Creating LED lights

We decided to put LED lights on our electric tree to make it colourful and bright. This meant we needed to wire and connect them to the motherboard of the tree.  This involved soldering onto the naked wire end (about 2mm) and soldering it onto the ‘Dout’ and ‘Din’ side of the LED lights. This means the lights are connected and will work simultaneously.

I needed to test the lights by connecting them to an Arduino board and then to the Mac. I was able to control and change the colours and sequence of the lights using the Mac and the Ardiuno app on it.

  • To create a pale purple (photo above) I need to programme in red:250, Green:50 and Blue:250.
  • To create a pink colour Red:250, Green:50 and Blue:50.

I really enjoyed getting the LED lights to work because it involved a lot of skills including soldering, connecting and programme (a range of skills of different categories).

Louise Bourgeois, Femme, 2005

During the Big Question lecture we discussed whether this piece by Bourgeois was about disability.

louise bFemme 2005, Louise Bourgeois, WordPress.

I think this piece is about disability however, I don’t necessarily believe it is about physical disability and is more about mental and emotion. If you look at Bourgeois’ childhood upbringing and listened to her talk about her work, you will know she bases it on her time during her childhood.

Sourced from I have discovered curator’s comments on her work. They believe her work comments on feminism because she has combined male and female body parts into her sculpture.

I agree with this statement because she has incorporated a male-looking head with one breast and what looks like a pregnancy bump. However, I think it also has some emotional connection to her childhood and the different bonds she had with her parents.

How does contemporary art relate to art of the past? Big Question lecture.

“Death of Sardanapalus” painted by Eugene Delacroix in 1827 conveyed a King on the loosing side of a battle and has ordered the death of all of his possessions including his horses and women to stop the enemy from taking him, resulting in the lose of his pride and dignity. However, it could also show he has a limitless supply of these resources which he can just throw away to his accord interpreting the work showing his superiority and ability to do anything he wanted to oppress others in his kingdom.


A contemporary artist produced a similar piece of art. Tom Hunter created a series of photographs titled “Death of Cottelli”, 2010. In this piece he visited the room of Cottelli to take the photograph however, as Contelli had already died, he used a model. The model was a representation of Cottelli’s family and all those who knew her because the model is showing signs of mourning. The death was unmarked and unknown to the world but through his work, he marked it.



Tremate Tremate – Ireland in Venice

I was introduced to the Irish performance artist Jesse Jones at the Arsenale Biennale, Venice this year. She produced a performance piece inspired by the rising movement in Ireland related to the history between the state and the church. She has incorporated the history of witches in 16th century Italy and the movement in Ireland. The piece contains feminism – Tremate Tremate was chanted by housewives in Italy which is the inspiration for the title of this piece.

I was so fascinated by this piece because she used sound and angling of the camera to create different moods and to intimidate the audience. The piece made me think about the women role in society in a different perspective to what I have been exposed to in the past.

104292_ebb1010ca64f2b8211c1c59cbcce61f7.jpg,1440Jesse Jones, Tremble Tremble, 2017. Production Image.

Rewiring the motors

Today we learnt how to rewire and connect the main power source to motors and fans for the tree.

I decided to use a motor to create movement on the tree which I could connect leaf-like objects to spin from it.

IMG_9948The process involved cutting and stripping wires which would be soldered together or to a button to control it. This was quite a simple process but still involved some safety precautions i.e. not burning yourself on the soldering iron.

After soldering the wires to the button and to the motor itself I needed to test it using a power supply with crocodile clips. The motor has a positive and negative end however, unlike a fan or light by putting the clips and wires onto either end, this will determine the direction of the motor.

I will use this motor on the tree to create air flow and movement.

I have learnt to solder metal onto wire for conduction and am able to use the soldering iron on my own which has meant I have another signature on my passport.

Wood Workshop Induction

We were inducted into the band saw, hand drill and sanding machine today in the wood workshop by the technician Nigel Williams who provided us with a detail breakdown of how to use the different machines and the health and safety which came with them. He provided us with stories which made us think about using the machines correctly to avoided injury!

We were given a piece of MDF board to try out the band saw and sanding machine and had to cut a curve and a straight line using the band saw and sand down the edges using the sander. By doing these exercise we were able to get signatures in our passports which allow us to use the machines without the technicians.

From this exercise I am now able to use the machines freely and safely throughout my degree to create sculptures for projects.

Deconstructing Tech

The Electric Tree Project will allow me to explore the issue of technological waste on our lands and to contribute to a group piece of art which responds to this worldwide problem.

We started by pulling apart computer screens, laptops and hard drives to find the inner parts including frames, power bank, motherboard, wiring, fans and screws which will be used on the tree. The parts will allow us to create a well-lit, electronic sculpture. We will be able to use the fans to create movement in lighter objects e.g. paper, cardboard and light wires. The screens could be used to reflect light and possibly provide internal light from them.  The green motherboards could be used as leaves or decoration on the tree and the wire as fallen branches and leaves.