where it all began…

Long ago, in a year far far away (2011), I began making big wobbly eyes. I had no idea where this was taking me, especially when thinking about my masters course. I like wobbly eyes, so i make some big ones. But with all projects like this, it needed a purpose to save myself from a futile end.

I started thinking about eyes, and where to put the ones i had made. At first, reaction to the idea of having a big eye on your living room wall was muted to say the least. Bog Brother is watching and all that. But i then sat on my home, on the sofa, and realised i had 29 sets of eye peering down at me. In my entire home, i counted 139 sets. This isn’t some kind of coincidence. Eyes make us feel comfortable. They could be the eyes of loved ones in photo frames, or a child’s toy. But they are passive or friendly eyes.

Old people’s walls are full of photographs. In the majority of living rooms of the elderly, across the world, you will find family plastered all over the walls. This shows elements of boasting as well as recreating company.

Could having an eye on you bring a sense of comfort as opposed to a feeling of being spied on?

There are some instructions to follow in the next few days on making your own eyes to see.

Here are a few prototypes I have been working on.

They are all made using the same techniques. All the lenses for the eyes are vacuum formed from styrene, with the backs from birch ply or various thicknesses.

The smaller ones have white styrene on the backboard, with a sticky vinyl pupil. The lager two have a white acrylic lasercut base, with lasercut acrylic pupils. I have used small pieces of dowel i turned to attach the lens to the ply, masquerading at lashes.

The backs have a keyhole fixing, so can be hung on the wall, and the one with the eyelashes has a rudimentary mechanism that lets you choose which direction the pupil is facing.

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