Thursday, 27 October 2011

Time to get banner making!

I've done my best coming up with a range of ideas for slogans and effective imagery. At first I was sure I wanted to use an image of a shark being caught in a net- something like this...
...but I changed my mind because the image wasn't specifically confronting shark finning. After my research into shark finning it seemed silly to avoid the appearance of a shark after it has been finned-something which is so sad an horrific.
So, I'm going to keep the main image simple- a hammerhead with it's severed fins....
...something like this (not necessarily using this slogan).
So far the designing process has been frustrating because my resources are very limited without being able to gain access to studio equipment. This brief advises us to try and expand techniques we have been using recently. I would love to be able to do a large-scale image transfer using a colour copy of a painting because I think the watercolour is really effective in a design like the one above (loosely based on 'Jaws' poster style imagery with a single shark with a wide water background). But unfortunately I only have access to an A4 printer at the moment so this can't be an option.
However, I was impressed with the way Ed Hall's painted posters looked, so I am going to attempt to paint onto a large piece of fabric using acrylic and a large brush. I think done well, this could look great, but I haven't used acrylic paint, let alone at a large scale, for a long time, so I'm not so confident with how the results will look. I've tested on a small piece of the fabric how the paint will look, and I was disappointed. But, seeing as the piece of fabric was so small I had to use a much smaller brush, so the paint strokes weren't 'big' and gestural like I will have to do using the large brush for the banner. I quickly tested how blending looks using the large brush, and it seemed to look far more effective, so fingers crossed I can pull it together.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

An early interest in sharks...

In primary school we were asked to do termly projects based on a topic of our choice. I stumbled across my 'Shark' project this morning. It's so old and cringey! 





Sunday, 23 October 2011

An Extreme Form of Protest

Performance artist Alice Newstead took part in a stunt lasting 15 minutes. She was suspended in a London Lush shop window, much to the shock of passers by.

An interesting form of protest...

'Around 150 people came together in Causeway Bay's Time Square at12:40pm, October 9th 2010, with participants 'freezing' into a pose that was held for 3 minutes -- much to the surprise of passers-by.'

Beginning by picking a news topic...

Now that I've seen the exhibition which inspires this project, I can get working on my own ideas for a banner. It didn't take me long to select something animal rights related.

Shark 'finning' is the appalling act when fishermen dump the live fish back in the water after cutting off the fins. As well as the devastating effects this industry is having on shark populations globally, the painful death the sharks are put through once back in the water, unable to swim, is unbelievable.

Every year tens of millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning. Finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark's fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea. The sharks either starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or drown (if they are not in constant movement their gills cannot extract oxygen from the water).
-Stop Shark Finning
 Here is a documentary about shark finning from marine wildlife conservation organisation, Sea Shepherd.

Here is the article that inspired me to look into this topic

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Maybeshewill in Manchester

On Wednesday 19th October Bryony and I went to a gig at Alter Ego, the main motivation being to see one of the support bands, Mojo Fury. Unfortunately their set was shorter than planned because of technical difficulties after the first song, but as usual they performed well and treated us to a couple of new songs! Here is one I attempted to video called 'To Comprehend' (apologies for the confusing zooming in and out):

...but since the gig I have been listening to a lot more Maybeshewill as well. They play powerful, atmospheric sounding post-rock instrumental music (I hope that's an accurate enough description) is a better one from
Maybeshewill are an  band from Leicester, UK. Maybeshewill’s music is characterised by the use of electronic elements alongside more traditional ‘rock’ instrumentation. The band’s music is also littered with references to film and popular culture.
At the moment I am particularly impressed with their song 'Critical Distance' and its accompanying video, which combines live action and animation. The stop-motion technique is so fascinating! The jerky movement it creates goes perfectly with the music. It's definitely an art form I'd love to be able to explore in my illustration this year, not that I can hope to create anything quite this good...

On the March

Our new project is to be based on the exhibition "On The March" by Ed Hall at the People's History Museum in Manchester. I visited the museum yesterday with my housemate, and was given permission to take photos of the banners on display.
I hadn't seen any of Hall's work prior to viewing the exhibition, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was quite surprised by the style of the majority of the banners. A lot of them are quite colourful and non-aggressive , appropriate for peaceful protests, perhaps. As protest banners, a lot of the characteristics are standard for their purpose; ie. large scale, highly visible text, fairly simple large images; and the content is explicit and self-explanatory. The banners relating to protests against violence/death come across as more urgent statements, and the text and imagery seems louder/more angry (e.g. 'March Against the Brixton Bomb...' and 'Construction Safety Campaign').

My favourites of the banners were definitely the ones that used more painted imagery. The textile based work is effective and eye-catching, but not as edgy as the paintings. It seems it is hard to shake the sense that textiles is an essentially non-threatening, 'homely' medium. Painted banners connote a much more pro-active attitude, more akin to the painted slogan banners that can be seen most commonly during protests. The act of painting itself is much more aggressive and expressive than the steady, methodical methods of embroidering. The painting is not necessarily a masterpiece, but it works well to get the message of a protest across.