Friday, 28 October 2011

Norwich, the City of Art

So this holiday i'm going down to Norwich to visit my brother, he is in his first year of University and studying Graphic Communication. I plan to have a good look around norwich and take something back with me whilst I stay for 5 days! I'm really excited. It's nearly halloween too!

I have to say it's a really really amazing place, it's somewhere i'd like to be more often, and the train journey was nice. It was about 6 hours on the train.

My brother and I looked around and took some really neat pictures, theres an art gallery on every corner and art everywhere!
We went to a few arty bars, that were really neat. And also at a hall, there was an event going on with experimental music going on. It was really good! Theres also a festival in May that I can see myself going too... I'm addicted to Norwich!

Some of the museums were free, but I didn't take any pictures, a lot of the artwork inside is very political, and modern. I went to the Norwich Castle museum, it's SO cool. It's huge, old and kind of creepy, but I loved it.
Here are some pictures:

Pictures above from:

I did take a video of something kind of strange, but intriguing too! It was these musicians and they set up a symbol, and put a roman candle firework beneath it. They set it off after it was wired up to a speaker and it looked and sounded spectacular! I'm sorry the video is sideways but i'm not good good with computers! 

And also some of the pictures we took:

My brother blog is also really cool... you can see it here: 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Holiday! & On the March!

It's a one week holiday now and we've been given a new project to think about. It's called 'on the march' and it only lasts for a very short amount of time. I've got to think and have this ready for when I get back to Uni!

The brief is about expressing your opinions over an issue in todays world. For example - Vegetarianism, or Communism, ect. We have to create a banner / poster and visually tell people and perhaps even convince people that they should take our thoughts into consideration. This isn't a 'quick do it before I go to see my favourite band' kind of thing, this is a 'must get my issue noticed', a plea for help maybe..

The first thing that comes to mind is an issue I have with fashion, and the way the fashion industry depict women. 

I don't like the fact that all the models you tend to see on the adverts have been photoshopped so much they give us a false sense of perfection, they should make real women be models -  like boots. I like boots, they don't sell us false expectations. So many women, and even a some men are so affected by this, they feel so imperfect that they resort to many kinds of dangerous things, including starvation, isolation and even suicide. I think this is taken too lightly, and i want to tell people - even though they've been told hundreds of times before, that this needs to stop now, it's killing people, it's making good peoples lives hell. I need to tell them that no matter how much money they make, a life is worth more than that. 

I read a growing amount of so called 'thInspiration' aka 'thinspo' websites that post pictures of severely underweight models, and begin to see that being thin is the only thing that matters. More recently i've stumbled across a website i read about in the news. It's called 'Skinny Gossip' and what i read horrifies me and makes me incredibly angry. It's a blog written by a young women with very narrow-minded views on weight & looks. She insults various people who for example used to be underweight, and have grown to be a healthy weight.

I was totally horrified when i read this, how can she call her fat!? She was really too skinny before, I get the idea that she prefers her skinny, but insulting her and calling her 'fat' and saying all those terrible things across her blog is totally uncalled for. If this whole fashion issue hadn't have started, would this blogger be like the rest of us and perhaps not so aggressive towards people who have weight? I think so. I know that is causes various psychological disorders - leading to physical ones, and even death.

'Fat stomach and legs. Thick even by Victoria's Secret standards.' - what's that supposed to mean?! I'd say she's slim and toned.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Final Totem post!

So i've finished my totem! I'm actually impressed with the outcome, even though I was a bit rushed at the end. We've had a professional photographer in to come and take professional pictures of our totems. I'm impressed with the look of everyone elses, but i have infact encountered a problem whilst photographing it - it's too big! It's about 10 foot tall and no one is tall enough to hold it! So i hung it on the wall and had to remove some of the nice string i made, but it looks good.

I've felt for the first time like I'm getting closer to how I want my work to be in the future. I love the sewing, it comes really natural to me. I feel like i've explored with materials and everything. I love including cultural influences in my work. I feel like i'm giving everyone an opportunity to explore maybe where they can't. I suppose it's a way to express my need to see, and experience the world around me, and when i do, it's a release for me to express how it makes me feel. I'm happy! 

Unfortunately though, problems come along the way too. I've had a few more problems with it than i did intent, but i suppose 'tis the way of life'.I always say 'I should have left myself more time'... to fix these little things. My first problem with actually making the totem itself was that I was rushed with time to think up any really good ideas for the deer, so i just made the head and it's a bit flat and shrivelled. It also doesn't hang very well. It looks kind of like a unicorn too. Oh well, I'll do better next time I come to doing this.

The second problem I've briefly mentioned, but yes the totem was way too long, and the professional pictures don't look as good as i'd hoped really. I'm growing from this experience, i MUST leave myself more time near to the end of projects to perfect my creations....

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Totem Post Progress

Soooo.. Since my last post i've decided on what & how. I just hope everything goes to plan! But so far so good. I've managed to start creating my totems. I've been working on designing some patterns for the material i'm going to make my totem out of. I'm making the creatures out of fabric with indian patterns on them. I've don a different pattern for each creature, representing their characteristics. 

For example:

  • Octopus: Red: - Fears. Red is a frightening colour that raises blood pressure, so it's perfect. I'm terrified of the sea and the horrid creatures in it!
  • Deer: Green - Hope. My idea was a fresh start, so spring colours, bright future kind of thing. Deers are animals of spring.
  • Bird: Purple - Weakness. It might not be the first thing you think of when you think of a weakness, but usually birds are very vulnerable animals, usually the prey. So that's why I associated them.
  • Tiger: Orange - Strength. Orange is a bold colour, eye catching. Tigers are strong animals, so both colours went hand in hand, especially as tigers are orange anyway!
  • Fox: Dark Blue  - Alter Ego. Dark blue - night time, the dark side of things. The night is darkness. Foxes are known for their slyness despite looking cute and fuzzy on the outside, not that i'm sly! 
I've began to draw out my plans & piece them together also. I'm really enjoying it. I've also been and bought some really neat beads and string, with indian themed colours. I'm excited to see this finished & photographed! 

Some of my progress so far:

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Ritu Kumar, Karsh Kale & other inspirations

The main inspirations for my pattern design was Ritu Kumar, i stumbled upon his site whilst browsing the internet for indian patterns. His website is beautiful and I wuold recommend you look at it when and if you have the time. I find Indian the culture to be very spiritual and serene, and it is something that attracts and interests me.

Other posts i looked at were from Tumblr, which i look to for visual references, although most of the pictures aren't marked with artists, it is difficult to track down the originals.

I also take interest prior to this brief in indian music. The music is called Karsh Kale and it is indian experimental music. It's traditional indian music mixed with various genres, such as electronic music, ambient, rock & many more. Please have a listen, it's so beautiful. Music like this say deep meanings without words, i think it's a stunning talent to be able to emit such deep feelings without having to use words. It's something i'd love to be able to do with my art work. 

This is my favourite Karsh Kale song. His album art works are also very impressive.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

All things Indian!

I've decided to do the indian style totem post, because I really like the colours and the intricate mandalas and patterns the Indians use. I've been looking specificly at henna, and indian textiles. I absolutely love henna, I think it's beautiful.

Henna is a natural dye that comes from a plant called Lawsonia inermis and is used for various purposes, such as hair dye, body art, dying materials like leather & wool, and even fingernails. It has been used for over 6,000 years across the globe, it does not dye permanently. It is native to regions of Africa and southern Asia. Traditionally it is used for special occasions, and even perfumes can be made out of it.

Henna was first used in body art during the bronze age, and called 'Mehndi'. Traditionally used for special occasions, like marriage where the women would prepare themselves to meet their husbands. The henna would be on their hands and fingernails.

Henna became popular and people would use it to decorate themselves and loved ones, and even their loved pets for special occasions, like birthdays, or to a gathering of family & friends. There was even a night called 'Night of the Henna' that was celebrated, but it is unclear when this was. Wherever there was Joy, there was henna, as long as it was avaliable.

Next, I looked at Indian textiles and decorations. Paisley was commonly seen throughout all the textiles I looked at, and a lot of it resembled henna. It is usually brightly coloured and embroidered in gold and with jewels and sequins. The designs are very intricate and decorated hair acessories, necklaces, and bracelets would have been worn to go with the indian clothes. A lot of western fashion has been influenced by indian clothing, here are a few examples.

Some Beautiful Henna