Assessment Piece: Exploring Ideas (Jan)

The first thing I decided for this project was that I wanted to continue exploring the digital side of my work, and produce a digital piece for assessment, for example a film or animation.

I had a couple of short concepts in the past that weren’t perfect, or for which I needed CGI. I explored some CGI artists in my Artist Influences pages, but finally decided that it would not be possible. After exploring many different inspiring short films/animations etc. in my artist influences page, I decided to make a short film. I have been exploring a couple of ideas, inspired by my peers Rachael Clark and Margrethe Liland.


Rachael was speaking last week about making something lighthearted and fun but that represented how she felt. She made plastic bubbles that seem to grow from the walls like a fungus, which sounds gross but was beautiful with the bright colours and lights. The discussion that followed was about foam machines and dancing, which is often the centre of Rachael’s work. This is what inspired my concept, not so much Rachael’s aim for a lighthearted representation of how she feels (if I am interpreting her idea correctly). Please see the idea that followed:

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It starts out very lighthearted and a celebration of being happy while alone, and then turns out very creepy towards the end of the short, and explores the idea of the club scene. The crowding and panic, as well as the hidden dangers. I wanted to take the opportunity that the foam obscuring the camera would provide, and add this illusion:

I haven’t spoken to Rachael about this yet; it depends on which idea I decide to go with.

My other main idea is much more lighthearted, and was based on Margrethe’s idea about bananas representing penises and penis envy. When we were discussing it last week, it developed into a comment about how penis envy is stupid because penises are unnecessary. Kate mentioned a text by a woman (don’t know whom, or what text- please help!) who wrote about how men will become useless in the near future. Another student mentioned that bananas are predicted to die out soon as well, due to farming issues.

I then imagined a world in which bananas were running out- a seemingly ordinary world. The world would not change without bananas, and the world would not change without men (in terms of this concept). The idea that resulted was a whimsical illustration of this world- just normal, but without any bananas or men. I had some ideas for the story, and the style. I like the idea that it would be stylised- shown in black and white with the camera/editing selecting only yellows. Below is my idea, which works very well I believe with this song playing in the background, which sums up the mood and is a big hint to the concept.

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I will discuss these ideas further with Kate, Rachael and Margrethe tomorrow.


Winter Project: Photo Transfer

To tie the two images together, and give them context, I decided to transfer a selection of photos on top of the paintings. This was inspired by Njideka Crosby’s style.

This is when I got the idea to include the media, as a part of the propaganda theme. The images chosen therefore were from news stories from 2016.

However, I encountered a problem with photo transfer, in that any successful transfers were extremely unclear, using the first technique I found.

It suggested wetting the paper and the image and then rubbing the image onto the page. My first attempt found that photos printed by laser printers were waterproof. Inkjet photos were only slightly more successful.


I therefore moved onto another technique.

  1. Glue the photos face down onto the paper with PVA glue, and let it dry overnightimg_7220
  2. In the morning, soak the page with a sponge, and gently rub away the paper until just the image is left behind on the original page.img_7221

After the above practice, I applied it to the paintings. It again didn’t work 100% reliably, but  I didn’t want the images to be particularly clear either so it wasn’t serious.


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Winter Project: Painting Portraits

My first step was, as planned, to make two identical drawings. I decided to trace an image of a man in a suit onto two A4 pages of watercolour paper so that the man himself could be standardised.

The style and surroundings of the people were the only things that varied, so that they alone could inform the viewer’s impression of the man depicted.

I aimed for the first image to make him appear like an admirable man, and painted it in Kerry James Marshall’s style in acrylic. The image below aimed to make him appear as a hated man, and was painted in Lou Ros’ style in ink.

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In our crit is was mentioned that neither one seems like a particularly good person, due to the flag’s connotation of Nationalism.

Winter Project: Plan

This winter break, I was given the task of looking at my classmate Jamie Ampleford’s blog and creating an interpretation of his work.

I found this to be a difficult task, because his work is superficially similar to mine, in that we both like to do portraits, and painting. I therefore cycled through many ideas before landing on the final concept. It was clear from Jamie’s blog that the medium that he used, and the fact that he kept his focus on portraits, was extremely important to him.

I therefore focused on showing the power of portraits, and their medium, on people’s interpretation of the content. This related strongly to political propaganda, and since Jamie’s final piece centred on political figures, I am creating a diptych of propaganda portraits.

The two portraits will depict the same person, who is introduced to the audience as a politician, but the context and style will determine how the subject should be viewed. I am considering displaying the two images separately so that those who see the first image will see the subject as good, whereas those who see the second image will see the subject as evil.

I will be manipulating this by using different environments for the subject in each, as well as different colour palettes. I think the lighting of the faces is important, and so I will need to take some photos of a man lit from beneath, and from in front.

The main manipulation will be in the painting style, as I will use a different style in each. I chose Kerry James Marshall in acrylic and Lou Ros in ink to influence these paintings, based on Jamie’s artist influences last term, although for the latter I will be aiming to reproduce the style that Jamie himself interpreted from Lou Ros.

The graffiti-esque style of Lou Ros lends itself well to political propaganda, and I may also look at Banksy. Another artist that I will be incorporating into both paintings, to tie them together will be Njideka Cosby, who I saw in the enhancement week. I think that Jamie would like Cosby and find her work very useful himself.

I will be using her technique of transferring photos on top of the painting, to add more context. Here is my current plan:

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I will also now be adding to my Artist Influences section.

Personal Project: Exhibition

As soon as the third years were finished with the flatscreens, I snapped them up. With Dave’s help I hung the brackets and the three TVs onto the wall. They were just what I was hoping for, although in future I will paint the animations to the same aspect ratio as the TV I think.

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When I finally turned on the TVs and set up the films from my USB stick, I found that the films were in fact upside down. I made the decision to rotate the films overnight and bring them back, rather than take down the TVs and turn around the brackets.

I couldn’t think of a professional looking way to frame the TVs, so I decided that the TVs own frame will do the job. However, in future I may also frame the TVs so it looks as much like a framed painting on the wall as possible.

I am very happy with the way the TVs work in the space as well. It will be quite a digitally focused room by the time the exhibition is finished, which I’m sure it already is. My films are looped on three TVs, one as you come in, and then two on a dominant wall, but on the main projecting wall there will be a film projected onto the blue wood panels that can be seen in the video below, as well as a film projected from the ceiling onto a table in the entrance way, and perhaps some performances in the middle of the space.

I think it will be an exciting room, and I wish that my family and I could see the finished product. It would also be good to add to the film seen here. I made the following film from clips on the deadline day. Most but not all of the work was completed by this point, and the activity adds to the atmosphere. The sped up portions of the film emphasises this.

Personal Project: Final Execution

I decided to further my self portrait and let go until the point where the painting didn’t look like a portrait any more. I decided to complete the painting while sober in this case, because I knew I had no inhibitions about making it a mess at this point, as that was my aim. Unfortunately I won’t be able to add an image of the exhibited work before this is read, but below I have an image of the finished painting which I will not be including in the exhibition.


Rather, I will be exhibiting the finished animation of this self portrait’s descent into madness, alongside the other two finished animations. Since the last crit I have also edited the other two paintings into looped animations, whereas before they were .GIFs. Their slow changes makes it more mesmerising to watch.

The finished videos, that can be seen in Autumn Assessment, appear on their sides, because they will be exhibited on a portrait orientation television.