Art of the Accident: Etching Final Book

During the art of the accident project I attended an etching workshop, further information can be found here, and as part of that workshop I produced a variety of hard and soft ground etching prints. These prints were based off my photography done at Brighton Beach as part of the art of the accident project. My prints were inspired by my close up photography of rusted and eroded metal, and the mark making within the etchings aims to convey the textured surface of those forms.

For assessments I made my collection of etchings into a book. All of the etchings within the book are the original prints. The book is hand bound using Japanese stab binding and has two covers made of copper pearlescent card. I choose to use copper pearlescent card as it is similar to colour and metallic appearance of rusted metal, furthermore I used this card for the covers of my art of the accident book, therefore by using the same material for the covers it links the two books together.

Art of the Accident: Final Perfect Bound Book

Above is a photograph my final perfect bound book’s front cover. The book is split into 3 sections of 4 pages/16 sides which are perfect bound together. The spine is then covered in slate grey book cloth, then 300gsm copper pearlescent card is attached to the front and back to become the cover. Below is a video of my final bound book, there are also photographs of the book spreads once bound, some of the spreads are made of paper, whilst others are acetate allowing layers of imagery to be built up.

Photographed spreads:

Art of the Accident: Group Critique

The feedback that I received during the group critique for my book was very positive, the tutors and the other students enjoyed the work that I produced and the feedback given was to help move the work on.

It was suggested that the book should be more monumental and could be printed A3 or A2, however due to printing costs the largest I could print the book for a reasonable price would be A3 spreads with A4 pages.

Another suggestion was that for the cover of the book I should consider using iron filings to actually rust the cover, however this process would be quite time consuming. I could also choose to screenprint with metallic ink or use metallic card and laser cut into it. There was also the option to laser cut into a metal cover, however attaching covers to the book may put too much strain on the binding and tear the book apart. I chose to use metallic card for the cover, online I purchased 300gsm pearlescent card in a copper colour resembling rust, this card is also dyed all the way through therefore when trimmed the edges would remain a copper colour and not go white. I decided to not laser cut into the card a gaining access to the laser cutter during this busy period leading up to deadlines across all courses and years was difficult.

For the final presentation of the book it was suggested that I contain the book within a thin metal box that needs to be cut into to access the book, however once again gaining access to the facilities needed to create the box is too tricky during this busy period, I would also need to be inducted into the workshops as previously I am not.

Finally it was suggested that I add text to the book, this could be scientific information about rust or a timeline of rust. I chose to include scientific information on rust as this book includes photographs from both Brighton and Portslade, therefore two very different kinds of rust are documented meaning two separate timelines would be required which could cause confusion if documented throughout the book.

Art of the Accident: Duotones and Tritones

Original photograph

Blue and black duotone

Blue, black and red tritone

Red and black tritone

Red, black and blue tritone

As suggested in my tutorial I began to experiment with colour. Using colours from the colour schemes I have previously created I experimented with creating duotones and tritones in Adobe Photoshop, which is a process I had never tried before. I liked the outcomes however I felt that the duotones and tritones took away from the initial imagery as the original photographs had a larger range of vibrant colours. Therefore from this I concluded that I did not want to edit the photographs from Brighton Beach in order to preserve their initial colour palettes.

Brown and black duotone

Brown and black duotone

Brown and black duotone

Instead of making duotone images from the Brighton Beach photography I made duotone images from my Portslade photography. I choose to edit these pictures as the original photographs were bright and vibrant with a yellow and blue colour scheme, this did not reflect industrial erosion which is orange and brown, these colours also clashed with the less saturated colours from my Brighton Beach photography. I find these edits to be far more successful as they remove the bright colours and make the images feel more industrial, as well as helping them to integrate well with the other imagery.

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.


 

Art of the Accident: Portslade

Whilst in Portslade I visited the industrial port, at this port is a variety of industrial companies featuring a range of industrial equipment, such as steel works and cement works. Due to health and safety it was not possible to take photography close up of the machinery, therefore the majority of my photography is taken from afar with exception of one series of photographs where an employee was kind enough to grant me access to a steel works to take photographs of their steel up close. The close ups of the steel allowed me to take photographs of industrial erosion up close and capture the texture on the surfaces. As well as taking photographs within the steel works I took photographs from a distance of the machinery within another steel works and a cement works. These photographs feature the linear and cold qualities of machinery and contrast with the warm textural rust close ups.

The content of these photographs vary greatly from the bright and vibrant photographs that I took at Brighton Beach therefore I intend to experiment with juxtaposing the images from both photoshoots together, comparing natural and man made erosion and weathering within Brighton.

Art of the Accident: Tutorial

During a tutorial today with the tutors we discussed through the work I had made so far in the project, specifically my photography of rust and erosion taken at Brighton beach, and spoke about where I could take the project next.

OIL & WATER DO NOT MIX by Anthony Burrill

Screenprinting was highlighted as a possible process for exploration. From the photographs you can clearly tell that the images are taken from brighton due to its prominent bright and varied colour scheme, therefore layering multiple prints of my photos with colours picked out from my photographs could be visually interesting. It was also suggested that I could take inspiration from Anthony Burrill, who used crude oil from an oil spill to make a screenprint on environmental issues, and screen print using a solution made of rust. After doing research however I found that the process for making a rust solution would take weeks to get the amount I needed therefore this idea was quickly abandoned.

“The choice of font was very simple; I needed a heavy typeface to use the oil and sand mixture as much as possible. The corrosive effects of the oil and sand gradually destroyed the screen that they were using to print which resulted in the distressed, rough feel that communicated exactly what we wanted to say. It’s intentionally blank in its meaning, the point of the poster is how it was physically made.” – Anthony Burrill

Continuing with the idea of using screen printing it may be worth experimenting with contrasting the natural textural qualities of the rust with the shapes of the industrial structures it formed on. Portslade is a part of Brighton where there is a large industrial yard, therefore in the upcoming days I intend to visit the area and gather some photographs of the industrial rust and machinery present, this I can then contrast with the more natural and colourful forms of weathering found at Brighton beach.

Art of the Accident: Brighton Beach Photography

After deciding not to continue with my photography of marks made unintentionally and intentionally in the studio by students I decided to photography erosion and weathering in a natural environment where the effects would be more unpredictable. Above are contact sheets of photographs I took whilst at Brighton beach. The photographs document the natural weathering and erosion of the man made buildings and structures.

I believe these photographs were far more successful than those taken within the studio. From these photographs I am particularly intrigued by the close up photographs of rust that I found on the metal bars beneath Brighton Pier. The colours and textural qualities of the rust would be interesting to experiment and play with using printing processes. It may also be interesting to explore juxtaposing the textural and natural qualities of the rust with the cold hard forms of the structures they were found on, combining texture and linear forms.

Vertical Project: Brighton Museum and Gallery

Some of the research topics I previously identified from my investigation into gnomes was “dolls, puppets, theatre, performance and surrealism” and “ornaments and ceramics.” To research these topics I visited the Brighton Museum and Gallery where they show an exhibition on performers and spectators, and another exhibition on ceramics.

“Public performances happen all over the world. They inspire us to make spectacular things – costumes, masks, puppets, instruments and images. These objects are used with fantastic stories, histories, music or dance to transport us for a time to imaginary worlds.” 

Performers and Spectators Exhibition

When walking around the exhibition I focused on objects that were surrealist in appearance or had an interesting process. I found the visual qualities of the Genie Mask (2nd from the left, top row in the image above) and Lupercalian Priest Mask particularly interesting, the use of distorted scale of the face worn by a performer and the mask with multiple faces on one head both relate to the surrealist aesthetic. I was also very interested in the process behind 19th century Indian “Shadow Puppets” (1st and 2nd form the left, middle row in the image above). Shadows of the puppets would be cast onto a cloth screen, this meant the original puppet was not directly visible and the lighting used could distort the scale and create atmosphere. Modern shadow shows include contemporary music, multimedia and light shows. This process could be a way to create an eerie yet playful feeling using gnome shadow puppets, with a further exploration into music, multimedia and lighting. Furthermore I could explore location, as the initial setting of my memory was a woods I could investigate projecting shadow puppets within a wood environment on the scenery.


The above ceramics, with the exception of the middle image on the bottom row, are part of a collection donated in 1903 by Henry Willet, a founding father of Brighton Museum. His collection of pottery and porcelain illustrates British popular history, conveying political, social and cultural history through the figures and vessels.

The objects themselves have very little information to accompany them, other than a title and a brief description of the materials and imagery used. Therefore from the vast collection I picked out a small selection of pieces that were surreal in appearance, I also discovered a Grayson Perry pot. Difficult Background, 2001, contains illustrations of children playing in 1950s clothing, however on closer inspection reveals burning buildings and figures screaming and running naked from others who are armed. There is also a girl who is presenting an apple to a boy over a signpost labelled ‘lost innocence’. This pot can be viewed as making a statement on the atrocities of conflict.

Difficult Background by Grayson Perry, 2001

Although the pot is neither surreal of directly relating to my line of study, the concept of creating seemingly positive imagery with a darker meaning is very interesting. The idea of the gnome sanctuary was to be whimsical and playful, however the number of gnomes in a woodland setting, plus the eerie connotations associated with gnomes, means that they can also have a creepy atmosphere. This idea of juxtaposition of positive and negative could be something I include within my final outcome.

Introduction to Darkroom Photography

scan-2

My Final Black and White Print

23/11/2016

Whilst studying my Foundation at college I became interested in darkroom photography and it became an important part of my projects, therefore I was excited to finally be inducted into the darkroom at the university. Although I was familiar with the process the induction was still interesting as I got to learn the printing methods that they use at the university, also I learnt what was achievable within those facilities which will allow me to experiment more with my work in the future.

Using found negatives we spent the day using the projectors to develop a successful 10 x 8 inch print. The negative I chose proved to be a tough negative to work with due to the high contrast erasing some of the details. This meant I spent hours experimenting with exposure times and, dodging and burning the print in order to achieve the detail and contrast I wanted. Although tough to work with, this print helped me revisit some of the skills I had learnt months ago and forgotten. I also began to familiarise myself with the facilities, as at Brighton they use a machine that develops, stops, fixes and dries the prints for you, where as previously I had done all of these steps manually. Also we used contrast filters within the projectors which I had never used in my work before.