Oil Experimentation:


3-9th April

After looking into pattern making, and comparing the patterns I had generated from my Karla Black artist inspiration with the image I found whilst researching water pollution, and then combining the two patterns together, I wanted to try and recreate my own ‘water pollution’ images to take patterns from, rather than using one off the internet.

As I wanted to stay true to the ‘water pollution’ I decided to use actual petrol in the work- to ensure it is literally polluting the water. Using a pipet I look some out of the engine of my car and added it to a cardboard cup filled with tap water. Here are the images below:

I was so amazed at how the petrol looked on the water and the beautiful patterns it created on the water as it didn’t mix in- however I didn’t like how the cardboard cup was creating a shadow on the images and how it made the images a yellow colour, plus I felt I could make the patterns more interesting too- thus I decided to start again and I gathered these pieces of equipment:

  • Clear dish (Ferrero Rocher lid)
  • Tap water
  • Food colouring
  • Cooking oil
  • Petrol
  • Mixer

I added the tap water to the clear dish, and one by one added different ingredients to the mixture and took videos and photographs. These are documented below:

This first image, I started off by adding the cooking oil to the water, then drops of ‘red’ food colouring to it. I initially chose red as to me it acts as a warning colour and I felt this illustrated the dangers of pollution best, though it turned out to be pink I’m still happy with the colour as it links back to my artist Karla Black and her work tends to be pink.


The food colouring gave a pretty similar pattern to the petrol experiment previously which I appreciated. I couldn’t help but notice how the mixture was moving- so slow and I almost felt relaxed watching it. Below I have documented the movement of it:

After documenting my first step, I went ahead to mix it up a little and swirl the water with the oil and food colouring whilst filming. This is what happened:

These videos to me are so fascinating to watch, and I am truly engrossed when watching them due to the fact they’re so beautiful. I decided to carry on mixing around the liquids and take more photographs:


I am very happy with how the patterns look, and once the mixture was now just a light red colour,  I added the petrol in:

Although the patterns generated were not as intricate as I had hoped, the contrast in colours I thought was really effective. Again I filmed mixing the two liquids together:

And these were the photographs took post mixing:

Again although the patterns aren’t as detailed as the previous ones, I feel they represent the dark side of pollution. Pollution isn’t something pretty- It’s dangerous. However I did feel like it got a little too dark, so poured it down the drain and started again, using water, cooking oil, and this time yellow food colouring. These were the results:

These -although contained more pattern- I felt were too bright and defeated the object of pollution. I was reminded however I could change the colour of images in Photoshop. This I will experiment with tomorrow.

Overall I am extremely happy with my work today, I feel that this way of working has really inspired me and I see a bright project future ahead going off the basis the patterns the oil has created.

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