I started off with some observational ink drawings of some dead flowers I had in my room; I bought these flowers after the break down of a relationship, and did not throw them away. I started to think about the meanings behind the act of giving flowers, and also what had made me keep them. I wanted to explore the semiotics, and metaphors I had created around the flowers, and how one can create such a memory association with objects.
After Having enjoyed the process and creating the outcome from the first part of the project, I wanted to create a sequel zine, that would carry on the theme of exploring a journey of self realisation. I decided I wanted to focus on a metaphorical theme of exploring unnecessary romanticisation of specific places or objects after the break down of a relationship. I wanted to explore a journey of trying to live in ‘The real world’ and the journey of stopping association of things with a certain person or past memories, in order to move on into another stage of life.
I recently saw an expedition at the oxo tower in Southbank, by an Artist called Luke Norton. I picked up this Zine at the gallery that had a summary of the work in the exhibition in it, I really liked the minimal composition and use of negative space in the zine layout. The exhibition itself was also very good, I really enjoyed the element of ‘found object word art’ , as this is something I enjoy about using text in my own work
”You make your own reality
Behind a wall inside your head
and unless you open it up, no one can share or understand it”
lets just say that graphic design isn’t really my forte, even though I am not very good at making things look uniform and linear and straight, I always have a very specific vision in my head of the aesthetics oh how I want things I create to look. On this particular zine I really struggled on the layout when arranging how I wanted the image, text and type to look – I really wanted to experiment with negative space, with a quite minimalist composition of image, photos and words on each page, I often find a minimalist composition harder to get right that a more visually busy one, so I spent a lot of time making sure things where Simi straight. In hindsight I probably should have used Indesign, instead of Photoshop to orange the actual pages of the zine and it would have been a lot less time consuming . I thought my decision to use so much negative space in the layout was a good one, as I think it focusses the audience to notice the small details of the image or photograph.
I wanted to create some imagery to represent the tube in London, and the stops I was familiar with when I would take this weekly journal. I have bit of an obsession with collecting Sanpellegrino drink labels, as I really enjoy the bright colours, and when I was arranging them in my journal I was listing to a song by the cribs that mentioned the circle line, and I liked the idea of the labels representing these specific stops on the underground. I also think that the design of the drink labels are reminiscent of the underground symbol anyway.
I had a disposable camera that had half the film used up, half with photos I had taken in London of the journey in question I wanted to depict in the zine, I decided to fill the rest of the camera with imagery from train stations and other landmarks on the journey. I thought these photos would not only be good to feature in the zine but also a good premise to draw from.
As I was not going on the Newyork or Barcelona trips, I was a little worried that the imagery ect.. in the zines I would make would not be as interesting as everyone elses , despite this; rather than making my zines about a specific location or journey, I set out the aim of the project to address a current metaphorical journey of my own. (this is me saying I’m basically making more art about a break up). I wanted to combine and explore a literal and metaphorical journey in this zine. For the literal side of the journey I wanted to depict the weekly journey I would make to London to see my ex boyfriend, and the interest I have in travelling to London, as I am from a small rural market town in the midlands, I would always associate travelling via trains (or any means of transport really) very exiting, as for me getting on a train would always mean escaping a boring town I very much hated living in. This is why I decided to call the zine ”Escaping the Cave”, which is of course also a reference to (Philosopher) Plato’s dialogue of ‘The republic’ in which he outlines the analogy of the cave. Plato’s Cave is essentially a metaphor to explain how Plato believed human empiricism is flawed, and how the world we reside in is a mere shadow of the truth that is supposedly in ‘The realm of forms’, which in his analogy is outside the cave. I thought this was a good metaphorical association with the current journey I wanted to depict in the zine, as I wanted to explore how I had experienced a similar period of enlightenment after the relationship break up, and how sometimes our judgement of things can be flawed by our sensory knowledge.
I started experimenting with compiling the ‘Memory Patterns’ I had made, on a larger scale digitally. I liked how the compositions that just had a singular colour conveyed quite a specific feeling or effect, and the compositions with a multitude of different colours and marks had a more chaotic feel to them, whilst still painting the child like aesthetic that I wanted.