Wednesday, 26 September 2012


It was interesting watching the pigeons flocking together on the pavement,
but also to watch the people who were watching the pigeons.

 Up close you release how much texture and different shades of grey there are on each bird.

And of course the best photos came when they all flew away again.


In Picadilly gardens I started to look down rather than constantly ahead. I liked how the pattern on the marble steps almost looked like someone had drawn them on.

Which led me to think about marbling, and in a broader sense, pattern.
If you can take a line for a walk then why not a pattern?


 After seeing so many lines at the station, I decided to study line on my journey
back home, and the place this was most prominent was in architecture.

From a personal point of view, I think architecture is a very important part of my everyday journey
now that I live in the city, and a very conscious change in my surroundings.
Therefore it will not only be an interesting subject matter visually,
but also thought provoking and a stimulating subject. 

Lee Towndrow

I found Lee Towndrow's work whilst trawling thorugh blogs, and loved the humour he captures in his images. In his series 'Anachronisms' he reversed the roles for young and old, depicting old men dressed as streetwise teenagers and vice versa. I like how he took a comedy subject yet photographed it in a beautifully retro style, giving this perfect balance of humour and beauty.
I also like his subtle use of subdued colours, almost watercolour washed in their hue -
again something I would like to reflect in my work.

Artisits from liverpool galleries

Even though I didn't get to visit the galleries I had wanted to in Liverpool, I looked into some of the artists and their works to give me some insight to their methods and how their working practice could transfer into my own theme and artworks.

I really liked the simplicity of Dan Graham's mirroed pieces, shown above with his 2-way Mirror Bisected by Perforated Stainless Steel, being shown at the Bluecoat gallery. He wanted the piece to play with people's perception of space and what is going on around them, and I feel this reflected the feeling i had of stepping back when people watching at the train station. When you are busy you don't notice the other people around you and what they are doing, but when you stop to observe the journey's of others, especially in a big city, it is like watching a well-practiced elaborate dance.

Pamela Rosenkranz's work, 'Bow Human' (being shown at the Cunard building) intrigued me. Using a mixture of found and collected objects she represents evolutionary history, where 'objects become physical beings with bodily traces of flesh and touch'. What I liked about the pieces was the element of suggestion - all you can see is fabric, and yet you think it is draped over a curled up figure.

John Akomfrah's film 'The Unfinished Conversation', led me back to thinking about the journey of speech, and how the words we say influences the thoughts and actions of others in mundance and extreme ways everyday without us even realising.

Drawing exercises

Spurred on by the drawing task from the other day, I decided to look up drawing tasks on the internet and found two interesting sites that I wish to look at further.

Illustration Friday - are an interesting collective, where a word is
suggested once a week on Friday, and illustrators and anyone else who wishes
 to draws whatever is their response to that word. Pure imagination.

They Draw and Travel - a place where people post maps they have drawn but not
in the traditional sense. Illustrators draw what they think are the important attractions
of that location and draw it in a poster style format.

Train travel

 After missing the Liverpool trip, I decided to document a little journey of my own. I already had some errands to run in town, so I hopped on the bus and made my way to Picadilly train station.

 A station seemed like a good place to document where journeys begin, and it was interesting to sit for a little while people watching and to pretend that I was also someone waiting for a train.

I didn't look at any of my photographs whilst I was shooting, I merely rested my camera on the floor and shot away. When I looked at them later I was suprised by the strong contrast in light and the weird shapes this created. I really liked the balance of the figure in the image above.

 The other thing that struck me was line and how prominent it was everywhere.
Definitely something to explore further.

Drawing with sentences

I really enjoyed the session on Monday where we had to draw with sentences. At first I found it very difficult to not just take the sentence literally (for example, a black cross seemed too simple) and to create a piece that used the entire 5 minutes. Once I got into the flow of listening and drawing, which I admit took a few drawings to get used to, I really enjoyed having to think in a different way and began to draw in a very instinctive style. I hope to take this idea further by researching different drawing exercises to test myself with.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Final 3

From the vast array of photos I selected the three that best portrayed
different ideas I wanted to get across.

I like this first image as it shows the simplicity of the kite shape and design,
yet highlights it's fluidity and grace that is only possible to see when in the air.

The second image represents the 'explore' element of the brief. As we walked along Oxford road, we were offered a free ride on this bicycle taxi. This photo of the guy on the bike holding my kite surrounded by the urban environment and architecture sums up what we saw whilst exploring the campus, and is the only image of the three that displays the front of the kite.

This third image is my favourite as I love the juxtaposition of the various apparently random objects - the tree growing next to the destruction of the crane and demolition, aptly bringing together my concept of rebirth next to the kite. I also like the hands at the bottom of the image, appearing from nowhere. 

Kite photos in Manchester

Having been given the task of taking 'exciting and interesting' images of our kites around
 Manchester, we set off down Oxford road. I took lots of photos in the park (see below),
but they didn't feel interesting enough for me.

Capturing the kite in silhouette created a much more exciting image and I really liked how it
shows off the shape of the rain drop tails, although it was difficult to combine this photography
style with clear imagery of the kite design.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

The finished kite

Here is the finished kite,
combining a variety of techniques and methods to represent
my chosen 'rebirth' theme.

I chose bright, primary colours to help the design to stand out when it is flown. In the style of a traditional kite tail with bows, I recycled vintage dress fabric and plastic to create raindrops falling out of the clouds, to bring the weather theme together.

I kept the back of the kite very simple to balance out the busy nature of the front.

Making the kite

As I wanted my kite to be practical, I chose rip-stop nylon as my base fabric as it is showerproof and easy to work with. I also wanted to involve a recycling element (hence the plastic), which ties in well to the rebirth theme I chose. To make the kite shape, I made my own newspaper pattern to work from, based on the kites I tested in my research.

I decided that machine stitch and hand embroidery would be best for the details in the design with carrier bags to add small accents of colour to the face. To give texture to the hair and clouds, I took my own photographs and used iron-on transfers to add them to fabric.

To create the iconography style sun rays, I ironed plastic bags in different layers before sewing them onto the kite, giving them a new lease of life.

Research for kite

Once I had decided on the shape of my kite, I set off researching ideas for my design. The benefit of a parafoil kite is there is no frame, simply seams, so that leaves a large panel for working on. I struggled to find interesting printed kites, as most were either plain or used a design based around shape (for instance, a bird shaped kite). This led me towards designing a picture for my kite, as I didn't want to simply replicate what is already out there.

Researching into the history of kites, I found that they were frequently
flown on religious holidays, and often meant to represent rebirth.

So I chose 'rebirth' as a theme to look at, focusing on iconography and 'Madonna and child' type images. I based my drawings above on a photograph of a model in an 'Oh Comely' magazine issue, as I wanted flowing hair to draw from.

Summer project

Over the summer we have been asked to make a kite, 
so the first thing I set about doing was deciding what shape to make it 
- which involved flying some kites on the beach on a windy day.

Of all the kites I flew, this parafoil shape (above) 
seemed to work the best, 
so I decided to base my kite on this design.

I also experimented with tying a carrier bag to some string, 
and it flew surprisingly well, so this made me consider 
using this material within the kite.