La Ville #2

Another set of collaged symbols, shapes and colours inspired by Fernand Léger’s large scale oil painting entitled – La Ville (1919). What I love above Léger’s piece is the flatness of it and how all consuming it feels – nothing in particular sticks out but the whole composition is taken in as a whole and something I have tried to mimic with my own constructions. I was contemplating given a whirl of pushing things further by bringing this crop of creations into the 3D world and extruding elements out, but I think that would work against it – after trying some tests and realising that those extrusions would only be seen from angles other than straight on I wasn’t feeling it and I’ve decided to leave it be.

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La Ville #1

Fernand Léger’s mammoth oil painting entitled – La Ville (1919) is this weeks kick about prompt over on Red’s Kingdom where artists of all stripes have created something in response. After serving in World War 1 Leger came away recollecting upon how conflict forced a new world view of it’s surroundings. Those surroundings in city’s urbanisation characterised by interchanging materials and structures – like Legos that will never fit. I decided to mimic the feeling of constant change. Gritty photos taken from my current stomping ground in and around London are meshed together in a smorgasbord of shapes colours and texture, to highlight the building up and tearing down of the fast paced concrete jungle. I found it a very meditative experience to wander around London, scout out the best shapes, materials and texture and take photos of those blasé everyday things that would otherwise go amiss, afterwards chopping and splicing them up in photoshop and like a postmodern architect try to make something of them again.

Short Film: Flowers of Fire

When I seen the prompt for Kick About #40 over on reds Kingdom I wanted to see if it was possible to make an animation using the same analogue technique of scraping patterns into black painted glass and using the magic of long exposure to produce a time-lapse of images to see the growth of each burst of light. It was possible – however my original efforts were undesirable and left things a bit muddled. Instead I tried to opt for something simpler by taking photos of each glass setup in pin prick focus and another in a diluted blur to then sandwich both the images next to each other so that a burst of light pops with a simple hard cut in the edit.

I wanted to mimic the life force of a firework display and have the festivities start off slow to gradually bubble to a climax before the the lights fade and the sound of people are no longer completely drowned out. Truth be told I made things harder for myself by shooting each image in 4K and was left scratching my head as to why it was originally painfully slow to edit this short film, by changing the resolution of each image to something my laptop could handle and reimporting, it was a complete joy to edit further. It was the kick in the arse I needed to get on with things and to remember the joy of seeing a short film through its end, lets make it on time for the next one.

Flowers Of Fire #4

Some more explorations with colour and light, using the same paired down kit of a sheet of black painted glass with scribbles dots and whirls scraped onto its surface and propped against a light source. The magic of long exposure photography turning them into ornate stained glass. I’m not quite done delving into this exhilarating technique just yet so expect more to come.

Flowers Of Fire #2

In the previous post I talked about how the blobby forms of this technique are my favourite. When the cameras focus was changed after the shutter had been pressed and left to linger for a moment made it so that the inside scratches were in focus but the colour bled out past the scratches into blobby forms. It took me a lot of tinkering to realise why my own experiments all were in focus no matter how much I fucked about with aperture and changed the focus, it was simply because my light source – in this case my iPad and laptop with abstract paintings as its wallpaper was sandwiched too close up towards the glass and simply moving the light source back about a foot gave the long lasted impression I longed for, I mean it when I say my face lit up with excitement…

To me the reason that the blobby ones hit different is because they ignite warm nostalgic memories that have otherwise been dormant, memories that are never crystal clear. These batch of images below reminds me of the town that I grew up in during the summer months as kid. August in the scorching heat, the nights pitch black, the annual rickety fair ground would come to town for the summer fair where my cousins, my friends and I would be hopped up on sugar (or booze if we could get it) and hurry onto all the fairground rides that nowadays would never even pass a safety inspection. One ride in particular was a bunch of cages called the rock-n- roll that rolled around as it spun, another ferris wheel form of this called the rock-o- plane were it was high above the ground.

The rock-n- roll ride had a wide strap that was pinned to your waist that was supposed to be your belt and there to protect you, when I look at this image I remember the plethora of bruises we all had on our skinny hips and abdomens from spam riding this death trap and I remember the pain – not from the bruises but from laughing so hard. I remember the rush of legging it onto the bumper cars to not be left with the shits ones that barely moved that would obviously be savaged by the faster glittery few. The smell of oil masked with popcorn, the feel of candy floss masking your teeth with grit as it melts to pure sugar, the sound of old cogs grinding and machines whirring. I remember the diamond shaped lights that rimmed and flickered the fairgrounds makeshift timber and beams. The strobe lights that made would flash making it seem as though we were in slow motion – freeze-framing us as we screamed our lungs out as we rocked and rolled into the night.

Colours And Shapes #1

With this weeks kick about prompt being the cut outs of Henri Matisse I wanted to produce something quickly – full of shapes and colour. This felt very much like a meditative practice in which I lost myself in the process of creating such colourful squidgy shapes. In Photoshop the lasso tool in particular was the main modus operandi used to create the shapes which were then simply filled with colour using the paint bucket tool. Initially I made a bunch of shapes that resembled plant forms or algae as well as blocks of shapes that could be used behind the plant forms, then having a plethora of shapes at my disposal I could move, invent and create the grander picture of them all as one. I wanted to keep things as practical as possible and revert from any overly cerebral thoughts so a lot of these designs took a life of their own and I throughly enjoyed letting them be. 

“Country With Trees” Cyanotypes

This weeks prompt over on Reds Kingdom is the art of Peter Mungkuri of the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands of north western South Australia who’s illustrative drawings celebrate the life of trees – an important part of the community’s culture.  

My mind instantly wanted to create some cyanotypes, with their mesmerising deep Prussian blue and infrared white, a process that is always a joy and I never tire of. The best part about cyanotypes is its unpredictability, simply letting the cuttings of foliage and flora place where you think and letting the sun do the work always gives a unique result each time.

I purchased the chemicals in powder form added water and coated them on some toothy cold pressed A3 size watercolour paper, adding a minuscule amount of the formula to achieve that rich blue and vivid white.

Phantoms Of Surrealism

When reading about Sheila Legge’s inspiration behind her walking real life surrealist exhibition for this weeks Kick About and how she was so inspired by the paintings of Dalí, I decided to create some Dalí-esque dream-like landscapes while paying homage to Legge’s face full of flowers. The female models were downloaded and imported into Maya where on their heads I glued an abundance of multicoloured flowers- tiger Lilly’s, Dahlia’s, Delphinium’s, African Lilly’s and Daisy’s. Combined with a quick and dirty rig and skin of the figures as well as some mountains in the background to complete the scene and move the figures to my every whim. The rig on the figure on the left of the above image messed up and I loved how fluid and melty the resulting movements turned out – I tried to replicate this mistake with the other rigs but my efforts did not gratify, It was one of those moments where a mistake tuned out to be a blessing but could not be recreated.

This prompt also reminded me of one of my favourite films – Annihilation (2018). In particular when the team walk across a baron land called “The Shimmer” where their bodies start to turn into plant matter. It is a strange and beautiful film that left a lasting impression on me, much in the same respect that surrealist paintings do.