Friday, January 04, 2013

Module 6 chapter 5

Addtl mod6ch4
One last bird picture from chapter 4 to complete the set, then onto chapter 5.

The design exercise in this chapter is all about creating a totem from a collection of any relevant items as a way of celebrating my personal course theme, which is ‘machinery and industrial landscape’ .  The chapter suggests it could be in the form of a heap of things or a memory ribbon.
After much thought, I decided to use my collection of photographs of the old Sevalco plant near where I live.  This was one of the first things I photographed when exploring the theme back in module one, and I have returned several times over the last few years as the plant has been  taken down piece by piece. The latest set was taken just before summer school 2012 and now there is little left of many of the structures apart from large piles of bricks and some puddles.  I didn’t base any of my assessment pieces on these images but they have cropped up several times as inspiration in the coursework.  As I am getting to the final few chapters,  I like the idea of celebrating both the theme and the passage of time since I started the course, and all the changes that have taken place.

I wasn’t sure at first how to present the photographs but I wanted to express the idea of there being little left but rubble.  I remembered seeing this blog post a couple of years ago featuring sculptural photography by Szymon Roginski and Kasia Korzeniecka, and I have taken this as inspiration.  The photographs have been cut up, folded into octahedrons and loosely bound together with copper wire so the heap can be rearranged and piled up.

Photos 5.1 to 5.3 show different views.  Each octahedron is about 45mm by 30mm.

Mod6Ch5 (1)
Mod6Ch5 (2)
Mod6Ch5 (3)
The next step was using this as a source for two-dimensional designs.  Throughout the process, I referred back to the list at the end of my last post as inspiration for the style and I have occasionally noted this in brackets so you can see what I was thinking.

Photos 5.4 and 5.5 show the first attempt using the idea of symbols in a graphic style (like signs).  I copied some of the faces of the octahedrons and simplified the images so that a few lines represent e.g. pipe ends and scaffolding, roof spotlights, chimneys, barbed wire.  I chose four of these and drew them into a larger (A3) plan for an octahedron (working with grids and symmetry).  After this, I wasn’t sure what to do with it – you can see I played a bit with overlaying onto one of the original photos to add colour.

Mod6Ch5 sheets (3)
I decided to try a different tack.  This time I worked in Paint Shop Pro to draw up a grid based on one of my pylon photos.  The shapes are the spaces between girders and the basic unit has been mirrored and flipped to make a symmetrical grid. Photo 5.6.

Basic grid
To use this with my photos, I applied the posterise effect to one of them to reduce the detail and overlaid the grid so you see fragments of the image with only a few parts recognisable, as you do with the ‘heap of rubble’.  Photo 5.7 .
grid over posterized photo
Then I realised it would be much more interesting to bring in the multiple viewpoints, so I printed the grid and cut up some of the photos, sticking them in the spaces. I included several shots of the same buildings, taken from different angles and on different days Photo 5.8

I scanned this into Paint Shop Pro and used the displacement map option to distort the image so it doesn’t just look like cut up photos. Photo 5.9.  (For some reason this looks better printed out as it is a much richer blue).

And then tried a few colourways, photos 5.10 to 5.12, but prefer the background in rust/terracotta.

Photo grid displacement in blue

Changing the settings for the displacement map created an abstract image with a soft felt-like texture (could be hidden stories) photo 5.13. 
Photo grid displacement 2
I intended to print this image at A4 for my folder but forgot to check the last printer settings used, which happened to be for a poster, so the result was that it printed out large scale sections on postcard sized photo paper.  However, it was a happy accident as I rather like some of the sections, and in close up they look like handstitched panels. Photos 5.14 and 5.15.
Mod6Ch5 sheets (1)
Mod6Ch5 sheets (2)
Finally, wanting to move away from the rectangular boundaries, I came full circle.  Photo 5.16  these are large scale prints of 3 of the sections from  photo 5.13 (2p coin for scale, they are on two A3 sheets) which seem completely abstract but carry a lot of information from the theme.   The colours will need adjusting as the computer manipulations often produce odd combinations and not enough contrast between light and dark areas, but I can see these being made in needlefelt or a combination of felt and fabric as freestanding forms.

Mod6Ch5 sheets (4)


Heather said...

You have been busy again Jane. I love the colouring and effects in 5.12 and 5.13 and look forward to seeing the work that arises from this thought process.

Fibrenell said...

I love reading your process, Jane and the designs are so inspiring, especially the close sections. I wish I was as skilled with enhancing images.