Southampton visit

Upon a visit to south Hampton we had the opportunity to get a feel for it as a city and expand our knowledge.

We began by visiting the Solent studio at Southampton university and had a chance to get to know the students we would be collaborating with. We were given a really warm welcome and got a chance to see another studio space and how it works for them.

The Solent studio felt really motivated. Their space was full of colourful work and the walls were shrouded with inspiration.

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Meeting the Solent students made the collaboration seem more realistic and gave us more of an incentive to share our work on the online shared document to work with.

After this meeting we ventured out to take a walk around the area to get a feel for the place that we would be studying. I began to notice the huge contrasts that were displayed between modern industrial buildings and historical architecture.

We took a historical walk through the city after lunch. I found it fascinating to discover that the city is full of underground wine vaults. as it is a town with a port it was used to export wine into the country. There was so much that they needed more space to store it. Hence the wine vaults were created. many people have no idea that they exist including people who are living above them .

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southampton wine vault 

During the war the vaults became useful bomb shelters and have come in very useful in that way. We were lucky enough to visit on the these vaults and i found it interesting that they were one of the only historical sites in Southampton that Weren’t tainted by modern industrial builds.

 

Ian Gabb

 

Image – letterpressmonster.com

Ian Gabb works as a technician at the Royal College of Art whilst also being a master of his craft. He creates wonderful and well executed prints. I am particularly drawn to his use of color and the effects he created through layering.

In an interview with ‘Its Nice That’ he stated that printing “can be time consuming” and that is part of the reason he thinks “its so good, because it forces people to slow down, it forces them to think about the words in their hands and the rhythm that they have.” I find this a really interesting way of looking at this particular creative field. Looking through images of his work definitely encouraged me to explore this field further.

The use of bright colors that are sometimes very highly contrasting with one and other seem to work really well together. This messy, yet neat style is very appealing.

 

Walter De Maria, New Yorks earth room

 

Walter De Maria is an american artist/ sculptor/ illustrator. He deals alot with
conceptual and land art. I visited the Earth room is New York City with it being one of his most famous pieces. I was sceptical about how much a room filled purely with dirt could make your feel. Before my visit i thought the idea was slightly too conceptual for my liking.

However when entering the room i was surprised by the power in which the room had. As you first walk in you feel like you are just entering someones home. A normal apartment in the centre of Soho. I rang the buzzer and waited for the door to open before walking up a perfectly ordinary narrow staircase. Once entering the apartment you walk through the hallway and as you turn right there is a sight so unexpected. Simply the sight of earth in such an unfamiliar surrounding. 280,000 pounds of dirt is an impressive sight in itself; when contrasted with crisp white walls in such a conventional indoor space it is somewhat perplexing and mesmerising at the same time.

I thought it would make it more interesting if one was able to walk through it or be among the earth in the room. Nevertheless i realised that there was a certain untouched beauty about it.
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The other side of modernism

A critical view is rarely taken of the modernist movement, however there are some criticisms to be taken with modernist architecture. Architecture plays a huge part in the modernist movement; in fact modernism almost would not exist without it. In spite of that there are questions to be asked about wether modernist architecture was only really something that was seen in the media.

There were many futurist architects that wrote manifestos and drew plans but never succeeded in building any of them. Mies Van Der Rohe is an example of this. He was asked to build some modernist architecture but found that in actuality they were not as functional. He took a more realistic and practical approach. The Barcelona pavilion which he built was considered one of the most important pieces of architecture from the 20th century. However it is another example of publicity being the most important factor in modernism as it had no function whatsoever. The pavilion was an exhibition in itself and its only purpose was to be admired up until it was demolished just seven months after being built. It is interesting that there were many 2nd and 3rd hand paraphrasing the structure only having seen it in photographs. These photographs were thought through meticulously and manipulated in order to display the pavilion exactly as they wanted people to depict it. This use of media perhaps gives a false perception of the structure. The images have become far more important than the structure itself. Another clear example of publicity overriding the true architectural design within the modernist period.

Museum of childhood

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I took a visit to the museum of childhood in order to gather research for my critical and contextual studies. It contains a collections of objects related to childhood such as toys, gadgets and entertainment.
I have been focused on the modernist movements and was drawn to the dolls houses displayed. There is a great number of them and they are a good reflection of style and it’s development through time.
I discovered that up until the mid 19th century that dolls houses werent actually seen as as childs play things. They were used by adults to display their sense of style and sat in people’s homes as something to be looked at. Therefore they are a very accurate reflection of changing architecture

Sara’s talk

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Today we had a talk from Sara including background context about herself and influences on her work.
It is really interesting  to see the work of someone who we try to impress using our own work.
I discovered more about the processes one goes through before becoming successful. It is important to do more than what is expected from you in order to grow and become recognised as a designer.
She also gave us advice on planning ahead and to begin thinking about what kind of designer we would like to become.
I have a lot of respect for Sara in that she chose happiness over wealth and turned down work for begin company’s such as cigarette company’s as they do not promote happiness.

Typology with Heather

 

In this photography based workshop we were required to go away and photograph a series of images. The brief stated that they had to ‘tell a story’ meaning there needed to be a ongoing theme throughout all of the photographs. I began thinking about all the traits of London that people don’t expect when imagining a trip to one of the biggest and furthest developed cities in the world. Such as furniture left out in the streets, piled up rubbish, beer cans and litter and more. Whilst at the same time these are all the things that make me feel at home. Last year I spent two months living in Paris and through this I discovered that I didn’t warm to how pristine the streets were. Every street there is very beautiful however they are look almost identical and as a result lack the diversity and character that London holds. Through this project i also began to look at gentrification and the way in which Londoners  don’t want constant changed and improvement and like their home the way it is; more affordable withholding character.

Mark making city scapes

 

I personally love a city landscape which is why I particularly enjoyed this workshop. We were asked to select a section of the landscape that we would like to create artworks from. We were also told to consider the different colours that were within our view. It was a particularly foggy day which slightly changes a landscape and how bold the buildings are the further away they get. I chose a particularly busy area of the view as I thought it would create more interesting shapes in a reductive piece of artwork. We learnt the difference between reductive and additive mark making techniques. Reductive means removing materials in order to create an image as opposed to adding outlines to a page. Admittedly I had never worked properly in this way and was looking forward to trying it out.
I created a lot of my pieces using masking tape. I found the efftext that is left is really striking and you can create a number of different textures and patterns within the remaining shape. On a couple of my favourite pieces as I was tearing away the tape the paper was ripping. This was due to me not being careful enough in my attempt to get many different examples completed. However once I applied granite powder to this it created different shades over the textured paper where it had torn. I learnt that my favourite results came from those attempts where the paper was torn. It created a dark shadowed effect which was a perfect reflection of the wether and the mood that was felt in the sky that day. I completed two of these graphite powder reductive images and placed them against each other creating a mirrored effect. One was much dark and one more transparent. I thought these contrasted each other well. I also photocopied theses and played around with the intensity of the colours creating one much bolder, darker and more animated final image.

The Clenched Fist Archetype

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It is difficult to create a poster using an archetype with a background that is so well recognized. I decided not to look at the archetype in its original representation and began thinking more about the act of clenching a fist. After researching body language and what a clenched fist fundamentally indicates about a person, I discovered that all though it is quite a powerful, and often aggressive symbol, it is essentially a form of relaxation. I took this idea of stress relief and decided I could make a poster using shape and color to represent the progression from frustrations towards relaxation.

The background is made up of idealistic calming colours such as lilac and blue. I used circular shape to reflect calm by avoiding harsh lines. I found and image of a limp open hand and placed this strategically as part of the background to create a contrast with the clenched fist symbolism. Layering images of the typical clenched teeth and fists in the foreground presents a clear disparity between the two emotions reflected. The bolder lines and colours of these images force them to stand out.

I placed the symbolic crown from the iconic “keep calm and carry on” posters. Using this single component of the archetype suggests the Idea of calm without copying the entire design of that particular poster.

Toby Leigh Studio Space

toby leigh studio

Toby Leigh is a London born Illustrator who claims this has given him a fascination in odd people and characters. He likes to listen to people on public transport and having conversations with people he meets and shopkeepers and such. I admire his approach and his studio was a perfect reflection of his spontaneous yet laid back character as an artist. The studio was an inspiring space that I’m sure any aspiring designer would be grateful to work in. Leigh is a great believer in working in a social environment in which you are surrounded by inspiration from your fellow creatives. The space was filled with comical and interesting objects that he had found and collected; yet not cramped and cluttered. Leigh showed us the process in which he works which I admired as he still used pencil and paper to mess around with drawings and working on them by hand. However he then scans them into the computer and works on them further in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I found this a very constructive way of working and ultimately the outcomes are personal, brilliantly funny, with a homemade feel whilst also technically very skilled.