I recently made this series of portraits for Insight Radical.
They are made of empty pill packets (blister packs) re-filled with 3D-printed, fake pills in the formation of pixilated portraits. The portraits are of of myself, my dad (a climate scientist) and my grandfather (a chemist and artist), to show how science and art has run through the generations of my family and to link to the idea of ageing caused by free radicals.
After all the prep of designing the pixelated portraits and ordering the 3D prints I assembled the portraits over a very intense two weeks which was filled with painkillers (both real and fake), paint fumes, and not much sleep – a process I thought worth sharing…
The original pills I based the 3d prints on:
These are super cheap Panamax pills which I bought approx. 40 packets of gradually over a few months. I also experimented with capsule shaped pills but changed the designs for more uniform ‘pixels’. (Massive thanks to Clancy for collecting packets for me.. I’m keeping them all for next time!)
My dodgy measurements (which turned out wrong – and I learnt the valuable lesson of the importance of getting samples made).
The 3d print designs by Richard Blackwell:
1000 pills in the one print file:
4000 fake pills sent to my house, I’m sure I’ll get checked by security when I next go overseas…
The portrait mock ups:
The amazing Dee helping me out with some late night manual labour:
Packets for one portrait, drying after being emptied and washed of paracetamol powder:
Testing colours and skin tones:
Spray painting the pills with Liquitex Spray paint:
Putting the fake pills back into the empty pill packets:
Slowly assembling the first portrait..
Pills ready to go for portrait no.2:
And for portrait no.3:
The three portraits, stacked:
Mounting the packets one by one onto alupanel with adhesive film and double-sided tape:
All three portraits mounted:
And packaged to be sent to London, for the Insight Radical exhibition (also including a series of my animations) which will be showing at Griffin Gallery from August 1 – 30, 2013, then will tour Australia.
Insight Radical and The Pill Portrats are featured in Issue 23 of Artist Profile, out now.
Beautiful work made with light shining through altered vintage photographs, by Amy Friend.
I dream of that day, 2012