I know my blog posts have been fewer in recent weeks. This is because i’ve been focused on my final major project at tech as well as occasional bouts of ill health.
I spent an unfortunate amount of time during this period either too unwell to attend tech or in hospital. I feel this has had a negative impact on my work as it hasn’t received the focus I would have wanted to give it, and has made it hard to follow my initial planned outline.
At times, it was hard to focus, and with at one point 3 IV cannulas, quite hard to do notes in hospital due to all the wires. Despite this, I do think the overall project was a success and developed nicely.
I had initially looked at tortured artists, and how illness affected their creativity in an essay, this led me to look into the imagery for emotions and mental illness.
A common theme I noticed was how the heart played a major part in being associated with emotions, and was used in many metaphors, idioms and hyperbole such as, ‘a heart of gold’ or ‘cold hearted’
I had thought about using this play on words to create imagery, much like a spin off of catch phrase, as a picture can tell a thousand words, I thought that i could capture these words in an image.
I hoped to also use colour and shape to help express these images, and so they would be used to reflect the intention of the image without using words. I looked into the psychology of emotions and shapes and colour association to see if there could be ways to influence the viewer.
however, in the end it wasn’t really working out as I imagined it would, and I felt it was too simplistic, I looked at developing it further. As I had created a lot of prints throughout my experimentation, it was suggested I look at a way to present them, perhaps in the form of an altered book, or accordion style leaflet.
i was drawn to the idea of a book, as a book is a medium of print, and I was looking at printmaking. I felt that the mix of printed imagery on printed words with a relevance to the subject of the image was an interesting combination and so looked closer at that. Below are samples of some of my prints which i took and developed further in Photoshop.
I found it hard to find books that appealed to emotions when I looked in charity shops. I didnt like the effect when i printed in the book, it seemed too simple, however i liked the sensory aspect of a person touching and seeing the book.
as such, i tried to make it more visual than just a print, with examples shown above, using the laser cuter to engrave designs into the books, so i could spell out the word heart, transforming the books into a wall art piece. i had thought about staggering the height, but when i put together everything at the end, I found that a single height received more favourable feedback.
I spent part of the time in the hospital discussing my ideas with those in the other beds and the night staff when I couldn’t sleep when feeling unwell. I asked for feedback from those around, and found that some of my line drawings were received well.
The nurses offered to print me some information on the heart and i discussed my ideas surrounding heart imagery and emotions as well as using medical notes relavant to the heart to print onto such as an ECG.
The idea that we could, ‘tug’ on the heartstrings of a person due to their emotions appealed to me, and was reinforced by my own occasional chest pain, which was like a physical reaction of my heart to stress or sometimes for no reason that I could identify.
I wanted to incorporate strings into my work, like a continuation of my work in textiles previously, to this end i looked closer at trapped fibres and strings within laminated pockets as well embellishing into the pockets to see the overall effect. It reminded me a lot of my initial media experimentation during unit 1 and 2.
when i looked up heart strings, i realised i needed to use more anatomical terminology, as heartstrings in google images kept bringing up imagery from a south korean soap opera and so i needed to use terms such as tendineae chordae.
I liked the idea of how the heart expresses emotions that are sometimes hard to verbalise by its physical reactions.
it was with this in mind that i came up with one of a1 studies:
the heart being used to symbolise emotions, and how it expresses them and the person not verbalising but throwing them away instead of face them.
I then played on that imagery as a lot of my prints where of hearts, and so used them as a medium to express the same sentiment of the a1.
I laser cut a figure out and hung prints up with fishing wire at different heights.
during my research into altered books previously i had tried some origami within a book and had created a heart shape.
I decided to build upon this foundation and created a double heart for a central piece for the prints to appear as if they were falling into the book. I liked the idea of a book, as people use books to write in to express their emotions such as with a diary, and in previous units I had looked at a book bursting open with the imagery of butterflies.
The origami into books took quite a bit of effort with calculating measurements before even a fold was made, but i used online tutorials to show me how to use Photoshop like programmes to come up with a plan.
together my prints and central piece of the book together formed my main bulk of the FMP, to make it more direct and obvious that the prints were falling into the book i made sure they had string attached that directed the visual down towards the book.