Fine Art Printmaking Year 1

Fine art printmaking present an exhibition as part of our editioned print project. Our work spans a variety of print techniques and mediums, stemming from the traditions of screen print, relief, lithography and etching as well as the photographic and digital. 

Escarpment by Jill Flower

The print above caught my eye in particular from this exhibition held by first year fine art printmaking. During my latest group critique for the project “art of the accident”, Andy Vella suggested that for the cover of my book for my final outcome I could print onto metallic paper, therefore this print onto metallic gold paper relates to this idea. The print itself is also similar to some of the work I had produced for the project, gestural and focused on mark making, conveying a sense of texture.

It does not say how this print has been created, however from the design I assume it to be a relief print, possibly a linocut or an etching. I have previously explored etchings within my work and I would enjoy returning to the process to create the cover of my book, however for my final outcome I wanted to increase the scale of my book to a3 and an a3 etching plate would be quite expensive. An A3 piece of lino on the other hand would be much cheaper to use, although the quality of the line would not be the same it would create its own aesthetic.

METHODOLOGY OF THE EDITION: 50X50=75 Exhibition

Methodology of the Edition: 50×50=75 is an international printmaking project consisting of a box set of 75 editioned original prints by 75 staff and students from three universities and three countries; University of Brighton, Nagoya University of Art (NUA), and King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, (KMITL) Thailand.

The project offered students and staff the same task; to produce a printed image on paper dimensions of 50x50cm using any print media from traditional, digital and hybrid processes. This opportunity to share creative learning, through creative approaches to printmaking and to engage with cross-cultural exchange has enabled student-staff interaction through professional educational opportunities and real world challenges. In keeping with ‘Practical Wisdom’ of Strategic Plan 2016-21 this is an example in which ‘our research and learning are informed by real world challenges and opportunities’.

In Edward Street today I visit the Methodology of the Edition. I particularly enjoyed this exhibition due to my interest in print as well as in Asian design. Furthermore as my current materials, processes and art of the accident project focuses on the use of print to produce imagery this exhibition has helped to inspire me about possible techniques to utilise now or in the future.

Below are a selection of my favourite prints from the exhibit.


 

George Hardie

This exhibition spans five decades of work and explores Hardie’s practice in graphic design, illustration and education. It encompasses student work (St Martins, RCA); time with NTA Studios; work with Hypgnosis on record covers and solving problems and making illustrations internationally (17 countries to date) – Exhibition Text Panel

George Hardie is a Royal Designer for Industry, a member of Alliance Graphique International and was a Master of the Artworkers Guild in 2012. Today I visited George Hardie’s Fifty Odd Years exhibition at the University of Brighton, which is open from the 11th March to the 7th April 2017. I had been aware of his work for many years as I grew up listening to many of the bands who he designed album covers for, such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, therefore I was very excited to see his work in person.

Below are a selection of photographs of some of my favourite pieces from the exhibit.

I really enjoyed the fact that his work spans a variety of illustrative styles yet they all maintain an air of simplicity and can be easily understood by the viewer. Furthermore his work often includes a humorous element which I can appreciate.

Despite being aware of his work for years I never properly looked and analysed his work however after this exhibition I will definitely be looking at his work more in depth in the future for inspiration.

Experimental Photography

MDMA Crystals with 200x enlargement

LSD Crystals with 200x enlargement

GHB Crystals with 100x enlargement

DMT Crystals with 400x enlargement

DMT Crystals with 400x enlargement

2C-B Crystals with 200x enlargement

Above is the work of Dutch artist Michael Mikkers, a former licensed medical lab assistant. In his photography above he investigates the aesthetic value of drugs on a microscopic level. Drugs have a large influence on culture and have influenced trends, music, scenes and eras, but rarely are they looked at in terms of their physical qualities.

Initially his worked focused on over the counter painkillers, substances and food additives, however through the use of bitcoins and the deep web he began to experiment with photographing hard drugs. To create his photographs he dissolves the crystals in demineralised water, the solution is then dropped onto a slide and left to crystallize. This method however does not work with all drugs, and therefore no successful photographs have been taken of cocaine, ketamine or oxycodone.

Top: MDMA, LSD, GHB Bottom: DMT, Amphetamine, 2CB

The reason he gives behind his work is that many of us will not tend to consume hard drugs but will willingly consume painkillers, food additives or prescription drugs without hesitation. No one tends to read the medication leaflet or product label when taking these socially accepted drugs and medication until things go wrong. Therefore through his microscopic photography he aims to create more awareness about the products we consume.

Not only do I find his work visually appealing and intellectually interesting but it also reminded me of an artist I did research into for my Type is Visual Speech project at the beginning of the year. Davy Evans is an award winning artist and designer who studied Graphic Design at the University of Brighton. His work mainly focuses on combining digital and analogue techniques to produce abstract experimental photography (similar to that produced during the Let There Be Light Project.)

Streams by Davy Evans

///// by Davy Evans. A series where he mixed normal household chemicals with high oil content

Article on Opiate Addiction for The New York Times by Davy Evans

These photographs produced by photographing chemicals and substances at a microscopic scale has very similar visual qualities to the series Michael Mikkers, however the approach varies. Mikkers is using his photography to record and document substances at a microscopic level where as the work of Evans is far more creative as he plays and manipulates his subject matter to get his desired visual outcome. Therefore comparing a very objective and subjective approach to photography that initially appears to be very similar.

Another artist creating work similar to Evans is Ruslan Khasanov, who has produced work for Adobe, Computer Arts, HTC, IBM, GQ and many more. The focus of his work is also experimental photography, however he also incorporates motion graphics into his work.

Lucidity by Ruslan Khasanov, 2014

Lucidity by Ruslan Khasanov, 2014

The work of these artists has inspired me to revisit experimental photography and to even possibly explore film and motion art. Let There Be Light was my favourite project from semester 1 and I am eager to further explore, develop and discover new ways of producing experimental photography, especially through the use of substances and chemicals to generate otherworldly imagery. Although these techniques do not currently fit into any projects I am working on I would like to explore experimental photography as a continuous personal project.

Vector Illustration

Vector illustration has been a topic I have wanted to learn for a very long time, and now with the skills I’ve learned through my visual communication projects and the software I have learned through my software inductions I feel confident to take on the task. Two inspirational vector artists, whose work I’ve followed for years, are James Gilleard and Mark Usimani. Both use vectors skillfully to create beautiful imagery however their styles are distinctly different.

The illustrator / animator James Gilleard is from London, England and is currently producing work. He has many distinct styles however his most popular are his very detailed vector illustrations. In Illustrator he will build up an image through the use of layered vector shapes, varying in colour and tone. He will also add textures to these images, removing the often ‘over polished’ look present in many vector artists work. From a distance you may not believe that these images were produced using vectors due to the detail and three dimensional form created through his style.

Japanese Food by James Gilleard, 2016

His also produces very abstract vector work. Since completing the spatial awareness project I can now see a clear link between the project and the work of James Gilleard. As well as using shapes, like I did for spatial awareness, he has taken it further by introducing colour and tone. I am eager to explore experimenting with more complex forms like those seen below as well as adding colour and tone and seeing what effect that has on the emotions and feelings conveyed through my work.

Abstract Things Series by James Gilleard, 2016

Abstract Things Series by James Gilleard, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In contrast to his work is the highly polished vector work of freelance American designer / illustrator Mark Usmiani. His work compared to the work of James Gilleard is far more playful and child like. The content of his illustrations mainly focuses on fictional fantasy weapons and armour that he designs. This playfulness is also conveyed in his style, which consists of bright bold colours and highly polished bubbly vector shapes.

Loot Series by Mark Usmiani, 2016

Both artists use vector illustration effectively to convey different moods and feelings. When experimenting with vectors I feel it would be beneficial to experiment with both of their styles which would give me a broader understanding of the topic. I often feel mainly designers decide to use the more polished vector style, which personally I enjoy a lot, but being able to successfully create work in either style will grant me more flexibility if I choose to use vector illustrations in future university projects or industry briefs.

Levi’s Music Project – Skepta

“The Levi’s® Music Project supports music education by providing access to educational programs, community resources, and industry-leading professionals to youth around the world.” – Levi

Skepta is an English grime artist, songwriter and record producer. Grime is a genre that emerged in East London in the early 2000’s and is a mixture between UK jungle and garage. Skepta is a very popular musician at the moment after just having released his fourth studio album in 2016 which gained him the 2016 Mercury Prize, causing his music is very popular with the youth and amongst the UK music scene. Furthermore he has helped grime to gain popularity internationally, causing himself and other UK grime artists to receive recognition from international stars such as Kanye West, ASAP Rocky and Drake.

Above is a short documentary from the Levi’s Music Project featuring their partnership with Skepta. As part of the project Skepta and Levi’s built a recording studio in Tottenham, where Skepta was raised. The studio is a fully functioning space for the local youth community and acts as a space where they can gain guidance and support. Skepta worked with 12 of the youths at the studio to offer them guidance with their work and to help them progress their careers as independent artists in the modern digital age. He also helped to organise a show at the V&A for them all to preform and showcase their work to a live audience. Levi’s have also hosted other events recently at the V&A, for example they partnered with the V&A for the ‘You Say You Want A Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970′ exhibition. which I visited in the past as research for Cultural and Critical Studies essay.

This project highlights the importance of community projects in helping young artists of any kind progress with their work in highly competitive industries. It also promotes the idea of independence, within the music industry this would involve producing and releasing music without a label, however in design this could be working freelance as opposed to working within a studio.

Skepta is one of my favourite musicians and the work he does with the community is greatly inspiring. He stands for hard work and independence which are qualities I strive to embrace with my own design practice.

Black Mirror

Black Mirror is a fictional television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker and released in 2011. Each episode has a different storyline and cast however they all follow a similar concept, they explore the dark unexpected consequences that could be caused by the introduction of new technologies to modern society. In one episode for example they looked how future technology may allow use to retain all of our memories digitally which we could then revisit and analyse, and how this could lead to relationships being destroyed between people as individuals became obsessed with analysing past events which would otherwise be forgotten. Another example would be an episode where social hierarchy is completely dictated by how popular you are online, although this is relevant today the episode takes this idea and develops it to cover all aspects of society and everyday life.

The series raises many questions about human behaviour and the ethics and responsibilities we hold when it comes to technology. These issues raised caused me to also think about the ethics in design and more closely thinking about the consequences of design on society. In cultural and critical studies we cover many issues presented within design that have an effect on society such as feminism, sexism and racism, and although the consequences of these issues are much less extreme than the ones presented in Black Mirror, they still have a notable effect.

In conclusion I really enjoyed the concept of this series, although some episodes don’t have a particularly strong storyline the over idea behind the series causes you to think more carefully about your actions and future.

High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture

High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture by Mike Jay, 1959

“‘High Society’ explores the spectrum of drug use across the globe and throughout history, from its roots in animal intoxication to its future in designer neurochemicals” 

As part of my research for my cultural and critical studies essay I looked to this book for information. My essay was based on psychedelic posters and psychedelic drugs such as acid, therefore this book was very useful in helping me to gain a better insight into the effects, history and cultural use of acid. However once I had finished my research I decided to continue reading the entire book as I found the information provided highly interesting. I have always had an interest in the mind altering affects of drugs and how plants and chemicals can change our perception of the world and experience, also how they have helped to shape history and culture, therefore this book was well suited to me.

The book explores the use of drugs throughout history and various cultures. It covers a range of drugs such as LSD, cocaine, laughing gas, marijuana, coffee, and tobacco and shows how throughout history the use of recreational drugs has come to fruition, with initially drugs only be used as medicine and any effects caused that were not seen as curing the patient or were unwanted (e.g. hallucinations) were ignored. Once scientists began exploring these drugs for their additional properties, their use recreationally in society began to expand. However there are exceptions to this, such as the tribes throughout the world who had been using natural plants recreationally or for spiritual purposes for years e.g. Shamans using ayahuasca to engage with spirits.

This book is highly informative and approaches the topic from a variety of perspectives, from detailed descriptions of the drugs and their effects, to their history and creation, how they impacted society and culture, and how drugs will continue to impact society in the future. It has helped me to understand how society has changed over the years due to drugs which I had previously not considered, they have influences governments, trading, laws and many other factors of society which have lead to civilisations being as they are today. My perspective of the world has been changed due to this book as it has opened my eyes to how industries, which I initially would not have thought to have had an effect, changes history and society and in the future I will continue to think of topics on a larger scale and what impact they may have.

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970

exx-hot-rod-4

Exhibition Photograph by Danielle Wightman-Stone, 2016

27/10/2016

‘You Say you Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970’ is an exhibition currently being hosted at the V&A in London up until 26th February 2017. This exhibition explores the main revolutions that took place in sixties and how they affected society at the time and continue to do so today. The exhibition covers all aspects key to society at the time, including fashion, music, film, design and political movements.

The reason for visiting this exhibition was to seek inspiration and collect primary research for use in our cultural and critical studies essay on how the information presented in text supports the key ideas and concepts presented within a piece of exhibited work. Regardless of the nature of the trip I found this exhibition to be extremely interesting personally and very informative. It was unlike an art exhibition, which is what I was initially expecting and was more like a museum exhibit due to the fact it was laid out chronologically and covered a wide variety of mediums.

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CIA UFO by Haphash and the Coloured Coat, 1976

Before attending the exhibition I knew very little about the sixties other than hippies and psychedelic drugs and art. This exhibition however allowed me to see the origins of many social movements that are present today, such as issues to do with feminism and racism. As well as how what was happening at the time affected music, fashion, film and design. What I found particularly interesting about the exhibition was the psychedelic posters on display and how they embodied the free thinking attitude embraced by many members of society, also the influence of psychedelic drugs which were very popular at the time. I have chosen a series of these psychedelic posters produced by the design group ‘Haphash and the Coloured Coat’ for analysis within my essay.