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Genius is the recovery of childhood at will - Arthur Rimbaud

Submission 1

A u t ho r : C r a i g J A M E S - 1 5 0 3 6 3 2 0

C o n ve n o r / Tu t o r : K a t e M c M i l l a n

Due Date: June 14, 2010. 9am

TRAN S F O R M AT I O N VSW1 1 Pro j e c t 1 | I nt ro d u c t i o n to B o o k b i n d i n g VS W 1 1 Pro j e c t 2 | G ro u p Pro j e c t ( p a r t 1 ) A r t i s t a n d We b B a s e d R e s e a rc h Co n ce p t D e ve l o p m e nt a n d N o te s


Craig James - 15036320

TRANSFORMATION V S W 1 1 Pro j e c t 1 | I nt ro d u c t i o n to B o o k b i n d i ng

Project 1: Post & Screw Diary Concept Development

Figure 1. Leaf matte r te s t s a m p l e

The Golden Spiral, has fascinated philosophers for thousands of years and is still the subject of inquiry in the field of art, architecture, music, botany, biology, astronomy and physics. So far science has documented its existence, yet no one has fully penetrated its mystery. Spirals appear in seashells, pine cones, animal horns, plant growth, galaxies, and the rendering of a DNA strand. (Asher, 2007) Basically it is virtually within everything in existence, and what is to come, ‘IT’ for me, is the perfect transformational symbol.

Post and Screw Construction Notes Not being able to go straight out purchase everything due to lack of funds, I found a number of items in my shed, decaying leaf matter out in the yard and also sourced a few things from the local recyclers. I covered some matt board using primed 8lb canvas offcuts. I knew the feeling that I needed from the diary from the theme that I had explored and set about sketching the design onto the primed canvas surface. What I wanted to achieve was an old style, alchemical style of look and feel, one that would give the impression that it held some type of knowledge. Figure 2. Damar cr ystals & g u m t u r p e nt i n e

Figure 3. M ethods used to a g e d i a r y cove r


Once drawn onto the surface and I has happy with the overall dimensions that would accommodate the spiral I then began to use different shades and tones to arrive at an acceptable colour scheme. Using the decayed leaf matter I did a few test samples (fig 1) to make sure that it would be durable enough and withstand constant usage. This was finally achieved by using damar crystals and gum turpentine, (fig 2) something I had never used before. Using Atelier acrylic I managed to transform the cover into a leather look and feel. This was achieved by applying 5 coats of paint and using different methods to age the final finish; rubbing, sanding, and applying different tones of undercoat. (fig 3) continued.....

Craig James - 15036320

TRANSFORMATION V S W 1 1 Pro j e c t 1 | I nt ro d u c t i o n to B o o k b i n d i ng

Brief: To Construct a Visual Diary Post and Screw Documentation continued

Figure 4. B efore the chan g e o f co l o u r s c h e m e

I arrived at the point where I added the textural finishing touches which included adding the decaying leaf matter and also constructing a gold spiral. After the excess leaf matter was sanded and damar applied I found that the overall colour scheme didn’t quite look the way I had hoped, even after completing colour samples. (fig 4) The diary was then instinctively highlighted using white mixed with the original paint which brought the overall look back to how I had envisioned it to be. Using brass for the spiral I couldn’t get it to bend in a perfect spiral and after a number of attempts I chose another option. Using small rounded rubber found at the dump I applied to it a high gloss acrylic gold spray paint. With thin wire inserted down its centre I was able to bend the rubber in a more truer spiral and glued it into position. Pulling the wire out after drying the result was as close if I had heated the brass and bent it by hand. (fig 5)I then applied gold cardboard to the inside of each cover inserted the brass inter screws with 10mm extenders and brass corners to protection and added asthetics. (fig 6)

Figure 5. Rubber coate d i n g o l d p a i nt

Additional Thoughts on the Diary I am unsure as to the paper processes involved with different methods of printmaking so I have not properly filled the diary with high grade paper. I will purchase this once I have read more on the paper types. I am not entirely happy with the gold cardboard cover inserts and will be replacing them with something more appropriate and hopefully adding to the overall look and feel of the diary. Lets see where this goes in relation to further additions of prints, research, documentation, my personal style of working and also subtle changes that will take place to the inside and outside of the visual diaries cover.

Figure 6. Finished cove r o f v i s u a l d i a r y


Craig James - 15036320

“The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a sort of pasture which the imagination must digest and transform.” - Charles Baudelaire

Project 2: Group Project Transformed Image (part 1) As I delve deeper into the theme ‘Transformation’ I am finding myself going back 35 years to the only time I ever felt emotional contentment. So many things have happened over the years yet nothing has ever filled a yawning gap that has been a hindrance in my ability to know myself on a deeper level.

What could ‘IT’ be in Hermetic terms? • The principle of mentalism. All is mind, the universe is mental.

• The principle of correspondence. As above, so below; as below so above.

I am going to speak of something that is personal to me and is the very thing that shaped my views on the world and how I interact with people today. When I was only 10 years of age I experienced what some would pass off as a dream. It wasn’t a dream, it was a nightmare for I am yet to awake from it. It may have some imagination attached however what I felt could not come from a childs imagination. I speak with sadness for I had no one to hold me, to save me from what I fell into. All I can say is that something brushed pass me that night and attached itself. I lost the ability to be a child and became continually fearful and anxious, I became an adult. The image that I transformed is my attempt to calm those fears, to take away the darkness, that gravitational inward push, that indescribable silent scream that I have held inside me for over 35 years. IT stands on the threshold and I now have the ability to meet it, learn from IT and see where IT comes from. I have finally stopped long to leave the darkness and step out into the light to meet and begin to understand my inner psyche. I sit here and weep silent contentment for I am about to as Arthur Rimbaud was quoted as saying “learn how to recover my childhood at will.”

• The principle of vibration. Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.

• The principle of polarity. All is duality. Everything has poles; everything has its pairs of opposites; like and unlike are the same.

• The universe is Rhythm. Everything flows out, and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall. There is always an action and a reaction, an advance and a retreat.

• The principle of causation. Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to law. Chance is but a name for law not recognised. There are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the law.

• The principle of Gender. Gender in everything, everything has its masculine and feminine principles. (Carty, D 2007)

Figu re 7 . Tra n s fo r m e d i m a g e o f H o m e l a n d f ro m 4

Co l l a b o rat i o n I m a g e s

Craig James - 15036320

The fine art of painting, which is the bastard of alchemy, always has been always will be, a game. The rules of the game are quite simple: in a given arena, on as many psychic fronts as the talent allows, one must visually describe, the centre of the meaning of existense. - Brett Whiteley

Artist and collaborative art web based research

Artists - Transformation • Brett Whiteley • Robert Fontenot

Art21 Season Five of Art in the Twenty-First Century.

• Allen Ginsberg

ART21 Art21 was founded in 1997 with the belief that contemporary visual art is of real interest and value to a broad audience. By making contemporary art more accessible through public television and the Internet, Art21 affords an intimate encounter with contemporary art and the people who make it, encouraging creative thinking and self-expression.

• Claudia Bernardi

Web Video and TV programs on Transformation Paul McCarthy Cindy Sherman Yinka Shonibare MBE www.

Artists - Transformation After viewing artwork and biographies on a vast number of artists Brett Whiteley was the most unusual and most identifiable. The most compelling reading was to be found in a book written by his sister Frannie Hopkirk. While I thought that she wrote too much about herself, this book gave me a personal insight into an artist that was haunted and tormented mentally for most of his life. Also reading about Whiteley it introduced me to Rimbaud and Baudelaire, intereting to say the least and a source for further research. Further research included artists such as Fontenot, Ginsberg, Bernardi, Johns and I found the supplied name Beuys another artist to read more on in the future.

Collaborative Artists Collaboration is something that I had never considered before I started this unit. Interesting possibilities are opened up by working along side others, being reclusive and a loner I would consider this if the opportunity arose. My reason for saying that is I now understand by having more than one artist working on the peice, the impact is increased by the diversity that is obtained.

• Jasper Johns • Joseph Beuys

Collaborative Artists • Pilar Mata Dupont and Tarryn Gill • The Kingpins • Healy and Cordeiro • Peter Kennedy • Mike Parr

Other Web Research • Collaboration and Originality Dr Nancy Roth

• The Global Need for Collaboration Nikos Papastergiadis

• Co-operating Then and Now David Barrett

• The Odd Couple Claire Doherty

• Collaborative Circles and Creative Work Michael P. Farrell

Essays on Collaboration within Art II found a website that contained a multitude of essays soley written about col-

laborative practice. Being so varied as to the topics, there was so much information that I have saved for further reference. (cite website) was established in December 2005 as a resource and platform for artists, theorists and art students setting out to offer a source of information, dissemination and discussion about collaborative art practice.


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References Asher, R 2007, Bridging “The Two Cultures� through Aesthetic Education: Considering Visual Art, Science, and Imagination. Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table. Cengage Learning, Gale. Carty, D 2007, The Emerald Tablet: And the Alchemy of Spiritual Transformation. Personal Development Institute, Georgia pp. 12 et al Starkie, E 1961, Arthur Rimbaud, Faber & Faber, London, p 159 et al Hopkirk, F 1996, Brett: a portrait of Brett Whiteley by his sister, Random House, Milsons Point. Pearce, B 1995, Brett Whiteley: art & life. Thames and Hudson. London

Further Reading & Visual Aids Visual Artists McGrath, S 1979, Brett Whiteley, Bay Books

Film Difficult pleasure: Brett Whiteley painter, Creative Spirits Series I, 51 mins VHS documentary, producer/ director: Don Featherstone, Australian Film Institute 1989

Barrett, F 2000, The Magus: a complete system of occult philosophy, Weiser, York Beach. Jung, C 1968, The Collected works: Volume twelve, Psychology and Alchemy, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.

Online Broadcasting PBS Season One (2001) Place

Transformation Paul McCarthy

Identity Spirituality Consumption

Cindy Sherman Season Two (2003) Yinka Shonibare MBE

Stories Loss & Desire Humor Time Season Three (2005) Power Memory Structures Play Season Four (2007) Romance Protest Ecology Paradox Season Five (2009) Compassion

T r a n s f o r m at i o n

Fantasy Transformation Systems


Craig James - 15036320