5 Documentation posts:
5 Contextualisation posts:
The artist which I started with, Sophie Woodrow, has allowed me to fully recognise my love and interest in the sub-conscious mind and the fine-art side of Character art. As she is an artist that worked with clay, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to work in anything other than the porcelain that she uses, But throughout the year, I have created illustration which come from within my sub-conscious much like she does with clay. my work couldn’t have developed with the inspiration and challenges of both field projects. My work has evolved and become almost an entirely new topic with the sub-conscious and has been a massive influence for my dissertation. Spirits and things that you cannot necessarily see with the human eye is and will be the main focus of my work for the continued years of University and perhaps the practice in which I will stay in for years to come.
The works that I am showing for my final piece is a series of illustrations which are my own interpretations of the spirits. All sub-consciously and spontaneously drawn, They represent the creatures of another realm, such as the mind. The silhouettes allow other to interpret the creatures for themselves. As an artist who is bringing them into our reality, I am not forcing the idea of what the appear as but instead leaving room for peoples own perception and thoughts. To carry on from this, I will be experimenting in more depth with colours. and possibly texture?
The second outcome, I created an animation that represents the ‘thin place’. Although only 1:30 due to the limited time and programme difficulties, I believe it successfully shows the way I peak through to another realm where spirits and creatures of the mind can roam freely. I wanted it to be a lot longer than it was and contain more spirits but it didn’t work out. Despite of this I am excited with the outcome and will continue to develop my animation skills with the inspiration from Lotte Reiniger.
The final outcome was a spontaneous piece which I was unsure about at first but works well with the whole collection of artwork. A wind chime, inspired by my childhood memories of making houses for the fairies and dream catchers to steal away the night terrors. There was something quite nostalgic and beautiful about creating something so handmade and meaningful. A collection of natural objects such as sticks feathers and pinecones from a wooded area in the park in which I can be alone and yet not alone because I have myself and my mind to think and reconcile with on a busy day. Despite the finished piece looking what I thought to be naive and not ‘professional”, I believe it to be a memory and also a direct connection to my sub-conscious and the spirit realm within.
In addition to the animation and series of illustrations, I wanted to create a 3D object that would reflect the spirits sound and perhaps a ‘thin place’ much like the ones such as stone Henge or even a religious site such as churches or Mosques.
This was influenced by the site project which took place in the local park where I live. The idea of the exhibition was to get people to ‘hunt’ for these spirits almost like a easter egg hunt which we did as children. This made me think of when I was a child and how me and my mum would craft fairy houses and sun catchers. Little did I know at the time, that this was a direct path to the unknown and the spirits within ourselves. Therefore, I decided to create a wind chime which would represent the open mind of a child and the connections between our reality and the sub-conscious reality where the spirits dwell.
Each object that was used for this wind chime was collected from the park at which I held the spirit hunt. The reason for this is because during my time at Uni, the walk in the park everyday is a place of pure thinking and freedom. It’s a place where I can connect with nature in such a busy city but also connect with myself and the spirits within. I wanted to keep the DIY look of the finished piece as it reminded me of my inner child and the memories of searching for fairies in our own handmade fairy houses. The sound of distant bells has always made me think of magic, and so I added this to the piece as well. Not only this, but I decided to include some of the spirit silhouettes which I made in response to my ink drawings. I have been debating with myself whether or not to keep them white but I had decided to keep them white for the reason of purity. As the studio will be bright and white, The paper cutouts won’t be fully visible and therefore you would only see them when you either look for them or when you least expect to see them. The idea of this relates well with the way we find spirits in reality.
After hours of work on this animated short film, I have completed the animation. The finished piece has a total of over 500 frames but despite all my efforts and challenges that I faced, I overcame them and I believe to have effectively created a pathway into my spirit realm. I say ‘my’ because I believe that everyone perceives differently, which is the reason as to why I kept these spirit creatures as silhouettes. I wanted to allow people to make up their own minds as to what they appear as.
I decided to keep the story minimum. Although storyboards were made, there was no start middle or end to the film as I wanted it to be a scene with only a few spirits morphing into different creatures. Using a layering technique of moving image and sound, I could achieve a window which acted as the veil between our world and theirs. The sounds are that of a scratching vinyl which I instantly think of as interference. This sound is effectively used to signal how close one is to the ‘thin place’. I also recorded my own voice which was layered upon each voice line. I say things such as ‘’Can you see us’’, ‘’Give us a rose’’ and ‘’How do I make you feel?’’. These voices are supposedly the voices of the spirits and ‘’give us a rose’’ is a direct reference to the Jinn which I researched through my field project. This later became a big influence on my subject work. As for the breathing which was also recorded by myself, I knew I desired this to reflect the person visiting the spirit world. Much like meditation (where you can access your sub-conscious and different realities), you are supposed to concentrate on your breathing. If one was to enter an alternate realm, I imagine that the sound of their own breath would be quite intense.
The outcome of this animation had exceeded my expectations as I have never attempted an animation before. The programmes that I used were unpredictable as they aren’t meant for animation. I would definitely acquire different programmes next time as photoshop caused a lot of problems. I would also make my animation a lot longer and perhaps add more spirits into the frame. Unfortunately photoshop wouldn’t allow me to add much more due to the amount that is already in it, despite it only being 1:30.
Luckily, I can always add more to this because my spirits and creatures in my own mind are forever growing and creating. especially as I am continuing this project into my third year.
‘’Can you see us?’’
My curiosity of spirituality, mythology and the sub-conscious mind has had a massive influence on the way I am working. I have been delving into the understanding of spirits and the way people perceive them. By using the sub-conscious mind, I can create my own perception of what these spirits/creatures would appear to look like. Although this is personal to me, I have illustrated them in a way that only suggests and allowing the viewer to make their own perception of what their spirits would appear as.
The focus of my work all comes down to the sub-conscious mind and making instinctive marks to create a human or animal-like form. I have illustrated a series of ink drawings, all of which differ in appearance but are concealed with only a suggestion as to what the spirits would emerge as. I believe that these creatures appear to us in different forms and are completely individual to one’s sub-conscious mind. Amongst the illustration, I have also created a small animation which suggests the piercing of the veil between our realm and the realm of the spirits. There are but a few ways to enter this ‘thin place’ as suggested by the ancient Celts, but I have created connection between my reality and the reality of my sub-conscious mind and the spirits that dwell there. In the animation, shows a scene of spirits coming and going, morphing into different forms. The sound of vinyl scratching layering over the top of voices was a way to show the line between our world and theirs.
The wind chime is an extension of my works as it reflects my own childhood of creating homemade objects such as fairy houses, sun catchers and wind chimes much like this one. Not only this but I wanted to create another form of ‘thin place’ using a collection of organic materials found in the forest where I feel most connected to the spirits.
I have talked about how much the trip to Morocco had influenced my subject and field work. The Jinn, has been a key figure in my subject as I have started to look into spirits and how we perceive these elusive creature/human forms. I have realised how much we differ from each other in the way we see the spirits; making them spirits of your own mind.
My continued development in my second field project has led me to testing with ink and colour/patterns that are found in Morocco. From testing with Materials such as fabric and manipulating them in ways that suit the whole perception of a Jinn, to using ink and paper and creating them as I have been using in my subject; which was originally inspired by the figurative modelling field project. My whole project has been based on what the Jinn would appear as to me and as the Quran says, they were derived from the smokeless fires before any human was created. The smokeless fire immediately makes me wonder if the Jinn was in fact the smoke. The properties of smoke are quite similar as the jinn is quick and elusive, and disappear in almost an instant (much like smoke). I knew that I wanted to use inks to portray these creatures which would then quickly catch on in my subject work.
Throughout this field project I looked at artists such as Elvis Robertson and Maurizio Anzeri who both use an layering embroidery technique. As our focus was textiles based, which was definitely out of my comfort zone, I tried to use these artist as a way to understand the learn from them.
development started to occur, with a lot of testing and manipulating with fabric and coloured dyes which I brought back from Morocco. I used embroidery to start adding patterns and colour to the inkblots. This was to represent and understand the culture and religion of country which I had visited not to long ago. Using my own photo’s which I had captured in Marrakech as reference for colour and pattern.
I would like to say that I have a final piece, but that wouldn’t be entirely true as I was to carry on the project of spirits into my third year, I want to start introducing colour to my subject much like I have done with my field. As you can see, there are two finished pieces which I believe represent my thoughts on what a Jinn would appear as. This idea is completely my own and I believe the lack of much detail in the character, allows others to have there own view on what it could actually look like.
The first piece, began with etching. After learning about etching, I knew I wanted to create a piece which would represent a Jinn. Despite not having pattern, I focused primarily on shape and colour. The different shades and sizes represent the smoke ‘dancing’; as is the Jinn. Limited with tissue paper, I tried to keep the colours bright and Moroccan in nature. The outcome, was quite interesting and almost tells a story of the Jinn causing mischief and dancing around looking for it’s next victim.
As for the second piece, I used ink and pattern to create another representation of the Jinn. This piece has inspired my subject in many ways and will continue to do so throughout my third year. Using ink, I sub-consciously played around with ink to create a form. After creating 15 different forms, I chose one which has to be my favourite. Like the etching, I can sense movement and dance much like the smoke of a fire.
I wanted to add a part of the Quran into the piece. The Arabic writing is so interesting in itself and I believe it adds a sense of mystery and wonder to the piece. The writing on the Jinn says ” And the Jinn we created before from scorching fire.” Surah Al-Hijr 15:26-27. For the pattern, I was influenced by a photograph I took of a wall inside the Palace. the colours were separate from the photo but they were also inspired by what I saw throughout my stay in Marrakech.
I believe this project to be ongoing and not at all complete. I am excited to see where it will take me and my journey into the realm of spirits, perception and mystery.