Up Against the Wall…

So we have presented our slideshow, and it was ok. I have learned a lot from this project and that is what it’s all about.

The presentation could have been better, more arty.  I am inspired – especially by group two’s gorgeous presentation, to play with PowerPoint and get over my mental block!

Morgan made a comment which was invaluable, he suggested that our image could read the opposite way to that which we intended, ie the workers were smashing the beautiful landscape instead of unveiling it. I can see that totally. I think in future I would get someone like Morgan or maybe Staju who both think in very different ways, to give me their opinion on something, it is good to get input from all angles. When you are in the middle of something of your making it can be very difficult to step back and be truly objective.

Other comments were subjective, and more about the painting of the scene itself than the concept, which is fair enough. But as they were quite diverse and people were saying the opposite of each other,  we let them go.

Another useful comment was that the workmen did not look like workmen without their orange vests and yellow helmets. This got me thinking about why Banksy’s policemen worked but our workmen didn’t…

Kissing Coppers

The ‘Kissing Coppers’,  have changed very little in colour in the stenciled version. The handcuffs and truncheon make it obvious that they are policemen too. Our workmen lost their identity by losing the colour of their vests and helmets. I thought the pick axe made it obvious, but as Morgan says, it could have been any vandal!

I learned too, to read and check off every little detail of the brief. Make sure it is clear exactly what needs to be in the presentation, and what goes elsewhere. Last night having believed I had finished,  I had to reduce the PowerPoint size by 100 MB!  Although I had kept my half of the PowerPoint small I had forgotten to tell Jemarve. Sadly his wonderful Google Sketch movie had to be left out of the submitted PPT, although viewers did see it. I am wondering if the size  is why it kept crashing the computer yesterday!

The other thing I had to do last night was produce a full proposal from all our combined research and images etc! I thought that the proposal only had to be in the PowerPoint and our individual stuff, and then I found another forum for proposals *ahem*!

So, although I am happy to have done this, and it was a valuable experience, I am glad it is over. Group work is challenging and can be more about administration and politics, than making art, but then that is the nature of real life.  Our group situation was particularly fraught as we lost two of the original members, and other commitments in and out of college made it difficult for us to to meet up all together.  It may not have been what we would have done, had we had more time. However,  given that we were left with three members, a half inherited idea, and one week to do most of the work, I think we stepped up and performed very well. The group pulling together is a big part of an exercise like this, and we triumphed in the face of adversity!!

Cheers to Roxy and Jemarve and all of the other groups who were part of this project!

 

Photograph retrieved from: http://tinyurl.com/a3qmxmx 12/3/2014

Aside

Warped Reality

Looking around the web I found some incredible trompe l’oeil murals in cities around the world. I really like the photographic and digitally produced ones.  Some are quite phenomenal, like this building shown below. They can really warp reality to the extent that you could start to feel dizzy when walking towards them. It looks more like something you would see reflected in a lake than standing on a busy Parisian boulevard.

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These two images are of the Beecker building on Avenue George V in Paris. This effect was created using digitally manipulated photographs
by artist and photographer Pierre Delavie. The installation was created to hide the construction work going on behind the facade and was only in place for a year or so. Imagine coming across this after a few glasses of vino… or maybe not!

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Images sourced from: http://www.pierredelavie.com

Flowery inspirations…

In an earlier post I showed this photo of a tiny flower growing at the bottom of the wall, between the cement and the tarmac on the footpath.

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What if the flower became like the magic bean in the fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk?  Imagine the whole wall suddenly covered pink flowers and green leaves…

Flower-Wall

I really like this, I think it’s because of the splashes on the floor that brings the wall out… or  takes the viewer in! It’s bright and fun and I am sure it would bring a few smiles! Also it is inclusive, most people could paint something like this, from 3 to 103.  I believe that a big function of art should be to inspire others to create.  If the distance between the viewer and the art is too great then this cannot happen. So although this does it in a slightly different way to some other ideas I have had, it could still change someones thoughts about their environment and themselves. The viewer could become part of the change by actually going and painting their own garage wall or something.

Angels & Hurricanes

For my personal explorations of our wall space I have been playing around with my sketches, and Photoshop, just to see how different images look on the wall.

This is a silhouette painting I did of Neil Young, Yann (standing in front of the wall with my daughter Pollyanna), loves Neil Young, and I wanted to start somewhere so I started with an image that someone liked a lot.

Neil-Mural

I like it, I like the contrast between the street and this giant psychedelic blast from the seventies. I like the reference to music too, music often cheers and I love to hear people singing to themselves! It has some reference to it’s direct environment, as the bar behind has live music. Also the title of the song ‘Like a hurricane’ is relevant to change. A hurricane can change a landscape dramatically, this mural also changes this particular bit of the town landscape fairly dramatically.

The next image I tried on the wall is a painting of a gravestone angel in the snow. Why? Does there have to be a reason? Ok I was too hot, I walked past the wall the other day and thought how nice it would be to have snow in Nelson. Seriously, I love to walk around Wakapuaka cemetery with my camera, I find something different every time. I love how you can catch a glimpse of the sea through the graves from high up on the hill. This image was inspired by a photo from the cemetery. I like the idea of bringing significant parts of Nelson back into the centre. An image that offers a moment of quiet contemplation is a busy day.

Angel-Mural

The last image I did today was Hobbiton, why not have a piece of The Shire in Nelson. There were a few hobbits in town a couple of years ago when they did some filming in the area. The Shire is where the big adventure begins. I painted this from a photograph I took of Hobbiton at the film set,near Hamilton on the North Island.

Hobbit-Mural

I still find this wall a challenge, although I like the  way any mural that we put on the wall will interact with the street seen beyond. I have thought of ways of bringing them together seamlessly almost but with changing light and skies etc it would be very difficult.

I do like the idea of bringing the street into the mural though, so whatever I painted on the wall I would add pieces of mirror cemented within the mural to reflect the real world, and also give a changing reality within the mirrors.  These pieces of mirror would add a fragmented effect to the mural which fits in with my current postmodern studies.

All photo’s and painting by the author.

Thanks to models Polly, Yann and Blueberry the bump!

Hey Johnny…

So there you are, walking along Hardy Street, feeling a bit down and pretty much imprisoned in Plato’s cave and woohoo…

‘Is that really Johnny Depp walking towards me out of that wall? And the White Rabbit…Oh, yes Alice, I don’t mind if I do…’

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Ok well, maybe not Alice, but I like the whole, down the rabbit holes idea 🙂 I quite like how the people in my photo were all interested in a photographing the blank wall for our project, and their reactions fit in totally with the Alice mural spoof. I like to see how people react with street art, which is something I would like to explore in this project.

‘Alice’ image from Alice in Wonderland movie, directed by Tim Burton.

The Wall

The Urban Mural, or The Wall as I choose to call it, is our first project in Studio research and Practice. We have been split into groups and instructed to choose a blank wall in Nelson to decorate. We then had to choose a theme of either body, environment or semiotics, on which to base our mural.

As I am double booked in other classes for most of  Mondays, I came into this project after initial decisions had been made. Well it saves me some brain cells I guess! Had I been there I would have chosen the Kush Coffee wall in Church street (my favourite coffee stop), and I would have gone for maybe body or semiotics. Environment is fine though as it can fit most ideas, the wall being part of an environment in itself.

So we have a wall… a plain blank wall…. in Hardy Street, and the wall wants something… I would go so far as to say that the wall needs something. It is pretty drab and boring – right?

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or… maybe not quite so drab:

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or boring:

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This wall faces the oncoming pedestrians, they walk towards it, and they probably don’t notice it… So, it is currently a big wasted opportunity. I would like this wall to enhance the life of everyone who walks towards it. I would like it to make them think in a different way, about life, about reality and about our perception of reality. I want the wall to transform the viewer, in some way. Whether it is only the moment, a day, or the rest of a life that is changed.

The wall is at the end of a historical building which currently houses a pub, cafe, sports bar. It is in my opinion a totally uninspiring place, where the only chance of one’s perception being changed is through a haze of alcohol to the sound of rugby commentators. I believe sometimes they have a decent band though. At right angles to the wall is an estate agents, again not very inspiring, but hang on… what about building castles in the air? How about some alternative real estate, an earth-ship maybe? Or the very words could be played upon… real estate… imaginary estate… the wall as the estate of the artists and the viewer.

I see a lot of possibilities, but I like the idea of  a view through to another world, a journey to a different mindset, going through doors of perception but without the mescalin.

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Oh and do note the beautiful Genko tree. There is something about this tree, and those tiny pink flowers  growing against all odds, out of the crack at the bottom of the wall, something that says ‘Look, we are here…!’ I want our wall to shout LOOK!! I AM HERE!!!!

All photos by author.

Adding to the JOY…

…in more ways than one!

College started today, and Blueberry the bump is due any hour…

I have not slept since Friday night as Polly, my daughter, keeps having labour scares. It seems funny that a year ago I was a new student, feeling young and full of the excitement of youth, and now I am about to be an oma, or yaya… I cannot do grandma!

When I think back to my own youthful college days, learning was not so joyful. I stick by my theory that education is wasted on the young. I have my own theories about education, and having home educated my kids for several years, and seen some great results, I am inclined to stick with them. My main theory is that if you want to learn something, then you will do it as soon as you are ready. Otherwise it is wasted time and a lot of unnecessary stress. For years I have been ready to learn in a college environment, with other students. To me this is the freedom I dreamed of every day when I couldn’t wait to leave grammar school!

Last year was great, this year I plan to make even better. Bring it on!

When I am not studying I read Tarot…

IMG_8805And play with my pet goat Gypsy…

IMG_8818And make beautiful custom Tarot Bags for lovely earthlings…

IMG_8827And play some more with the goats…

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