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INDEPENDENT PRACTICE

Dani Collenette

Dogme 95 The Cut of My Jib Photography Achrome Animals Colour Kills Rorschach Tests Research/Inspirations Exhibitions


Dogme 95

Take One

For my Dogme 95 video I decided to create a piece about Nature and Wildlife Photography, as at this point I had not yet decided on an exact theme for my independent practice. Photography in general is something I independently practice outside of university hours, and nature and wildlife are huge interests of mine, so I combined the two. Having very little knowledge of video editing before, this was quite a challenge for me, but I really enjoyed doing it. The aim of my

video was to document a journey, the journey between what everyone sees, and what ends up as a photograph, and why. I wanted to demonstrate the theme through my eyes, what I see when I take a photo, what considerations and observations I take into account. After some feedback, and also after re-watching the video myself, I decided to make some alterations, for this I took some more film, and then re-edited my new material alongside the original footage.

http://vimeo.com/30226269


Take Two The feedback I received was that the gap after about 2 minutes where I pause the commentary, gave the video an uneven quality, and another inconsistency being the still photographs at the end of the video. It was also observed that the video lacked a simpler stylistic approach. So taking this on board I went about re-doing my video. I also took into consideration my own observations, for instance, I thought that the voice over slightly ruined the ambience of the piece, and so I have

removed it. By writing the words almost as subtitles at the bottom of the video the viewer can choose to overlook them and watch the video with their own thoughts and make their own opinions, or they can pan down and watch the video from the perspective I intended them to see it. I also like the almost “home movie” quality to the rough wind sound, and the laughter of the school children, in the tree scene. As I wanted it to be mainly about photography itself, I have now included not only my photographs, but

also video of myself taking them. I think this works a lot better, especially in terms of consistency. I didn’t discard all of my initial filmings, as I really liked some aspects of the of it. However, I think the video now works a lot better, it is clearer and generally more interesting to watch. If I was to reshoot again I would challenge the rules of Dogme, such as adding a sound track, as I believe it would only add to the style of the video and therefore be a justified reason for disobeying the rules.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSLoBP4Axm0


Take One

The Cut of my Jib For this brief we were asked to demonstrate the ‘Cut of our jib� in under 3 minutes. So I decided to highlight a few of the suggestions and outline a few of my own ideas and focus on a select few. They are as follows; A guilty pleasure, something I love, somewhere that inspires me, somewhere I can find inner peace and also some of my

http://vimeo.com/30226176

work. Which for me is My Chemical Romance, Pandas, Camden Town, and in the countryside and the aerodrome. I Created this video using start stop animation, I like the contrast between the jolting between images, but also the flow between scenes with no break.


Take Two

Although really like my initial video, I don’t think it quite demonstrates “The cut of my jib”. So I decided to take and collect photographs that sum me up, as the brief asked, photographs that portray my musings, ramblings, desires, wants, needs, guilty pleasures, dirty secrets, loves, hopes, hates and fears. First of all I thought about the phrase “Objects of my affection” and so I photographed all the objects that influence me, that show a part of me, represent me in some way. I then thought about what else influenced me and so I began to photograph and collect patterns, materials, past work, other artists and exhibitions. I thought about things I loved, bands, painting, sketching, photography, pandas - the people I love. And then I went through the chore of

finding photographs from the past year or so, that I think, have managed to capture, in that millisecond of the shutter pressing, the person I think I am, and represent an image of my personality. The photographs flick through very quickly, like those subliminal flash adverts that were banned. Although you might see each photograph individually, the aim is that each image will slightly embed into the viewers mind, so at the end they have one overall image of and representation of me, and can see in 2 minutes, 52 seconds and 385 photos – the cut of my jib.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrFwRSvKM8I&feature=player_embedded


Achrome Animals

Although all of my work sits within the theme of Black and White vs Colour, I have approached it in different ways, and so to keep a consistency between all of work I have dived it into sections by creating digital zines for each theme.

Gerhard Richter, also draws from photographs, as I have in the digital sketch of the Panda, Skunk and Zebra, and he is also one of the few artists that paint in black and white. In an interview with Benjamin H.D Buchloh Richter says;

I began by looking at whether black and white are considered colours or not, and if not, then are some animals colourless?

‘I looked for photos that showed my actuality, that related to me. And I selected black and white photos because I noticed that they depicted that more forcefully than colour photos, more directly, with less artistry, and therefore more believably. That’s also why I preferred those amateur family photos, those banal objects and snapshots.’ (Written interview from, Gerhard Richter, paintings, Terry Neff)

With this in mind I began to draw “Colourless” or “Achromatic” animals with my graphics tablet, I wanted to be able to see all of the detail, the different shades of black and white, the grey mid tones, and a graphics tablet seemed the perfect tool to do this. However the ascetic wasn’t quite strong enough, the images reminded me of a children’s book, they weren’t very striking. And so I decided to experiment with lino printing - being at the other end of the spectrum from a detailed digital sketch. This time I used just black paint on white paper, so any grey tones were only created by the ratio of black paint to white paper. Although it has a slightly comical edge, I prefer the image of the cow to the zebra. Lino printing is a medium I aim to use in my FMP, as it sits well within the achromatic theme, and it is also a good tool for layering, for instance lino printing on top of a photograph.

I feel I can relate strongly to Richters opinions, and also his work, I too have a huge appreciation for black and white images, as I do feel things can be masked by the colour they harbour, they become the colour, rather the colour being a part of them. I have displayed by work within a digital Zine, The hyperlink is on the right hand page.


http://issuu.com/danicollenette/docs/achrome_animals_no_gap In all cases both images of the zine should work as a hyperlink, in case of technical error I have also written the hyperlink above.


Colour Kills

The first set of images I have drawn using a permanent black marker pen, and then applying thick acrylic paint in the primary colours blue, red and yellow, over the top of the image. The idea being that colour can “kill� an image metaphorically, by simply ruining it’s ascetic appeal. Here I have taken this concept and made it literal, where the colour is represented by a literal form of killing. This idea came about by the first image in the portfolio, where I looked at the idea of colour being negative, I thought of things such as nail biting, where you are constantly nibbling away at something, almost subconsciously, and so I made the image black and white and the nails in colour, so they are the part of the image the subject is trying to rid off. Wanting a much stronger message to be portrayed I then progressed to the idea of colour being a weapon, a villain of art. After creating these images I thought back to the achromatic animals and how lino printing had increased the strength of the piece ascetically, and so I applied the same technique to this concept. Again I think lino printing is the stronger of the two techniques. Again I have displayed by work within a digital Zine, The hyperlink is on the right hand page.


http://issuu.com/danicollenette/docs/colour_kills_portfolio_print


Rorschach Tests

I came about the idea of Rorschach tests accidentally while cleaning my paintbrush, I folded a paper towel over my brush and as I took it away I noticed the print was almost the same on either side of the fold. I remember creating butterfly prints when I was younger, and although strongly relating to children, I think they hold a really strong ascetic and of course originate from ink blot tests. In the contrasting colour scheme of black and white, I think they create a really bold piece. I learnt that humans look for faces in things from our hunting primate days and I was surprised how much I related to this, each time I peeled back the test what instantly came into my head was what it looked like. Some of the images I saw in these tests were, two cats playing tambourines, two Buddhas reading with their reflection in a lake, two sumo wrestlers belly slapping, a squashed wasp and a squashed bee. But I have not labelled them as I think each viewer should see them in there own way. Again I have displayed by work within a digital Zine, The hyperlink is on the right hand page.


http://issuu.com/danicollenette/docs/rorscach_tests_print


Photography

I have decided to include a portfolio of my photography, as although it does not currently directly relate to the theme of Achrome, it does to my FMP proposal and how my proposal has developed over the final weeks of the semester. Unlike the other zines over the previous pages, this one is slightly more stand alone and has sections within itself. There is further reasonings, descriptions and idealologies within the photography zine. I have created two versions of this portfolio, one is A3 size and shows a slightly more extensive array of photographs, the other is a more condensed square version. As I have uploaded both to Issuu I have provided a link to each, but I personally think the images sit slightly better within the square zine.


Square Portfolio

http://issuu.com/danicollenette/docs/square_photography

A3 Portfolio

http://issuu.com/danicollenette/docs/photography_portfolio_print


Handmade and Bound

Along with some other prints from previous projects and general practice outside of university, I took some if my “Colour Kills� lino prints to Handmade and Bound to be sold on our stall.


Restorations

In the last two week of this semester my FMP proposal has altered slightly, moving on from the concepts of black and white within animals and ink blots, I have decided to look at black and white within the medium of photography. At my place of work I am often asked to restore aged photographs which have marks, rips and fold lines, to add and remove people from photographs and also to replace colour that has faded, or desaturate colour images into black and white. It has made me consider how this relates to the theme of my work. Photo manipulation will definitely play a part in the course of creating my final major project.


Research and Inspirations

On this spread are some shots from my blog of my colour theory research, feedback I received and also some scans of my notepad. They each demonstrate the different ways in which I work and also provide an onlookers view of my work. I think feedback is one of the most important parts of developing your work, as when you stare at something for hours it’s hard to see what’s straight in front of you, and a fresh pair of eyes can prove invaluable.

ABOVE: Screen shots from my blog BELOW: Feedback.


Notepad Pages


Research and Inspirations Van Goghs work alone was fantastic, but the museum allowed the viewer to experience Goghs influences, and so I also got to see work by artists such as Monet. The Museum also held an exhibition entitled ‘Snapshots’ Where I was lucky enough to see work by photographers and artists such as Henri Rivere and Pierre Bonnard. Something that I found very interesting within the ‘Snapshots’ Exhibition was the amount of artists that paint or draw from photographs, this is something I do myself, although it’s not really something I practice out of choice, more because it means I can put it down and come back to it, without the subject changing and also because a lot of the time I use myself as a means to draw from as it is economically viable and not so constrained by time as I don’t need to rely on anyone else.


The part however of the whole trip that I thought was the most interesting and relevant to my independent

Van Gogh

practice was something that himself experienced. In the asylum he admitted himself to at Saint-Remy in early 1889, he decided to copy the “great masters”. To control himself he made colour copies after black and white deviations of works by artists he viewed as great examples e.g Rembrandt, Jean Francois Millet and Eugene Delacroix, ‘translating the black and white impressions into another language – that of colour’ Another artist, who’s work I found very inspirational was

George Hendrick Breiter, at the end of the 19th century he began to paint the city of Amsterdam using predominately grey strokes. I also liked the fact that even though at the time the city was undergoing moderation he preferred to depict the old centre.

Felix Vallotton destroyed the majority of his work for being criticized in 1916 for painting from a photograph, at the time, photographs were considered ‘mechanic’ – not an art form. Only 20 of his photographs remain.

Another aspect that I found related to my work was the fact that artists such as

Vallotton and Vuillard, primarily photographed family and

friends. Again this is something I do, not so much out of choice, but more because when you have little money, family and friends are normally happy to be the subject of your work – for free. And who ever you choose to photograph and paint, it always arises a new challenge in the manor in which you photograph or paint them. Silhouettes are something I had not yet considered under the theme of

George Eastman

says that his painting where often inspired by photographs, you can clearly see this when comparing select work, such as “The White hat” and “Louise at Wepion” (both 1872-1899)

‘Achromatic Art’ but after visiting ‘Snapshots’, I realized how visually appealing they are, and also how they relate to the physics of black and white being colours. The work of art in particular that made me consider this was “Nine silhouettes of women; study of seamstresses” (Vallotten and Vuillard 1896-1940)


Research and Inspirations This is one of the most inspirtaional exhibitions i’ve been to, it had be absolutely engaged throughout all 13 rooms. I love how his work varies so greatly, he can work in so many different ways. I love his use of the “blur” and also the way he can’t paint images that look so realistic they could be photographs, but also paint in such an abstract manor. All Images are taken from “Gerhard Richter, Paintings” Edited by Terry Neff, or a booklet I received at Panorama. All images I have displayed were exhibited at “Panorama”


Research and Inspirations These are some images that have really inspired and influenced my work this semester. Below:

Paul Bakker

Below:

Frank Heine , Typeface Design

Text (left) Paul Rand, A Designers Art, New Haven, 1985 (Right) Keith Roberts, looking closer, New Y


Right:

Below:

Bernd Preiml

David Black

These art works have inspired different ares of my work, but more so than any other the section Colour Kills. I didn’t intend for my images to be quite as dramatic, as this is not usually the way in which i work, my ascetic in general is much softer, I enjoy photographing and painting the countryside, animals and taking portrait shots of my family and friends, so I was excited by a challenge that was completely out of my comfort zone. I was quite surprised at how shocked people were by my images. I love the strong contrast in Paul Bakers image of the red to the white, a photograoh that may otherwise be construed as quite an angelic heavenly photo is completely changed by the streak of red. It reminds me of the red coat that appears right at the end of the film Shindlers List. The impact of one splash of colour can prove very powerful to the viewers eye.

York, 1994

Fons M. Hickmann

Right:

Above:

Andrea Lugli


FMP Proposal

For my Independent Practice I have been looking at the theme of Achromatic Art. I love experimenting and therefore I have explored this theme in a number of different ways. First of all I began with Achromatic Animals, looking at how animals can be purely black and white in colour, studying animals iconic for this, such as Zebras. This, however, was a little too far within my safe zone, so I decided to look at a much more dramatic image of achrome, I thought about how colour can kill an image, and decided to portray this as a graphic literal statement. While conducting research I also came across Rorschach tests, which I thought were amazingly graphic for such a simple design, and fitted in perfectly with my theme of black and white. Finally I looked at my Photography. After a tutorial I realised that my theme of black and white applied to the medium of photography more so than any other, and yet I had focussed my work around more hands on painted and drawn images. Paintings are almost always in colour, as it is very hard to paint in black and white, and yet photography began in black and white, it is the backbone of photography - it’s past. And nowadays it has become more than that, it’s now a style. In reflection photography is a medium I have always loved, last year I focused my independent practice on the theme of “PHOTOgraphy”, looking at the photography embedded within graphic design. It is something I independently practice every day, although without a set theme. I enjoy photography in all different manors - analogue and digital, landscape and portrait, black and white and colour. Although currently my photography does not relate so strongly to my theme, I feel I can take the concepts I have practiced over the last few months and combine them with my knowledge of photography and skills I have learnt at college, university and at work, to create a strong body of work and a final piece for my FMP. For my final major project I intend to research the various photo techniques from the 1800’s to present day and the progression from black and white photography, to colour. Furthermore, I will investigate the purpose of colour in imagery and what effects that it may have on a photograph. I will begin by photographing highly coloured objects, scenes, animals in black and white, and seeing what effect that has on the overall piece. I will also be looking at photo manipulation both digitally,darkroom, and looking at combining medias, such as lino printing on top of my photographs, or overlaying acetate under a condenser enlarger. In light of the absence of colour, I aim to recreate and represent the effects that colour would have on an image but in only using black and white, or greyscale images. An example of this is by Fons M. Hickmann, (presented on the previous page) in which he represents various colours through the use of black circles. Another aspect I would like to consider as a practice for my FMP, and something I will experiment with over Christmas is painting from photographs, as Richter, Vallotton and Eastman have practiced in the past. I will try my hand at both painting and photographing in black and white, I will see what effect it has if I add a slight saturation to the image, giving it a hint of colour, or providing a slight hue. During an interview, Richter expresses his fondness of “snapshots”, which is a style of photography I am also very fond of. I believe that the most representationally accurate photographs achievable are when the subject is unaware a photograph is being taken. They are the photographs in which you can relate and feel the most familiar with the person within the image. Such as in the second chapter of Camera Lucida where Barthes is looking for not only a photograph of his mum, but an image that represents her wholeness, her entireness, not just an emptyshell. I want to look for things that are embedded within the photo; emotions, thoughts, feelings, and how they are displayed within mannerisms, expressions, scenery, clothing, and how colour impacts or distracts from this. I aim to collate a large amount of portrait photography deciphering each picture, looking for characteristics, that make it stand out from the rest. Although fairly old fashioned, I have found “Colour your Camera” by Skoglund very helpful in gaining a fuller understanding of colour photography, he talks quite extensively about all different aspects and areas of photography and the camera itself. Which feel I can apply these, to my black and white photography in order to enhance the blinded colour.


Bibliography Exhibitions

- SnapShots, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. - Gerhard Ricter, Tate Modern, London. 6th October 2011 - 8th January 2012 - Power of making, V&A, London. - Type Directors Club, JWT, London.

Books

- (Edited by) Daniel Charny Power of Making, The Importance of Being Skilled, 2011. - Quentin Newark, What is Graphic Design, 2007. - Gosta Skoglund, Colour in your Camera, 1975. - (Edited by) Andrea Lugli, Black and White Graphics, 2003. - (Edited by) Robert Klant en, Henrick Hellige and Sven Ehmann, Black Magic, White Noise, 2007. - (Edited by) Terry Neff, Gerhard Richter, Paintings, 1988. - Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, Vintage 2000. s

Websites - GDNM.org - googlescholar - myuca.ucreative.ac.uk - youtube.com - vimeo.com - tumblr.com - flickr.com - lomography.com - tate.org.uk - physics.info/color/ - talktalk.co.uk/reference/encyclopaedia/hutchinson/m0005467.html - colormatters.com/color-symbolism/the-meanings-of-colors - Photographersgallery.com - psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=1952-06263-001 - books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=nmilu2rLnk8C&oi=fnd&pg=PA7&dq= black+and+white+photography&ots=FF6gtgGFt2&sig=PFh-tFvaM0zarrwlOuECA uXAPQk#v=onepage&q=black%20and%20white%20photography&f=false - books.google.co.uk/books?id=IRlAUUL3GLAC&printsec=frontc over&dq=Gerhard+Richter&hl=en&sa=X&ei=693pTtS9JsqT8gO7Y2MCg&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Gerhard%20Richter&f=false

Independent Practice, GD Yr3.  

Portfolio of my Independent Practice work to date.

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