British Science Katy Harrald Pre- Major Project
Pre- Major Project
Unit Leader: Joel Lardner Ref: ILL651 Level: 6 Credit: 20 Weighting: 1.0 Study Time: 200 hours Duration: 10 weeks Commences: 30th September 2013 Deadline: 4th December 2013
This unit requires you to define the direction of your studies, and to consider your aims and ambitions beyond the BA Honours programme. It builds upon theoretical and practical work previously undertaken, and as it develops it confirms the orientation of your Level 6 work. Your are required to focus upon the development of a project that draws upon and extends the engagement with theory and practice taking place in Level 5. You will also be required to critically reflect upon the project and the learning that has taken place. Through the development of a learning agreement you will also consider how your proposed project will advance your development towards more long-term aspirations. For example towards an MA or a particular vocational opportunity ( including authorial illustration).
Learning outcomes LO1 Demonstrate the ability to develop a sustained piece of independent creative work. LO2 Clarify theoretical and practical areas for exploration during the susbsequent Major Project in relation to your self- development and vocational aspirations. LO3 Demonstrate your ability to develop creative work which responds to theorectical issues and questions.
Personal Aims 1. Continue to try and integrate research with visual experimentation. 2. Keep in mind the end product throughout all processes. 3. Keep historical/ scientific accuracy throughout. 4. Remember composition! 5. Keep research succint and necessary. Viewing my work as an overall body, exploring a factual subject with room for improvisation will allow me to explore both accuracy and a sense of narrative as a combination. As I am in my last year of Degree Level education, I do not want to feel limited by a story, or spend the time creating my own narrative ( not a strong point). Exploring the lives of real people, with an intention of a subtle educational value, will help to combine my love of detailed imagery and the scientific world.
‘The development of the atomic bomb was a watershed moment in human history. For the first time, we demonstrated that the products of our own ingenuity could destory us. And it had a chilling effect on the public’s attitude towards science. Whereas once the public were broadly accepting of technological progress, they were now suspicious and even hostile.’ -Brian Cox (Science Britannica)
Within this unit I wished to draw attention to the British scientists that have contributed to the foundation of our technological civilisation. Who, through their work have made countless advances in scientific discovery; giving us telecommunication, computing, air travel, modern medicine, and the internal combustion engine; to name but a few. Unfortunately itâ€™s all too easy to forget the huge anounts of work these individuals put in, to help accomplish the ease we have in modern day life. The last project in Level 5, I focused on the convergence of art and science, maths and nature; this helped me to almost pinpoint where my interest lies in illustration. I feel I work best, when my work has a factual basis, with room for creative exploration. I enjoy mixing abstract responses with scientific/ mathematical visuals. Throughout this exploration, I will explain and critically reflect on the work I undertook and how it has helped me to further define my practice and future goals.
I began the project with a simple brainstorm. Using websites such as: www.wikipedia.org and www.bbc.co.uk/history I compiled a streamlined list of british scientists whose work may have been forgotten over the years, but have had great impact decades later. I omitted many scientists, such as: Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, Francis Bacon, etc... due to their popularity in school education and having numerous books and television programmes dedicated to their history. The names I included in my list are: Peter Higgs, Mary Sommerville, Elsie Widdowson, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Roger Bacon, Caroline Herschel, Dorothy Hodgkin, William Jones, Alan Turing, Max Born, Edward Jenner, Michael Faraday, Anne McLaren, Mary Anning, Ada Lovelace, Paul Dirac, William Herschel, Alfred Russel- Wallace, Tim Bernes- Lee, Maurice Wilkins, Thomas Young, Humphry Davy, Rosalind Franklin, and William Thompson. I felt this list span a wide cross- section of the scientific community, from molecular biologists, to theoretical physicists and paleontologists. My brainstorm included simple facts about their work and any interesting notes about their personal life, in order to give them more character and meaning when it came to illustrative responses. In previous projects, my work has been stalled often, through in-depth research, this project however, I tried to stream-line my research into useful facts and informatiom; so I would have more time to advance my practical skills. I have tried throughout my work to converge the research and theory with the practical work, keeping a constant critical eye over why what I was doing was important. On reflection, perhaps it would have been easier to have chosen a specific scientific field to focus on, to giveany final piece more cohesion and a stronger view point. However, I feel as though the wide range of scientists gave my work an interesting variation in characters.
Example notes Alan Turing Developed the proof that automatic computation cannot solve all mathematical problems. This formed the basis for the modern theory of computation. Encrypted the german Enigma machine, providing intelligence for allies. His machine developed during the war was the first digital computer. Formed the basis for Artificial Intelligence. Arrested for homosexuality in 1952. The researched barely scratched the surface of the people, their work, and their personal lives; but I felt that would come later, once I had decided which scientists would work best for this project.
The next logical step for me, after researching as many british Scientists that I felt deserved more recognition for their work, was to narrow down this list to a manageable number for the remainding 8 weeks. On reflection, it might have been pertinent to conduct an online survey about these scientists, to gather other peoples opinions and whether they had heard of them. It was rather a self- indulgent decision that I made, to base my opinion on whether or not I had personally learnt about them before. I decided that due to time constraints and the plan I had set out for myself in the Learning Agreement, to choose eight British Scientists. I felt this number would not limit me in terms of diverse visual responses, but would also give me enough time to fulfill the research needed and still have time to experiment with drawing materials, approaches and techniques. My choices are as follows: Mary Anning (1799- 1847) Paleontologist Ada Lovelace (1815- 1852) Mathematician, Scientific writer Alfred Russel- Wallace (1823- 1913) Naturalist, Explorer, geographer, Anthropologist, Biologist Paul Dirac (1902- 1984) Theoretical Physicist Alan Turing (1912- 1954) Mathematician, Logician, Cryptanalyst, Computer Scientist Rosalind Franklin (1920- 1958) Biologist, X-ray Crystallographer Maurice Wilkins (1916- 2004) Physicist, Molecular Biologist Peter Higgs (1929- ) Theoretical Physicist My choices were based on three factors: The impact they had on the development of society The opportunities I could visualise for visual responses Diversity of characters
Mary Anning Delving head first into the project, again, began with a very quick list of items and ideas I had, before heading to the library for visual research. I broke down my research into three areas and their corresponding ideas. For example: Paleontology: Fossils Books Tools Maps 1799-1847: Fashions Furniture Colours/ Textures Working space/ Personal Life: Dog Writings Display Cases A tactic I found most useful from the Narrative unit in Level 5, was to photocopy images from relevant books lay them out on a table and choose objects that are most striking/ interesting and would work in a composition.
As part of my Learning Agreement, I had stated I was ineterested in returning to using etching plates and intaglio/ aquatint. I brainstormed ideas for an etching that could reflect my project as whole. My original compositions included some basic scientific equipment and objects, including: jars, scalples, candles, test tubes, magnets, books, flowers, etc... I originally planned to draw these objects stacked ontop of one another, to form a scientific tower of sorts. Using an eclectic mix of items to create an image that spanned the entire spectrum of scientific practice. When I considered the size of my etching plates (a5), I decided the design needed to be much simpler, so as the lines and objects were distinct from one another. I eventually decided to keep it simple, not necessarily focusing on one scientist in particular; I used this opportunity to design some illustrations for a silent auction coming up as a fundraiser for our end of year show in London. I chose an astronomical globe because of the simplistic shapes and clean lines. Using the photocopier and my sketchbook to continue to experiment with different textures, patterns and stand designs; I narrowed it down to a very simplified globe with a more detailed stand. I enjoyed the contrast in detailing, and I felt it would work well as an etching. To keep my experimentation in line with the rest of my project, I decided to include Mary Anningâ€™s famous straw hat. I used the library resources to check that the design was correct within the era.
Whilst experimenting with designs for my first test etching plates, I spent a lot of time in the library using books to photocopy relevant images for research. Using my earlier brain storms as a starting point. I decided to look into the fashions of the age, houses, furniture, working people, Mary Anning’s discoveries, dogs and paleontological tools. I also found many interesting photo books of people’s office spaces and desks. Books used: Hayward, C. 1936. English Period Furniture. London: Evans Brothers Ltd. Kelly, A. 1968. The Book of English Fireplaces. London: Country Life Books. Moore, D and Pick, M. 1985. The English Room. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Waller, C and Ward, D. 1992. Fossils. London: Dorling Kindersley. Cohen, D. 2006. Household Gods. London: Yale University Press. Pollard, A. 1979. Dogs. London: Treasure Press. Seebohm, C and Simon Sykes, C. 1987. English Country- Living in England’s Private Houses. London: Thames and Hudson. Evans, G. 2011. Fashion in Focus 1600- 2009. Surrey: Chertsey Museum. Eaving, E. Everyday Dress 1650- 1900. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd. Bradfield, N. Costume in Detail 1730- 1930. London: Harrap London. Laying out the chosen images, I was able to pick out the items and clothes that best fit Mary Anning’s life style and work. Using my sketchbook to keep a record of items that could be used in a final composition.
Tutorial with Marcus Oakley At this point I had a quick chat with Marcus about my project and the progression of my work. I gave a brief outline of what I was working on and what I hoped to achieve. With only so many weeks remaining for this project, we both agreed that maybe designing and binding a book as a final outcome was possibly too ambitious. At this point, I decided to slightly alter my Learning Agreement, changing the outcome to a simple series of illustrations that could one day be expanded to be produced as a book. I needed to speak to other tutors about the possibility of extending the Pre- major Project into the Final Major Project. I was really enjoying the work I was producing and felt that it would carry me over well into next year. I spoke to Marcus about portraiture of the scientists, and how I felt my quick sketches of office spaces had far more character and individuality than my drawings of Mary Anning. I wanted to see if I could produce a kind- of â€˜portraitâ€™ of Mary Anning without her presence in the image. Using her famous paleontology tools and straw hat; amongst other notable items, to draw upon her personality and important scientific work. I explained my reasoning for wanting to illustrate the scientists personal lives, as well as their scienfiic acheivements. I was intent on trying to explain visually that behind the scientific work, there was still a person behind the hard work; a person who had other interests, and who was human like the rest of us. After the Atomic Bomb, a lot of people felt slightly wary of any scientific advancements, possibly through my images I could perhaps change sombodyâ€™s mind about this.
Tutorial with Salvatore I was able to have a quick chat with Salvatore about the direction of my project and the trouble I was having with composition and imagery. I felt that up until this point, I was a bit stifled creativly because what I was hoping to accomplish was rather straight forward; and I felt that I wasnâ€™t able to improvise when creating imagery. My original plan for my first illustration in the series included eveything that I though Mary Anning may have in her home office/ study. However, I felt it definitely lacked a certain charm and personal response. He agreed, and felt that my illustrations completed over the summer months were far more interesting to look at and had a real sense of â€˜clutterâ€™ to them. On the oppostie page is an example of this work. He suggested that I spend a day drawing across a double page spread, all the items I felt Mary Anning may have in her home. Only to draw them once, not to focus on detail or perfection; and draw from this to create a new composition.
Mary Anning Original Composition On reflection, my original composition was rather simple for what I was trying to achieve with my images. My plan for my images to provide a visual link between Mary Anning’s scientific career and her personal life. In my original image there is no evidence of her paeleontological finds; only a few stones and cliche fossils. It is all rather too obvious. There were however, some aspects which I enjoyed, and thought needed to be kept for later adjustments: 1. Hat 2. Bookcase 3. Baskets of stones 4. Fossils 5. Dog Collar At this point in the project, I felt rather worried about the progress I was making, and felt I was quite behind in regards to my Learning Agreement, and my sketchbook was less full than it would have been in Second Year. I could only hope that what I was doing was a more professional approach to a project. Previously, in Level 5, I had wasted a lot of time in projects, on researching things that did not matter, and wouldn’t advance my practice. To advance my project at this stage, I followed Salvatore’s advice.
Mary Anning final composition Using the visual brainstorm on the previous pages, I completed, what I felt was a much more comprehensive visual representation of Mary Anning. After talking to Salvatore I understood that to create an interesting composition and contrast, I needed a stark contract between the female aspects of her life and the paeleontological tools/ items. For that reason, I had placed the pickaxe near her hat, and her basket of fossils on a floral cushion. There was an element of improvisation, which I enjoyed using and being able to create a sense of clutter, but ensuring every item was distinguishable. In this composition, I was able to use her famous fossil discovery of an Ichthyosaurs. There is also a greater presence of her scientific life; including more tools and fossils. This method of using a visual brainstorm was a far easier approach to my task at hand. Instead of photocopying books from the library as before, I decided that simply drawing straight into my sketchbook was a better approach altogether.
Interim tutorial After presenting my project so far to my tutorial group, a few suggestions were made, as to how my project could improve visually: 1. Attempt to merge the satirical view of the scientists history with the antiquated feel to the aesthetics. 2. Incorporate the earlier cariacatures with the accurate backdrops. 3. Clarify my stand-point/ message in my illustrations. The tutorial was a great help, as it reminded me of the importance of having a stand- point/ message in illustrations; as something that helps to ground the images and give them cohesion. I thought long and hard about what I was trying to express in my images. I was both interested in the scientists impact in the scientific community, but also the idea of showing their personal lives mixed with their research/ work. The latter is the direction I decided to continue on. I took inspiration from the idea that up until the first atomic bomb, scientific achievements were far more appreciated; yet afterwards, people began to fear advancement and, a second thought was not given to the people behind that work. If I decide to continue this project work into the Major Project next year, exploring their scientific impact would be a great way to further the visual output. After the tutorial, I spent a few hours using the photocopier/ scanner to test out using my cariactures with my final compositions. However, I did not feel that this approach was appropriate for what I was trying to achieve. I was still intrigued by the idea of using only objects to portray a person/ character. As my first illustration was done. It was time to move on.
Ada Lovelace To complete the Ada Lovelace illustration, I began with a brainstorm of the factors in her life that affected her work and her personal life. Including any items that would hint at these, and anything she used in her work. For example: abacus, cogs, textbooks, opium, musical scores, perfume bottles and jewellery, etc... To create a harmony with Mary Anningâ€™s portrait, I decided to stay within the oval picture frame; but I also felt it was important to create a contrast using the objects. To create this contrast, I played on the femenine quality of the image, using frills, lace, drapes, flowers, perfume bottles, cushions and mirrors. These femenine items are interspersed with her work, in what could have been thought as a more â€˜manlierâ€™ task. The object in the backdrop is the machine she spent time developing, with fellow scientist, Charles Babbage. The visual brainstorm was completed straight from books and websites, cutting out the photocopying stage, saving both time and money. More time was spent on attention to detail, including patterns and textures.
Alfred Russel Wallace Following on from Mary Anning and Ada Lovelace, I took the same approach to making the final images. Although pressed for time to complete the project, taking time over research and brainstorming visuals was still as important. I made sure to note anything that may have had interesting visuals, such as strong family ties, ie: photoframes, childrens toys, letters, etc... When researching his life, there were two major components, sea voyages and time spent in jungles. I decided, that because a large part of this life was spent in these places; and a lot of his goroundbreaking research was thanks to these trips; that the visuals should represent this. The image includes a lot of ferns and tropical plants, specimens in jars, a globe, and a butterfly cabinet. Luckily, the Alfred Russel Wallace foundation website had an extensive gallery of his work and his specimens. I enjoyed the contrast between this image and Ada Lovelace. They spent their lives in very different circumstances, and studied in very different scientific fields. From research, I gathered that Alfred Russel Wallace was a man that really enjoyed his work, and enjoyed surrounding himself with real specimens to get a grasp on evolution. The main reason I chose to include him in my line up, was because of his work in defining evolution.
Paul Dirac Possibly the hardest of all the scientists I tried to illustrate. Paul Dirac was a very particular man, often described as being afflicted with OCD. Because of this, his work space was described as being very orderly and everything having its place. When mapping out the final illustration, I knew that to really exaggerate this characteristic, there would be an overuse of straightlines and less clutter than the three previous illustrations. To still achieve the oval quality to the image, so that it remains constant with the group, I chose to stack a number of items, and repeating objects. Although it isn’t what I had envisioned, I still enjoy the fact that it is very different from that of Ada Lovelace with the frills and exaggerated tectures; or Mary Anning, in which there is a certain ‘homely’ quality to the objects. As Paul Dirac was a mathematician, his was hard for me to convey visually. I decided, that a small reference to his famous equation should be included. The blackborad that takes up a large proportion of the backdrop has scrawled across it, this equation. The difficulty I had in completing this image, was because of the nature of the subject. The fact that Paul Dirac was very neat, and he was involved in a scientific field that isn’t visually interesting. Perhaps, my list at the beginning could have had more thought as to who would provide the most inetersting results visually; as opposed to who had not received enough credit for their work.
Preparing Etching Plates Alongside my practical work, and the dissertation, I have spent a lot of time in the print room- re-learning how to prepare etching plates and using the press. I was not prepared for the preparation of eight plates to take an entire day, I realised how much time it takes to produce a simple intaglio etching. As part of the Final Major Project, I doubt I will return to the print room. As I prepared the plates I had about three weeks remaining of the project, and the aquatint cupboard still wasn’t fixed! At this point, I decided to add into my sketchbook brainstorms some simple watercolour and ink studies, so when my prints were finished, I could possibly add in my own tones and textures manually. I haven’t enjoyed relying on someone else to fix something that wasn’t under my control, for the Final Major Project, I would rather any mistakes or troubles be my doing.
Nobrow Visiting Nobrow as part of the London trip was extremely useful in helping me to research the types of books produced by illustrators every year. I enjoyed browsing the different collections, and gathering ideas for paper, folding techniques, binding, and quality of finish. I picked up â€˜London Decoâ€™ purely because I liked to images inside, Iâ€™m not particularly keen on Art Deco architecture, or London; but the images were unbelievably intricate, and I liked the method of binding, which allowed the whole thing to be pulled apart and viewed in one go. Perhaps, as a realisation for the Final Major Project, I shall produce not one, but two final outcomes. I would like to produce something along these lines with my etching that I have been working on, but I will have to find something more individual so as to not mimick it completely. The information on the reverse sides of the illustrations was short and to the point. The paragraph length I had been thinking about for mine. The hard back cover with the use of a bright colour is what drew me to it first of all. Especially in a bookshop, such as Nobrow, which is entirely visually orientated; having a book that stands out is necessary for sales. Possibly, I could narrow down my scientist list, and produce each one a book, with a collection of illustrations, highlighting their life times work and achievements. Using the same binding and size would give them cohesion.
Alan Turing After reading a lot in the summer about Alan Turing, I already had a good idea of what I intended to include in the illustration. However, really delving into his life and works threw up a lot more interesting objects than I had in mind. For me, it was really important to try and portray the War in this image, using ration boxes, telephones, war correspondence letters. Most important were the encryption machines that he spent a large portion of his time on in this period. The boxes and parts scattered throughout the image. Although it had been suggested by some people to include a bitten apple in the image as a foreshadow to his unfortunate death; I included the bitten apple for another reason. He was well known by his friends and family for his habitual ways, and always ate an apple before bed, even if it was just a single bite. I didnâ€™t want to image to respond to the sombre mood of his suicide or murder/ accidental death, the idea was for quite a light- hearted set of images that almost celebrated the scientists life and work. I really enjoy the 1940â€™s visually, using the library and the internet for reference material, it was difficult trying to narrow down the important and necessary obojects he may have in his home, rather than simply the objects I found most appealing.
Rosalind Franklin I spent a large proportion of the research for this image, drawing bottles and glass vials. I wanted the image to be true to her work, but not to seem cliche when it came to the objetcs typically found in a biology laboratory. A page in my sketchbook is dedicated the interesting and asymmetrical glass bottles, trying to create dynamic shapes in the composition and keep the eye dancing around the space. There isnâ€™t much of a presence of personal objects in her space, due to her professional manner and the way in which she executed her work and carried herself when talking to her colleagues. she was often described as being slightly cold and intimidating. I got the impression that she liked to separate her personal life and her work life, and remain in a professional manner most of the time. In the foreground of the image is Photograph 51, the image that caused a lot of controversy for her. She had spent a lot of time refining a machine to take photogaphs of DNA, and when she succeeded, photo 51 was the result. Unfortunatley, this photograph was taken from her by another scientist and used as part of their papers; which guaranteed them a Nobel prize.
Maurice Wilkins Creating this image directly after Rosalind Franklin caused me a lot of problems, due to their line of work being identical. Although they both made significant contributions to biology and x- ray crystallography in the same fields; the images needed to be drastically different. Especially, as my aim for the final outcome was to be a printed book. Luckily, Maurice WIlkinâ€™s work slightly deviated towards plant- based life, and I tried to use this to my advantage, using the plants to both frame the image and separate it from the previous. Maurice Wilkins was not described as being as cold or intimidating as Rosalind Franklin, thus I allowed for more personal items to appear. On the right top shelf is the machine that he and Rosalind Franklin both spent a lot of time refining for their work and a few telescopes, trying to exaggerate the work he undertook.
Peter Higgs The image on the right is slightly different from the final print, simply because I wasn’t happy with a few objects when I was etching; but it is relatively the same image. Peter Higgs’ line of work in theoretical physics is probably as challenging as the image for Paul Dirac. A lot of their work is simply text based and writing. Peter Higgs also appears to have a very humble and ‘down- toearth’ (cliche) persona. Although he has won a wealth of medals and awards for his contribution to the knowledge of particle physics, he was unaware of his nobel proze win until he was stopped by an elderly lady in a scottish high street, who congratualted him. Because I had extreme difficulty in visually explaining his massive contribution, I tried to exemplify his love for his scottish roots, hiking and real ale. I also tried to hint at the 21st Century with the use of a computer, webcam, mouse and a well known ‘London Pride’ ale bottle.
Critique For critique I presented the images I had sketched out ready for etching. There were some great suggestions that I sketched out in my sketchbook to remind me later on if something needs changing. I explained that I wanted to make my images into an accordian book, and it was agreed that the shapes and sizes of the illustrations were all too similar, and more diversity needed to be introduced to keep the eye interested. It was suggested that, for some of the images, I could make smaller compositions; with only a few key objects. The ovals reminded someone of silhouette portraits, I could use the objects to create the profile of a scientist. For this, I would have to choose a recognisable face shape; probably Alfred Russel Wallace, with his big beard and glasses, or Ada Lovelace with her hair accessories. I had been toying with the idea, of including some more light- hearted, cartoon illustrations to give the book another dimension visually. For example, Alfred Russel- Wallace riding his frog in the jungle as he completes his work. At this point, the aquatint cupboard in the print room still wasnâ€™t fixed, so I had been thinking of using watercolours, ink or graphite to create grey scale and texture. but the tutors were much in favour of keeping the image black and white, without grey- scale. They suggested looking into the work of Will Sweeney, and his black and white detailed scenes. I remember his talk at Uni during second year and was instantly impressed by the depth of detail and texture created using clean black and white lines.
Risograph As I had been spending my remaining time in the printroom finishing my prints, I had been brainstorming some ideas for a risograph print induction. I decided to use my ideas for a comic style image, that I will develop further in the Final Major Project. It featured Alfred Russel Wallace reclining on his flying frog reading/ writing his papers on evolution. I wanted a contrast between the energetic movement of the frog, with the relaxed, reclined pose of Alfred Russel Wallace. Because the image was meant for a risograph induction, it needed to be photoshopped and colour separated. Also a simple dotted frod, using different concentrations of dots to creaete shadow and highlight, much like a screen- print, was another test.
Risographs After the induction with the risographs, I am still unsure as to what type of work I could use it for. It is not very often that I work with blocks of colour, or any type of colour. Out of the three tests that I did, the one I find most successful is the orange frog on the page opposite. The combination of one colour, and using the dots as a way of showing detail and shape, I feel, was more successful than multiple blocks of different colours. Although, perhaps with some different colours, the effect may be more appealing to the eye. In the Final Major Project, it was suggested that I combine different types of imagery to accompany the text, to keep the reader interested. This method of printing may be a nice contrast to the traditional styles of the intaglio/ aquatint etching. In my sketchbook, I have been working on ideas to combine the chosen scientist, with their working items, the previous image, is supposed to represent the head of Alfred Russel Wallace with the plants and animals named after him/ his specimens. I enjoy the idea; but it would need to take a different approach so as not to appear too cliche. I hope to use the Christmas break to plan some images ready for the risograph on my return. I think line weight will play a big part in the next images. As the project come to an end, I can use my remaining time, to continue experimenting with more playful imagery. Although, it may become increasingly important to design a book overview, for what I want to include, and possibly the addition of more subjects to study.
Final Imagery Evaluation For this personal evaluation, I will be discussing what I think works in my final images, what doesnâ€™t; how I can take my imagery further, and how I will progress in my project in the Final Major. Of the final eight images, there are only a few I feel that work well and have fulfilled my original brief. The first image, for Mary Anning, I felt was the easiest to produce. The content and the subject matter leant itself well to the oval shape, and the process of creating the image came naturally. I think the image has a great sense of the person, and a good contrast and relationship between the personal side and the scientfic matter. I think the contrast between the fabric detail and simple shapes met well. The subsequent image for Ada Lovelace, contrasts well with the first, the difference in the subject matter meant that the images work well next to each other, although the shapes of the images were the same, the objects used provide enough interesting differences to keep the eye interested. I donâ€™t particularly hate any of the images I produced, I simply felt the first two have been the most successful. I think my original brainstorm of british scientists was succint enough for me to chose the most interesting scientists, I think my choice of eight was large enough for variation, but not too large enough that by the end I was bored of the work involved. Overall, I believe my drawings transferred well to the etching plates, producing some interesting line weights, and tonal values. Although there are many imperfections in the images, i.e: line mistakes, smudges and missed details; the traditional way of making images has added more value to my work than simply a fine- liner drawing. I particularly enjoy the imperfections in the paper and the etching plates. Amongst all the positives, there are some things I feel need to be changed or improved. In the critique, it was mentioned that a book of similar imagery, may become a bit tiresome for the viewer/ reader, if I aim to produce a book in the Final Major Project, I need to continue to experiment with more varied imagery. I have found it frustrating that I have been unable to use the aquatint cupboard in the print room.
It has been broken since the rooms were changed around, and I think it has impacted my project ever so slightly. I think adding some more tonal values to the images would change them drastically, possibly for the better. In the Final Major Project, I aim to better my skills in more ‘3-D’ imagery, images where the viewer can feel immersed in the location or setting. The eight images seem ‘flat’ and one dimensional, which wasn’t my intention. Of the eight final images, there are a few which I feel did not fulfill my brief, or whose imagery is generally uninteresting. Number 5 (Alan Turing), is not as interesting as I would have hoped; for a man whose working life was extremely important to Britain, and a subject matter that is so complicated, I think the imagery fell flat. Number 8 ( Peter Higgs), this was probably one of the hardest to produce imagery for. He is a very private man, and his line of work is not extremely varied visually. To extend the work on Peter Higgs, I think a more playful image may work better. For subject matter that is hard to interpret, perhaps a more abstract view and approach is the way forward. To further these images or the Final Major Project: Even though I may not use all the images created in the Pre- Major Project, I feel, that adding to them later on, will add some interesting images for my portfolio. I am generally pleased with what I have produced, so I would like to see how far I can take these eight images. Perhaps I could experiment with line weight or creating tone with lines.
How to further my Project As I intend to continue my project into the Final Major, there are some things which need special consideration. To consider which images worked the best, I may employ the same technique earlier in the day, photocopying the images from my sketchbook, and laying them on a table, helping to visualise the styles, techniques, and colours that work well together. As a book works by combining images and text with one another, this may be a good starting point. As there is no specific emotional stand- point for my images, or specific age audience, I would like to try and combine serious and accurate images with light- hearted drawings, similar to the ones produced using the Risograph. The contemporary feel of the risograph may work terribly with the traditional intaglio etchings, but it is an idea which I am excited to try. Each image I hope to produce should be able to work as a stand alone, but as it is the last project of my degree, I would like to push myself to produce a bound book. With time- constraints in mind, planning the overall design first may be necessary. Simply laying out where I want images, and how I want the text to sit alongside; will help me to forsee what I need to produce. The format of the book will also need to be considered. Whether it will be of a standard shape and size, or conceritina/ accordian, etc... I will have to write a â€˜scriptâ€™ of sorts, deciding what will be written alongside each image. It may be important to consider a colour palette at the start of the Final Major, or perhaps it may come naturally as I continue to produce images. In Level 5, I learnt the importance of paper considerations, and how it can change the final outcome drastically. I enjoy a heavier weight paper, with interesting texture and grain. The length of this project will hopefully mean that I am able to produce a lot of images for my professional portfolio.
Aims 1. Since Level 5, I think I have greatly improved the way in which I integrate my research and experimentation and image production. I tried to use research as a way to produce images, resulting in many double page spreads of images that could possibly be used in the future as end pages for a book. Not only have I found it easier in Level 6, I hope to continue to improve on this skill for my professional practice and any work I may complete for clients in the future. 2. I donâ€™t think I particularly kept in mind the production of an end product. At an early stage, I was told that I had maybe set out to attempt the impossible, and that it was a better idea to focus on producing the individual images. This is going to be an integral part of the Final Major Project. 3. It has been necessary to keep in mind the scientific and historical accuracy of each and every individual item. The gaps in knowledge has allowed me to almost â€˜createâ€™ personalities for the subjects; but all the furniture and equipment being accurate was needed, and fulfilled. 4. Considering the composition of each image was easy, as I decided after the first that there would be a uniform shape. I tried to use the contrast between the foreground and the background to complete the shapes using only objects. For the production of a book, the overall composition of double page spreads will be an added consideration. 5. After spending a considerable amount of time visually researching Mary Anning, I was able to narrow down the subject matter, and use the University and web resources at my disposal. I feel I have greatly improved on this skill.
Christmas to do list 1. Write a script of sorts for book 2. Re-evaluate chosen scientists 3. Choose book size and shape 4. Layout all that needs to be produced 5. Colour schemes 6. Experiment with line weight 7. Creating tone with line 8.Try and incorporate humourous portraits with accurate studies 9. Integration of graphite work with fineliners 10. Dissertation