Venus wall project

what we’ve attempted here is to create a visual game for ourselves..

For our first project we began by choosing a well known painting; we chose The Birth of Venus by Botticelli.

An A3 copy of this painting was divided into a grid of 160 one inch squares. To transfer this to the wall we decided to scale each square up to 5½inches. The final wall grid measured 10 squares high by 16 squares wide.  The area to be covered measured, approximately, 4.5 feet high by 7.3 feet wide.

Starting from the top left corner of the wall grid and moving from left to right each square was numbered 1 to 160. Each square of the picture was then numbered in the same way but on the back and at the top. We then cut up the picture into 160 squares and randomly divided them equally between us.

The ‘challenge’ was to interpret each of our individual (numbered) images onto the corresponding squares on the wall. Any method or material could be used.  We imposed a 5 minute maximum time limit to complete each square. By doing this, decision making had to be fast and so encouraging spontaneity and the unpredictable.  To prevent us from responding to each other’s completed work, each square had to be covered by a piece of paper (same size).  Not knowing what the final outcome of all our images together would look like was an intriguing aspect of our collaboration and created a certain level of suspense.

Our intention was to have fun and share a common activity.  Also, the project gave us an opportunity to use and combine materials and techniques in ways we wouldn’t normally consider. The final result, we like to think, is an engaging and compelling piece of work. We hope viewers will think so, too.

Before we began we imposed a few ‘rules’, as mentioned above:

1.  Any art medium may be used.

2.  Each artist has a maximum of 5 minutes to complete their image.

3.  On completion, each square must be covered using a strip of paper to

conceal its identity.

Birth of Venus