In our final History & Practise lecture, we looked back to 1980's Britain with Nick. In particular we looked at society, and the political state at the time. It was a very important time regarding the rise of Margaret Thatcher and what this meant for a change, not only in society but also in the arts culture. For this blog task, I will be producing a collage/mood board which will highlight 'official' and 'unofficial' culture of the 1980s.
The left side represents official culture - the mainstream values and the widely popular trends - London West End, the greatly liked Royal couple, Margaret Thatcher (the first female prime minister), the BT logo which represents denationalisation for society, and widely popular music such as Bowie and Culture Club. On the other side I have included groups which appeared to rebel against the Thatcherite Zeitgeist - mod's with the targets on their Parker jackets, the punk collection, the protests against the poll tax which Thatcher put in place, and Monty Python's Life of Brian which was definitely anti-establishment as it contradicted with the morals of society and was regarded by the British as blasphemy.
Over the last 3 weeks, we've been focusing on colour and composition. For the first week we had several challenges regarding colour theory, and we also had to produce some typeface posters. After doing basic colour theory - i.e. the colour wheel and gradients, coming to grips with primary, secondary and tertiary colours, we had to produce grids of colour with different titles in the classic Bauhaus style - produce 4x4 colour grids using colours associated to the rainforest, Mumbai, Blackpool, a hospital ward, a misty morning and finally autumn, along with a 6x6 grid using colours which coincide with our personality. Throughout all of these exercises we had to use purely the primary colours - using only black and white within the gradient exercise. I found this task really fun as I love mixing different colours and find it quite therapeutic! The other task for this week was to produce typeface posters with the themes masculine, feminine, scale, power, pattern and playful. Along with that in mind, we had 5 fonts to use - Bodoni, Rockwell, Helvetica, Clarendon and Din, and we had to choose the one which we thought fitted the theme best. For this challenge, I used InDesign which I found quite easy to use for this. Overall, I think this week's work went well, however I could probably improve on the colour scales. I really enjoyed the typeface poster challenge and think they turned out very well.
The second week consisted of producing 3 book covers all titled 'The Tree', all with different genres - a children's book, a psychological horror and a science fiction. We also had 3 artists who we had to research and use as influence for one of the covers. I decided to have my children's book cover inspired by Anne Yvonne Gilbert who uses pencil crayon for her pieces. Her work is incredibly detailed and consists of many layers - and she sharpens her pencil every few seconds to keep the detailed aspects. I found this very time consuming but enjoyable and quite therapeutic. After scanning it in, I added the text in photoshop, using a soft font to tie in with the children's book feel.
For my psychological horror book cover, I used inspiration from Charles Keeping, who has quite a strange and creepy style using mainly inks and watercolour. It became clear that he uses a relatively shiny surface which causes the watercolours to leave a certain effect, and the inks to shine. I tried out various materials to achieve this, and did my final piece of foam board as I found this was the most suitable. I really enjoyed this style and would like to develop this further, however with my final piece I think I should have had the tree more in the piece, looking at the golden ratio, having it fill more of a third than it has. Regarding the font I used for the text, it's clear that I definitely rushed this as the font doesn't go well with a psychological horror so that is definitely one of my downfalls. I experimented using complementary colours for this as well as I thought this would give more of a psychedelic approach which I think works well.
Finally for my science fiction cover I used influence from Brad Holland who uses acrylic paint with a dry brush technique. I found his technique difficult and time consuming but after getting the hang of it I quite enjoyed it - he tends to scrub the paint into the canvas (which has been covered in one colour) with hardly any paint on the brush, and this makes blending the colours a lot easier. For the canvas I got some MDF from woodwork and stuck fabric to it using PVA and then coated it in white paint to achieve the same idea as a canvas. It became evident that he likes to play with surrealism and particularly scale, so I tried to include this within my experiments. I think the font I used is alright but I probably could have been more adventurous. I like how the final piece turned out, but one improvement would be to scrub bits of all the colours through the piece like the way Brad Holland does.
I really enjoyed this week's challenges. I definitely found it challenging, but I enjoyed getting to grips with the various techniques by all the artists, and I liked the idea of producing book covers for different genres - kept me entertained and didn't get bored!
The third week's task involved producing a 12 page book which narrates a nursery rhyme. We had the choice of 6 and I chose 'The Grand Old Duke of York'. After producing various thumbnails playing around with colour, composition and material, I produced 2 mock up books which helped me figure out how I was going to narrate the book and helped me plan out the words and the illustrations to fill the pages appropriately. Whilst doing this I found that, since the nursery rhyme is very repetitive, my illustrations were quite repetitive also. To overcome this, I decided to have each of my pages cut out to reveal a green background (a hill), which I found helped me with the narration as I then had a constant theme to work from for each page. I really like how this turned out, however to develop it further I would probably experiment using different cut outs for each page, rather than having each page the same (although I do think this works well). I think with the style I've used, I could have looked into Tom Gauld, and possibly given some of the soldiers more character - drawing attention to the elements which aren't supposed to draw attention the way Gauld does., and this would have added a further element of curiosity/interest. Overall, I found the task challenging and interesting, I like how my final piece turned out but I would probably experiment with more thumbnails to support my final outcomes further.
I have really enjoyed the last 3 weeks, playing around with colour and composition and learning about different materials and techniques. I found that I struggled with my time management with this project due to being very ill in the first week which put me back therefore I was playing catch-up for the rest of the time. However, taking this into account I think I managed to produce a lot of work, and I am happy with the overall outcomes.
I found this weeks lecture with Jim extremely interesting, revolving around the evolution in design through the late 1950s/1960s due to the cultural changes. I found the contrast between the generic, stereotypical, happy work from the 1950s, and the angry and rule-breaking messages which came from the 1960s work fascinating. I love the way the artists translated these messages into their work, contradicting the society's 'norm', providing the period of 'Nouveau Frisco'. I have chosen to research Victor Moscoso further.
Born in 1936, Victor Moscoso was a student in New York City, and then Yale University where he was a student of Joseph Albers. He later moved to San Fransisco in 1959 where he studied at the San Fransisco Art Institute, a school where he later began teaching. Victor Moscoso was clearly an artist of the psychedelic era. Moscoso was mainly known for his psychedelic rock and roll posters, and album covers. It is clear that Moscoso's main influence was the wild, crazy, music culture in San Fransisco at the time. Due to the rise of drugs during this period, the colours and craziness which we see through his work is due to the hallucinations and 'trips' that he had whilst on drugs which is evident through many artists' work during this period. Furthermore, he was a student of Joseph Albers, who had a deep knowledge of colour theory and therefore was a great influence to Moscoso which is notable through is extravagant use of complimentary colours. It became clear to me through watching some videos of interviews that a lot of his inspiration came from going against everything else that was seen in previous art work. He has a very unique and individual style and he dared to use clashing colours, bright vivid effects, illegible text - an overall style which broke the 'norm' of society. I find his work, and other artists of this era, fascinating.
Dwayne's recent lecture regarded American midcentury, post-war illustration. We looked at the comparison between the UK and America, studying how America portrayed the perfect, idealised life, whereas the art of the UK reflected a dull life. It was an interesting lecture, looking into various artists and illustrators through this era, learning about their careers and their individual styles.
Brian Sanders was an English illustrator, working in an American style, using bright, vivid colours to display an idealised reflection of life. He studied at St Olave's Grammar School, which was located at the foot of London's Tower Bridge at the time. Sanders spent most of his final year focusing on painting and life drawing at the Sir John Cass College of Art. He was later offered a place at the Slade School of Art, but due to personal reasons he worked in an advertising agency. His art career was interrupted due to working for the National Service with the Royal Marines. After his time with the National Service he worked with photographer Adrian Flowers, which gave him a boost with his freelance career. It is said that he took great influence from Ben Shahn and David Stone Martin, and therefore he struggled to advance stylistically as he found it so difficult to move away from their work. I really like the work of Sanders, how he captures an everyday scene but makes it visually appealing due to the composition and colour techniques he uses, and I have produced my own piece inspired by him/the era.
After being given the brief of illustrating a poster for a play, I decided on 'A Doll's House' from the choices as I thought there were many elements of this play which could influence my ideas, and I thought it gave me many opportunities to be very creative.
After researching the play further for inspiration, I produced lots of thumbnail visual ideas, playing around with colour, composition, subject etc. I aimed to add in lots of little details which I thought added to the poster well due to the concept of the play. For example, there are references to the woman being called a 'skylark' which is why I included a birdcage concept. Furthermore, the play is based around Christmas time which also gave me ideas for my poster. I did struggle to come up with lots of different thumbnail visuals, so I had to keep searching for inspiration and played around further with colour and composition. I learned a lot throughout this brief regarding visualising ideas as I used lots of different media to produce lots of different, interesting poster designs, in a small space of time. After coming up with my initial ideas, I then narrowed down and generated some refined versions, continuing to experiment with colour and material to produce an appealing poster. Finally, I produced 3 final designs on a larger scale, all of which highlighted a different concept of the film.
Overall, I was happy with my outcome of this brief. I had to push myself quite hard to keep going and generate different poster designs which I did struggle with quite a lot at about the halfway point. However, I kept experimenting with different compositions and used a variety of media to help further. I definitely learned a lot about idea generation so overall I'm happy with the outcome.
This week Zoe gave a really interesting lecture on Vogue and how it has evolved through the years. It was also about how fashion editorial photography can reflect a narrative to the reader. I found it really fascinating seeing all the main photographers' work and how different they all were. Zoe's main question was 'Is fashion photography art or fart?' and after seeing the journey Vogue has been on I think it is definitely a form of art. For this blog post I will be comparing two different fashion 'stories' from Vogue.
Vogue May 2019
Kate Moss took the cover of this edition of Vogue which I thought was an interesting choice for me to work with considering she is quite well known for being associated with Vogue, with 1993 being the first time she covered Vogue. I think the main thing that comes across to me in these photographs is that it reflects how fashion can look good at any age. The magazine is generally read by women between the ages of 25-55 so this can be quite influential. Despite Kate Moss only being 45, she is probably one of the older models in the magazine, however, the photographs show that she wears the products well, which is a good reflection towards the diverse audience. All of the photographs are black and white which definitely portrays a particular mood. Moss is generally posing for the images as she's modelling the clothing and accessories. Therefore, the images tend to give off quite a sultry and sexy vibe. This combined with the use of an older model is attractive to a certain age group, also due to the fact that she's promoting a luxury brand, one of the reasons it's appearing in Vogue.
Vogue December 2019
In this edition of Vogue, a lot of the articles are Christmas orientated so the piece I will be looking at is mainly to do with the party season - all glitz and glamour. The model choice for this segment was particularly interesting as they have involved 2 very contrasting individuals - both of which wouldn't have appeared in Vogue in the early editions which highlights the evolution of Vogue and the move towards inclusivity. For example one model is from Japan, and the other is British - both with distinct characteristics e.g. red hair. The article displays a very fun yet glamorous narrative which is reflected through the splashes of colour, experimental makeup used and the sparkling jewellery which are the main focus of the story. This element of the magazine is probably attractive to the younger audience, however you see from the information provided on prices of the products it would probably be more suited to an older audience due to the luxury items. There is a range of images which tend to portray a young and innocent feeling, very youthful and 'girly-girl' as shown by the baby pink highlights. This contrasts greatly to the edition involving Kate Moss as they give completely different vibes.
In summary, being very interested in fashion, I am fascinated by the way Vogue has evolved and how it has become more inclusive and diverse over the decades, and how it fits with the current movements. The only thing is sadly over the years, Vogue has become very focused on the celebrities involved rather than bringing new fashion trends to people. However, these coincide since fashion designers need celebrities to promote their clothes.
In this week's lecture with Nick we looked at high modernity, and we looked at the introduction of abstract art and further pop art. The task for this blog was to re-create a version of Richard Hamilton's collage 'What makes today's homes so different, so appealing?' using elements of our 2019 culture and society.
Using photoshop I created this collage, in which I have tried to reflect many of the 'issues' or the everyday norm of life as it seems today. The main thing I have involved is Theresa May on the tv, representing Brexit which has obviously had a huge impact on society over the last couple years, and will continue to do so for the years yet to come. One of the main things with society nowadays for me is the numerous campaigns for saving the planet, but yet only a certain percentage of the world seem to care. To portray this I have included many protest campaigns such as fast fashion, and also the plastic protests - as seen on the MacBook and on the iPhone. The clothes delivery parcels lying at the side highlight to the audience that I feel as though people aren't taking these problems seriously. The figure I have included of someone meditating is to show that everyday the society seem to be very stressed and anxious, however, people need to start paying attention to the real problems in the world such as saving the planet that we live on. Instead of using an actual person, I created a silhouette to represent that people nowadays appear invisible - we live in a world that is so technologically based, that people are practically invisible and the art of physically communicating and using your voice is dying out. To further intensify this I included a famous political poster from Banksy on the wall, and to add a personal touch I included a Manchester bee poster which signifies a point in time where the country really did come together.
During this week's lecture, Rhiannon talked about a different art school following on from the Bauhaus lecture last week. We learnt about the 'school of design' in Ulm - Hochschule fur Gestaltung. I found it really interesting hearing about what was important to the school and how it changed over the years, and subsequently the reasons for why it was shut down. I am going to research further Max Bill who was a significant figure during this period.
Born in 1908, Max Bill was a Swiss artist and designer who specialised in combining maths and geometry into his art practise. As an ex student of the Bauhaus, he later co-founded the HfG in Ulm where he was the head through the 1950s. He specialised in architecture and product design during his time at HfG, however his work fell into many categories including painting, sculpture and graphic design. Max Bill later resigned from HfG due to conflict regarding how the school should progress. There was no doubt that he was an outstanding artist/designer, but the school needed to focus more on industrialisation and manufacturing to gain income, rather than the art aspects, and Bill struggled with this concept.
Although, Max Bill's teaching career didn't end here, he was later involved with other schools for example the State School for Fine Arts in Hamburg. He received many art awards throughout his career and died at the age of 85 in 1994 during a visit in Berlin. Today, he is probably most recognised for his wrist watches which are manufactured by the German brand Junghans.
During this week's lecture, we had Rhiannon talking about the Bauhaus which I found really interesting as I never knew much about the art school. It was fascinating learning about all the artists who were involved with the Bauhaus and I have researched the one who intrigued me the most - Anni Albers.
Anni Albers, born in Berlin 1899, enrolled at the Bauhaus art school in 1922. The Bauhaus was founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 and it consisted of many different specialist workshops including sculpture, joinery, ceramics, printing and advertising, stage craft and many more. Anni Albers enrolled onto the weaving workshop. It was in fact here where she met Josef Albers who she married in 1925. Albers gained her diploma in weaving in 1930 and took over, from Gunta Stolzl, as head of the weaving workshop the following year.
Due to the closure of the Bauhaus in 1933, Josef and Anni Albers emigrated to the United States where they were invited to teach at Black Mountain College, an experimental art school in North Carolina. There, they lead the art programme together until 1949. In the same year, Anni held a solo textiles exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Following a change in Josef Albers' teaching career, the pair moved to Connecticut in 1950. Anni Albers kept experimenting with hand-weaving through until the 1960s when she started introducing printmaking. Albers created mesmerising pieces, with roots of ancient and traditional textile techniques that she had learned from across the globe. Anni particularly took inspiration from objects and materials from which she felt had a communicative role within certain cultures. I really like the way in which all aspects of colour, composition, pattern, line and texture are expressed through her work and I really like the modern outlook it had especially at the time.
Project 2 involved us recreating 3 different pieces, all which have a different media. One piece in pencil, one in ink and one using scraper board. This was a very interesting brief, which I really enjoyed as it really helped develop skills.
put in with the rubber. I think I managed the cross hatching technique well - applying the colour down to allow good contrast of tones - however I think the marks in my piece look slightly harsher than Robertson's.