A few months ago, we introduced Ania’s Kinetic Water Series, with a post about “Water Lilies in Summer Bloom.” In that first post, Ania spoke about her inspiration for the series and the significance of making kinetic art. If you missed it, you can find the post here.
This month, Ania is featuring the second project in that series, titled “Koi Below the Surface.” This project also follows a water theme and is kinetic in nature.
Scroll on to see images of the second installment in this series, and to read further about the unique considerations Ania had to make while hooking this series:
Perspective is very central to this series. How did you think about perspective with this series and this project specifically?
You’re right that perspective is really central to this series though. When I decided to hook “Water Lilies in Summer Bloom,” a primary inspiration for the project was the desire for the viewer to be able to see the lily pad from different perspectives, and especially from under water. Traditionally, lily pads are shown from above. The idea of showing the bottom of a lily pad, as you would see it through water, was really key to sparking my interest in this project.
With “Koi Below the Surface,” I incorporated a specific perspective into the design of the fish. When I first imagined the project, I really wanted to have at least one fish swimming upwards, and so when I designed the patterns I made one that showed a fish twisting, as if it were struggling upwards towards the water surface. This perspective was central to establishing the dimensions and space of the project. The fish aren’t just three dimensional, they’re positioned in relation to each other in a very specific way, to mimic actual fish swimming in a pond and the space around them.
How did you design the patterns for the fish?
I made a lot of mock ups! I went through many, many iterations of shapes and sizes to make sure I could get the fish exactly like I wanted them to look. I ultimately settled on two patterns for the fish, and both were hand drawn. The shape of the fish is much more complicated than that of lily pads, so it really took some time to get it right.
The lily pads are relatively flat, but these fish need to have a definitive shape. How did you achieve that effect?
When I hand drew the patterns, I added in darts to give them more shape. This project involved a lot of sewing. Once I finished hooking each piece of the pattern, I had to cut them out and sew them together. This also involved stuffing the fish to help them hold their 3D shape.
I sewed fins onto each of the fish to give them a distinctive look. All of these fins were unique shapes. The fins also had sequins and beads incorporated on them. I used sequins and beads for the eyes as well. The lily pads had beaded elements too, and I thought it was nice to continue that connection with this second piece in the series.
How did you approach color planning the fish?
Koi can come in a wide variety of colors, which made color planning really fun. I wanted to have some variety in the oranges that were used, and I also wanted one of the fish to be white. I was inspired by the children’s book, the Rainbow Fish, to incorporate bits of metallic and shimmer wool so that the fish would have shiny scales here and there to reflect the light similarly to live koi.
The combination of the metallic wool and the beading on the fins helps the fish catch the light really beautifully as they swim around. I find koi to be very serene relaxing fish to watch and I think this piece conveys that feeling well.
Do you have any questions for Ania on this second installment in the Kinetic Water Series? Leave them in the comments below!