The brief for this project was to create print and motion solutions that explore and incorporate my chosen vampire metaphor, while also looking at the relationship between image, text and sound. The metaphor which I established is Twilight, the period of time that separates day from night and in turn, means the difference between life and death for the vampire. As legends, vampires have existed for years, it is a phase or condition which grants the bearer eternal life and the ability to change into different forms. However, the legend itself, as real as it may seem, does not exist. Through time, the legend has changed and evolved from one theory to another and is constantly transforming, like that of twilight where the colours develop and the clouds shape shift. ‘Supernal’, which means relating to the sky or heavens, explores the passing of this period of time, the evolution of the vampire and the relationship between these two seemingly disparate entities, and looks to recreate the conditions seen in the transformation of the vampire. Both pieces explore the eternal life of a vampire when in actual fact, this ‘state’ is something that doesn’t exist. It is intangible and only given life when placed in the hands of a mortal.
For several months during the course of this project, I awoke early and observed the slow, subtle transition between night and day. Capturing and comparing this elusive moment for my records.
7th Feb 2013 07:29
13th Feb 2013 07:18
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16th Feb 2013 17:11
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10th May 2013 20:38
stretch yourself over me
This quote originates from Ancient Egypt and is related to Mother Nut (Nuit), who looked over the deceased, allowing them to pass through to the afterlife protected. Goddess of the sky, she was known to give birth to her son each day and was thus linked to resurrection. She is commonly depicted stretched across the sky, covered in stars. As mentioned, the â€œimperishable starsâ€? were where one would go after death.
The text itself connotes the divine, immortal nature of the vampire and their ability to have power over others and grant eternal life. Theses words were commonly etched on tombs in order to protect the dead until they were reborn. Similarly, I discovered this quote on a tombstone during a university visit to Highgate Cemetery.
so that I may be among the
imperishable stars and may live forever
The font is reminiscent of script seen on funeral papers, the text is stretched across, expanding and retracting to highlight particular words. Some are also sliced through, separating words into two, challenging the immortal intimation behind the text.
Evolution plays a vital role in the legend of the vampire, with the transformation between human and immortal but also the fact that they are able to change into different forms and this is reproduced in the boustrophedonâ€™s ability to mould and change depending on how it is folded and whether it is opened out. When opened out and left organically, the shapes mimic the chemical structure of DNA, the building blocks of genetics and in turn, evolution. As vampires evolve from the human species, the boustrohphedon becomes a physical representation of a vampireâ€™s DNA, with the edges curved like wings. With 7 squares representing the 7 days of the week, this gives the piece an eternal quality as it creates a never ending story. The boustrophedon form also allows for multiple possibilities in terms of the path of the story, like that of the vampire legend, there are many variations based off of one. Through the use of tracing paper, the twilight imagery is given an ethereal quality; other worldly. The text exists in the space that runs between both dusk and dawn, the night, as this is the only period in which they can truly come alive. However, with tracing paper allowing the light to shine through the text, it also unveils the truth about the legend and the fact that it doesnâ€™t actually exist.
Suspended above and around us, time is an intangible, black and white commodity which we cannot fathom, it is only when we capture these moments that colour and meaning is injected into them, bringing them alive.
me so that I may
The circle represents not only the circle of life, but the fact that there is no beginning and no end means that it becomes a symbol of eternity. In my piece it also represents the ticking away of time, with the circle revolving like the hands on a clock face, counting down to the start or the beginning. The action of observing twilight as I did, put me in a position of waiting. Anticipating an event which passes by so subtly, that you have to argue whether it exists at all. You can be caught in that moment as though it lasts forever, because it appears to be constantly buffering and loading but never arriving you take on immortality. My piece mimics the loading wheel we experience regularly in technology and encourages a sense of anticipation as it reaches an audio climax. Paying particular attention to the colours of twilight, the mauves, pinks and orange hues, that when watched, Three minutes in length, a minute dedicated to the past, present and future. This becomes the circle of life, never ending. Eternal.
Dawn chorus, is the time during twilight when bird song is most prominent. As a way of translating sound into text, mnemonics are used to identify different birds by their songs. As the dawn chorus is a signifier of the arrival of night or day, these seemingly random phrases communicate this transition, this change. My motion piece takes the concept a step further, and instead focuses on the nonexistence of the vampire. The fact that twilight cannot be witnessed and that there is no exact moment that can be labelled daybreak or nightfall. Like the vampire, it is something man-made. The text itself takes on the shapes, forms and behaviour of the birds which the text is echoing. Like a flock, the letters undulate in different directions as though alive. What features prominently in my piece is the Warbling Vireo which has a very sinister mnemonic linked to it. A threatening warning which mirrors not only the danger posed by the vampire but it also has sexual undertones that we come to associate with them:
â€œIf I sees you, I will seize you and Iâ€™ll squeeze you, till you squirt.â€?
For the poster I attempted to mix the gothic nature of the historical vampire legend with the contemporary qualities of the Twilight movie through the application of typography. I experimented with hand done techniques which rely more heavily on layout and positioning of text. Having two layers reiterates the layers of meanings within the various films. The fact that the â€˜Tilth Wigâ€™ layer is cut out allows the viewer to peer through and discover where it originates, while also casting a subtle shadow over the backdrop.