We recently went to London to visit art galleries with the course. We went for an overnight stay and during this stay i visited the Tate Modern, Imperial War museum and the House of illustration. However, we were not able to take photos in the House of illustration.

There were pieces by; Picasso, Sonia DeLaunay, Sheela Gowda, Pino Gallizio, Andy Warhol, Juan Gris, Barbara Kruger, Roy Lichtenstein and many more

The above 2 images were taken at the imperial war museum. The first image (top left) is a piece of the Berlin wall that was painted by graffiti artist ‘Indiano’. The second image is a painting that was created during the second world war to represent the fighting and effects of the war through the artists interpretation.


Painted Starling Prototype

This is the painted outcome of the first resin cast I created. I painted a base coat of white acrylic and then proceeded to add colour layers and then final details. I am using the first cast as a prototype and a trial run for which coat to paint onto the Starling. Overall, I think the colours work well with the idea I have for my sculpture.


I have spent the past 3 weeks creating clay figures, silicone moulds and resin models of birds. It has taken me quite a while due to time schedule for help from the tutors (as I was using materials and methods I had never used before) and I also came across a few obstacles during the process.

I decided to start producing models of birds to create a sculpture that will show movement hopefully similar to the patterns created during a murmuration. .

1. My first step was to create a shape of a bird that could be turned into a mould made out of silicone;

  • I decided to use clay due to the fact that it could be cleaned out of the mould after it had been made. I allowed it to dry out for 2 days making sure that the figurine was hard.

2. My next step was to turn the clay figurine into a mould using silicone;


  • With the help of our university’s technician, Ryan, we created a perspex box which was taped up with masking tape to prevent the silicone leaking out of the box (also sealed up with plasticine as an extra precaution!)
  • This was when the FIRST problem occurred – the bird is glued on to the glue stick (seen in the photo) which is levitating roughly 1cm from the bottom of the box. The two wood bits across the top are glued to either side of the glue stick which are holding everything in place. However, due to the fact that the clay bird had not been put in a kiln and was just air dried clay (softens upon being wet) when the glue stick was glued to the belly of the bird, the dampness of the clay caused it to drop off… this happened when we were testing the height of the bird from the bottom of the box, and when it dropped a wing snapped off – due to this, i had to fix and reinforce the wings with more clay and super glue.

3. I left the silicone to set over night and the next day cleaned out most of the clay. However, some of the clay wouldn’t come out as the figure was quite thin and detailed. The mould also formed air bubbles on the top of the bird which also allowed bits of clay to be stuck inside of these, this was due to the way the figure was sat in the silicone and the clay being slightly damp.

  • I decided to cast the first bird with plaster – this was so that the plaster would stick to the clay and pull it out of the small gaps. Unfortunately, the wings crumbled upon removal of the cast. From this point, to allow air to get out of the small parts of the figure, I drilled holes into the mould at the tip of the wings. However, this step helped to remove more, but not all, of the clay from the mould.

4. After drilling holes to allow more air to be pushed out of the moulds, the next material I cast with was resin;

  • As seen in the photograph above, this is the first bird that came out of the mould, by this point I had sculpted, sanded and painted the resin cast. I had to trim the size of the wings down on this model because one of the wings had not filled completely during the casting process. As seen above, air pockets formed in the wings which I tried to avoid the second time casting with Resin by drilling more and bigger holes into the mould.
  • After this resin cast came out, I noticed a chunk of clay stuck in the beak of the bird which was why there was only half a beak the first time casting….. (DUHHH)

5. Second resin cast! …

  • As shown in the photo above, the second time pulled off the rest of the clay and was almost the full shape (there was a loss of a wing tip and still a few noticeable air pockets).

I was originally going to cast the birds out of plaster due to financial problems and the ease of use with plaster. However after testing the mould with resin and seeing the final result of the cast, I have decided to cast the full set in resin.

Artist Research

After speaking to my tutor about my idea, which is to create a body of work based on murmurations, she told me about an artist called Claire Morgan.

Claire Morgan uses uncommon materials to create sculptures that base around the theme of movement. She creates these sculptures, like the one seen above, using hanging objects and manipulating the layout to create the illusion, in this sculpture, that the bird has frozen whilst flying through the thistle seeds.

Above image – “Gone With The Wind” Claire Morgan, 2008

Claire’s sculptures have inspired me to create a hanging sculpture using casts of birds. I am going to create a sculpture that represents the movement and patterns created by murmurations.





Image sources



During the process and research I have undertaken in my studio practice, I came across a natural system called a murmuration.

This is a flight pattern created by birds such as starlings. Scientists are still unsure to this day why they create these patterns. There is speculation from certain researches who believe it may be a defensive mechanism to scare of a predator.

It is however, apparent to scientists that the starlings use a system to create the pattern by following 3 rules;

  1. Stay close but don’t bump into birds around me
  2. Fly as fast as birds near me
  3. Move towards centre of the group

It is these natural flight patterns that inspired the body of my studio practice.


Name: Charlotte Jackson

Project Title / Area of Focus: [What is a system?]

For my main practice I aim to create a series of paintings to help me and my audience gain a better understanding of “systems”. To achieve this I will explore systems that are already in place, as well as creating my own. I am going to use acrylic paint on different types of surfaces to create systematically developed work and log each step I take so I can record the process. I also aim to make my own canvases rather than using shop bought ones due to the fact that bought canvases are too textured for some of the pieces I want to create. Home-made canvases will be better quality to paint onto as the material used is quite smooth and flat.

Research and Development Blog address:

I am going to use my blog to document what I have (or haven’t) achieved each week and use it as another way to log each step, research artists and reflect on my progress. I will make notes on information sourced from the internet and create a reading list to gather more in-depth research.

After Christmas I am going to travel to London to visit the art galleries (National Art Gallery, Tate Modern, Saatchi Gallery…) and hopefully other places such as Manchester, Liverpool and Wakefield.

The books I am currently reading are:

  • “Colour for the Artist” – Hans Schwartz,1968
  • Theory And Use Of Colour” – Luigina De Grandis (Translated by John Gilbert), 1986
  • Abstract Art” – Mel Gooding, 2001
  • Colour After Klein” – Edited by Jane Alison, 2005


  • “’Systems’ Whitechapel: Documents Of Contemporary Art” – Edited byEdward A. Shanken
  • “’Failure’ Whitechapel: Documents Of Contemporary Art” – Edited by Lisa Le Feuvre