Here a few images of the finished and exhibition that is up at The Cardiff School of Art and Design, for my end of year degree show. These are the final images with the Obelisk holding CURA in place with a selected 8 images illustrating some key but non spoiler images of the story with inside CURA.
The Last and final thing what needs to be done will be the smoke entity vinyl that with grow from the entrance of the foyer and leading the viewer to the book. Then over the week of the show in secret I will continue to add more and more smoke in different sizes, which will eventually being to consume the exhibition space, being a literally representation of humanities ever growing problem with our impact on the planets natural world. The reason the smoke is not down yet is that I want to put the vinyl down on the night before the opening show, to reduce the dirtiness of the vinyl which I will be encouraging people to walk over.
From the end of summer I was in a very experimental stage, which I believe was result of the end of the second year results. I wanted to step back from what I was doing and the way I was working and try to open my mind to the different concepts of illustration. This I believe was one of the most important summers for the beginning of my development into a professional practitioner in Illustration. The main issues that I was having before with the way that I was working, was that I was having issues bringing illustration and printmaking together. In these experimental stages I created work that I thought I never could, and working with mediums that I thought I would never work with, for example collage. Through the freedom of experimenting, I learnt a new way of working which allowed me to think clearer whilst I was in development stages of my work. I created a variation of collage and printing mix medium experimental pieces that explored different issues, e.g. Social labeling, discrimination, feminist views and environmental views. This freedom of creating work and exploring different modern issues of our time, whilst being influenced by my dissertation helped me to create a better understanding a better concept of where I can focus my illustration.
Along side the practical side of my work being built up with playful experimental work, I was constantly thinking about what form my work should be and how I can communicate a complex issue through a printmaking process whilst being in the medium of illustration. The main thing that I had to consider was the viewer and how view could interact with my work, which will later on effect how they think and feel about an issues, in this case humanities damaging relationship with planets natural world. My aim as an illustrator is to make people become more aware of there impact on the Earths natural world, which will create a more environmentally sustainable future. When presenting my work I enjoy the use of gallery spaces and the impact it can have on people with they become a part of the space. This has come from my performance way of illustrating, being inspired by other shows, for example Grayson Perry’s “ The Vanity of small differences” being one. My main focus has been illustrations effect on people who may enter an exhibition space and how the two interact, in a beneficial and memorable experience. Through my previous experience of exhibitions like the “Look no Hands” exhibition at the Abacus and “Affordable at way” exhibition at Cardiff M.A.D.E, I have been able to gain an understand of how my work interacts with views in an exhibition space. The difference between those exhibitions then and the degree show now is that my work has developed an extraordinary amount. With the exhibition space being very large compered to what I have had before, allowing me to create work that can be seen on a larger scale an almost bigger performance stage. With eight chosen eight prints hanging on the wall, which are purposely chosen pages from within the graphic novel. To the hand made Graphic novel placed on the black lectern (Obelisk), in the center next to the pages, holding the book of the containing the story that predicts the future of the human race. All of these elements have been made to give the book an almost religious, holy book containing humanities sins and possible future; there is a mystical power within the book. This power being the power to change how people are treating the world’s natural environments. The last element will be the black smoke vinyl which will be on the floor growing towards the book it self and will eventually grow all over the exhibition, representing humanities corrupt with the planet natural world will only get worse until, the problems become to big and overwhelm us.
The combination of summer experimental work freeing my sense of being able to create ideas, in a progressive and meaningful way, whilst continually thinking about the placement and meaningful impact of my work help me top create a piece of work that I have put all of my time and effort into create. Whilst working around the clock to create the story within the time frame of around four months and working as a hands on practitioner with in the field of printmaking. I was able hand cut all 34 lino and woodcut images which all come together collectively forming the graphic novel its self. With the advice of Tom Martin the print technician and the use of his printing studio, I was able to create my wordless graphic novel which is entirely hand made, including all original hand cut prints. Though the task at hand sometimes seemed not achievable, I usually would step back from what I was doing and think about the reasoning behind my project and the good that I want to achieve with it. Whilst also considering the satisfaction of knowing the task that I have completed and being able to see it at the end displayed in the foyer space, seen by everyone who enters the university and the impact it may have.
Overall this year has been the most exciting and important year for me, as I believe that I have developed so far as an illustrator and matured as practitioner, who know fully understands where to take illustration as a practice. Through all this I also aim to try and evolve printmaking through illustration, into a new and exciting form of contemporary illustration. Taking the already quite traditional understandings of printmaking and pushing it a new form print that values the traditional but embraces the new forms contemporary illustration. With out this year I would definitely not be in the place that I am now as an illustrator, I feel that I have matured greatly personally and with my work. With Subject field and constellation all playing a massive role in my development in research and what I believe in as an illustrator.
Both Books are Identical and are all completely hand made, from the hand printed images that create the narrative of the story, to the binding which is hand stitched. Cura is a Story about my own personal representation of humanities relationship with our planets natural world and an expression of the consequences of humanities corrupt relationship with Earths natural world and its Environments.
Here is the first bundle of images containing a selection of images from within my Wordless graphic novel CURA. There are 34 hand cut lino printed images that form my story all can be seen as individual prints within there own context, but they all form together within a fictional narrative.
Out of everything that I have created for the book, the overall impact of the work and the book itself is the most important thing. As my work will be displayed in the foyer space I have wanted to create the most impactful and memorable experience when book is being viewed. Because the feel of the book is one of a holy manuscript or ancient book that contains an ancient story of the prediction of the human race. I want to display the work high on a lectern, giving the book a sense of power and importance. Originally the lectern was going to be white but discussing with Amelia we decided that black would be more of a statement. Creating this lectern (Obelisk) where lecterns are usually something that holds something holy, this lectern is holding an apocalyptic story of the future of the human race. During the hand building of the lectern I never expected how much influence and power it would give the book and even more when I painted it black. This sense of darkness adds depth, whilst creating avoid like object that is unmissable with the eye.
After all the measuring, cutting, building and painting the end result is beyond what I could of expected. The book and the Obelisk both compliment each other in such a way which makes the viewer want to grab and read the story, but also a sense of dark and powerful powers behind it.
One of the big influences of the my development work whilst creating CURA ha stop be Gorillaz. Gorillaz have always been one of my favourite bands, from a younger age having being influenced by the fictional animated characters portraying the band members. To more recent times where I can fully appreciate the context of each song and the meaning behind sequence of lyrics behind each song. With Demon days being one of my favourite albums, where every song in its own individual way deals with humanities relationship with the earth and the damage that we are causing to it. When brainstorming at the very beginning development stages of my project I began to realise that subconsciously Gorillaz – Demon days was having an effect on how I imagined certain ideas with the my development work. Because of the illustrative nature of most of the songs with Demon Days and my illustrative mind, I can imagine detailed representations that are parallel to our own world. This is what to make this Gorillaz and Demon Days so influential and inspiring, is also the fact the have created an incredible album which is know globally as arguable on of the best Bands to be around in the 90’s and early 00′ to this present day. Who are dealing with environmental issues though a band which is incredible successful, creating awareness and understanding of humanities relationship with our planets natural world. This use of an art form which communicates the brutal reality of humanities relationship with Earths natural world, is one of the biggest inspirations to how I can communicate the same reality through a different art form.
Another big influence is the song “Fire coming out of a monkeys head” narrated by Dennis Hopper, which is story of the representation of humanities creed which change the “happy folk” of the a village who live in harmony with the mountain called monkey. This literal representation has been one of the main image driver to when I have been created ideas and story images with CURA. Because CURA is a wordless graphic novel illustrating the potential consequences of humanities continuing corrupt relationship with Earths natural environments, the imagery that is created with my mind when listening to a powerful narrative with “Fire coming out of a monkeys head” has been so influential. This ha been one of the first times where a song has influenced me so much with a project where I have created images that have been directly influenced by listening to a song.
With in the story I have tried to imagine where the “strange folk” come from with the story, which I image to be a destroyed polluted land, which has helped me to create the fictional by realistic world where my gas masked humans live with CURA. This being a representation of a dramatised but similar example of our cities and polluted factories.