On Monday we were deciding what topic within ‘The City’ module we were going to choose to go into. To help with the task we were sent out to explore Llandaff, the city within a city. We went to Llandaff cathedral looking for areas, buildings, smells/feelings that could be linked to the three topic; taking photos, making notes and quick sketches. The idea was to think deeper about the different topics, how they could be interpreted and what ideas they generate.
While wandering around I took photos of the graves that surround the cathedral, which make up a little city all by themselves. I found that I kept thinking that the graves would make an interesting idea for the Hidden City topic. The graves at the back of the cathedral were seemingly forgotten places, covered in ivy and broken/fallen. The graves themselves make a sort of hidden underground city. I found another grave around the front of the cathedral which was quite bold in its approach; it was very wide at the base, and grew into an extremely tall, powerful statute which I though would be a good representation for the Power and Technology topic. After I had found examples for the two other topics I focused on Migration, thinking about different cultures which have been brought over. The statue Christ in Majesty, which reside on the nave in Llandaff cathedral, was created by Jacob Epstein, an American born artist, into which Epstein’s creative and cultural identity would have been imprinted.
This task really helped me to consider each of the topics, instead of picking the first that sounded interesting, I was able to explore the different ideas that could come under the umbrella of each topic and generate ideas/thoughts of how I would approach my topic of choice; the Hidden City.
Keeping the theme of The Hidden City in mind, I started to think of that I could use as a motif for screen printing. I liked the idea of looking at the artwork of the city, like the graffiti that expresses the life, culture and society of the Surrounding city. For my motif I had taken a photograph graffiti in an alley in Cardiff City Centre and turned the photograph into a flat drawing that would translate well into a print. The process of prepping the screen was different to the way in which I had previously been shown how to screen print; this way the image is almost scanned onto the screen so that it can be used to print multiple times, as well as being cleaned between prints. For my prints I decided to start of using grey and black pigment inks, so as to keep the print quite close in relation to the photograph I took, which was black and white.
While printing I chose to experiment with layering the motif; printing it on top of a print I had already created, changing the colour of the inks so that the prints would stand out against each other. I liked the outcome of these little experiments that I decided to repeat the process on a longer stretch of fabric, creating repeated pattern. I really like the effect that the colour have, complementing each other while standing out against the lighter fabric. I then started to experiment with adding colour. I quite liked the mixture of the grey and red inks together, they seem to make each other stand out. I experimented with layering the prints together with the red and grey inks, and then I started to experiment further by printing a background colour before then printing the motif on top. I used two different screens to create my background, a clean screen for an all over background colour and then I used a ruined screen, which left refile marks on the fabric, which when combined with the print on top made a really interesting outcome. The distressed appearance of the background complimented really well with the graffiti motif. I’m thoroughly pleased with the outcomes of these printing experiments. I really enjoyed all the different results which I can now experiment with further as well as take them into stitch and combine the two elements together; I’m really looking forward to experimenting.
On Monday we were introduced to our new brief ‘The City’. How do we define a city? Within the brief we have three topic to choose from; Migration, Power and Technology and the Hidden City. After going through the brief we as a class created mind maps expressing some of the things that could be interpreted through each topic, we can then choose which topic we want to go into and explore further.
While we were creating the brain storms I was quite interested in the possibilities within the Hidden City topic. I like the idea of finding the hidden parts of a city, exploring, and looking deeper into them; forgotten and unseen places, the history of a city, artwork within the city that expresses the life, culture and society of the surrounding area. I like the possibilities of all these ideas, and the different outcomes they can inspire.