Friday, 27 November 2009

Dig the life fanstastic

Tuesday 3rd November; a slow afternoon, so off we went to the Conerhouse with a plan to see Wes Anderson's latest film, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Which is already a wonderful story by one of my favourite children's authors, Roald Dahl.

As a child I loved his books but I especially adored Quentin Blake's beautiful illustrations. To me they appear delicate, random, and full of movement. The detail of each drawing is captivating. He uses inks and watercolours as washes to add colour, and despite the chosen media, the illustrations hold amazing vibrancy on the page.

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a piece of stop-motion animation work, made entirely with models for all of the characters. Each scene was painstakingly crafted, usually involving several models. Of course it was highly time-consuming for the entire film to be completed. Apparently it was all shot using a Nikon D3 which has a higher resolution than that of full High Definition. It was shot using a rate of 12 frames per second rather than 24 frames so the viewer was more aware of the stop-motion. I think the enhanced stop-motion adds even more charm to the film.

I also really enjoy Wes Anderson's other films. Fantastic Mr. Fox was lively and brilliant, but others; The Darjeeling Limited and Rushmore are also favourites of mine. The Darjeeling Limited is about 3 brothers journeying through India on a train and how the country is filmed is extraordinary. It truly captures the essence of the culture and amazing scenery.

Monday, 16 November 2009

I spent the night in the toilets.

7th November 2009; Saturday night, not just any Saturday night though, as on this particular evening there was the annual Glossop fireworks display. The bonfire night celebrations were spectacular and very impressive. Afterwards the chill in the air soon sent us on our way to the pub.

The pub in question was The Oakwood. This pub had recently been taken over by a couple of young brothers who were giving the whole place a huge make-over. They were currently in the middle of decorating the upstairs toilets. So we got started on finishing the job off.

The decor was a collage of magazine articles, photographs, and posters. Using a mixture of watered down PVA glue brushed over the walls we stuck our chosen image in place. Then we brushed more mixture over it to ensure a glossy and secure finish.

The walls ended up a wonderfully eclectic mix of old posters from previous nights at other local pubs, and images and articles from magazines. Such as; Uncut, Derbyshire Life, National Geographic, high-end fashion mags and astronomy magazines. This meant pictures of Prince, Blur, ancient tribal masks, the Milky Way, Rolex ads, and landscapes of rolling hills all shared wall space.

Doing this collage reminded me of some work by an illustrator called Matthew Walkerdine, who collaged a landscape onto a wall for an exhibition of his work called; 'Unfocussed Eyes.'

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Image No. 1

In the autumn term we have to choose an image or man-made object to write 1000 word critical analysis on it. Then we choose a further 7 images/objects in relation to the first image/object to write 500 words of narrative on.

For my first image I have chosen 'The Garden Of Earthly Delights' by the Dutch painter; Hieronymus Bosch. I am interested in writing about this particular painting due to its historical and religious imagery and connotations. At the time it was painted, society was very religion-orientated and Bosch quite literally recreated the superstitions, ideas and religious allegories of the 16th century. I think this religious theme will provide a lot of information to write about, considering analytical interpretations of the painting and comparing the themes with modern day ideas.

It is an old painting from the 1500s yet the theme of religion still holds relevance today.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Invention He Never Invented

26th October, Michael Howard from the Art History department came to us and told our course about an exhibition that is soon coming to the Museum Of Science and Industry. 14th November sees the arrival of Leonardo Da Vinci, a celebration of his machines, techonolgy and creative mind.

The brief was to create an A4 image of a machine or invention that he never got round to inventing. This could be a model, drawing, or computer animation, something witty, funny or completely serious.

Da Vinci was born in Italy on the 15th April, 1452 and died in France on the 2nd May, 1519. During his lifetime there was great speculation on the theory of the end of the world, according to the Book Of Revelations, which was meant to be happening around 1520/1525.

Da Vinci was curious but troubled. He constantly questioned where is God, the soul, the truth, what is beauty, what is perfection; what is man capable of?

Curiosita - intellectual curiosity

Dimonstrazione - to test experience through practice; willingness to learn and keep an open mind.

Sensazione - engagement of all the senses, the gateway to the intellect.

Sfumato - recognise the essential ambiguity, contradiction and mystery of life.

Arte/Scienza - balance between art, science, logic and imagination.

Corporalita - grace, fitness to purpose, poise and understanding of our corporality. The relationship between body and grace.

Connessione - a recognition and appreciation of all things and phenomena.

Da Vinci believed that man was the centre of the universe, this was the medieval belief of the time, an idea from Classical thinking. The fear of the Apocalypse was echoed in the politics of the time. For Da Vinci, geometry was God.
He wrote with his left hand, backwards, for ease and this was a reflection of Arabic thinking, which states that the Sun is the centre of the universe.

He was interested in light, air, geological and intellectual foundations and aerial perspective. Overall, the density of the atmosphere. Also the subject of meditation. Da Vinci believed that 'observation is the mother of all certainty.'

Freud claimed that in several of Da Vinci's paintings of Christ and Christian imagery, the shapes of birds showed homosexuality in his subconscious.

The most famous painting he ever painted, and probably the most famous painting in the world is the Mona Lisa. It shows two kinds of time; human time and the geological time of the landscape yet this painting has become a symbol of immortality. As many have commented on the painted woman being; 'older than the rocks behind her' and as having 'died many times'.

As well as portraits and religious paintings, Da Vinci was said to have cut up over 30 human bodies in his lifetime. And this shows in his biological drawings as they are all medically correct. He was interested in turning the body into a machine and taking away it's organic quality. Considering the human body he was keen to know why human beings had lost their grace and elegance about their posture and walking. This particular thought of Da Vinci's lead me to create an image of a 'posturing machine' for my A4 'invention that he never got round to making.'