Next we learned about how to manipulate wire and how to fuse the wire together. initially I found it challenging to get the shapes I wanted without bending the wire too much. I was also again, struggling to decide on what to make, but then after playing around with the wire for a bit, the material inspired the subject matter and I decided to make a copper moon then obscure it with some of the darker wire branches. From a purely aesthetic point of view, I think having the different types of wire along side each other looks effective and if I ever use wire again I would like to explore this more.
One thing I struggled with a lot with pewter casting was having to plan exactly how the image was going to be before actually making it, as usually in my work I tend to start things without knowing what it is going to look like. I decided to draw a frame then some clouds within the frame just to experiment with how marks came out. I was really happy with the way it came out, even though there is a tiny bit missing from the end of one of the clouds, which I could fix by next time engraving deeper towards the centre of the plaster.
I didn’t expect the texture that was left behind from where I was scraping into the plaster. I think this gave an interesting texture to the pewter and if I were to do this again I would explore this more by using different tools and ways of carving. I would imagine having lots of different line qualities would look effective too but then there is the risk of the molten pewter not reaching places.
Another thing I could do is make a few more of these but with more abstract patterns in, and then layer them up. I can imagine this being really interesting as part a stop- motion animation set because of how it reacts to different lighting.
This year I was in Clive Cazeaux’s lecture group Metaphysics of Metaphor and although It wasn’t my first choice, it was one of the higher options on my list because It sounded like it could link in with my subject more and I am happy to have gotten this option as I found that a lot of what we went over applied to my subject. I haven’t really had much experience of learning about philosophical theory and to begin with I struggled to grasp certain concepts completely but as the lectures went on I seemed to find it a bit easier to understand things. We were also given segments of essays to read in our own time each week which I initially struggled to keep up with, but found that through reading these complex philosophical texts, I seemed to get more used to the language used and began to develop coping methods for picking out some main themes in the work. In this module I learned that metaphor was more than just a device used in language. Metaphor can be described as the description of one thing as something else, and also the collision between two ideas or things. These lectures looked at various philosophical theories on metaphor in art. we looked at key theories such as perspectivalism, the idea that you are always looking through a lense. we looked at metaphor as a way of describing an intangible idea. This idea seems to relate to certain aspects of Illustration, for example, illustration as a way of shedding light on something intangible. One thing in particular I learnt from the lectures that could relate to my practice was the idea that material has its own properties, and that the material is a co-author with the artist of a piece of art. This also seemed to go well with the Field option I was doing at the time, (synergies between materials and technology) where I was learning about different ways I could expand on the materials and process I use in my practice. This idea in particular started to feed into my subject work because I had started to question reasons why I decide to work in a particular material, and whether I can make better use of the properties a certain material has. I decided to explore the idea of material having attached meaning further by looking at the use of material in my 500 word essay last term. I formulated the question; How effectively can ideas from a text be conveyed through the use of material in illustration?”. I found the process of formulating my own essay question really daunting as last year we had the option of choosing from a list of possible questions. I feel that having to create my own title for my 500 word essay helped to prepare me for deciding on a dissertation topic as it made me reflect on the things I am interested in. I focused on a text that stood out to me from the required reading; David Gauntlett’s book Creative Explorations. In my essay I looked at some of Gauntlett’s ideas and applied them to when I was looking at Shaun Tan’s use of material in his illustrations for a collection of Brother’s Grimm tales. Dissertation Preparation at the beginning of the year I thought that I would struggle with coming up with a dissertation topic as I am extremely indecisive, however, my level 5 option inspired me to expand what I explored in my 500 word essay. I felt that there was so much more I could have written about with this topic but wasn’t previously able to with the word limit. I also feel enthusiastic about this because of how closely it links with my own practice as an illustrator. A dissertation title I have decided on for now is; “The metaphorical nature of Illustration; How effectively can ideas from a text be conveyed through the use of material in illustration?”. This title seems to cover the main topics I have identified so far that I want to explore in my dissertation;
- Materials bringing their own meaning to a text in an illustration
- word and image
- Metaphor in art
I was worried that these three ideas don’t seem like they are connected to each other and that I wouldn’t be able to explain why they are all together in my dissertation, but as I read more I am finding that they all seem to link to one another in some way. When I started to look for research for my dissertation using summon, as I suspected, I couldn’t find any books papers or articles specifically exploring material and illustration. I worked around this by looking at broader topics such as work researching Illustration as a discipline, or researching word and image, which I could then combine with looking at texts specifically on materials and metaphor.