Two days of further concentration difficulties have resulted in this rather crummy video, yet I feel it is going in the right direction. I hope I can get a good deal more done this coming Monday, before I jett off back to N.I. for a big family shindig. Clearly the distance ‘twixt arms and legs is highlighting the need for me to draw an entire body, but that will come in time, on a new layer. So far, the pressure tool on Photoshop is giving me some pleasure – almost real brush-like strokes.
My concentration is not functional today. Not functional. Still, here is the newest development in this FMP-plannin’ – I figure I will not have the time to animate a wide open plane, so my thinkin’ is that I’ll shrink the aspect down width-ways, see? Either that, or create some kind of intra-dimensional doorways for the dancers to slip in and out of. I still feel lacking a solid basic premise, but argue myself out of that corner hourly with real-life hip rotations.
Much more effort needed tomorrow.
I spent last week in Harrogate, working (loose term) on the registration desk of IATEFL‘s 48th International Conference and Exhibition. It was a superb time – many, many lovely and interesting people. I have more sketches on loose sheets, but would quite like to work on them some more before uploading, but here are the ones from at the Open Mic session on the Friday night, here’s what I gat:
I must remember that a fine point is my friend – be it a biro, fine liner or even just a mechanical pencil. My softer strokes are awful to look at.
Slightly less sought-after than the Tate, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool’s Cultural Quarter has a small-but-gorgeous sculpture collection in its sun-warmed front room. Having been on my sister’s hen do the night before (what else was I doing on my first trip to Liverpool?), I was t’rificly hungover, and so my sweat production levels were up, my drawing quality way down. Still, this Greek helmet was lovely to gaze upon – I felt maybe Moebius had been stealing the beautiful curves and slick curls from these old Greek boys.
This Adam and Eve from Arthur G Walker (gallery namesake) himself made me laugh so much. Adam’s bunched fist and strong back; Eve’s quivering, cowed posture and desperate gesture of flapping her hair round him – ayah! Lucky it covered up his penis too – that would have been embarrassing.
The next drawing is of a sculpture I fell in love with in passing, then felt the resentment of silly convention bubbling up inside, so the drawing got progressively dopey-looking. I liked their gay dancing poses though:
And this plate from Piero Fornasetti finished it all off quite nicely:
一 Sylvia Sleigh I only spotted these beautiful, hairy nudes in gift shop on my way out. The luxuriant masses of hair in Sleigh’s paintings speak of a decadence too often rejected in the modern, flesh-gazing world.
三 Richard Hawkins’ Hajikata Twist
Featuring exciting turns of phrase from the translated notes of Eikoh Hosoe, such as ‘flowering epileptic pus’, and glimmers of magnificently strange painted artworks, including (四) Jean Dubuffet’s The Tree of Fluids:
五 Louise Bourgeois’ Topiary: The Art of Improving Nature – beautiful parallels drawn in this series between over-pruning/artificial enhancement and the destruction of the health of the whole organism in both plants and humans (particularly women):
六 The word ‘Gesamtkunstwerk‘, meaning ‘translated as total work of art, ideal work of art, universal artwork, synthesis of the arts, comprehensive artwork, all-embracing art form or total artwork… is a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms or strives to do so’
七 (Very important now) Len Lye’s Free Radicals. Stumbling on this piece in the way that I did had a profound effect on me. My preconceptions were shattered, I felt so full of potential, so new and fresh and filled with enthusiasm. Looking at it now, on the computer screen – on YouTube, no less – I can’t reclaim that feeling. The small, dark enclosure for the screening was essential to the power of the piece. The sudden, independent, and personal realisation of the perfect synchronicity between the audio and the visual while being fully immersed by both was a moving experience. Gaze upon it now anyway, it has made me certain my FMP needs to be a projected piece:
The attendant in the room also let me in on Lye’s motivation. He says Lye was on a mission to find out what makes us happy.
八 Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, a French sculptor and draughtsman. I quickly became a fan, caught by one of his more colourful pieces:
九 Valie Export’s Action Pants: Genital Panic, just look:
十 Robert Longo’s Sword of the Pig:
十一 Hélio Oiticica’s Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 ‘Purity is a myth’ and PN 3 ‘Imagetical’ 1966-1967
This is something I would push anyone to go see, and don’t much fancy going into much detail on what this actually is, for the physical interaction with the piece is key to ‘Oiticica’s hope that this sense of engagement would spread to all areas of [the viewers’] lives’. One of the most entertaining and interesting pieces of art I have seen in a gallery – though I benefitted massively from the guidance of a fascinating gallery assistant. I thank her from the centre of my enriched soul.
This life drawing session, led by Gareth Wadkin, employed the humble overhead projector to add a new dynamic to the regular old figure drawing. ‘Viewing the body as a canvas’ has become a vital point of focus in my thinking for this FMP. While I try to visualise how my proposed dancing figures will be semi-clothed, this exercise worked brilliantly for my understanding of how the mounds and dips in the human form interact and distort the patterns projected.
Simple zig-zag pattern:
No acetate here, just that dramatic spotlight:
And then some regular old poses and drawings to finish the session:
The third screening in my month of grown-up animation for the Leeds College of Art Students Union Film Society (LCASUFS) was René Laloux’s La Planète Sauvage. Another fancy trip through strange and unknown plains that (I hoped) would prompt more introspective speculation as well as a little look at the significance of all forms of life, or an opening of sticky cognitive doors. This screening was much more of a success – 10 audience members! I think the funky French soundtrack playing loud may have enticed them all the more down to the basement – the poster was more straightforward too. Just graphite drawings scanned in and coloured in Photoshop:
Then my awful type on top of that:
Dance again featured as an important (maybe even the ultimate) activity for the Draags – though it is interesting that this ‘strange courtship ritual’ is acted out in other giant beasts on another planet – the Draags, using their transcendental meditation to become the ‘heads’ of the alien headless nudes, control the bodies in an elegant ballroom-style dance. These hyper intelligent beings, doing their courtship through an outside and non-Draag medium – akin to some of those fancy post- and trans-human ideas.