Friday, 30 September 2011

Other Wonderful Things!

I have been looking at totem-like things across many different cultures, and I have got a few ideas that I think would be really nice to do.

I have been looking at:
  • Chinese wind chimes, because it's very much like a totem pole, for example the dragon can represent many things, depending on where in asia it is. The dragon symbolizes the supernatural power that controls water element, it can also be perceived  as sign of emperor. However, in the Chinese methodology, dragon has nine sons, and their appearances have ranged from a gigantic tortoise or a snake depending on it's magical powers. When you go to a chinese restaurant or a take away, usually you will find an 's' shaped pattern around the edge of the dish. This is the symbol called "Taotie", the dragons 5th son, meaning that he likes to eat well.
  • African totems and decorations, because I love the detailed tribal patterns from native africans, i think they are beautiful. The colour and shapes they create are very pretty, and I own a few bracelets myself! The decorations can range from simple wind chimes to very scary, and the features are usually emphesized a lot! Masks can be worn whilst doing tribal dances, which is a kind of ritual where they would dance around fires and chant african words, maybe to ask their gods for rain, or maybe during a ceremony, i.e in the event of death of a tribe member, or perhaps marriage.Facepainting is common too.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Carin Berger

This is the illustrator, who's name I could not remember the other day. Carin Berger is a designer, illustrator, and author. Look how playful (I know we use that word so much but you really can go to town!) her work is. She must have drawers full of found papers, scraps of ephemera, fabrics, button etc. Turn yourself into a magpie and collect whatever you can get your hands on. Don't forget to trace back the history of this way of working, look at Hannah Hoch, Kurt Schwitters etc.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Totem Post Update!

So I'm working on my Totem post, and I'm currently trying to think of ways to make my totem pole, and what medias to work with. I have decided on my animals after thinking about my fears, weaknesses, hopes, etc. Here is what I have made (worth showing) so far!

Octopus experiment
So this is my experiment of an octopus, I actually find this quite scary! As I intended! It's the eyes for sure! I really love it, it's full of character. The colours & facial expressions help exaggerate the feeling i'm trying to communicate.

Fawn Experiment

This is my experiment of my fawn that I will be using in my totem pole, I was actually using the other side and I did not realize I was working on paper that had a pattern on, I turned it round and I loved it so much I decided to use that instead! Still it lacks something. I did make various eyes, for each totem. It would have been nice to include those too. 

And on second thought, a totem post with eyes on it would be really funky right!? Hmm....

I am still unsure of how I'm going to put together this totem pole, and I am currently just experimenting with materials and ideas. I do like these animals but I can't see them being finals. I will continue to research but I think i might use textiles because it would be really nice to see patterns screen printed on to fabric, and to make animals out of them, I also like the idea of making a chinese like wind kite, so that it would catch the wind. 

Sunday, 18 September 2011

New Brief and Totem Poles!

Okay so today I got my new brief, it's about Totem poles. We viewed a slide show of totem poles made by other artists and by the Red Indians, the slide show really made me ready to go out there and make some totem posts myself! So I had a look at some totem posts, to get the idea of exactly what we were being asked.

A brief history of totem poles:

I've been making all sorts of creatures and people, to explore many different ways of illustrating things. Here are a small selection of what I have made:

Along with making some animals and looking at totem posts, comes the actual purpose of the animals and people. The animals and people, (or really whatever you feel relates to you) represent your personal attributes. The emotions I focus on are:

  • A Weakness: I don't like to talk about my weaknesses! I think that is a weakness!
  • A Strength: I can be very tolerant.
  • A Hope: Health and that I am successful in life.
  • A Fear: I fear that I will lose the people i love in life, and the sea!
  • An Alter-ego: I don't really know! I suppose I can be very shy, but once you get to know me, well then you know how I am!
So after brainstorming each emotion, you find a way to represent this. For example, I have a fear of the sea, so I could use a sea creature to represent it and then you begin to build your totem pole. So right now I've just done my brainstorming and I'm beginning to think about how I'm going to represent each attribute.