Leeds train station are commissioning digital artwork that conveys what Leeds and Yorkshire means to you. The chosen pieces of artwork will be displayed along the panels of the wall on platform 16. There are 13 panels in total and each section of the wall measures 5.8m x 2.5m. Leeds Train Station are asking artists to submit designs digitally, so they are able to scale these up and have them printed to size.
Places I have visited
Malham Cove Yorkshire Dales
Settle to Carlise Railway
Salts Mill Saltaire
Pen-y-Ghent Yorkshire Dales
Ribblesdale Yorkshire Dales
Camp Site Malham
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Research I want to draw upon my experiences from the summer break this year which, for the first time, I spent in Yorkshire. I went on many awe inspiring trips to the Yorkshire Dales, where I spent time camping, walking and drawing. I want to base my illustration upon these experiences and the things that I found interesting along the way. I have also been inspired by Yorkshire based artists. David Hockney’s landscape work is so sticking, his use of colour and shape depicts Yorkshire’s landscape as exciting and ever changing, I want to capture this vibrancy in my own work. I also want to take inspiration from Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures. I will be using vectors to create this image so thinking in shape is essential.
Firstly, I have chosen to take part in this brief as I want to improve my digital skills. Due to the size restrictions of this artwork, vectors must be used, therefore giving myself a chance to advance my Adobe Illustrator skills. This is a program that I rarely find the opportunity to use and is outside of my comfort zone. Secondly, this is a great opportunity for me to enlarge my platform and open my work up to larger audiences. The station is also home to many artworks by professionals that I admire, this gives me a goal of professionalism to work towards. I aim to depict Yorkshire in a number of small moments and memories. Creating a collection of images that work together as a patchwork to represent its’ charming nature.
Salts Mill, Saltaire, Yorks by David Hockney 1997
Family of Man by Barbara Hepworth 1970
Sketchbooks of Yorkshire by David Hockney
I started by roughing all of the different components of the image, drawing inspiration from each of the places that I have visited. I wanted to focus the subtle, small, shapely elements that are less representational, hoping that together they could communicate clearly while still maintaining a level of playfulness. I went on to transform my drawings into vectors using Adobe Illustrator. I found this process extremely enjoyable as I worked to cut out any unnecessary information, leaving only pure, geometric shapes. I found colour to be the most challenging part of this process. My first submitted outcome was far too dark and earthy in tone. Although this colour pallet made sense to me as it reflects the colours found in Yorkshire, the judges rightly asked my to brighten up my pallet. It took me two revisions to get to an outcome that I felt happy with and suited the commissioners.
Outcome The outcome is colourful, bright and bold, making it eye catching in an environment like a train station as the setting tends to be mostly grey. I think the different elements jigsaw together well to create an image that is well balanced and sensitive to its subject matter. My outcome has been successful in the competition and therefore been chosen to be shown in Leeds Train Station!
I am very glad that I have been able to improve my Adobe Illustrator skills. This is the first time that I have created a final outcome using this software since a mandatory brief in first year. To be able to get to grips with this way of working and for the outcome to be successful is a big achievement for me personally. However, I do maintain the thought that a handmade aesthetic is more authentic to me as a practitioner, but I do see the importance of this skill in briefs that require large scale. Being successful in this competition has helped me to grow more confident in my abilities, and working with clients to create revisions has taught me how to communicate clearly and professionally to achieve an outcome that both parties are pleased with.