In preparation for the Patrick Thomas lecture on the last day of term I have made a GIF poster. I utilised how Patrick and Thomas are each two syllables to create a rhythm in the GIF, and used images which related correspondently to Pat, Rick, Thom, Mas. I overlayed this with some monoprints and rubbings that I have been working on. Overall, I was pleased with the outcome and glad that I pushed myself to create a GIF, which is Thomas’ format of choice currently. To improve I think it would have been beneficial to include some handwritten type to add an extra element of originality.
After being inspired by our trip to the Tate Britain last Tuesday, I was excited to finish my print off and see how I could further improve it.
The first challenge of the day was figuring out how to register my paper in line with my second print, this was a challenge but was easily overcome. I used acetate to print the second print over, next without moving the acetate (through placing masking tape) line up the already printed first layer print against the acetate print layer. Even with one print on acetate you could tell that the blue and yellow layer were going to overlay into a green which I was really pleased with.
I mixed a blue ink with ease, and although it took a couple of overprints it came out well and was transparent enough to let the yellow shine through. I’m really pleased with how the planned main print came out, the blue layer really completes the whole thing and makes the story come together. However, with inspiration from Rauschenberg’s prints I couldn’t help but think that another layer of predominately mark making over the top of the prints as an experiment would be a way to push my practice further.
Upon writing my proposal I wanted to make it clear that the project, isn’t just going to be about illustrating folktales as this is something that I know I can do and I want to challenge myself. Instead, I want to make an outcome which encourages storytelling and sharing amongst people.
Below is my proposal…
For my personal project I am eager to explore a long-time interest of mine, Folktales. I would like to research the structure of a folktale, how this can change and evolve from story teller to teller and how this resonates in modern culture. Folktales combine the mundane with magic and intrigue, they tell stories of local people, myths, traditions and the landscape to name but a few themes. I find that their rich history and range of topics serve as fuel for visual stimuli. For my outcomes I would like to create a body of work which explores experimental book illustration and bookmaking, utilising different bookmaking techniques to visually represent the concept of oral storytelling. With the extensive deadline I feel that it presents the opportunity to create some developed lino or lithography prints as part of the book illustration. I would like to challenge myself with overprinting the pre-designed book to add an element of chance much like the telling of a folktale is different each time it is told. To broaden my scope in this project, I would like to include the opportunity of using animations as part of the book with technology such as Aurasma. Overall, I want the project to be an experiment in modern storytelling in creating a book which gives the same excitement and spontaneity as the oral telling of a folktale.
To finalise my video piece for the exhibition I wanted to add sound and render the video. For sound I decided to use the FreeSounds service, for the beginning portion of the video I decided to use the background sounds of a house party – the hustle and bustle juxtaposed with the scripted advert well. I used a series of fingers snapping, I felt this split up the three sections of the video in the manner of which I made them.
Next I used the phrase “Let’s play hot bingo.” which I thought was funny and ironic, I then followed this with the background sounds of a bingo hall. Again, I used the sound of fingers snapping and then children singing nursery rhymes. I liked the sound of innocence for the ending of the video.
I was proud of what I created for the exhibition, I felt like it was a fully formed idea with a clear beginning, middle and end. I also think the found footage amongst the Dada poem helped it stand out against the other videos.
On reflection, the video has sections which could be cut faster, and some of the GIFs could have been finished in Photoshop to a higher standard. If this had been a longer project I would have been sure to rectify these issues. Overall, I am pleased with the look and feel it conveys how I feel during a creative rut – when I am feeling stuck looking for ideas. It portrays the feeling of breaking through the rut (represented during bingo) while it also shows the anxious thoughts of “Is this good enough?”, “Is this good design?” etc.
As part of our fundraiser I collaborated with Lily Weinbrand on a Golden Time poster. The theme was around school children and nostalgia, bringing the attendees back to a school disco type vibe but with a modern twist. Lily drew inspiration for the graphics from an old bull fighting poster, I thought this concept was interesting and enjoyed that it meant a large space in the middle for an illustration.
I was asked to complete one main illustration a series of faces and some graphic symbols like arrows and lines. For the main illustration I focused on children running out of school, eager to leave and in theory go to Golden Time. I used pen and ink to give it a appropriate feel. While I broke up the foreground and background with a split of white and grey.
Lily composed the poster and I’m happy with the outcome I think the concept comes through and I like the contrast between fairly traditional illustration and the modern graphics.
To broaden our understanding of lithography and help the growth of our personal prints, we investigated a selection of prints from the private print rooms at the Tate Britain. These prints spanned across many different process methods, time periods and styles, it was interesting seeing them all together and making comparisons. Earlier lithographs, especially those created during the war, were more realistic and accurate using the dramatic quality of a lithograph to achieve stunning portrayals of planes catapulting through the air. These captured the atmosphere and narrative of wartime which appealed to British propaganda.
However, as the time periods moved on the lithographs utilised colour to present sprawling landscapes, and later still employed textural mark making and simplicity to create abstract work. Lithography became less of a method to record and more a method to express in which way the artist felt fit.
My favourite piece from the private exhibition was by Robert Rauschenberg, it was a monochrome collage using photographs, drawn graphic symbols, text and many other pieces of reclaimed imagery composed on top of graph paper. The effect is curious, its reminiscent of a newspaper but without rational. Similar photomontage pieces by Rauschenberg are described as having “a loose, poetic manner, creating an impression of visual flux that allows the viewer to free-associate” (Tate Text Panel on Almanac 2004). I think this is a fitting description of the lithograph as its use of printing medium allows layers of memorabilia and memories to be caked on creating confusion and wonderment in the viewer. This method has inspired me to create a third layer on my print and to experiment with my prints further.
To continue to improve my drawing skills, I participated in the Marks Make Meaning exhibition in which myself and a group of illustration students collaboratively drew with artists across the world. Our themes to draw around were mind map, shared garden and mega hotel (the image above is from the later).
My takeaway from the one day project was how differently people interpret themes and what they draw from them. For instance as we worked on mega hotel it turned more of a metropolis and later something quite apocalyptic as our Irish artists who we were collaborating with began to blank out everything they drew with black.
As our tutor Paul told us, it often isn’t the drawing which is the final outcome of session but the video produced – I agree with this statement as the collaborative aspect can be truely seen in the video. During the mega hotel session myself and the other artist began crossing out each others marks which can be read playfully or aggressively – in the moment it felt like a game but watching the video we are both placing our marks with vigour and speed.
I really enjoyed the session in that it was fun to participate but also interesting to step back and watch others do their thing. Overall, I’m happy that I put myself forward for it as it’s something I wouldn’t normally consider doing, however it really helped to conquer the fear of the drawing as the final outcome. It has made me consider that I should be recording my experiments more to see if I can gain different/multiple outcomes from them.
As part of this term I am taking it upon myself to push my own boundaries in drawing. I think it is natural to continually draw the same thing, however so my practice doesn’t become stagnant I am trying to put myself out there and draw from life more often. So, when given the opportunity to draw at Plumpton College I was eager to join in.
Drawing in the stables was a calming environment and you could really get a sense of the horses you were drawing and trying to incorporate some kind of personality into that. I particularly liked drawing portraits of the horses, as they have a challenging face shape to contend with. Also, their eyes are human like which conveys a lot of emotion.
I am happy with my outcomes of the day, I drew a lot more than I usually do when drawing from life. Next time I would like to incorporate a few more materials maybe collage and pastels as I think adding some colour to the drawings would’ve pushed them.
For this session I had the opportunity to begin inking my first colour onto the plate, this was a step I was really looking forward to as I was growing conscious that my plate would print differently to how I imagined. However, I stuck with my plan to use contrasting colours which would create a colour in the overlays. Therefore, I mixed a pale yellow up – the mixing process was easier than I imagined. I used an opaque white to create a strong base which would contrast the white paper.
The printing method was a quick progress, the plate must remain wet while inking up the plate on the bed of the roller. I found that watching the ink settle into the green photolitho plate was satisfying. The yellow ink came out how I imagined but didn’t have the impact I wanted. I hope that once I eventually put on the second layer of blue it will have more depth to it and compliment the composition.
As part of the session we swapped colours with the partner we were working with on the roller, so I got the chance to use a pinkie red colour which really showed the detail better. I enjoyed the look of this colour more in many ways.
Also, as part of the session we were encouraged to investigate printing with photocopies, I’m looking forward to trying this method as I think it will create a more haphazard print which has an authentic quality. I’m hoping that I will be able to work over my planned print with one of these to create a contrast between the rational and irrational. Furthermore, these work well with using collage and building an image which I think would work well to make a looser and busier print.
I feel that the Dada project has come at a great time in the course, it feels like a bit of a breather to invest some time in an art form which is slightly out of my comfort zone. Initially I wanted to create a Dada poem, I enjoy the thought of creating something in an haphazard method without decision making. Yet, when I cut out all of the words and put them in a bag I was getting uninteresting sentences. This was a set back but I thought in true Dada fashion I would film these mistakes and see if I could get anything to develop from it. I’m really glad I did this, it was encouraging to see my process visually and be able to reflect on it again and again. It was also motivating as it felt like the mistakes weren’t time wasted but time gained in doing something differently.
After making this step I felt like maybe I would make video work which helped to describe this process I was going through. I had recently gone to see an video exhibition at the Tate Britain by Elizabeth Price: The Woolworths Choir of 1979 (below are some images taken by myself, unfortunately they aren’t brilliant due to low light).
Here is a snippet from the video by Price.
The Tate describes Price’s work as “Elizabeth Price describes her films as moving ‘from something that looks like a PowerPoint lecture, to something that looks like an infomercial to something that feels like a cinematic melodrama’. For the Turner Prize exhibition, Price is presenting her video installation THE WOOLWORTHS CHOIR OF 1979 2012. Comprising three parts, the video brings together distinct bodies of material into a dissonant assembly; photographs of church architecture, internet clips of pop performances and news footage of a notorious fire in a Woolworths furniture department in 1979. The film weaves together existing archives of text, image and sound to create video installations that drift between social history and fantasy.”
I like how she compare her work to a PowerPoint lecture as well as an informercial, while watching her work it does have this feel about it. Price only slightly alludes to what her work is really about – personally I felt like the video was an insight into her brain making connections between thoughts, some were tenuous others were elaborate. This insight into her process is what I would like to combine into my own work, I think it shows the artist as sensitive and vulnerable presenting a side to themselves that isn’t always seen in something final. This is not to call Price’s work ill formed, it is actually a video piece that has been on my mind since I saw it. I felt it was provocative and intriguing, I wanted to uncover more – this is what I would like viewers to see in my own work.