The commune project is a completely research based project that is designed to encourage us to learn from one another rather then going straight to google or the library. For me this is an ideal project as backing my own work up with research is something the a struggle with, therefore for me being surrounded by different people and having different experiences is an ideal way for me to research. One research task that we undertook was looking back at al of our old projects and picking out themes, concepts and ideas that we liked, to the possible incorporate them with our Unit 7 project or to use as a stepping stone into the project.
Converse One Star Hotel
Today I wanted to experience something different, rather than going to a exhibition or a gallery i decided to go to the One Star Hotel which is a converse pop-up just down the road from my halls. It was a huge pop up that spanned over 5 floors from the "lobby" to the "guest rooms", including a cotton candy room higher up the building. The queue to get in was incredibly long and some people waited for up to 5 hours due to the droop of the new converse trainers in collaboration with Yung Lean, A$AP Nast, fashion label MadeMe, and Tizzy T.
I decided to go to this rather then an exhibition as this commune project is about gaining knowledge through people, therefore i think experience this sub-culture of streetwear and to see waiting in line for so long is incredibly interesting and something that i had not experienced before.
As well as going for the experience the rooms them selves where amazing and incredible aesthetically pleasing, with individual colours and themes in very room. As well as this there was a print studio on the top floor that was screen printing on tshirts, i loved this touch as i think it bought a traditional and manual contrast to such futuristic and digital spaces on the lower floors.
Highsnobiety - One Star Hotel
Amsterdam Vertelt, Foam
Translated this means "Amsterdam Tells". The first piece of work in the first gallery that we visited was a "special education project in which two generations are bought together to get to know more about art and culture, their creative talents , and each other." This collaboration started in 2016. I thought that this had huge connections the the commune brief as it is all about learning from the people that we are spending out commune with and getting to know then just as this project is trying to do. Furthermore the word "collaboration" is one that is extremely prominent in this project as we are collaborating as a three here in Amsterdam.
In four Amsterdam neighbourhoods, local residence get to know each other through the forms of photography and writing, two tools that are ideal for story telling. OBA and Foam describe the aim of this project to be "stimulating new encounters in the Amsterdam neighbourhoods." The project has reached more than 300 elderly people and 150 young people
"Together with your neighbours, you can take pictures and write stories about each other and the neighbourhood you live in, it is all possible within the Amsterdam neighbourhood of the OBA and Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam. Do you also participate?"
"Under the guidance of professional photographers and writers, residents of four Amsterdam neighbourhoods will work together with photography and stories for two years. Amsterdam Vertelt not only brings participants into contact with art and culture but also with their own creative talents, and with each other." - Extract taken from the Amsterdam Tells Website
During this time artists put on traveling exhibitions on the participation district to try and inspire the residence. As well as this there was also various workshops and masterclasses that took place over this time period with professional photographers such as Annegien van Doorn, Henk Wildschut, Maarten Tromp and Daniëlle van Ark. As well as professional writers including Gita Hacham, Christine Otten, Abdelkader Benali and Renée van Marissing.
The exhibitions we visited included:
- Back to the future. The 19th century in the 21st century
- Lucas Foglia - Human Nature
Lucas Foglia - Human Nature
"Human Nature is a series of interconnected stories about people, nature, and the science of our relationship to wilderness."
"I grew up on a small farm, thirty miles east of New York City. The forest that bordered the farm was a wild place to play that was ignored by our neighbours who commuted to Manhattan. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy flooded our fields and blew down the oldest trees in the woods. On the news, scientists linked the storm to climate change caused by human activity. I realised that if humans are changing the weather, then there is no place on Earth unaltered by people."
"After the storm I started photographing in cities and then forests, farms, deserts, ice fields, and oceans. At a time when Americans, on average, spend 93 percent of their lives indoors, I photographed government programs that bring people back into contact with nature, neuroscientists researching the beneficial effects of spending time outside, and climate scientists measuring the degree to which human activity influences the atmosphere."
"Nature used to mean the Earth besides humans and human creations. But if there is no place on Earth unaltered by people, then nature no longer exists. At the same time, research suggests that time in wild places is integral our health and happiness."
"Human Nature focuses on our current relationship with nature; on how we need wild places even if they have been shaped by us."
This was another show on at Foam and was the one that gripped me most and i felt forced to look at the photos for such a long time, something that i often dont do enough during gallery visits. I liked the vibrance of the colours and the clarity of the images where incredible. Furthermore, at the gallery there was minimal information given about the work so it was completely open to interpretation, however when i looked up what it meant and what it was about i felt compelled to keep reading and research further into the idea of the human impact on the planet and this statement "nature used to mean the Earth besides humans and human creations. But if there is no place on Earth unaltered by people, then nature no longer exists".
Back to the Future The 19th century in the 21st century 19 January – 28 March 2018
This was another show that was on in the Foam Museum. It is an exhibition that showcases the work of artists who use photographic techniques, processes and methods that trace back to those used by photographers in the 19th century. The Exhibition showcases the photography of 25 artists from the 19th and 21st century.The artists that feature use the original principles of photography (light, a photosensitive carrier, emulsion and chemical processes) and have an appreciation for the physical production process and the materials that they are working with. However they also use modern tools such as computers and 3D printers.
Artists in this exhibition that stood out to me for aesthetic reasons as well as the process that they use:
- Anna Atkins
- Karl Blossfeldt
- Matthew Brandt
- William England
- Sam Falls
- Nicolai Howalt
- Thomas Mailaender
- Jaya Pelupessy & Felix van Dam.
Anna Atkins was an English botanist and photographer (1799 - 1871), many consider her the first to publish a book with photographic illustrations. The reason why i was initially drawn to her work was the simplicity of colour combined with the complexity of the shapes of the various plants. However the thing that interested me the most was the process that she used. The object (plants) is placed on paper which has been treated with ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, after which it is exposed to sunlight and then washed in water, leading to the uncovered areas of the paper turning a dark blue. Using photo sensitive paper is a technique that i would like to experiment with at some point.
Anna Atkins work
Themes, Concepts and Ideas from Unit 5 and 6
Screen Print Studio on the top floor
Amsterdam Vertelt, Foam
Lucas Foglia - Human Nature
Lucas Foglia - Human Nature
Article from The Guardian
After reading some of the statistics about the amount of time the Americans spend out side i wanted to see how these figures compared to the uk. In particularly in children as i think it is crucial to teach children about nature, encourage them to spend time outdoors and make them passionate about looking after our planet. When i started to look into it i was shocked to see an article heading that states; "Three-quarters of UK children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates" and that on an average day most children would not play outdoors.
The Red Light District
On our first night we ventured out to the red light district as we thought that this was an essential thing to do if we wanted to explore the vibrant sex and drug culture that is associated with Amsterdam. When we returned home i was keep to research the history of the area and how and when it came about. This is a brief summary of what i found.
- Been in the area since around 1200 due to "sex for money" being the oldest profession.
- The Dutch know the area as "De Wallen" because in the early days of the growth of Amsterdam it was surrounded by earthen walls, this is why most of the main street names in the area end in "wal".
- In Amsterdam prostitution was only made legal in 2000 to try and protect the women by giving them work permits, however now there are fears that it is getting out of control, with large scale crime organisations being involved in the trafficking of women.
There is much more information on this website http://www.amsterdamredlightdistricttour.com/history-of-amsterdam/red-light-district-history/ however these where the main points that i wanted to include.
Karl Blossfeldtwas was a German sculptor, teacher, photographer and artist. He also is renowned for his close-up photography of plants and living things. I did not notice his work in Foam until i was about to leave and it instantly caught my eye. He was entirely self taught and unlike Anne Atkins his work was artistic rather then scientific. He had a preference for photographing weeds, which he felt illustrated archetypal nature better than cultivated flowers and plants. He also documented flora during various stages of development, pruning away branches and leaves before photographing his specimens against a neutral background in close-up, to effect sleek geometric patterns.
Dazed Digital: In your latest collection of photographs, Lakes and Resevoirs, you've chosen to manipulate the images. Can you explain the process of how and why did this?
Matthew Brandt: The procedure in making the Lakes and Reservoirs is fairly simple. I visit a lake and/or reservoir. I photograph it and collect water from it, then make a C-print of this photograph and soak it in the water that was collected. The outcome is the reaction of the image of this lake or reservoir that has been soaked in its own water over a period of time. They are circumstances of a Lakes’ image that meets its real substance.
Before this I was making portraits of people, salted paper prints with their own bodily fluids to chemically produce their own image. For example, a picture of my friend Will was printed with his tears as the salt content to produce his image. So I was already in this territory of representation and how the image reacts with the real. I have always liked to think about photography in relation to mirrors, which is a very standardized almost cliché notion of photography.
Screenshorts from the website of Thomas Mailaender's website
Screenshorts from the website of Thomas Mailaender's website
Thomas Mailaender: Born in 1979 in Marseille, France
Lives and works between Paris and Marseille, France
...was another photographer that i saw at the foam gallery,but his work didn't really appeal to me when i saw it in the gallery. However, when i went home and researched him further i found some of his work that wasn't displayed in the Foam gallery but that i Loved and wanted to look into further.
Article from Its Nice That
French artist Thomas Mailaender sunburns photographs onto skin.
French artist Thomas Mailaender is putting a new spin on the old trope of the body as a canvas. For his most recent book, Illustrated People, Thomas applied 23 negatives of archival photographs onto his subjects’ bodies and used a UV lamp to sear the images onto their skin. This process of temporarily transferring negatives onto skin has a similar effect to sunburn, although the fleeting images begin to fade as soon as they are exposed to daylight. Juxtaposing colour photographs of his sunburn shots with black and white archival imagery, Thomas’ jarring, pink-skinned portraits are seen on arms, backs, stomachs and legs in a 128-page hardcover publication with a befitting red sleeve.
Thomas, known for his use of a wide range of techniques including ceramic, photography, collage and installation, he employs diverse materials, often re-appropriating images from the internet or his own huge archive. - Re appropriating images from online or personal is something that i would love to do. However i also want to illustrate them, rather than re appropriating the picture i want to try and translate it into an amusing illustration.
Thomas, along with Eric Kessel.... Both artists are compulsive collectors of photographs and keen observers of sociological patters. Additionally, they both take the absurd and ridiculous very very seriously (This line was one that resinated with me as i appreciate it when artists explore the ridiculous and have humour incorporated in their work)
First Project Proposal
- I didn't want to start my first project on a conceptual basis. Therefore my first brief is about reportage illustrations who draw from their own experience to give a visual description of an area.
- Drawing largely from the Field notes brief however not working on such a large scale.
Rose Blake is an illustrator and artist who's work i love. I love the light in the work, the colours used, her style.I was initially just drawn to her work because of the way i looked.
https://www.itsnicethat.com/features/rose-blake-david-hockney-artist-activity-book-tate-publishing-030217 - An article about the creation of her "David Hockney Artist Activity Book. (not what i am 100% focusing on but v.interesting)
"now that im an artist" - Rose Blake
"now that im an artist" - Rose Blake
Oliver Kugler is a London based reportage photographer and illustrator who draws from life or from his own reference photos. Something that instantly attracted me to his work was:
1) That he draws from reference photos as well as life. This alone made me feel a little more confident in my drawing ability and feel less ashamed of being far better at drawing from photographs that i have taken rather then from life.
2) Was the movement in his images, although they are very simple digital drawings. They still have enough detail to make the illustrations come to life.
Further more Oliver Kulger does a lot of work traveling the world with charities such as OXFAM and draws in areas of sever hunger and famine. In some of his recent work he has included text of interviews from the people living in these areas to prove that is work is "true" and "honest". Through these illustrations he is raising awareness and making a change for the better, while seeing these places first hand. This is something that i really respect and i think it makes his work incredible relevant and engaging.
George Butler is an award winning artist and illustrator who's work is based around current affairs and travel. All of his drawings that are done in situ are pen, ink and watercolour.
In August 2012 George walked from Turkey across the border into Syria, where as guest of the rebel Free Syrian Army he drew the civil war damaged, small and empty town of Azaz.
"The skill is to use drawing as an interview technique for an entire situation, I make visual notes in ink as time passes. It isn't all about conflict... the drawings are of more common experiences than those on our front pages, they are of unfolding scenes, of habits, of stories, or of a single character". He says.
I am fascinated by all of the travels that he has been on and things that he has seen, this is something that i was always been incredibly keen on experiencing.
"Peter Arkle’s illustrations of everyday life have appeared in a mind-boggling variety of publications including The New Yorker and Time magazine. Peter has illustrated everything from commercial products to bodily functions, observing awkward moments with great humour."
"He has a way with lines that is truly impressive, creating engaging imagery from carefully constructed outlines. With a body of work that encompasses more or less every aspect of editorial and advertising illustration you’d be incredibly hard-pushed to leave his website with your appetite for imagery un-sated."
Eduardo Paolozzi is and example of an artist that uses screen print, the process that i plan to use as the base of my work for Part Three. He is thought to be one of the pioneering pop artists and his work is full of bold colour and collage, as well as sculpture.
See Pages 17 & 18
Steve Wilson colour overlays
i came across the work of Steve wilson in the book "screen printing, the ultimate studio guide". In the project pictured above he chose his subject (the camera) due to the fact that it had a lot of interesting details that would work well with his overlaying print technique. This is something that i want to experiment with during my prints from Amsterdam, however i will just be printing two layers rather than multiple.
Rob Ryan is the final screen print artist that i am going to reference as he uses paper cut. I like this technique as i think it makes the work far more personal due to the time consuming process of stencil cutting rather than doing everything digitally. I plan to use this process when producing my screen prints of the terrace houses in amsterdam. However rather then using this same intricate paper cut technique i am only going to screen print solid blocks of colour of the silhouette of the house with out the windows etc so i can then draw over it with a black pen and add the detail this way instead.
"For me, drawing is the most succinct and direct form of communication. I have always found it much easier to express a thought through a picture rather than words. In terms of the digital side of things, I pretty much draw into the computer, so it’s still drawing, just with a digital pencil instead of a wooden one."
- After going to a David Hockney exhibition a few years ago i was fascinated by the idea of drawing on an iPad or other digital method. However i dont think you can really beat the authenticity of a screen print. I think that the process if a huge part of the work. However i would like to try and do some digital drawing however it isn't my forte.
RB: Well, the work for the show was a mixture of drawing, translated to a print and then finished by hand, with collage, ink or paint. So all the artworks in the gallery scenes are handmade on top of the print. Commercially, my work normally has to be mass reproduced, so I normally just draw it into the computer, and then it’s easy to manipulate.
Gallery Visit - House of Illustration
Today i went to the house of illustration primarily to see the work of Lucinda Roger, on Gentrification, her work is a good reference for my project proposal as she draws from life and the subject of much of her work is city and street scenes from places that she was visited. Closely linking her work to the reportage work that i am looking into. Something less that i love about the work o fLucinda Rogers is her use of mixed media throughout her work. For example she combines a neutral colour paper canvas, with pencil, pen, biro and many other materials but only in very select areas of her work. This is something that i want to experiment with.
"Drawing directly from life, Lucinda Rogers captures intimate details and broad views of cities around the world." - Rather drawing directly from life i prefer to work from photographic documentation as it gives me longer to look at and study the image and perspective of building before drawing as my observational drawing skills are limited.
Another artist that was exhibited at the gallery was Quentin Blake, Arrows of love. This is a series on pencil sketches depicting women being hit by cupids arrow. Quentin Blake has always been an illustrator that i have loved since reading the books he illustrated as a child. Therefore it was a huge treat to see his work first hand.
"Quentin Blake's personal reflections on the joy, folly and sorrow of love with his characteristic humour."
The final show that was on in the gallery was Made in North Korea: Everyday Graphics from the DPRK. This was the exhbition that i knew least about when entering. I was blown away however by the vibrant colours and bold graphics used in the work.
"An exhibition of hundreds of everyday objects including food packaging, ticket stubs and stamps, together with hand-painted propaganda posters and comics, giving a extraordinary and rare insight into everyday life in the DPRK."
"The exhibition displays the collection of Nicholas Bonner, the foremost expert on North Korean graphic culture, tourism and film, who has led tours to the country for 25 years."
George Butler - Screen printing, the ultimate studio guide
The thing that drew me to Peter Arkles work was the simplicity of the line but more so the humour that he has running thought most of his work, he highlights this in the video above.
During my time responding to the second project I made a set of stencil prints where i cut out the canals and waterways in Amsterdam and printed over this stencil with a solid colour (blue). This is something that i would like to progress further, possible making similar stencils for other places such as London, Norfolk etc, just as another way of responding to places that i have visited which is the concept for my final PPP.
In response to this idea i started looking at the work of Grayson Perry and his Map of an Englishman etching. This is what is said about these piece on the MoMA website:
"To make Map of an Englishman, Perry used the traditional techniques of etching and photogravure and borrowed the style and lettering of 16th- and 17th-century cartography. But instead of locations, this map depicts behaviours and psychological states, including bodies of water named Psychopath and Delirium and landmarks named Happiness, Cliché, Spit, and Bad Manners. The landforms resemble the two halves of the brain, with a left and right side. Perry said, “I tended to put the darker, more subconscious things on the bottom right, because that’s where they are in the brain.”"
Map of an Englishman
Susie Write is another artist that i came across in the ultimate studio guide. When responding to my time in amsterdam using print, i want to try and use a variety of different techniques including digital layering, hand drawn positives (this is the technique that susie write uses) as well as using hand cut stencils to form the bas of my prints.
When looking through the world press publication the double page spreads stood out to me hugely. I think that this looks incredibly strong and is something that i want to look into getting printed, possibly as another outcome/publication.