3D Art

There was a time, about the mid-1990’s – yes that is in the last Century – that few would have predicted the advance of digital imaging, or that digital images would be considered an art form in their own right.

3D printing is at a similar stage. The technology has moved from being something used by scientists to some able to be used by the ordinary person – which means 3D printing can also be used to create art. Will it be that within a decade we will recognise 3D printed artworks as being an art form in their own right?

A current exhibition titled Shapeshifters: 3D Printing Of The Future is showing at the Design Centre until 20th July. This is part of a national travelling exhibition.

Software for creating 3D art on computer screens has been around for some time, and has moved out of the movie design studios into a unique art form of its own, in the same way as digital imaging has done so in the photography genre.

3D printing machines have been around for most of the past decade and they to have been making their mark in the art world. In 2014, The Smithsonian created a 3-dimensional portrait and bust of former President Barack Obama. The portraits of President Barack Obama were created based on data collected by a Smithsonian-led team of 3-D digital imaging specialists and include a digital and 3-D printed bust and life mask.

It’s not a question of whether these creations should be considered art? The answer is yes, in the same way as digital images and 3-D computer images are accepted as art. In the same way as an artwre ork created by throwing paint at it from a distance is also considered art. Whether viewers will view and enjoy these creations in the way they do more traditional art forms, only time will tell. Isn’t that the definition of art?

Kate Blacklock was an early adaptor of 3D printing using clay to create ceramic artworks. These sit alongside her more traditional scultural forms and artworks. Australian artist Erica Gray was also an early user of portable 3D pens to create plastic, wearable art.

It is early days. 3D printing machines are still in infancy. This doesn’t mean they have limited capabilites, it means the 3D printing industry is at early stages of development. There are four things we understand about emerging technology. The development cycle is quick. The next version comes along right on the heels of its predesescor. Each version creates new opportunities. Costs are reduced and consumers are comfortable with technology in their lives.

3 dimensional art is a new and emerging art form. Traditionalists may scoff at what they view as ‘not real art’. New generations of art lovers will embrace the outcomes and claim it as their own. It is only a matter of time before art auctions are fetching eye-watering prices for 3-dimensional art.

Image copyright: Erica Gray Blackbird Feathered Headpiece


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