In 2013, Artist VanessaJane Hall began a major work,
Breathless Beauty, Broken Beauty - an ambitious project which would push the boundaries of Tech-Art to deliver a work with the integrity of traditional fine-art, whilst embracing a raft of modern technologies to enhance the creative process.
Many technologies have played a role in the creation of the artwork, at the core of the process is a fine-art vision used to produce a work with true integrity and longevity. Once immersed in the environment, the technology melts away and the artwork connects the viewer, evoking an emotional response in a traditional artistic engagement.
Breathless Beauty, Broken Beauty is a sculptural video-triptych installation.
The piece comprises a physical temple-like sculpture welcoming viewers inside where 4k -UltraHD screens fill three interior walls, and wraps the user in a controlled visual and audio environment whilst the moving image and sound artwork plays out.
Breathless Beauty, Broken Beauty contrasts the awe-inspiring presence of England’s best preserved architectural treasures with other once-great buildings which have struggled to survive in the modern era. The interiors of these architectural environments are rich with detail, and attempting to bring these intricate spaces into the artwork soon revealed the limitations of existing video standards. The choice of 4K video allows four times the detail of HD, and helps preserve the subtle, and beautiful features of these interiors.
The film inside the sculpture is shown on three screens. Each screen is a separate channel of 4k video and the work uses as sophisticated mutli screen playback system.
Breathless Beauty - Broken Beauty
uses a wide variety of digital mediums and techniques
Vanessa has always enjoyed using technology within her work,
and relishes putting it to use in creative ways.
Still and moving images
Vanessa performs all her own camera work and lighting.
‘Sets’ or still life frames within the piece, have been created from objects found on site
- some of the small scale still life frames were shot in her studio in a clean and controllable environment, where items could be lit and laid out more precisely.
Sound design and post production
Vanessa records, edits, sound designs and audio post produces works herself,
she learnt the techniques of recording many years ago from partner Mark Gilbert,
and over the years has taken guidance on foley and mixing from good friends
Matthew Wood of Skywalker Sound,
and Rob Sephton (formerly Sony Pictures & Disney)
Vanessa feels that having the ability to work directly with sound
gives her another layer of creativity and freedom.
Location Sound Recording
Throughout the artwork, sound supports the imagery, and the Vanessa wanted to capture the very ‘beating heart’ of some of the buildings which are beginning to yield to the ravages of time. Microphones fixed firmly to the structure of the walls, were used to capture the subtle rumblings, creaks and movements of the building and used as part of the sound design. The artist used Gallery's Metacorder for location sound work.
This process was used to create the concept models of the sculpture.
The concept model took around 2 days to print.
Ideas for the sculpture began on paper, and after finalising the design, they were transferred to a 3d programme so that a concept model could be created.
The form of the sculpture was influenced by properties
that Vanessa visited, and through her research.