‘Photo of the Week’ and Week Review

A portrait photographed by Nadav Kander, this image depicts a close encounter with the HRH Prince of Wales which was featured in the 2013 Time magazine publication as the cover image.  What struck me about this image in particular was the intensity of His Majesty’s expression as he maintains a serious yet gentle gaze directly into the viewers eye.  The colouring of the image is well toned as the navy coloured background matches that of His Majesty’s attire and his eyes.  Kander captures the Prince of Wales powerfully as he acknowledges elements of stature as well as vulnerability in human nature; Time magazine presented the title of this photographic feature as ‘The Forgotten Prince’ which is suggestive of His Majesty’s status perhaps on a more personal level.  The way Kander has lit the image brings a complimentary soft appearance to His Majesty’s face, creating a rounded effect that separates him from the background.  An outlined shadow can be seen around the Prince and the overall hue of the image is cold but also rich in colour pigmentation.  I admire this image for its strong connection with the audience as Kander captures the Prince quite emotionally that is compelling and honest.

Week Review

This week, I have come to the end of Phase 1 and I shall now begin photographing objects with the individual in studio to prepare for the final piece.  I have decided to explore the theme of ‘Freedom’ for my final major outcome, with ‘Air’ as the natural element within the portrait series and installation.  My previous still life photo shoot of feathers is the concept which I shall bring forward where I shall photograph feathers once again while also using narrative story telling.  If successful,  feathers would be used as the featured items for the interactive aspect of the installation.  The use of feathers as the main installation interaction is also safe and manageable.

I have chosen to use ‘Freedom’ brings forward other related aspects to ideas of air bound activity or flight that involves the individual’s personal development in the narrative.  In terms of narrative, I could relate items to the individual by creating a conceptual story of freedom that empowers the individual with a bonding relationship to a natural element.  I originally proposed to also feature soft seating within the floor area of installation space; I may still pursue this, however, I do not intend to devalue the experience by limiting the mobility of the audience within the space.  My next steps to plan for this idea is to find a suitable, enclosed space and to begin practice for the final studio photo shoot during the course of the next two weeks.  As I am also still in Phase 2, further experiments may involve photographing other natural forms and environments such as the sky.  This may also be something that could also potentially contribute towards the final theme.

References

ARR Gosee (2016) ‘Severin Wendeler: Nadav Kander for Times Magazine‘ {Online} Available from: http://www.gosee.us (Accessed 01/08/2016)

ARR National Portrait Gallery (2016) ‘Nadav Kander-Person‘ {Online} Available from: http://www.npg.org.uk (Accessed 0/08/2016)

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Ernesto Neto- Major Installation Influences

 

Ernesto Neto is a sculpture and installation artist who integrates elements of the 5 senses within large interactive walk through pieces.  His work brings focus on themes relating to nature, man made artefacts and the spiritual world in which he works with a large variety of materials where he induces elements such as scent within the experience.

Following his studies in Brazil, Neto has exhibited internationally in which he has displayed at museums including the Tate Gallery in London and the Guggenheim museum in New York as well as many other artistic establishments.  Neto represented his country in the 2001 Venice Biennale Event and he has also participated in various other biennials and group exhibitions.

Neto’s installations are charmingly engaging as he allows the audience to physically explore space like an alternative world.  Neto transports the viewer by inviting them to interact with the space within a leisurable setting that enables viewers to almost become lost as his works often work similarly to a maze structure.  Neto is often known for an unusual element in his pieces which sees lumps of material mesh hanging from ceiling height creating a rounded sac shape; these have been used in many of Neto’s works including the Anthropodino installation in 2009.

I strongly admire how Neto establishes the interactive element within his pieces and I find that he also brings a sense of freedom and fun to his pieces.  I particularly admire his netting installations where the audience can walk to higher level above ground which brings an exciting new perspective for the viewer.  In works such as ‘Madness is a Part of Life’, Neto brings a jungle gym similarity in these pieces and this makes the installations all the more entertaining.  I am inspired to bring the element of fun toward my Major Project Outcome as I find this will attract more attention in terms of encouraging people to play a role.

References

ARR Bomb Magazine (2008) ‘Artists In Conversation-Fernando Gomes and Esnesto Neto’ [Online] Availble from: ‘www.bombmagazine.org (Accessed Winter 2008)

ARR Tayna Bonakdar Gallery (2016) ‘Ernesto Neto-Selected Works’ [Online] New York Base, Available from: http://www.tanyabonakdargallery.com (Accessed 15/04/2016)

Inspirations From Media Narratives: Televised Drama ‘Thirteen’

BBC Three’s recent psychological drama ‘Thirteen‘ follows the story of a girl who has escaped her kidnapper and returned home in which this leading character re-adjusts to ordinary life.  However, developments concerning her case provoke further events to occur.

The scenes in this drama provoke an intense observation of how life threatening events has affected the character’s mental well being in which the drama gives a deep analysis of the character’s relationships with others.  We also see how the character retraces her steps upon her return in terms of her relationship with her own belongings in which we witness the character’s anxiety when recognising these items.

As well as developing characters, I find this drama also highlights how one reacts to objects of important meaning and this influences my concept ideas of realising an objects significance.  For example, one scene which presents another character creating a visual drawing for the detective establishes the crucial element of possibility in which another piece solves the puzzle.  I intend to bring this element across in my own practice toward my visual essay as I find this will develop further conceptual development when concerning the ‘object’ subject matter.  As a part of my own concept, I intend to represent the object as an equal character (in its own way) where the individual is provoked to interact with it as if it is a living thing.

This drama has strongly influenced my conceptual ideas of setting the scene in which I find the suburban setting a fitting environment for conflictive, realistic drama.

References

ARR BBC (2016) ‘Media Centre-Thirteen’ [Online Article] Available from: www.bbc.co.uk (19/02/2016)

BBC IPlayer (2016) ‘Thirteen-Homepage’ [Online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk (Accessed 27/03/2016)

Nadav Kandar

Fine art and editorial photographer Nadav Kandar photographs landscapes that bring focus on form and long distance space.  Kandar exhibits his works internationally in which he currently displays his photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery in London.  Kandar has received various awards including the Prix Picket Award for the series ‘Yangtze. The Long River, a project based in China that explores the banks of the so named Chinese river.

Kandar’s landscape works explores a variety of subjects in which Kandar makes the most of the open spaces he photographs.  Often his subjects are viewed at a far distance and this increases the depth of the space more so as Kandar considers the tonal value and stretched view of the landscape.  Kandar presents a quiet and lonely atmosphere in his images that gives the viewer a ‘middle of nowhere’ experience. In most of his landscape works, the major elements presented are seen as sky, land and additional subject matter.  Kandar’s imagery is almost dream like as the viewer is given few clues of the location; there is also anonymity in subject matter, bringing a mysterious presence to the scene.

I admire how Kandar takes advantage of the surroundings in his imagery and uses featured subject matter in a way that brings artistic form to his scenes.  I also find his imagery makes the viewer look harder for detail of the subject matter as the distance between the viewer and subject is quite long.  This brings about an investigative approach from the audience’s perspective and could lead to further discovery of aspects that may not be noticed when first viewing the image.  I can relate this to my practice in terms of exploring space on a broad scale and I am intrigued to explore space in terms of shape and form as well as for recognising its significance.

 

References

All rights reserved Nadav Kandar (2016) ‘Work’ [Online] Available from: http://www.nadavkander.com (Accessed 25/02/2016)

Stockland Martel (2016) ‘Nadav Kandar/Location’ [Online] Available from: http://www.stocklandmartel.com (Accessed 25/02/2016)

Research/Enquiry- Televised Drama – Promotional Photography

I have recently been contemplating still shots taken from televised dramas and films.  The way which dramas are promoted or advertised to a public audience usually uses direct sources through the form of stills to address storyline information.  This is done throughout a lot of visual media including soap operas, seasonal dramas and in big screen cinema.  As I am currently using aspects of staged content within my work, I have found observing these examples of promotion very noteworthy as these types of images present a format that is very much connected to the moving version of the scene itself.

I intend to create imagery that also implies a scene in the present moment where the viewer can take in the scene and feel keen to know what is happening or what may happen.  For example, magazines give regular updates on dramas as a way to engage a wider audience to follow the story.  This method of advertising catches the viewer’s attention from the image presented before they continue to read more information on the topic afterwards.

The image seen in fig 1 presents an ‘in the moment’ scene from British drama Downton Abbey.  I find this example of promotional advertising draws the viewer as there is focal depth between the foreground and background but there is also an emotional acknowledgement between the characters.  I find this image is almost ‘breaking the fourth wall’ as the character in the foreground is looking directly toward the audience; this is not intentional however, there is still a connection also made between the subject and viewer.  The audience is literally placed in a position where they can also view events from the individual’s point of view which emphasises on building up the narrative aspect.

References

Downton Abbey Wallpaper 8, All rights reserved (2016) Wallpapers hd now [Online] Availabale fromwww.wallpapershdnow.com (Accessed 01/01/2016)

Research/Enquiry-The figure and Landscape in Other Creative Practices: Casper David Friedrich

19th Century German painter Casper David Friedrich was an artist who was well known for his captivating works in the romantic art movement.  Following his studies at the Copenhagen Academy, Friedrich practiced with various art materials including etching and sculpture before developing his practice in oil paint in which his first painting ‘Landscape with Temple Ruins’ brought him into a new artistic phase.  Friedrich continued this style of work throughout his career in mostly using vast landscapes and ruins with the occasional figure as a primal setting within his work.

Friedrich shows us landscape as if it were a fantasy as he establishes soft atmospheres throughout all of his works.  The way he uses light and colour in his paintings is one aspect that strongly defines his style of painting as in various works he creates soft glows of light (usually as a sunset or dusk setting) that almost suggests a timid presence in revealing the scene.  His paintings depicting ruins and graveyards may refer to Friedrich’s dark experiences from childhood and this brings a haunting element in the atmospheres of his work.  One of Friedrich’s most famous works ‘Abbey In The Oakwood’ (1809-1810) possesses a dark, lonely ambience that suggests a sense of loss as it refers to a place associating with death.

Another piece ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ (1818) is one painting which I find particularly compelling.  The scene is set within a misty mountain environment in which we see a lone figure standing on the peak of a cliff as he looks out across the landscape.  This painting beautifully orchestrates the emotional element as the viewer is placed in the same position  as the individual; we see what the individual sees.  The man in the painting is anonymous to the audience, however Friedrich still brings across a connection as we are invited to witness a magnificent landscape in a way that shares the experience of the individual in the image.  I admire the simplistic construction of this painting and it reminds me of a recent project in which the individual’s identity is hidden form us.  Reflecting on this painting and my own recent practice conveying a similar intention, I believe that identity can definitely change the perception of an image.  When we see the individual’s face, there is a sense of honesty however when this ‘face’ is taken away, the audience is even more curious about the character and this is an aspect that I find intriguing.

Friedrich does not feature individuals in all of his paintings, however he still materialises character from the place itself in an admirable way that gives us an incentive to explore and enjoy the landscape environment.  I admire how Friedrich presents landscapes in a way that is realistic but also bringing forth surreal elements.  Upon observation of paintings featuring discreet figures, Friedrich displays some indication of story, however these remain very ambiguous as mostly, these figures are not completely revealed to us.  In conclusion, Friedrich presents expressive concepts within his paintings that is both subtle and powerful.  This is influential towards my own practice as Friedrich influences the concept of observing landscape in a more traditional way where we can appreciate its beauty and geographical features as well as understanding backstory of the place.

References

Casper David Freidrich.org Copyright (2015) Casper David Friedrich [Online] Available from; www.caspardavidfriedrich.org (Accessed 10/12/2015)

Artble (2015) Casper David Friedrich Biography [Online] Available from: www.artble.com (Accessed 10/12/2015)

Project 3: Additional Project Part 1- Illustration Recreation

For this week’s project, I am experimenting with recreating imagery from illustrations and non photographic artwork.  The purpose of this project is to bring to life different elements of an educational illustration.  For this, I was to choose a selection of individual images that I felt I could recreate using my practice.  I feel this concept follows on from previous projects in which I have investigated into what photography is as a medium and how it distributes art/ hand made imagery as a reproduced product.

The visuals I selected were simple card illustrations of cartoon characters demonstrating an educational activity.  As these images used characters and the setting for the image was in a public location , I decided to approach the idea through street/documentative photography.  I felt this would be the best way to interpret the concept as each visual involves a person and a location.

 

Fig 1. Educational Map Illustrations. 2015

A selection of original Images photographed:

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Post Production

Following the shoot, I edited my final chosen images using Photoshop to make some minor adjustments such as contrast and the improvement of tonal effects.  As the images appear quite busy, I transferred the colour scheme to monochrome using the grayscale tool; I found the colours in the backgrounds distract from the main subject. I also used the crop tool to straighten the images and remove any unnecessary content.

By using the selection tools, I selected particular areas of the background of the image and used the curves tool to enhance further contrast between the subject and the surroundings to increase the intensity of the silhouette.

 

Final Street Images

Fig 2. Drums: ‘Playing/Engaging with the World’. 2015

I selected this image as part of my final series as I find this person brings about a sense of tranquility and honesty with what he is doing.  I feel this image reflects the activity ‘Playing’ and also ‘Engaging with the world’  as he is performing through his interaction with the drum and he is creating an atmosphere within the environment.

 

Fig 3. Cross: ‘Risk Taking’. 2015

I also selected this image as I find it an interesting perspective of an action that is about to take place (walking across the road) and I find there is a sense of individuality in the way the anonymous person’s foot is lifted in the air.  I find this image could reflect the activity ‘Risk Taking’ as it presents an action where one must tread quickly and carefully.

 

Fig 4. March: ‘Reflecting/Engaging with the World’. 2015

This image of a peaceful marching protest depicts a perspective that I find quite solemn and respectful.  This image is included as I find there is a presence of mourning  and individual reflection with the way the man looks over his shoulder.  I find this may relate to the activity of ‘Reflecting’ as the band pay their respects.  I also think it could possibly relate to the activity ‘Engaging with the World’ as the band demonstrates their march to nearby onlookers.

 

Fig 5. Proud: ‘Agent of Transformation’. 2015

This image is included as I feel it represents someone that is completely representative of individual culture and I feel the subject is very expressive through his body language.  I find this image mirrors the ‘Agent of Transformation’ illustration as this person is acting as a flamboyant character which encourages passers by within the environment.

 

 

Fig 6. Look, Listen: ‘Looking’.

This image is included as I find it presents a nice expression of the simple activity of ‘Looking’.  You can see in the person’s face how there is a concentration and awareness of surroundings.

 

Additional Images:

 

Fig 7. ‘Breaking Boundaries’. 2015

This is an additional image in which I intentionally created an activity for my subject as an experiment.  I feel this image could relate to the activity ‘Breaking Boundaries’ as the subject appears to be floating in the air (which is obviously something that cannot be done).  To create this illusion, I had my subject jump slightly in which I caught the action while the subject was still off the ground.  I find this image presents an almost fantasy atmosphere with the subjects pose and how the lighting contrasts against one area of the environment which I think makes it appear quite intense.

 

Conclusion

Reflecting on the images I have produced for this project, I find that the series is weak in reflecting each specific activity represented in the illustration I have been working from.  I think this is because I have created this series in a more spontaneous fashion and I do not think the images relate to each other very well as they present different aspects of what we see on the street rather than similar ones.  The images express various different characteristics of their own agenda which makes it difficult to piece together images that closely connect to the theme.  For instance, the image of the marching band strongly differs from the image of the ‘British’ man.  Firstly the marching band represents something very solemn while the other represents pride; however representing countries is what these two images do have in common but they still do not sit well together as a collaborative piece.  Concepts such as risk taking and reflecting are somewhat visible in slight ways in some of my images, however I feel each image represents a theme of their own.

Reviewing my progress with this project, my plan is to make another attempt at representing the individual activities found in the illustration without relying on spontaneity.

References:

 University of Hertfordshire (2015) Education Map, Lecture by Ian Willcock