Hush Up

Fine Art

Nearing the end of my rotation weeks, I was really intrigued to seeing my last brief. After the introduction, I was really excited and intrigued by the brief ‘Something like a Phenomenon’. Visually I could think of several routes of topics that branched of from this project task. Ideas from mythology, Norse folklore, illusion, emotional landscapes and the chosen topic secrets.

img_0385To further my ideas for secrets, I collected some visuals from painters to inspire me to create my own exciting responses for the brief. Ideas for secrets came mainly from my view, the things I associate with secrecy such as forbidden love, bottling of emotions, drowning in your thoughts and leading ultimately to self-destruction. Immediately I knew my response would be digital, either film or photography and in the end it was both digital medium I used in the format of an animation.

To look at secrets further, I thought of certain objects that could symbolise secrecy. Symbolic objects like a key or a diary could symbolise this. However this was too almost cliché and I wanted to create my own symbol. A large red rose stuffed in the mouth for me gives the message of forbidden love, being unable to speak your mind, secrecy killing you slowly.

Inspiration

The Artists that inspired my work were Francesca Woodman, Mike Nelson and Rene Mariette.

And yes this red rose is very real, I had to cover the stem with foil to protect my mouth as i didn’t want to poison myself. That would be fatal!

Francesca woodman’s beautifully dark photography was inspirational as I feel it dealt with similar themes to my project. Her style is very unique and you can feel each photograph, each one has such raw emotion that really captures your attention.

Mike Nelson’s photographs of distressed rooms and installations were interesting as it shows the marks of those previously in those environments and perhaps suggests trauma. I included this artist as I found the simplicity of his work intriguing and was a style I wanted to include in my work.

Rene Mariette’s oil on canvas painting ‘The Lovers II’ is simply captivating and says so much with its colours, composition and unusual context. I feel this painting progressed my idea of forbidden love and being unable to profess this to the world. The two lovers are separated by the contrast of blue and red, the sheets over their heads and hiding to the world. For me I want to communicate the tragedy of this and how the secret can be so self-destructive.

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Development

In developing my work further, I took my several images and rearranged them my preferred order that would be the foundation for my animation/film.

From here on, creating this film was going to be challenging, it had to be short, precise and to the point. It needed to say everything in a small amount of time and luckily the visuals did most of this for me. Editing it to explain secrecy, forbidden love and self-destruction would be difficult. However I feel I took on the challenge and made it with sensitivity which made it more understandable to an audience.

Media and Materials 

For every project, sketching ideas is essential and done with fine liners and graphite pencils. However instead of following the more traditional painterly route I’ve gone for a more digital response. I combined photography with film, making a slight animated moving image on iMovie. This wasn’t difficult for me as I’ve previously used this software and like using repeated images to create as static animation.

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I played around with well over 100 images repeated after each other in my preferred sequence. From having made this foundation, it enabled me to freely experiment with coloured images, changing speeds and the overall picture of how it would look as a whole. I brought in block layering and overlapping images to further portray the idea of discomfort and self-destruction over time.

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Evaluation

Overall this project for me has been exceptionally exciting. Producing a response in my preferred medium of film, photography and animation. The film is roughly 30 seconds long, very short but I feel it says everything that my project has been about and hopefully you’ll like as much as I do. Unfortunately I can’t seem to upload my final response here at present moment as the file is too large. But here is a link to my Vimeo https://vimeo.com/user46650507

I have thoroughly enjoyed making this film and I hope you all enjoy it.

Thank you for watching and listening, any feedback is most welcome.

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Day trip

Northern Design Festival

Dear reader, today I went on a trip to the assembly rooms to see the Northern Design Festival to see a range of different local designers. I found that the illustrations, brochure designs and ceramics the most interesting when looking round.

Overall my favourite designer and designs were by Guy Mitchell, makers of handmade Stoneware Tiles and Homeware in the United Kingdom. I Found myself drawn to the blue shades of colour, texture and the beautiful glazed finish of his work.

Having throughly enjoyed the designers work from the exhibition. My attention was also drawn rapidly to the beautiful interior of the assembly room. I found myself falling head over heels for this buildings old quirks and in the end took many photos of the colours, textures and structures that could be seen.

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The colours was textures just surrounding the designers work was just as if not more inspiring for me in a weird way. It was the perfect setting or set for this exhibition and provided the right mood for the exhibition.

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After my day exploring I found that the north east has so much talent to over in such a beautiful region full of incredible things to witness and see

Thank you for reading, until next time.

Found Details

Textiles

The brief task ‘Journey’, asked us to explore Newcastle in small groups. On this Journey we made observed our natural surroundings, looking at texture, colour, patterns, lines and shapes. We documented this using cameras which would then inform our surface designs. I enjoyed collecting multiple images to start off this rotation, looking at my surroundings with a new perspective and capturing colour which I usually am hesitant to use. The certain themes that came from these images were, organic forms, urban, gritty areas, colour and brightness.

The photos I took of my surroundings were predominantly taken on the ground or different surfaces which everyday people walk upon. Leading me to appreciate the different textures and surfaces that are barely taken into consideration or perhaps even not seen as beautiful. These are a select few out of roughly twenty photos taken on my iPhone 6.

From these visuals, I picked out certain windows or areas that caught my attention and began to move into the experimental stage. This consisted quick mark making sketches, paint strokes and promarkers to achieve some initial designs. I combined the themes, visuals and mark making and produced some vibrant detailed designs. Through exploring different techniques such as block colouring, continuous line drawing, paint strokes and rough sketching. I learned to be comfortable with being expressive despite being frightened to make mistakes. At that point I realised the process of refinement would correct my mistakes, therefore giving me the lesson that mistakes are apart of the process to improvement.

Inspiration

For inspiration, I looked at Pinterest for different textile techniques, such as mirroring, block colouring, continuous line drawing and much more. All these pins informed me to how I could potentially respond to this project pushed me into the development stage.

To see how my designs could be used in the design industry,  I researched coffee mugs and kitchen ware designs which then lead me to designing on layout paper to create my own interior surface designs. For me when I think of patterns, I see interior objects like glassware, curtains, carpets, furniture as supposed to seeing it on fashion garments.

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Development

For developing the project I took five words that described how I feel this rotation has gone and created small surface design sketches based on these words. These initial small sketches would then be produced to a larger scale in which we would layer
with colour, marks and patterns.

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Media and Material

A vast range of different media and materials were used throughout this project. Starting with photography then working with fine liners, colour promarkers, paint, watercolour, photocopying to produce to visually exciting designs. I generally stuck to the colours blue, sea green and purple. This was due to the fact that I like these colours within surface designs that could be seen in interior spaces and also due the shades of colour from my photos at the beginning.

Evaluation

At this point, here are two of my best designs so far.

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In Conclusion, this project has left me inspired as I have learned so much about an area that I’ve never done before leaving me to see how simple mark making and colours can be made into something really exciting. Having the freedom to explore, experiment, create with making mistakes is something out of my comfort zone as I believe I am a slight perfectionist. I enjoyed taking my photos and finding details in them to sketch but it also made me more aware of my details in my surroundings, new perspective and more observant.

For the two A3 surface designs, I will either use the mirroring patterns seen above or go back to my initial mark making ideas and produce a design with watercolour and cross hatching lines of different pro markers.

Thank you for reading.

Model Making

3D

when given the brief, I found it to be very open, leaving me to be almost stuck immediately when researching for initial ideas. It begins with re – developing the area of Whitley Bay into a vibrant and thriving place to visit and live. I was given three routes of design, permanent conceptual or functional installation. Or a lighting installation.

One thing I had decided very quickly was that I wanted my design to be purposeful, can be used for many different ways and appeal to the locals of the area as they are often a predicament when it comes to designing say a building or modern piece of work that will feature publicly. Therefore I chose to design a permanent functional installation.

The design will be for the locals who use Whitley Bay everyday and perhaps don’t have the time to admire their local scenery around them from a new viewpoint. Tourists who come to the area can interact within a space whilst enjoying the views.

Inspiration

Initial mind map research was carried out on Whitley Bay. This was crucial for me as I don’t often manage to get to our beautiful coastline as often as I would like too.

From looking at various images, the beautiful scenery of Whitley Bay is what caught my attention, for me it was everything to me that I love about coastline, in particular St Mary’s lighthouse and the northern lights. Then after I made this my starting point.

Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor were two artists that I found visually very exciting. There simplistic but unique sculptures really change the way you view an area. 

Then I looked at more functional and conceptual designs such as Max Lamb and Matino Gamper. Both designer’s installations are similar and different, both look at furniture, in particular seats. However Lamb’s inventive use of found raw materials, e.g. granite are used to create some beautiful pieces of furniture. Gamper’s installation is made more for meaning, his 100 chairs in 100 days is a creation that is perhaps not seen as beautiful but tries to challenge the idea of perfection, no chair is perfect but beautiful in its own right.

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Further more I decided that I was still going to produce a permanent functional design even after looking these artists. I found certain parts to each of the designers that I brought forward into my experimentation, such simplicity, colour, various materials and more.

Whilst keeping the artists style in mind. I created my own board on pointers images and ideas that further developed my idea of a functional installation design. This was a great way of me narrowing down my idea in my mind, by finding similar images to what I was envisioning my design to look like. I really  like my designs nearing the end of this rotation as i feel the refinement of the design is well thought through and seems to blend into the landscape effectively which I felt was important visually.

Development

Through development my design is based on the concept of a beach hut, however less colourful,  more simplistic and modern. Hypothetically it would be made from timber, steel and glass. The timber would weather, leaving the design to consists of greys and blues. It’s a room in which people can walk around in to see the area from multiple viewpoints. But also could be used as a venue or have seating arrangements.

Simple elevations plans were made to envision my installation from all angles.  I really like this design, however to produce this in the limited time that I had would be too technically challenging and ambitious. Therefore a more refined  version was drawn in preparation for making the model.

This version is more achievable but when it came to creating this design I found it to be still time-consuming. This was due to not having experience in this field of area and also the fact that I was racing against time.

Media and Materials

A variety of materials was used through experimentation. Firstly a workshop exploring clay, artist tools and developing my idea through mark making and sculpting. I found the thought of this initially really daunting as I have limited experience in this area of art and design. But once I got started I began to enjoy the process of simply playing.

img_2380 The materials for my model consisted of a lot of cardboard for the structure, clear plastic for window panels and printstick for a lot of sticking!

Also to be accurate when cutting and measuring, a ruler, cutting mat and scalpel was used to be precise.

Evaluation

The model at present moment

Overall I feel that the model I produced is perhaps more of a practice piece, I made a lot of mistake such as measurements and not producing it to a larger scale. I struggled with this model and became frustrated with it towards the end. However It still showcases my intentions and perhaps if given more time, the model and design could be refined even further.

For me the idea behind the model design was more valuable than the final creation. More importantly I wanted people to feel that the design wasn’t an invasion or seen as destroying the natural coastline. The whole idea and purpose is that they feel connected to Whitley Bay and enjoy a new experience whilst still feeling at home.

In conclusion I felt that my sketches were actually stronger than my overall 3D work and perhaps is a sign that I should keep that in mind when trying all rotations. But I’m pleased to say that I gave it my all and learnt some new valuable skills.

Thank you for reading, until next time.

Capturing Obsession

Lens Based Media 

Immediately from the moment of being the brief ‘Obsession’, I found that I gravitated to the idea of  control. But to fully explore the brief, group mind map work and my own strands of concepts were looked at. I had previously done photography before, however it was more purely ideas based and my technical skills are not that great. To advance and explore this area was exciting for me. Initially I wanted to explore social media, from looking at social media controlling us and how we control a certain identity that we impose upon others. However I found that I became more interested in another idea, controlling our appearance, our looks, our weight. It wasn’t until I found this topic that I became visually excited about the brief which I found hard to get into.  From researching I found that social media and appearance do go hand and hand, I was shocked by the statistics of self-doubt amongst my generation. This lead me to choosing a person’s obsession with controlling their appearance.

This could be anything from makeup to the way they present themselves in mannerisms, but I found the research of weight control very shocking and something I’ve experienced as a problem with those I know and myself.

Inspiration

Definition of ‘Obsession’ is when a thought or idea continuously preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind. Defining exactly what the brief meant, enabled me to think more clearly about potential branches of ideas in how to respond to the brief. It could be anything from being a crazy shopaholic to a person to who is obsessively using social media

The initial two person powerpoint was a way to explore an artist unknown to all of our group and get to know each other. Erica and I looked at Damien Blottiere who primarily works with photography, design and film. He gathers images and create unusual shapes, often surreal to create a world of fantasy. Blottiere has collaborated with other artists and has worked for high profile brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes. I was very interested in his filmmaking, working on major films such a Let me in.  Advertisement is something that interested Blottiere, it led him to using film to advertise high profile brands. He incorporates his style of colour blocking and collage effects.

From looking at the list of lens based practitioners. There were a few that really captured my imagination. Some that I found that I would normally like and others with a more unusual style, especially colour. Even from the first rotation I found colour quite a daunting concept, I find it hard to balance the colours and prefer black and white. However I entered this rotation with an open mind and in the develop stage I experimented with urban landscapes with vast amounts of colour and found that I managed to capture colour without it taking over the photos. Examples of artists that I gravitated towards was Nan Goldwin, Nick Knight, William Eggleston and many more. I chose for my three artists I chose Cindy Sherman, Sally Mann and William Eggleston. Sherman and Mann’s style and theme of context slightly overlapped, looking at controversy and challenging societies ideas of right and wrong. Both Black and white photographers take their subjects and create interesting photos full of intrigue, meaning and really inspired my photography in this project. By including Eggleston work, I found that I learnt not to be afraid of colour and gave me confidence in capturing colour and still capture detail and depth.

Cindy Sherman and Sally Mann heavily inspired the style for my ideas on  controlling our appearances, more accurately weight. I explored black and weight photography and included their more alluring, sinister style.

Development

Photography shoot and contact sheet

film idea abandoned / route of photography

Media and Materials

Photography was the only medium used for this project, initially it was film but due to the limited time within this rotation I decided I would stick with this chosen medium to learn more about the technical side to it.

Nikon DSLR camera 

I criticism i could give to myself would be to have borrowed a camera, even the Nikon DSLR instead of using my phone as the quality wasn’t so clear. Even if the photos were only for initial text experiments, I feel that they potentially could have been worked into with photoshop and the quality of them could have been better.

Iphone 6 for initial ideas 

This was a series of photos taken to explore control in terms of weight in order to fit in. Ive tried to incorporate Sherman and Mann’s sinister theme in order to portray the context effectively of its seriousness.

Refining 

In terms of refinement, due to the limited amount of time that I had on this rotation of only two and a half days, I struggled to create more than my amount of desired photographs and my short film idea.

Reflection

In conclusion I feel that this rotation being so fast paced compared to the previous one before that, meant less time creating and developing my ideas to a good level. I spent all the time I could in order to produce some good visuals, however being realistic was going to be the only way forward. Therefore left my more ambitious ideas behind and focussed on a more achievable outcome in photography. The short film idea or a more refined outcome in photography can be developed at a later stage of the six rotations before handing the whole project in for evaluation.

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This is an one possible outcome for my project, its simplistic but effective as it suggests a lot through subtle manipulations to the photo. Its clear that there is a sense if chaos, confusion and constant obsession with checking their weight. By duplicating layers with effects of blurring and changing the opacity this effect was made. To create this as the centre focus I selected inverse and made the surroundings that were distracting the main focus blurry with Irish blur.

Ive thoroughly enjoyed exploring known and unknown photographers during this rotation and learning about the different sections of photography such as, commercial, fine art and much more.  My responses to the brief ‘Obsession’ Look at incorporating all that I’ve learnt in this short amount of time and I hope that the ideas behind my topic ‘Control’ even though they don’t have such good flare or technical skill, promote a clear message.

Thank you for reading.

The Value of Communication

Choices

When given the brief ‘Choices’ for my first rotation in Visual communication, there were various potential directions that I could explore. Through helpful group mind map work, I swiftly decided that life defining choices was an area that excited me the most. From my chosen two potential directions of ‘Animal Cruelty’ and ‘Smoking’, I found that I had more visual ideas and concepts for smoking through my explorative mind maps. Personally I’m not a smoker and never wish to become one, however I do know of people who regret taking that life defining choice of smoking and of its fatal effects. In my sketchbook, the visuals I found really captured my imagination and led me to produce small sketches of initial concepts. Passive smoking was an issue I knew little about compared to someone actively smoking and was shocked by how its affects are consequently as damaging as an active smoker. Learning that children are the most vulnerable to second hand smoking was a slightly uncomfortable topic which I knew the visuals would need to express. Immediately I knew this was my initial direction for my project.

Inspiration

To visually communicate the dangers of passive smoking, I knew I would need to choose two designers that would excite me and challenge me to create some interesting visuals. I did struggle slightly to begin with when sketching out ideas and directions through illustration as I had never approached a brief like this before. However I found the illustrator Amy Dover truly exciting, giving the viewer a darker focus on nature and challenging the way we view our natural surroundings of animals, insects and much more. Dover’s refined intricate style is perhaps more in my comfort zone of drawing and I felt that inspired the more darker quality of my ideas to come. Then I discovered the graphic designer Bureau Mirko Borsche, who’s visuals interested me more due to the style being so different from my own. By making quick sketches I experimented with Borsche’s harsh, colourful and yet simple marking making which was out of my comfort zone but led me to some interesting ideas.

Development

Initially I felt slightly lost as to how to illustrate, I began with practicing my chosen designers styles with my chosen topic and found that I spent too long being a perfectionist rather than exploring as many outcomes as possible. From then, I changed the graphite pencils that I overly love using and began using fine liners on tracing paper for a more quicker approach to nearing a refined idea. This rotation immediately was unusual for me with the loose mark making and short deadlines but I actually found that I produced some interesting small sketches that led me to refining my idea quicker. As the sketchbook started to take shape, my initial research pages were definitely too cluttered making them look messy and detracting from the main focus of my sketches which is the main form of development. I understood that white space made each piece of work a new idea, approach and space for a brief annotation.

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Materials and Media

Through development and designer research I knew that exploring their techniques and combining my own known strengths would lead me to some interesting visuals. I began exploring, I found that fine liners worked well for creating suggestive lines, shadowing, cross hatching and by adding water gives a more dramatic darker look. towards the end of my sketchbook fine liners were the main starting point of each sketch, after that i began to explore colour with inks and watercolour palettes. Borsche’s use of colour was exciting for me, I’ve personally always been quite reluctant to use colour, I find it quite challenging and almost daunting. To begin with I overused the watercolours and inks, making it to appear more like a colour me in drawing which did not work well. I realised that the colour had to be used sparingly and to suggest highlight, shadowing and to emphasis the expression my illustrations. To save time,  Jill Greenberg’s photo series ‘ End Times’ of crying children would be the base of sketches for passive smoking. Greenberg’s photos enabled me to adapt them to my topic. I produced some initial ideas of a child’s mouth stuffed with cigarettes. This for me visually communicated everything I wanted to say about passive smoking, the discomfort, suffocation and the many health problems that follow.

Refining

The refinement of this project would ultimately be down to small changes of media and style. I explored lettering that could be incorporated into my illustrations, I made them short and childlike and even played with punctuation for suggesting a voiceless child. However I realised that the illustrations alone communicated the dangers of passive smoking visually and to add lettering over them could degrade the quality and meaning to them. For me it was about communicating how a child’s voice is not heard, they are vulnerable and don’t have a say in the matter.

After I had made this decision refining my outcomes came more easily. In the end, fine liners outlined and shadowed the important parts of the child’s face and cigarettes. Then watercolour was subtly used to emphasis the child’s discomfort with pink tones and blue for contrast. I made my outcomes medium sized across a double page spread off and off centre. By having more space underneath theres more of a focus on the lower part of the illustrations which is the most important part and creates depth.

The final outcomes.

Reflection

In conclusion I feel that the predominantly the seriousness of passive smoking has been communicated well through my sketches. I struggled to get into this project effectively and therefore could have used that time to produce more ideas and concepts. From the beginning my sketchbook, my unsureness of the project can be seen in its untidy clutter of research and mind map work. However once I understood the meaning of visual communication and how it can be used as a tool to comment on anything, I then was able to enjoy the process of exploring new techniques, artists, media and challenging myself. I do feel that the cigarettes perhaps aren’t realistic enough, I worked into them a bit more but they should have been drawn better. This may have been due to the fact that I had drawn it from my imagination where as I traced the images of the children quite accurately and the contrast can be seen more easily because of this. I feel I did use my time moderately well, I feel the results could have been better and more variations of ideas and exploring them would have been useful for refining my outcomes. However in all I have thoroughly enjoyed this project, I like challenges and this made me realise that i should not doubt myself in medias I have already tried and until now had disliked.

Thank you for reading.