Tail End

Jessica Joy is an MFA candidate and experimenter extraordinaire at the School of Art and Design.

I made it to Florida after a very long week of finishing up my commission for Envision Diagnostic center!

In the last post I left you with images of the sculpture in its round stage. The drawing below illustrates the form that I had at the time, and how I planned to expand it.

I would have continued to build it without a set plan, but when you are doing a commission you have to show them what it will look like when you are finished. Since my studio practice is very process oriented, I do not like to have the final outcome set in stone, but I can produce an estimated shape, so I loosely drew up a sketch of what the outcome would look like.

Then I put the shape into illustrator and made it all clean and professional looking for the client and to have a piece of plastic cut via a cnc router to build on and support the final piece.

While I was waiting for the material, I built the piece on a drawing of the shape. I stuck a red solo cup in one of the openings to help keep its shape until the material hardened, otherwise gravity would have made it collapse onto itself.

I found some older pieces/cells/building blocks(the clear cells with the green nuclei) that I had made and decided to see how they might integrate into this piece. In my opinion, they were the key to bringing this piece to life! Now I know that not only do I need to vary the color and opacity of each cell (I just can't help but call them cells), I also need to diversify the types of cells I use to keep the piece from looking too homogenous.


having the same relation, relative position, or structure, in particular
• Biology (of organs) similar in position, structure, and evolutionary origin but not necessarily in function

At this point I needed to get this piece up on the wall to finish building it. I knew that gravity would change the way the forms settled once I installed the piece, and I wanted to make sure I would be aware of any and all problems. When I say problems I also mean formal problems, such as the composition. One set of problems I saw when I hung it up was that the edges were too smooth. I had to come up with a way to make them look more irregular. Another problem was the transition from the main body of the piece to the tail, and the straight line on the top of the tail was not working.

This is after I solved a lot of the formal problems I had with this piece. Looking from the image above to this one is like playing a game of 'find the difference'. FUN!

I added this photo to give you an idea of scale. The person to the left is 6'!" to give you an idea of how but the piece is, and the length of the piece is approximately 5'.


The two details above illustrate the changes I made to make the tail more irregular.

While looking for something in my studio I found a small sheet of yellow cells I had made on a whim awhile ago. Unlike the other cells they don't have any nuclei and they are only made with one type of material. This is the only piece I built separately and attached to the larger piece. I wasn't even sure I would add it, but I found a good place for it.

The three details above illustrate the growth of the tail.

Here is the piece installed at its final desitnation, Envision Diagnostic Center.

Upon installation, there was a tiny accident. The three of us scratched the custom wallpaper, and to remedy the situation the piece is going to have to grow a little bit larger to cover the area. The scratch starts at the lowest point where the clear cells with the green nuclei are.

This is the official image I sent to the woman who commissioned me, to get the addition approved.

In case you can't read what is written:

Each colored dot is going to be like the green dangling cells that already exist, and I will
put clear cells in between the circular configurations of colored cells.

Then I will experiment with making clearish flower-like pieces to grow.


The lines point to where the clearish flower-like forms will grow. I am partly excited to get to work on the piece more, but I know I need to move on and start making new work. Last but not least, I will cover the white spaces in the piece. In the studdio against a white wall it looked great with the white spaces, but in this environment they are too stark a contrast.

Coming soon: More updates on the addition to this piece and the work I will be starting any minute now!