This is another photo roman I created with the old postcards. I decided to use the other one I did because it made use of more than one postcard, which made it have amore bizarre, disorientating effect when viewed. with this one I focused on what was happening within the one postcard, focusing in on every different moment that is happening at that point in time. Around 00:3 there is actually a pair of twins playing on the train, and their heads were in slightly different positions so I tried to make it look like it was just the one child but animated, I don’t know how well this shows though.
This year I feel that I have developed in my ability to both curate my work, and consider the experience of the audience when viewing my work. This year’s field was ‘Encounter’ and was centred around how we wanted our work to be seen and experienced by people.
In terms of actually planning the exhibition, my thoughts and plans for the exhibition changed a lot. I think initially I struggled with visualising how my work would look. I found it difficult to make decisions on things sometimes as there were so many variables, but I think after this experience I have developed my practical and planning skills.
Initially, I wanted to have 3 long, very thin shelves with a lip on to prop the books up on. an early idea was also to have small cut-out holes to put my animations into to that a few animations would be in between my closed books. I initially wanted them to be closed because I wanted the narrative to unfold as the reader was opening the book further out, however, it wasn’t until I made the test book in the correct dimensions did I realise how awkward it would have been for the reader to have to open out one of my very long books. I recently changed the concept to something simpler, 3 shelves going across the wall with my books placed onto them – they will be open, but they will also be arranged in such a way that they invite being opened up by people. – this way, because the books are so long, more than 1 person can be looking through at once. I feel that this way of exhibiting is still effective in letting my work communicate what I want it to, but in a slightly different way than the before plan.
when thinking about displaying my books I wanted them to almost look as if they were just postcards at first, but then they turn out to actually be books. I feel that this isn’t going to be as prominent now that I am displaying my book differently, but I have worked around this by making sure they sill look and feel as if they are postcards with a narrative ‘hidden ‘in between them: I decided for them to be A6 landscape, uncoated, but with covers that were silk laminate, because I wanted the books to have the look and feel of an actual postcard. In choosing to have books, I had to make decisions including scale, paper, e.t.c. and I feel that a lot of the time I was taking into account the experience of the reader, which I feel is a development in my decision-making process.
Within/Without, the exhibition I and a few others took part in in the Easter holidays helped develop my curatorial skills and how I condense a body of work for an exhibition. I felt that even though my method of putting work up was quite conventional at the time, I could get a good idea of how my project worked in a space, and how people read and reacted to the images/book pages. When thinking about how I want people to encounter my work, I feel like the way I have exhibited my work has been successful in conveying a sense of discovery and also a tension between fact and fiction through using existing postcards and printing tecniques.
On starting 3rd year I felt that I struggled a bit with the transition from having a series of defined projects, to creating purely self-initiated ones. To try to overcome the fear of choosing a project I thought I would start multiple small projects and then narrow it down to the ones I felt were working better. I feel that as the year has gone by, I have become more confident in my own ideas, and developing my own projects as I am learning more about what I personally find interesting, as all the projects I have been working on have the overarching themes of looking closer at the world around us . I feel that I have also discovered multiple sides of my practice this year, since second year I have known that I would like to continue illustrating existing texts, but this year through my Postcards project I feel that I have become a bit more confident in forming my own narratives.
My dissertation was quite relevant to my own practice in that it looked at how material in an illustration can bring external things to an idea. I found that this connection got clearer as time went on and I started developing my postcards project, where the material I have used (postcards) seem to bring into the work new ideas that wouldn’t have come about without them. This current project, in combination with my Dissertation on what a certain material can bring to an illustration has also had me questioning why I use the materials I use, for example, I have been questioning why I have been using painting along side the actual crops of postcards when I could potentially just use the crops. I was very concerned about this for a while, but seeing it all put together for the Within/Without exhibition made me a bit more confident in the painted elements of the work as I was able to see that they did add something to the work. I feel that the combination of ‘real’ object (postcard) and the ‘imagined’ (paint) was effective as it blurs the lines of fact and fiction.
On the whole, I am happy with how my 3 books turned out. initially I was torn between having 3 standard books, or 3 concertinas but I feel that I made the right decision as the structure of the book lends itself to being opened out and unravelled by the reader. sometimes I think if I had more time I could have taken the painted elements further within the narratives, but then again, the more ‘made-up’ painted elements there are, the less evidence there will be for the unfolding narrative and it could lose impact. I would still like to try this idea out though, where I only use a postcard as a starting point and see where the story ends up purely through painting.
I decided for them to be A6 landscape, uncoated, but with covers that were silk laminate, because I wanted the books to have the look and feel of an actual postcard.
If I had time I would have maybe had more narratives in my final series so that the audience doesn’t just focus on one story– although I think it also works well as a set of 3 postcard books.
I have completed a piece of moving image to go along side my books:
I am happy with the way this turned out – I feel that it will work well in the degree show in addition to my books because it is a different way for an audience to experience these mysterious narratives. In contrast to the books which are there for people to unfold and look through at their own pace, the animations will be progressing through the images in a pre-determined pace. One of the postcards I used in this animation was also used in “Having a lovely time here”. I feel that having these small links between books/animation is good for the theme of my project as I want the audience to feel that they are the ones discovering something.
I would like to continue using moving image for this project in the future as I think this sort of photo-roman works well with the cropping/zooming in method I have been using in my books. To explore what could be done further, I would like to see how painted elements would work within this – I could perhaps use paint to speculate the before and after in more detail.
Thinking more critically about this, I feel that the pacing would still need a bit of working out, and that I should try to be more minimal with how many frames I use she panning/zooming in or out.
Somewhere in the process of producing artwork for the books I started losing confidence in my project as I was concerned that it was too vague for an audience to get anything out of. I took this concern to a tutorial and was advised that my books may need some form of a trigger, and that this could be through use of book titles that can add another layer of narrative to the books.
I went and looked through all the postcards I had found that had text on and found:
- “We went on a night tour by bus and boat”
- “we’re having a lovely time in Bournemouth the weather has been very good.“
- “I went in the water yesterday”
- “I hope everything is alright”
- “The weather was not bad”
- “Dave and I went to Holland yesterday.”
- “Having a lovely time here”
- “we are up in the mountains, 450 feet up and can see the snow”
- “Can’t write any more bus waiting”
- “We are staying here until Thursday night”
After writing these down on paper, cutting them out and moving them around next to different postcard covers, I decided on these combinations:
For the design of the covers I decided to copy the font/placing etc of the text that was on one of the postcards to keep the illusion that they are postcards.
I feel that these could be a powerful addition to my books in that they will give the images another layer of context. I tried out lots of different ways of matching up postcard to text, but found that the words worked better if there was something that vaguely related them to what happens later on in the postcard, for example the last one is called ‘We are staying here until Thursday Night’ – this suggests that the 4 people we see later on in this cave are staying there until Thursday Night. This collision brings up new narratives altogether – is this a planned meeting?