I’ve just had a look back at the course materials for this exercise and realised that I’ve missed an important instruction.
My samples are worked in paper and the instructions ask you to experiment with other materials. I had thought about it, thinking about leaves and plastic and then whoosh! the thoughts went.
So here are my paper samples. I’ve got some ideas for other materials and I’ll follow those up later.
As usual Pinterest has been a fantastic source of information and inspiration for this exercise. I am starting to think this might be becoming too easy and I think I need to use some other sources for research.
Pinterest is good but it only gives you a picture and, usually just a sound bite. That’s really not going to be enough to give real integrity to my research, I don’t want to just skip through this stage each time. For these preliminary exercises I’m hoping this will be sufficient as long as I promise to do better next time.
On my Pinterest board OCA – Portrait – Distortion I have pinned lots of images with holes that incorporate portraits and a couple that don’t. These 3 images stood out for me.
I think the burnt holes are inventive, simple but very effective. The collage work incorporating the 2 images is fascinating to me, the overlaying is very cleverly done and like the ladies face it looks very simple but it takes skill to make the cuts in the right places so the image doesn’t become confused or worse dull.
As I thought about my samples I knew I wanted to use printed pages and recently I had bought a book by Micheal Von Hassal, a huge tome full of bright, detailed and mesmerising photographs. The book is called Compendium.
This is the first time I’ve looked up this book on the internet after buying it (brand new) for £4. The cheapest copies for sale are £50. Maybe I shouldn’t have cut it up after all!
Okay, back to the book. Michael has an amazing eye for seeing form and replication. His colours are strong and vivid and my fingers were itching to make something with the images.
One of my source pictures used lettering so I started there with a long page of description in German.
The flaps intrigued but also irritated me so I tied and sewed them down and added another page behind to test the overall result.
Then went on to cut out more rectangles.
Once I was happy with the balance between text and image I put the piece into my sketchbook.
But only after having a sneaky peek at the back.
After seeing this image I just couldn’t do a sample without using one of these crazy collage photographs.
It took a lot of cutting and I got a sore shoulder but I got there in the end.
It’s not my favourite sample, I don’t think my cutting and collageing has improved the original image.
In fact I think the cutting away of the carefully selected background images has weakened the composition. It’s still a pretty picture with nice colours but the narrative behind the image has been cut away and cast aside.
My development doesn’t do homage to the original or act as a tribute.
This is a lesson learnt and has helped me to understand better the complexities of ‘stealing like an artist’.