Thursday, 29 November 2012

It's good to be a 'Spontaneous Sister'!

On Monday my group named the 'Spontaneous Sisters' hosted a 'Eat Trappy' (a surreal tea party) at college for the 'Fiction Vs Reality' brief for the Cross Pathway Project.  The project's focus was about team work, identifying each others strengths/style and ideas generation which would lead to a final piece. 

I collaborated with Adele from Graphic Design and Chantelle who is also a Illustrator.  We all got along really well, bounced ideas from each other and worked very hard within the stringent deadline.  We each made animal masks that fitted with the woodland theme of the room, we used real leaves/twigs to decorate the room and floor, and also created surreal props and imagery to bring the feel of the event to life, not to mention the woodland themed cupcakes and endless biscuit supply!.

Cups of tea and lots of biscuits later, we were graced with a busy, warm, candlelit 'Eat Trappy' with students and tutors chatting and taking in the surreal visuals around the room.  We also asked all who attended to leave feedback, comments or even draw something, We were delighted with the lovely, positive feedback.  It was really encouraging and has given my confidence a boost!. 

I really enjoyed the project and also the lovely, hardworking team I worked with,  we took risks and were all surprised at what you can really achieve in such a short space of time.  It's definitely inspired us to do something like this again in the future.  I will get some photos on here of the event shortly.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Volkov Commanders..

Wowzers.  Wowzers.  Wowzers!... I have just discovered the crazy, bonkers world of the 'Volkov Commanders' who are a Manchester based collaborative of creatives, who hold strange and mysterious events normally in Manchester, the events are very interactive and appear to engage all who attened.  Lots of surreal looking costumes there too!.  I am very intrigued to go to one of there events.

Here are some images from their blog

Friday, 16 November 2012

Photographer E.S Curtis

Following on from my post about my great experience at the School Of Visual Arts in New York,  I wanted to look at more at Edward Sheriff Curtis's photography work as his interest lies in Tribal Cultures and Masks.  Edward Curtis visited and photographed approximately 80 western Native American tribes between 1890 to 1930.  Below are some of his photographs that I was most drawn to.

                                                        (Dancing Mask - Nootka, 1915)

                                                         (Mask of Tsunukwalahl, 1914)

                                                           (Cermonial Dancer, 1914)

Creative Writing at the School of Visual Arts New York

I was very fortunate to sit in on a 'Creative Writing' class hosted by Michele Zackheim who is a Arts Lecturer at the School of Visual Arts in New York.  The lesson was about 'Creative Writing' which is something I want to do more of as I loven to create imaginary worlds, characters and narratives. We were asked to select an image at random, Being a massive fan of Masks I chose E. S. Curtis's 'Humanoid Mask'.

 Once we had a image to work with we began creating a 'Sense of Place' for the world in which this person lived in, the message or meaning it communicated to me and the era/location it originates from.  I came up with the following....

  • A tribal Chief, Figure of importance
  • Proud stance, dominant
  • Aztec Tribe, Native American
  • Mysterious, Secretive
  • Unsure if Male or Female
  • We all wear Masks in our lives either physically or subconsciously
  • Vibrant warm colours such as Red, Yellow, Orange & Green
  • Religious Beliefs, Mother Nature
  • Smells: Fire, Ink, Wood, Midnight air & Nature
  • Sounds: Tribal Drums & strange songs
We then were asked to write a short story to describe our chosen character in a creative, descriptive way....

''Under the bright moon, deep in the native forest the leaves move to the beat of the drums and song dances through the deep, dark night.  Tall burning flames flicker up totem poles that reach high into the sky and beyond.  Warm yellow, orange and red beam from above, whilst below dark shadows worship this human shaped burst of colour.  It's mask is still and dominant in it's presence.  Silently.  It sits''

I found this exercise very beneficial and useful, from looking at one image it's possible to create a 'Sense of Place' and a short piece of descriptive language that could be the main essence of a story/narrative.  It really opened up my mind and I enjoyed it very much.  I shall use this process again for creating stories in the future, It's also a great way to create characters and worlds.

The students in the class were also a delight to meet and they made us feel so welcome, So a big thank you to all at SVA!, I also got to sit at an American style desk!

Another great thing from this experience was that I discovered the photographer E.S Curtis, who has done alot of Mask & Tribal photography, So I shall look into their work some more.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Big Apple!

Wow! What can I say, I'm completely speechless (and jetlagged) from my trip to New York City in the United States of America.  I was totally blown away by how giant everything was, the sky-scraper buildings, the mile long avenues and streets, the crazy tangled underground system and the amazing people that I was very fortunate to meet during my stay.

It has been an experience I will never forget as long as I live.  Already, I feel like a different person from what I was exposed to.  It has defiantly been a great 'Sense of Place' experience.  The people were so friendly and helpful and made us feel so welcome.  Although we only had 4 days there, we crammed as much as we could! It was a fast moving action-packed four days!. 

I visited beautiful New Jersey which is just outside of NYC and also visited Illustrator Andre Da Loba at his Gallery in Brooklyn, there we also viewed the amazing workshop that Andre Da Loba shared with Joanna Dobrowski - Their workshop was full of wonderful handmade, quirky delights - I was in my element! What a great inspiration it was.  Andre Da Loba shared with us his industry experience and the beauty about what he said was how honest and down to earth he was, it was a humbling experience.

Other highlights included a trip to 'Strand Book Store' where I purchased a great book on Tribal Masks, Election antics at Times Square, Battery Park, attended a class with students at SVA, Soho, China Town and Statue of Liberty.  I really hope to go back as soon as possible as there are still lots of things I want to see and experience.  Below are some of my favourite photographs from my trip to the 'Big A'......

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The City That Never Sleeps

In less than four days I shall be stood in 'The City That Never Sleeps' - New York City!.  I am visiting for a week with University and there are just no words to describe how excited I am to be going.  Since I can remember it's been a dream of mine to go to the US and now it's happening!

Below is New York City at dusk.

I shall be armed with my camera and sketchbook and hope to collect lots of things whilst I am there, And of course a little shopping!.  I look forward to posting lots of great photos and sharing my experiences here when I return.