Though he did other sculptures as well and many paintings, Alexander Calder is essentially mobiles and I want one in my pastiche. A real one. Trying out some animation in After Effects and thinking about how to build something that can move and spin only ended up in me being frustrated because it didn’t look good at all. Because Calder’s designs are so clean and restrained in their visual language, animating something using only lines and dots seemed like a good way to echo his style but in my attempt of doing so I realized I lost that handmade factor that I would like to capture. What I made seemed too disconnected from the sculptor’s rustic studio overlooking the grassy hills of Saché, France. And that’s not good.I also played around a bit with the idea a doing a stop motion but considering the real effect of Calder’s art lies within its 3D shape and how it moves in a room, designing something that lay down flat won’t give it the soul it needs.
So I went out and bought some wire and decided to have a go at making one myself. After some trial and error (where as soon as I picked up my mobile it promptly decided to fall apart) I fashioned myself a hanging arrangement which made it easier to balance the weights and have all the pieces stay where I wanted them.
Mobile, work by Lisa
Overcoming those first moments of frustration, I really enjoyed making this. I took inspiration from my favorite piece “Big Red” in terms of the overall shape although my mobile is considerably smaller- about 50 cm in diameter. Next step will be filming this baby in action.