraped the foam away with a pallet knife and also used the same suction technique as on my studio wall to create texture.

I also tried using the tool that is associated with shaving foam, a razor. I scraped foam onto the canvas and removed foam already on the canvas to create new shapes and textures.

As my fashion film is based around the urban void at The Stack Leisure Park where a jute mill once stood, I decided to incorporate jute onto my canvases.I used similar techniques as on the studio wall to both add and remove shaving foam from the canvases and let the remaining of the jute hang loose. I enjoy the way the foam clings to the jute, just as I am clinging to the land at the stack and the history of this material.

I have played about with compositions and love how effective the canvases are when hung on the white studio wall, but I am unsure whether I will include these in my degree show display. I am currently concentrating on emptying my space to encourage the viewer to feel like they are in the urban void, so I have to be careful not to clutter the exhibition. I will continue to develop these canvases and take photographs of them and I will soon have to decide their fate.


Blind Embossing Development and Framing

While developing other aspects of my work, I felt as though I had been neglecting my blind embossing. My tutor encouraged me to keep pursuing this technique as he loves the idea I put forward of drawing my audience in close to uncover the urban void. I love that these prints seem like they are just blank pieces of paper but on closer inspection, they are detailed embossings of empty land in Dundee. For now, I just have the one print of the land at the Stack Lesuire Park in Lochee that is also the setting for my fashion film. I have been working with the photographs I have taken of different urban voids in Dundee to make more blind embossings of the different urban voids in Dundee. This is a long process, 10 hours on the laser cutter for each image, but I have found it very rewarding. I hope to turn at least 4 of these digital drawings into blind embossings.



I took part in a framing workshop in uni to see how successful the blind embossing would be when framed. I enjoy the idea of it seeming although I am framing blank pieces of paper to make the audience come in closer and see what they would usually ignore. I framed my embossing on the Stack Leisure Park shown here and below (, as before I started creating new embossings I wanted to know if they could successfully fit into my degree show.


What took the most time was deciding on the best way to frame my print to get the most out of it. I decided against float mounting it as the colours of the mounts took away the whiteness of the image. As this is an embossing, the print already has a border around it which actually gave the print its own mount so I decided to just frame the print as is. I opted for natural coloured wood so as again not to take away from the brightness of the image and used a colourless wax on this. The slips were painted white to coincide with the white print and give a lovely finish.

Alan and Malcolm in the wood workshop were amazing help especially because my print is so big, just larger than A1. It was so amazing to create the frame yourself, it becomes part of the art process and gives you full choice in the display of your work. It is also a fraction of the price. I feel like the prints will be successful in their frames and plan on making 4 more, each containing blind embossing of different urban voids in Dundee.


Unfortunately the frame and the print do not photograph very well due to the lightness of the paper and the reflection of the glass but I’ve included an image to give you an idea of how it looks. My plan is to have a collection of framed Dundee urban void embossings. I have imagined these being displayed in geographical order, dotted around the gallery wall in relation to where they are in Dundee. I will try this out once I have made more of these embossings to see how successful this presentation will be. The deadline is creeping closer and I seem to finally be finishing some work! Keep your eyes peeled for more completed prints soon!


Film as a Piece of Art

With the degree show looming it was time to think about the best way to display my work. I imagine my degree show to consist of film, prints and wall based work. The wall based work is a little easier to display, however it is the film work that left me with a lot of decisions to make. I was introduced to an artist, Matthew Barney, by my tutor. Barney works primarily in film and displays his work on multiple screens in a unique way. I came across a book titled Matthew Barney : Mitologie Contemporanee that showed me some great examples of the artists work and his exhibitions.


Left- Cremaster Cycle, 2002. Right- Drawing Restraint,  1987-2007.

The book made me think a lot about the message of my own film and the way that I wish my audience to interact with it. Once my film is finished I will display it on different monitors, both HD and 4×3 to see what works the best with the film. What I love about Barneys exhibitions is that he displays ‘props’ from his film in the gallery space to bring life to the 2 dimensional. This has inspired me to display work in my degree show that relates to my film and my concept of the urban void that led me to my finished work.

‘She Town’, my fashion film based on the urban voids of Dundee, crosses the border between memory and premonition, nostalgic and new- through setting, sound, costume and choreography. The setting is the true protagonist of the film, not the characters. The characters appear as objects to link past, present and future with no leading role. Sound provides a sensorial responsibility to fill the empty gallery space with the history of the bare land. Costumes made from the modern material that triggered the closure of the mills are cavorted in both a glum and fun fashion. A surreal world has been created that the spectator is not detached from due to the recognisable land and the memory’s that come with it. Many thanks to Dundee Heritage Trust for providing audio work.


I borrowed a display table from the university to play around with and see if it would be successful in my degree show space. I placed Tyvek (the material that my costumes in my film are made from) a 3D print of one of my characters face covered in foam, and a canvas with foam on it inside the table. I laid these objects on top of a roll of jute, relating to the history of the setting of my film. I love how the colour of the jute contrasts with the white objects, which also matches the colour of my frames displaying my blind embossing,(see




I returned to the site of my fashion film and collected the stones from the ground where I had spray painted the shape of the jute mill that once stood there. I placed these half white stones in the cabinet to see how these would look. I may need to spray them entirely white to make them blend in but I do enjoy the ombre effect they have. They also match with the new transfer technique I have been trying out in my fashion illustration sketchbook and on the material of my costumes. Pictured above on the left is Tyvek with an acrylic transfer of one of the photographs from my shoot. I am not yet sure if I will include any of these items in the display or if I will have a cabinet at all but I will wait until I receive my space to see what works best.



Editing my Fashion Film

Since shooting my film at the beginning of December, I have been busy researching fashion films on Nick Knights Show Studio to understand the aesthetic I want. I am self-taught on Adobe Premiere Pro but I have really enjoyed learning my way around this software thanks to YouTube. A lot of the ideas for the editing of my film have come from the other work I have been creating and my main concept of urban voids. I wanted this film to have a high fashion edge but to also capture the emptiness of the urban void that is the setting. Using both the images and the videos, I have played around with the contradiction of the gloomy faces of my models, their happy, carefree dancing and their fierce poses to represent both the past and the present. The childlike playing with shaving foam relates to 1 in 5 workers in the mills being under 15 years of age and the innocence they missed out on.

After photographing different urban voids in Dundee, ( I played about in Photoshop and gave the images a white-washed look. I felt like this made the images tie in with my other white work while creating an empty, eerie and old-fashioned look. This look ties in with the nostalgic feeling that I want to provoke as I hope that my audience will think about the memories they have of what used to stand on the land of the urban voids. In particular, the jute mills that once stood on the land of my fashion film. I decided to use this same technique in my fashion film and white-washed the videos.


As the setting is the most important aspect of the film, I decided to visit Verdant Works, Dundees’ jute mill museum. I took a camera and an audio recorder and recorded the sounds of the machines and the monologues from women who worked at the mills. I am currently working on adding these sounds into my film. I concentrated on the women’s voices as a I used 3 female models due to women outranking men in the jute mills 3-1. In those days, Dundee was known as She Town as the woman worked hard while the men struggled to find work and stayed home to look after their children. These men were known as kettle boilers. The mill girls had a reputation for being tough, brash and outspoken and were the heads of their families. I hope to capture the struggles the woman faced in the horrible conditions of the mills through the facial expressions of my models and contradict this with fun dancing representing the freedom we have today.

Display is Key

After creating my fashion film it was vital that I thought about how I would display it. Monitor? Projection? Multi-screen? These aspects would be key to the success of my degree show. I have considered each option and changed my mind between these a few times while planning my degree show proposal, but I will display my current findings next week. For now, it was time to decide on what to do with my costumes.

After attending an artists talk at St. Andrews University by DJCAD graduate Lucy McKenzie, I was inspired to combine fashion with fine art. Lucy McKenzie alongside Beca Lipscombe created a fashion line that is displayed as though in a gallery, making the clothes tell a story.


I decided to hang my costumes on the gate at the land I shot my fashion film to test out how successful this would look. I love how the white costumes create their own void on the gate and create an empty and eerie atmosphere. I enjoy that these costumes represent how the city has moved on and the reason that this land is empty. As a jute mill once stood here, the fall of the jute industry came after the invention of new materials, of which one was the fibres that make up Tyvek. The costumes have come back to show their dominance over the forgotten land and to display their importance and usefulness in the modern world.



While considering what to do with the display, I thought about creating a replica of the gate for my degree show to hang the costumes on. I spoke with the technician in the metal workshop at my university who informed me that making such a gate would be very costly. I would also have to think about how it would stand or whether I should have it attached to the wall. After lots of research, I decided against both making the gate and displaying the costumes. I feel like my film will say enough without needing the costumes to be in the space. I do not want to overly clutter my installation as the main idea is to represent the emptiness of the land and to make my audience to feel this emptiness. It is very difficult to create work that provokes the feeling of nothingness but this is something I am currently working on. As the proposal is due next week and the allocating of our degree show spaces due at the end of the month, I will keep updating on changes to my display and how I plan to create my urban void.