A second cluster of collages for this weeks John Stezaker Kick About. The likes of Ernst Haeckel’s botany illustrations, Anton Kerners “Plantscapes” and some garish dental illustrations make up the smorgasbord of cutouts in these depictions. I have learned that I really enjoy fabricating collages – Like all creatives processes there is a time when everything looks a mess with no cohesiveness whatsoever, but a certain shape will flourish and be a golden nugget that will spark something in the right direction – by moving something here, scaling something there, a whack of colour here, a penis there, things start to manifest into from – like the final missing puzzle piece.
This weeks Kick About over on Red’s Kingdom is the freakish portrait photography of John Stezaker entitled Marriage (Film Portrait Collage), where photographs of celebrities are split into uncanny cacophonies. Because Stezaker drew inspiration from Dadaism and Surrealism by kit-bashing and appropriating images into bizarre collages, I decided to splice together some absurdities in a fun – no fucks given kind of way, all images nicked from the public domain of course.
A final set of dust and gleaming hair strands in relation to Gaston Bachelards words of lived in spaces. Sometimes I would vigorously pat the rug where these unheimlich mounds lay to get some dust orbs to show up in camera, sometimes it worked sometimes not, but it was always a joy to see when the camera picked them up.
As I played with various areas around my house I found other unbeknownst oddities in the depths of livid in spaces – an apple core, or the tendrils of one of my favourite but fraying jumpers. A while ago before these photos were taken, I had to change a lightbulb in my bathroom – the light source being one of those little spotlights that are embedded into the ceiling, to my horror upon unscrewing the light – the many mummified carcasses of bees fell from above the crevice and glided their way down to the floorboards.. I definitely should have hoovered more throughly. You can see one of the little fellas in these photos, having him rest on a clump of hair and dust feels like something you might see on natural history about cordyceps where the spores of fungus have attached to the brain of an inebriated insect and ultimately burst through the shells of the little critters.
A second set of macro photography inspired by the words of Gaston Bachelard. Being the hirsute kind, spiralling hair clumps who knows from where and floating dust orbs make up the most of these compositions, illuminated by a tiny but mighty LED light with sweet wrappers used as gels. Most of these photos were taken in my bedroom where a grasp through my rug pulled out bunches of hair. I loved when the camera was able to pick up mounds of dust caught in the webs of hair shafts, like an insect glued to a spiders web.
This weeks Kick About over on Red’s Kingdom is the stimulating words of Gaston Bachelard – “A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space” I found Gaston Bachelard’s words very inspiring – along with a chat with Phil Gomm I too wanted to capture that feeling of space feeling occupied by showing the wondrous shedding of life that lived in spaces has an abundance of, especially where you usually don’t look. Me being a hairy bastard I have so much scatterings of hair matted into carpets you could make a toupée, So pictured here are clumps of hair with the usual sprinklings of dust, dead skin cells and other oddities that life and space always conjures up.
The transformative words of Gaston Bachelard is this weeks Kick About over on Red’s Kingdom.
If our last Kick-About together introduced all of us to subjects far-removed from our daily lives and wonderfully esoteric, this week’s prompt, courtesy of Gaston Bachelard, returns us to more familiar spaces, as we explore together what makes from a house a home, and between us producing new works in a short time.The Kick-About #46 ‘Not An Inert Box’ — Red’s Kingdom
It has been a long time coming since Phil Gomm with Reds Kingdom and myself had a long chat about all the creative endeavours underway. Everything from Pools, The Green Glider Animated short, The Lighthouse Keeper and delving into the freelance realm is discussed below. Have a gawk and a listen.
It’s been rather too long since artist-in-residence, Graeme Daly, and I sat down for a proper blether about his continuing adventures as a freelancer, film-maker and photographer. I keep up with Graeme’s various creative endeavours via his Gentle Giant blog and Twitter feed, but nothing tops an old-fashioned chinwag…Artist-In-Residence: Graeme Daly #6 — Red’s Kingdom
This weeks kick about over on Red’s Kingdom revolves around the life and times of German animator Lotte Reinager who was the pioneer of shadow puppet animation. The responses from all the creatives offer an eclectic bunch of contributions to feast your eyes on. When doing research for the Howard Sooley – Prospect Cottage prompt I came across the inspiring work of Reinager and since then I have been busy cutting, gluing and making for a shadow puppet animated short entitled The Lighthouse Keeper which centres around the peculiar landscape of Dungeness and a couple of burley blokes. Creating something for the sake of creating and figuring out the hurdles and bumps is what proves most enjoyable about delving into a fresh medium that I have yet to attempt. The stage is now set, the characters are ready to move, the lights are on and with it the sheer joy of seeing the cutout shapes and silhouettes lit up ablaze brings a smile to my face that makes the absolute bomb site of my shrinking bedroom all worth it.
I am sharing the majority of the cut out shapes, the stage and silhouettes that will feature in the film as well as some lighting and staging tests that feature the main protagonist. I will be showcasing all the nitty and gritty process here, things that worked, things that didn’t and how I plan on animating elements that would require more than just my two hands.
This weeks kick about over on Reds Kingdom where artists from all across the lands provide a creative response is an exert from Haruki Murakamis 1Q84 where he describes the transcendent moon as a perceptive but mute watcher over the earth and all it encompasses.
I feel like with the words of Murakami, the moon has an element of ominous brooding and a spark of stoicism at remembering what used to be. The light I am capturing with these long exposure shots, which rim the highlights of ornate wood panelling and makes the hard wood floor sing with colour, makes me wonder who used to reside in this old house previously? Who wandered through the hallways? Who ran their fingers along the wood panels? Who tended to the rose gardens? Who hung up all the photos that still have a small circular imprint on the ancient stained walls? I imagine the original family in black and white or faded sepia, posed on an old chaise lounge, looking dapper but serious.
This old creaky house with its not so glamorous leaks and constantly breaking faucets still has so much charm to it, bursting with history as high as its ceilings. The mammoth floors above us are now converted into flats, but one wonders how it all looked in its original form? How would the moon have shone into those vast rooms above me? I can only fantasise.
The process of producing these photos was relatively simple. I used long exposure photography to take the initial photographs (seen below) – curbing my preference for large swings of a light source, instead opting for a central steady point so that the light source would not bleed out from where the moon would be placed. From the Scientific Visualization Studio site I downloaded a HD colour and displacement map of the moon which I then plugged into a simple sphere within Maya so that I could get some nice renders of the moon with depth and texture. I then plopped the renders of the moon on top of the long exposure shots and edited to my hearts content so that the makeshift moon look as though it is the original light source.