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Working with the Found Object

Primary Research

As someone who has not yet found the style of glasses frames for them yet, I opt for contact lenses on a daily basis and have done for about 4 years. Contact lenses are however are not packaged in the most sustainable way. This leads to quite a few cases lying in the bathroom sink after just a few days – irritating my older sister.
Materials for final piece: Contact lens cases, blu tack, cheese grater, directional light source. 

Secondary Research

During the lecture, Dali’s Lobster telephone (1936) stuck with me first. Replacing part of an object with another similar in form but totally different in nature felt like a good place to start. I feel like Dali’s surrealist paintings and sculptures are so appealing to many because they are generally easy to understand – unusual and whacky but not too over complicated.

Kim MyeongBeom’s ‘Balloon Tree’

This is another example of simplistic surrealism that I found, created by Korean artist Kim MyeongBeom. MyeongBeom clashes the natural earthy nature of the wooden trunk with shiny, bright red latex. This I think is another simple yet effective way of creating a piece that is fascinating to look at.

‘Da Vinci to disposible’

In his 1508 “Codex of the Eye”, Italian inventor Leonardo da Vinci speculated that submerging the head in a bowl of water could alter vision. He even created a glass lens with a funnel on one side so that water could be poured into it. –


Haruka Kojin’s ‘Contact Lens’

Subsequent to deciding that I was going to use contact lens cases in order to create my piece, I wanted to see if anything of a similar nature had been done before. I didn’t have much luck with finding artists that had used contact lens cases or contact lenses themselves, but I did find this acrylic sculpture by Haruka Kojin, simply titled ‘Contact Lens’. This piece I think is beautiful – light and feminine. I am not usually drawn by pieces which are a multitude of individually suspended objects as I feel at this point it has already been done, but still, people are so fascinated to see anything levitating. However, this piece is an exception. There is so much movement that it reminds me of a Cornelia Parker.



When given the title ‘Working with the Found Object’, contact lens cases were one of the first things that came to mind, and fairly often, I like to choose one of the first ideas that I think of. Whilst looking around the kitchen for something to impose my contact lens cases on, I did notice quite an apparent resemblance with the holes in a cheese grater (used the night before). I applied the cases easily with Blu Tack and it looked almost exactly how I imagined. The chrome of it all makes it look sci-fi, – like something out of WALL-E, though I can’t help but feel it contradicts the message of the Pixar film entirely. That message being to be more eco-friendly.
Regardless of my bad habits, I’m happy with this real-life collage and it will be a shame to dismantle it when I need to grate some cheese again.


Where Next 

I am concerned that the use of contact lenses or their cases is going to slow my progression. If I want to use the lenses themselves next, I am going to have to wait until I have worn enough of them, and then saving them when I take them out. This may therefore have to be an idea that I return to at a later date. As for now,  I certainly feel more confident with quick mash-up sculpture work.

Continued Project

After the past few weeks, I have collected more cases – allowing me to continue with the project. I wanted to experiment with the ironic idea of using the lenses and cases to inhibit my eyesight. Subsequent to much trial and error, I managed to adhere the lens cases to my face, covering my eyes. This wasn’t the easiest, and cases were falling off my face every minute or so.  I taped my phone to my door opposite a white wall, and quickly took several pictures. I then edited these images in Photoshop. One I added noise and a tunnel blur (left), and the other I just made entirely out of focus to resemble what I would see without my contact lenses in. I think the ‘mask’ is reminiscent of that on ‘The Cube’ which is mirrored.  I slicked my hair back to match that initial idea. I feel like these images were actually very successful despite the struggle to make them. From here I would like to create an actual mask with the same idea in mind.


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