Last year for the TED talks brief I chose a talk called ‘look up for a change’, which was based on the night sky and how in one way, advances in technology (by light pollution) are concealing the night sky from us, but in other ways, advances in technology have also helped us to study the night sky more. I wanted to revisit some of the ideas raised in this ted talk, such as how we can sometimes forget about what is actually up there, especially in built-up areas where there is lots of light pollution and the skies are always a brown/orange/purple colour. This fits into the current themes in my work – noticing things more.
I started experimenting with moving image and animation to create this sense of watching the night sky changing, and created a few gifs (above).
I didn’t want to paint pictures of the night sky/nebulas e.t.c. from photographs because I was worried about my images ending up looking static/overworked. I used the colour palettes from photographs of nebulas, and then to try and simulate the layers of matter I used layers of paint, and layers of different marks.
I also painted this illustration above of a broken down lorry and the driver looking up at the night sky whilst waiting for it to be fixed. the subject I was working with was quite broad and grand but this scene zooms into a very specific, normal situation. I did this because an audience may be able to engage with this sort of scene of people reacting to the night sky and how it seems to fit into everyday life, rather than if I focused on the night sky itself. from this exercise in revisiting this project I have found that I like the idea of illustrating big ideas through the small things.
After finishing 2nd year I didn’t have a clear idea of where I wanted to go next in terms of subject matter, so over the summer I tried working without a specific aim to generate ideas through making.
Here I was experimenting with very short, 3 or 4 panel narratives that didn’t have a direct story to them, but seemed to suggest that something was happening. I found that the most interesting one was the washing machine at the top right.
This stood out in particular because there is a story being told with the placing of the cup of tea and how it suggests the presence of people without showing them. I liked the mystery this created from closely observing something. On the other hand, my project could even just be about noticing the mundane yet beautiful moments in life. I would like to explore this idea of silent/hidden narratives further in my work.
To continue with these themes I created some more sequential narratives but more focused around the everyday, domestic scenes that are often overlooked.
I like the idea of showing human tragedy through these domestic environments and objects.