SELF INITATED BRIEF 3:
DISJUNCTIVE OBJECTS (COLLAGE)
Before starting my COP3 project I self identified that the process of visual metaphor was important to my practice. I studied the surrealists and their practice of combining disjunctive objects to communicate irrationality. They did this both through this visual arts and writing. I realised that I similarly adopted this technique but subverted the functions of the objects I selected to tell a story. I want to explore this process of combination as I think that it could be a valuable asset for editorial illustration and also it improves my intelligence and the nuance with which I approach my practice. I think for this brief Iâ€™m going to be mostly experimenting with a collage process, as this is the easiest and most time effective way for me to play around with fusion.
(**Explore the process of combination as a conceptual tool and apply this to editorial illustration. Adapt the Surrealistsâ€™ practice of irrationality to communicate complex themes and ideas.)
The image on the left was based around a poem I had written on hedonism, and it was a direct result to the idea of the pursuit of pleasure taking precedence over everything else and even inflicting pain. I thought the dichotomy of these two states could be summarised through the depiction of a ball gag with a rock in the space of the ball. A ball gag is commonly used to bite down on during sexual activity and of course if this were to be replaced with a rock it would subvert its purpose and therefore be dysfunctional. It brings up interesting questions about the pursuit of pleasure above all else. The second image is a lotus** opening outward drawn over a bear trap. This was in response to the initial and seductive stages of romance which can lure a person in but later on it can feel like a trap. I also think as a visual contradiction the opening of the organic flower against the harsh geometric shapes of the bear trap work effectively. I think thereâ€™s an interesting conversation to be had in the subversion of objects purely for the sake of subversion (or just aesthetic reasons) and for the sake of strengthening a concept.**
It was interesting that for my COP3 publication the process of pairing the eye together with objects and into certain scenarios changed from spread to spread. Sometimes I would have a clear idea of the concept and it would be written down and the actual visual elements would come secondary. It was like the I knew what I was looking for and I just needed to find the right parts to fit together. Other times I would come up with the ideas purely on a visual basis where I just wanted to see if I could fit the eye with a certain object and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. The concept would then be secondary or there wouldn’t be one at all and it was essentially a visual relationship and was nothing more than that. I researched about associations for COP3 and cultural and societal relationships also play a big role in attributing meaning. I’m interested in potentially exploring this through “random associations” of things which normally would not interact in reality. I think I’ve hit an interesting nerve which is innovative to my practice.
Mona Hatoum Mona Hatoum works more within the realms of installation and sculpture but I find her work fascinating. I think the ball gag I drew with a rock in place of the ball is similar in the sense that the functionality of the object has been subverted so that it creates a sense of pain. I think her wheelchair sculpture best represents this with the knives in place of the handles. It brings questions about caregivers and the responsibilities of being in charge of a person and being accountable to look after somebody with a disability. This is best summed up on the Tates website: â€˜Here the wheelchair itself provides a harsh alternative to its normal counterpart, since it is entirely made of polished metal, replacing surfaces which are normally padded and soft with chill steel. The knife blades transform it into a vehicle of perverse torture which will lacerate the hands of anyone foolish enough to take a hold of it. The potential relationship of love and support, for which the wheelchair is a metaphor, has become one of abuse in which both parties are the victims. In the scenario it suggests, the person who needs care and who is dependent on another in order to move is forced to injure the person who helps him.â€™
Olivia Knapp Olivia Knapp is someone who’s work I really love. I found her after my COP3 project was handed in and it was really frustrating because I immediately saw parallels between her work and my own for that project. She hand draws all of her compositions in a style reminiscent of traditional engraving techniques. I’m a huge fan of the way she’s able to mimic this visual style and apply it to her own creations!
RESEARCH METHODS PRACTICAL •
I think that a lot of this project will be me playing around with collage as a visual tool because as a way of being able to combine disparate objects I think that it works well and it’s also building off of the knowledge which I gained in COP3. I think I want to apply this area of my practice to editorial illustration to see if I can start to think about different avenues where my work can exist?? Reading articles and seeing if I can come up with an interesting way to represent it visually. Autonomous writing/ image-making tasks, similar to that of the ‘exquisite corpse’ game that the Surrealists used to play.
I already gathered a huge amount of research on Surrealist values and theories and I’ll probably revisit that for this project/ expand on this??
I’m going to research editorial illustration to get a better understanding of how I could adapt my practice. Engage in primary research with practitioners to open up conversations about my work in a professional context. What kind of publications could I see my editorial work in?? Is there a particular style of writing that my illustration style works best with??
VISUAL Rene Magritte
Giorgio De Chirico
SELF INITATED BRIEF 3.5: MOVING IMAGE I realised recently that my work (especially collage) could work well as being animated. I think I work in a style that is simplified enough to allow for movement to take place and so I want to experiment with this. Iâ€™m not planning on this being a large part of the main brief but it might provide me with some new skills and a more dynamic approach to my work.
(** Explore moving image through the transformation of static engraving style illustrations into looping GIF animations.)
AIMS/HOPES/OUTCOMES FOR BRIEF: • Strengthen my ability to form visual metaphors and develop my awareness of how this can strengthen my practice. • Research editorial illustration and start to apply my work into new contexts. • Build on research I did in COP3 on Surrealist theories and values, specifically on displacement/disjunction as a means to communicate in an authentic way. • Visual displacement/subversion – Conceptual displacement/subversion: juxtaposition on two different planes. • What kind of articles would my work fit best with? What is my tone of voice appropriate for? Visual signature. • Play around with collage and learn new skills/ ways of constructing new compositions. • Adding colour to collage work?? My COP3 project was all black + white, how would adding colour make this more interesting?? • Experiment with moving image and GIF-making. Collage potentially provides an exciting opportunity for movement and it could further the narrative elements of my practice. • Have fun with visual associations!! It’s a part of my practice which I really enjoy so don’t want to put too much pressure on this brief. Just going to construct lots of weird and wonderful things!!