My valentine is a hanging mobile that focuses on a realistic looking human heart. The mobile has 3 layers: the top layer of clouds and small sparking beads, a middle layer of small lightweight words, and the third layer that contains the human heart. The last layer is supposed to be the main section of the mobile, representing the physical functions of the heart, and the body’s electrical wiring. The heart is connected to electrical wires, clamps, pins, and other objects.
The top and bottom layers of the mobile show a great deal of contrast, one is fluffy and “nice,” while the other is jagged and more “harsh.” In real life, and real love, there is both good and bad.
The small middle layer is the required text: “I wouldn’t be me without you.”
As a whole, I wanted the mobile to suggest a sense of the fact that there are many things that go into making someone who they really are. In the beginning, we all start out with our physical bodies (the heart) but there is little personal character or “soul” to them. As time progresses, we slowly collect pieces from the outside world that we use to make us who we are. We add to ourselves as we grow, using new parts that we find to become our true selves- whether they are good or bad.
In the case of a valentine, the heart shows that our once singular untouched self grows and becomes something new. The heart before was plain, and functioned normally by itself, but with these outside influences (the love of the valentine) it claims new characteristics. My valentine is to my boyfriend, because without being part of him, I would be someone else entirely. Since I met him, I have been exposed to new things and ideas, and have learned from new experiences. I have taken what I learned, and claimed this new knowledge as part of who I am. Without him, I would not be the same person that I am today.
When I first started this project, I immediately knew two things: that I wanted to show the physical heart, and that I wanted it to be hanging in a mobile. First I made a sketch of a two layered mobile, and then scribbled words off to the side that were potential materials or ideas.
The weekend after being assigned the project, I set about to making the heart itself (which ended up being the easiest part of the whole project). With two latex castings from a cooking mold of a heart, I used liquid latex, some cotton, and some foam, to attach the heart together and attempt to make it look natural. Once that dried, I began painting it. I planned to use an airbrush, but soon realized that I would not be able to get the details that I wanted. Later on, I noticed that the paint does not like staying on the latex, especially around the seams of the heart.
A few days later, after I gathered all my supplies, I went to the art building to piece it all together. I started with the bones of the mobile-the string and wire.
Unfortunately…. I did not have access to wire cutting tools…. so breaking it with my hands was no fun! And bending it all into place was just as wonderful.
I also found out that the art building has AMAZING air circulation… which meant that the mobile was constantly spinning and swirling around as I tried to tie all those tiny clear string knots. I had sooo much fun doing that!
In the end, my project didnt come out exactly as planned, but nothing usually does. I am happy with my valentines. I think that over time my ideas progressed and changed as I worked. The materials and time that I had acess too also changed the way my project turned out. I found out that objects balance differently in reality than they do in a drawing on paper… I also used less wire, and attached fewer things with the clear string as a result of its difficulty to work with, etc.
If I had an unlimited budget to work with… I think I would begin my creating a larger space for the mobile to be viewed in. I want the mobile to be seen on a blank background, because many of the pieces are small and become invisible. If I had a large cube with natural lighting, I would be very happy! of course, there are endless changes that I would make as I continued to work with an unlimited budget! So I could never predict them all.
Edit: removed images, added video.
I apologize for the poor video quality. I filmed in HD, and the video quality looks fantastic on my computer…unfortunately YouTube doesn’t seem to want the video to be nice (No matter how many times I re-upload it or try and fix it!). So now it lags, is blurry, and has a very poor image quality… 😦