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.
Currently, I am working on the animation to accompany the illustrations for my final piece. Hours of work and I have barely scratched the surface, but I am happy with where it is going so far. With inspiration from traditional Disney animation and animations by Lotte Reiniger, I feel confident I can create an eerie yet magical animation with a modern touch of using photoshop.
A glimpse of the animation can be seen here:
This whole experience has taught me how to be an independent artist and organise my own exhibition for others to see. Working with nature is unpredictable and worked against me through out the whole day. Despite it being sunny, the wind was strong and throughout the hours, I had to flip over/chase down some illustrations which had been fighting with the breeze. as annoying as it was, I had expected it and embraced it as part of the whole experience and exhibition ‘performance’. I had a few people ask me what the whole thing was about which was exciting but also daunting as I didn’t really get an opinion from anyone who had walked by.
despite what had happened, I was happy with how the day turned out. It started off rocky, with park workers ripping some work down and telling me I would get fined for putting work up (despite having permission from the council) but ended well with seeing many people interested as the walk past, not knowing what the were. I could see people’s mind work as they tried to understand the creatures, which gave me a thrill.
As I prepare for the site exhibition, I focus on how I want the individual illustrations to look. I have photocopied the 25 illustrations which will be hung up with string, around the park. I was going to laminate each A5 piece but I decided against this due to the fact that It would have taken the spirits out of context. I believe it would have made them feel official and almost like a business advertisement. The thought of them flowing around in the gentle breeze is something that excites me as it is completely natural and gives the spirits a life of their own. As for the string, my original thoughts were too use fishing wire, which is clear in colour and would allow the spirits to look like they are floating. I ordered some string but unfortunately it didn’t arrive in time. Instead I used a natural yarn which worked well and didn’t take it out of context.
Along with the spirit drawings, I had make some photoshop pieces that would accompany the spirits. On these pieces have sentences that I believe you can hear the spirits calling out or saying. Because they were computer made, I felt this didn’t match the idea of nature or divine. I decided to recreate these pieces using ink, I freely wrote these sentences, trying to use as much expression as possible.
these past few weeks I have been preparing my work and developing my ideas to create a final animation. I am currently testing the waters for the final animation that I will be doing. I have started it but currently have some issues to resolve in relation to saving and exporting files. But Here is a test of how it is going so far:
Although there is a lot for my to do, I am confident and excited as to where this is taking me…