This term at university is about working in groups with other people from different disciplines. We had to raise a number of world issues that we felt were important to us. These issues were then put into categories and we then had to choose which one we wanted to be involved with. The group that I chose was animal rights. Once we were arranged in our groups we had to write a manifesto. We then took part in a short activity that involved creating a visual, pop-up version of or manifesto. This helped us to visualise our manifesto and to understand it better. This activity also helped us to develop our ideas for the manifesto. Our whole group worked on the pop up manifesto. Below are the pieces that I contributed.
In the same group our next project was to recreate Picasso’s Guernica using the ideas of our manifestos. The original Guernica was created to protest the bombing of Guernica and to campaign for change during the Spanish Civil War. The idea was to make our own versions of Guernica that would campaign for change relating to our group topic which was animal rights.
First we came up with a plan as a group then separated into pairs to start working on it as it was meant to be a big piece. We decided to include images that related to poaching, the wrongful and cruel captivity of animals, animal testing, whale fishing, and the mistreatment of animals within the meat industry. We decided to work on white paper that we would then later cut out so that we could stick our images on a black background. We tried to keep the composition of the piece the same as the original image, we needed to include the compositional lines created by the light and we wanted to use some of the images from the original piece such as the person coming through the window with the candle.
Our final piece doesn’t work very well, or look like the original Guernica piece. We should have worked more closely as a group as there was a miscommunication. The middle piece doesn’t work well with the two sides and because of this we had to rearrange our work. The middle section was originally supposed to go on the right side but because of the contrast between the middle piece and the side pieces we had to rearrange our piece. Our work didn’t have the compositional lines that are there to draw you in like on the original Guernica. We tried to change this by adding in bold white lines of barbed wire that mimic the lines of light in the original piece. This helped to pull all the work together as well. I think that the addition of the collage on the background makes the image too busy and makes it difficult to see the animals within the piece.
The final project we did in these groups was that we had to create protest posters that would clearly target people and convey a message that related to our manifesto. As a group we decided to focus on over fishing and the cruel captivity of killer whales. We decided to create posters that would attract peoples attention by being funny rather than shocking people as most animal rights campaigns rely on shock which can scare people away and it doesn’t make them think about the issues that these campaigns are trying to bring awareness to.
We decided on a simplistic theme for our posters, we thought this would make them stand out more and that they would work well together. We thought that bold black text surrounding a centred image would be effective at attracting peoples attention. The first poster is about the captivity of Killer Whales and how it is cruel to keep them in small pools for their whole lives. The second poster is about overfishing. We decided to use a children’s character as it is easily recognisable and it shocks the viewer when the read the text and understand what the poster is about. The posters aren’t clear and straight to the point as we wanted people to think about them when they see them and remember them later on.