Thursday, 29 October 2009

Experimenting with silence

Here are a few of the latest experiments I have made for the silence brief. Using an old book that I had from a charity shop I scanned in some of the beginning and end pages where there was room to work with, and printed them out onto canvas paper (which has a loooovely texture!) and then painted the birds onto the canvas. I then added some text to the images using transfer letters, which I personally think ads to it nicely.

I really like the idea of working on existing material and the chance that something could happen, for instance without intentionally trying the book I've been using is from a library in a hospital. Two places that are considered to have respect for silence. Also on a few of the pages the text refers to something silent, or you could adapt it to be silent.

I'm really enjoying the experimenting at the moment and would like to develop these ideas further, I also intend to work on/with fabrics and hopefully print some of these designs onto some lovely delicate material.

Silence inspirations

Here are a few images that I found in a garden book. Although it's about how to attract birds to your garden I really like the illustrations and the images. I'm also really into facts and information that we didn't know and find interesting, and with birds being something I'm interested in I found it very useful.

Kino4: Let the Right One In (2008)

Another Kino night another good film. Before watching it id heard people talking about it in the studio, a scary vampire film people were saying, so i expected it to be something quite tacky and poorly made. But I was happily surprised.

The film, made from the 2004 novel by swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist is centered mainly around the relationship between Oskar a 12 year old boy and a vampire Eli who is also 12, but has been for the last 200 years! Based in the suburbs of stockholm during the 1980's the film focuses on the "darker side of humanity", bullying,theft,murder, pedophilia and supernatural events.

I found this film to have some really lovely moments, like when Eli and Oskar are on the playpen and he has the rubix cube, leaves it with her and he finds it the next morning all complete covered in snow. There is something quite silent but significant about this, almost hinting that both Oskar and Eli will get together. This is also the first scene we see him smile, maybe also significant that he was unhappy before he met her? I also thought the first scene with Oskar and his father was beautiful. You can immediately tell that he misses him, especially when he puts on his fathers jumper and walks away smelling it, in a nostalgic way. But I then felt different about this when I saw he had a drink problem and would rather spend time with his friend rather than his son. We also wonder if Oskar is happy at all, being bullied, mothers never home, and his dads an alcoholic. I also found there was something quite nice about the fact Oskar had wrote down morse code for Eli, so that they could communicate when in the flat.

I think that some of the best moments of the film were successfully done by the pauses and quiet moments. For example when Oskar goes round to Eli's flat towards the end and she shuts him out in the hall, they both stand staring at one another through a glass door before Oskar finally asks the question "are you a vampire?"

I really enjoyed watching how relationships developed and also how existing relationships changed. Although Oskar and Eli seem very different they have more in common than we realize, Eli kills to live and we are shown that Oskar has a morbid interest in crime and death, and keeps a scrapbook full of paper cuttings of murders.

Although I enjoyed the film I felt some bits were a little too in your face and not like the subtle feel to the film, one of the end scenes when Eli saves Oskar from being drowned by the bully's brother and we saw legs flying, people being flown across the pool, it just seemed unreal. I really liked the film but felt that after last weeks film the diving bell and butterfly, its going to be tough to find a film that is as moving and to me so influential in the future.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Did someone say something about New York?

I cannot believe how quickly this has come about! In just over a week the d&ad lot will be packing in their macs, fine liners and good old Manchester to head out to the big apple, New York city!!! Words cannot describe how amazing this trip is really going to be.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Corner House: Bloomberg New contemporaries 2009

On tuesday I took some time out from uni work to go to the exhibition that was on at the corner house. I couldn't quite make up my mind if I enjoyed it or not. Saying this there were a few pieces I thought were interesting.

"New Contemporaries, formerly Young Contemporaries has a long and illustrious history, dating back to the first exhibition of young graduates in 1949. For the past 60 years this annual show has been dedicated to profiling the work of young, new and emerging artists at the start of their professional careers. Through its annual presence, New Contemporaries has identified serious artists from each generation and given them the opportunity to show for the first time. The premise remains the same today."

There were lots of interesting pieces but also lots of pieces I thought were quite odd and didn't interest me in the slightest. Some of my favorite pieces were by Freya Wright, she created some lovely canvases for the wall, in all different sizes and placed them nicely together. There were also a few large scale etches that I liked, simply black and white, but with great detail, they were lovely.

Amongst all this lovely work there were sexual, strange and pointless pieces (almost not worth writing about!) But Im glad I went as I found a few pieces that were right up my street, and found visually appealing.

Nicola Rowlands talk

I've already blogged about Nicola Rowlands, so I wont go into much detail again!! It was nice to have her in for a lecture, I think its good that we have ex students in to talk to us, as we get to see how they've gone about getting jobs and work. It was nice to be talked to from someone on a similar level, and someone that has only just graduated. She gave us a few tips to help us with contacting people regarding work, and placements, she also told us to email people being ourselves!

It was nice to be visited by someone who I was interested in, and was even better that she was very down to earth and fun to listen to. I just hope that I can achive some of the things that she has!

Kino4: Diving Bell and the Butterfly/Le scaphandre et le papillon (2007)

Lastnight was the third night of the Kino4 film club, and we watched Le scaphandre et le papillon by journalist Jean Dominique Bauby. I’d heard about the film before and heard a very simple outline of what to expect, but what I saw was way off what anyone could have described to me.
The film describes what his life was like after suffering a massive stroke that had left him with a medical condition called locked-in syndrome. This is described to be like being a prisoner in your own body, trapped within yourself, you’re mind is there but you cannot communicate or physically move with the world outside. The film also shows his life before the stroke, in small flashbacks and reflective scenes.It shows how he communicates through blinking and the amazing story behind him writing a book through this method and a transcriber.

This film is truly beautiful, and I am so glad that I got to watch it. I particularly liked the music in the film and thought that the choice of sound was very effective. In many scenes there was a piano melody played in the background and I thought this worked very well, and was sympathetic towards the elements of the film. It does make you realize that there are more important things in life, and after watching this film I realized that worrying about everyday things are nothing compared to what some people really do have to go through.

Silent so far...

For the silent brief I began looking at animals, the thought of preserved animals like in a museum. I then started sketching and exploring ideas with different birds. With a little research I learnt more about birds, and some interesting facts that I never knew! Two things that interest me are animals and facts, so both of them together = lots of excitement!

I began to wonder if my idea was going anywhere, as it felt like I was just drawing birds. So with a little research I looked for birds with silent elements in them. The stork for example doesnt have any vocal chords, making it mute. The owl has silent flight when catching it's pray, making it easyer to catch food. And there is a species of swan called the "mute swan".

So I began exploring with this and here are a few visual responses, as of yet I only have stalk images, there is more to come!....

Saturday, 17 October 2009

You have 2 new inbox messages...

Recently I'v been doing some further re-search into my essay and thought that hearing some personal opinions would be interesting and good for my essay. I emailed Yokoland a Norwegian design group that I really like. They produce handmade covers for their friends at Metronomicon audio, and all of them visually beautiful. I also emailed Adrain Shaughnessy, as on my reading list I have read an article "are jpegs the new album covers?" and have read the book "cover art".
The other day I opened my inbox to recieve an email off Yokoland and Adrian both willing to answer some questions to help me with my essay. Happy Days!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Penguin Parade.

I'm a strong believer that we all need a break now and then, and during the end of summer when I was getting on with uni work, working a summer job and thinking about moving back to Manchester, a break is exactly what I did!

Knowing I love animals and days out what a better way for my boyfriend to surprise me than a day out to the local Welsh mountain zoo!

I love aimlessly walking around zoo's just looking at the obscure and unusual animals we didn't know existed! And always get slightly excited when we approach the bird section of the zoo, as many of my friends know birds are my favorite animals
(with the snow leopard in close second!). So you can imagine my joy when we heard there was a bird flying demonstration with a small snow owl and then to follow a penguin parade!...yes a penguin parade!

The gate from the enclosure opened and all these penguins ran out onto the grass! I couldn't believe it! They were right at my feet doing tricks and being fed, what a funny and wonderful way to end the trip :)

Kino4: If (1968)

"One man can change the world with a bullet in the right place."- Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell)

Tonight was the second screening of the Kino4 film club and this time it was "If" by Lindsay Anderson. Although I have seen this film before I thought it would be good to watch it again, and to hear other peoples opinions and takes on the film.

Overall I found the film to be quite odd and although there was a plot to the film at some points it felt like the direction was going off the point. I did enjoy the film and I think watching it the second time helped me understand things I hadn't before.

There were some really nice little parts in the film, attention to detail bits that made the film quirky and different to anything I have seen before. Although Malcolm McDowell is in both If and clockwork orange I found there to be similar elements in both the films.

This film includes whips, Scum, fagging, bullies and beatings! It's an interesting watch!

Johnny Hardstaff

Amongst Johnny Hardstaff's work we can clearly see that the sketchbook pages he produced during the 1990's/92 are lively and full of exciting shapes and images. This "master body" of work he has created is fueled by the vast interest he has on subjects such as imperialism, different cultural inputs and especially the good and the bad that is in the country.

Johnny described how he is also interested in semiotics and how the adverts he creates have an effect on people.

"Graphic design is a weapon"

I really like the sketches johnny produces as part of his journey to get to the final design.

I enjoyed listening to Johnny talking about his work and the things he has been involved in. I found it very refreshing listening to him honestly give his opinion on his work and the industry, it was nice to be talked to and not at!

Monday, 12 October 2009


Fluxus. What is it all about?...


I became aware of the Fluxus manifesto whilst doing the workshops in second year, when I was in Sue's Modern Myth Lab. Ever since investigating into it, and creating one of our own I have been interested in the contents of the boxes Fluxus are renowned for. It's filled with cd's, posters, statements, written pieces, games, tape measures and even food!

I really like the way there is almost anything in here and its not only just for one person. Everyone has their specialities and when it comes to design we are all good at one aspect. Here it enables people to chip in with their own style and specialist areas.

Garth Marenghi's "Dark Place"

Recently I've been re introduced to Garth Marenghi's dark place, when searching for something to watch online. I forgot just how funny and bizarre the program was!

Dark place is presented as a lost classic: a series produced in the 1980s, yet never shown until now.Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is a comedy series made for Channel 4 by Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade. Following on from the characters' success at The Perrier Awards the show revolves around fictional horror author Garth Marenghi (played by Holness) and his publisher Dean Learner (played by Ayoade).Darkplace parodies numerous aspects of 80s low-budget television, including fashion, special effects and music.

As it was broadcast late night with very little advertising, Darkplace was met with poor viewing figures. The episode I last watched was the one below. I've put the plot description there so you can get an idea of how out there and bizarre it is!

The Creeping Moss from the Shores of Shuggoth:

Dr. Sanchez's life is in danger from a patient with a fairly bad off-Earth broccoli infection. It's down to Dr. Rick Dagless, M. D., to save his buddy - and the world. Or if all else fails, come up with a delicious way of using excess broccoli. It won't come to that, though.

Have a watch!

Manchester Museum : A fox in a headlight.

My initial idea for the silent brief was "A fox in a headlight", the way it is still and silent with shock, almost like the light captivates the fox. i really liked the idea of looking into animals and wildlife and this is where I came up with the idea of endangered and extinct animals, or animals that have been preserved (either stuffed or made for educational reasons). I also wanted to look at the anatomy, and the internal (skeleton) not just the external of both animals and humans.

The idea behind this is something profound. The thought of being alive and then silence playing the part of death.

I then thought about visiting the Manchester museum where I could have a closer look at the subject and take some photos for referencing. I really enjoyed these couple of hours, and found it interesting as well as educating myself again! It was very helpful towards my project and although I have been sketching from the images, I will be returning to draw in the near future.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Edward Hopper : Summer Evening 1947

Summer Evening 1947

During the re search period of the silence brief I wanted to look at
Hoppers paintings as since last year and studying him for my "uncanny" essay I have been very interested in his work. 

I found this image and it went well hand in hand with an idea I had during mind mapping. The idea of words that are not said, or not spoken. Maybe things that people want to say to one another but never get round to saying. The silence between couples. I also just really liked this image. It's such a compelling image with such a lovely setting.

kino4: "Good Night And Good Luck" poster

Kino4 Final Poster Design.

After having slight trouble with adding type to the illustration I had created, I found a couple of type faces that I thought looked good with the linear drawing. I decided on a plain but rather bold type to create the name of the screen club Kino4 and the names of the actors who star in the film.

I then put the name of the film on the large circle over Murrow's head, and thought it was relevant as he always ends his broadcasts with "Good Night And Good Luck". The script text is acting as a type of dialogue as well as the title.

I'm happy with the final design, and would like to have a go at doing a set of posters using the same style.

Susan Archie

"I like to think that my strength as a music packaging designer is as a documentarian. I’m not a particularly good logo maker, I’m not a great designer, my strength is editorial. I make a beautiful book(let) from a pile of photographs and words. I present/filter the information/artifacts I am given in such a way as to make a compelling story."

Recently when researching for sleeves and album covers I came across a web site on the year 3 blog. Here I found a few artists I like one of them being Susan Archie.

Susan Archie has produced striking designs for Revenant, Dust To Digital and Table of the Elements which we’ve been happy to cover here on Hard Format. Her work imparts a sense of profound respect for its subjects which are fleshed out with biographical and critical detail. She often makes much of limited resources, for example the one surviving photograph of Charley Patton on Screamin’ and Hollerin’ the Blues. As with so much of the work we cover, we recommend you go out and buy this work to experience it properly.

I really like Susan's work, there is something really quaint about her designs and something nice about the way she uses old images and words. As my dissertation is set on album sleeves and music art work I think her influence and way of working may be a great help.

Sun Recordings: Blue Moon by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley, Bill Black Scotty Moore & Sam Phillips February 3 1955

Recently I was asked to look and listen at Sun Recordings, a recording studio that recorded the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. I was asked to listen to a specific song, "Blue Moon" sang by Elvis.

"Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it." - Presley

Sun Recordings, founded by Sam Phillips on March 27th 1952. Here in Memphis, Tennessee is where the magic began for Presely, Cash, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins. Sun Recordings was to help them hugely in launching their career. After listening to this track i found myself sat for hours listening to Elvis, but more than that Johnny Cash (as I'm a huge fan of the film "walk the line"!).

FACT: Did you know that Elvis wasn't allowed to be shot on TV below the waist?Middle aged mums and dads didn't want their daughters seeing the sexual thrusting!I was fascinated by this!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Guard House : Giza

The Guard House

I stumbled across this image while researching for the silent brief. I was looking for old abandoned buildings or places that had once been busy and now derelict. When I first saw this image I thought it was a toilet, one of those American outdoor loo's in the back yard! but when reading into it it's actually a guard house at the pyramids of Giza!

Who ever thought something this small could be in charge of guarding something so big and sacred! It looks nothing bigger than a match box!