Thursday, 28 March 2013
Natasha Chambers and Oliver Clegg, artists for this year's Big Egg Hunt
The biggest egg hunt in the UK is back with 101 giant Easter eggs, each a work of original art, hidden in cities across the country as a part of the Lindt Big Egg Hunt, on tour until Easter Monday.
Artists, Natasha Chambers and Oliver Clegg blog about the whole project.
The idea for the egg was really a collaborative effort between me and my wife…We decided from the outset that we were going to do something together so immediately split to the roles in the process. Natasha is an exceptional illustrator so it was left to me to conceive a design and basic concept behind the piece. For the Egg Hunt in 2012, I had made a transparent egg in which a lightbulb seemed to float within the inside. I decided it would be interesting to continue this floating idea and with drawings that Natasha had found from anatomical image libraries, we conceived the idea of a brain floating inside a smashed egg.
From the outset, we had wanted to make something different in the same way that the transparent egg had drawn attention due to its unique transparent form. So we decided it could be fun to play with the idea of a 3D egg in which the viewer had to use 3D spectacles in order to view it. We particularly liked the idea of the 3D image coming from something so basic and analogue as opposed to all these wonderful yet hyper digital creations that you see in the cinemas. With a few quick online YouTube lessons, we developed Natasha’s beautiful drawing into a 3D image and were then ready for the subsequent stages of production.
When making sculptural work there are always more logistical problems than say doing a painting or a two-dimensional work. The problem with this piece in particular was that we wanted to print something 2D onto a 3D surface and in this case, a curved surface. Fortunately we were able to find somewhere in east London that specialised in vinyl printing and as the actual area of the print was small enough that it didn’t need to curve so much around the egg, we were able to print it flat and stick it onto the surface with minimal bubbling. Any deficiencies in the sticking were then homogenised by the fact that the egg was given a smooth and beautiful transparent lacquer. The glasses were then bought from a specific 3D retailer in California (we are based in NYC) and we created a basic mechanism for keeping the glasses attached to the plinth so that the general public wouldn’t run away with the glasses and not allow the other passers-by to revel in the enjoyment of the 3D image!
When it was suggested that Natasha and I make something together for this year's Egg Hunt, we were both inspired by the experience to make something together as we had recently become married last September in Cornwall…We were anxious to see if we were able to collaborate artistically as we both have very clear opinions on our work but we quickly settled into our roles and realised what strengths we could both bring to the table. I am more of a quick ideas person and Natasha is very good a labour intensive illustrator who puts immaculate and perfect detail into everything she does. I don’t have the patience and like to get immediate creative satisfaction from short and sharp decisions. The balance worked and after a shaky start the project concluded harmoniously.
The design phase took about a week and involved the sketching of the work and subsequently the illustrative work by Natasha.
At this stage it has been rewarding to see our work as a couple become something concrete and unified for the public to see. From previous experience I know how rewarding the auction sale of the egg is. Last year my egg sold for £17,000, which is an amount of money that I would never be in a position to give directly to charity so to be able to contribute this kind of donation is obviously a wonderful experience and something we look forward to over the next month.
Everything that you do is a highlight and rewarding for very different reasons. I have shown at the Venice, Prague and Busan Biennales and at various different museum across the world ranging from the Reykjavik Museum of Modern Art to the Saatchi Gallery in London. Natasha has similarly shown extensively and most recently launched her new scarf collection at the uber-hip NYC store American Two Shot. The Egg Hunt is, however, a great and interesting project and the benefit is for other people as opposed to many other career events that are really about you and you only.
Natasha Chambers is a British artist and designer based in New York. For more information, visit natashachambers.co.uk and oliverclegg.com.
You can bid for your one-of-a-kind egg art on the Lindt Big Egg Hunt website, where supporters will also be able to take part in online egg searches and other fun and games. The eggstravaganza supports Action for Children, helping the UK's most vulnerable and neglected children transform their lives.