My work from a workshop where we had to use inanimate objects to represent characters from A Streetcar Named Desire.
The first objects I chose to represent my characters were a jewellery box for Blanche, a box of matches for Stanley and a key for Stella. I decided quickly to change some of my objects as they didn’t work well together because of their different sizes, Blanche was larger than Stanley which made it too difficult to make Stanley look dominant.
I then used a ring for Blanche but this still didn’t work as she was now too small compared to Stanley. I decided to change my objects for both Blanche and Stanley in order for them to work well together.
I ended up using a perfume bottle for Blanche and a hip flask for Stanley. These worked much better together as the flask is just a bit bigger than the perfume bottle. I have explained my reasons for choosing these objects on my blog post ‘Personifying Objects: A Streetcar Named Desire’.
We had to use our objects to act out scenes from the film / play.
We then used these photographs to draw out scenes from the play using our personified characters.
Discussing the body as a subject and how it can become an object through social media and selfies.
The body as a subject is free, it can’t be owned by others so we have control over our own bodies. It can also communicate freely with other bodies, as a subject the body is free to do what it wants when it wants. However through things like social media the body can be seen as an object, for example when a selfie is posted. This happens as the body then becomes the object of observation online and people don’t know what others use their images for. The publisher owns the selfie but others can download it and use it. Selfies are also subject to criticism and scrutiny from others, this criticism is not always posted online so the owner of the selfie may never be aware of it. Selfies are also subject to control from popular culture, people go to great lengths to capture the ‘perfect selfie’ by editing their images using filters or photoshop. Selfies objectify the body through the need to be seen as beautiful and for others to accept and like us.
We were given the task to identify three objects that encapsulate the characters of Blanche, Stella and Stanley from the play A Streetcar Named Desire. The objects that we chose had to portray the character and represent their behaviour and personality in the film and play.
For the character Blanche I chose an old perfume bottle as they are linked to beauty and it is quite a feminine object. I decided on an old one as Blanche continuously refers to her beauty as fading with age and she worries a lot about getting old. Perfume bottles are also delicate, they’re not strong and robust just like Blanche’s character, she tries to portray herself as a delicate lady who needs to be treated with respect and care, just like the perfume bottle.
To draw the bottle I used light feminine colours to represent the beauty and glamour that Blanche tries to fill her life with, I also made some of the lines rough and sketchy to show how frantic Blanche can be and how delirious she sounds when she tells lies about her life.
For the character Stella I chose a key to encapsulate her as she is the bridge connecting Blanche and Stanley, she is the reason that they meet and like a key she opens the door between them. Stella also acts as a sort of referee between Blanche and Stanley, she tries to control them, like a key controls where people can, go to make sure things don’t get out of hand but she fails to do this as she doesn’t want to get too involved or choose sides between her sister and husband.
To draw the key I used a pale, calm blue colour as Stella tries to stay calm when dealing with Stanley and Blanche and the paleness represents her not standing up for her self when Stanley abuses her. The blue also represents the underlying sadness in her relationship with Stanley.
For Stanley I chose a hip flask to represent his character as a hip flask is a quite masculine object, which fits with Stanley who comes across as ‘a mans man’. Its also a symbol strongly associated with alcohol and Stanley drinks a lot which could be one of the reasons why he gets so angry all the time and why he beats Stella even though he cares about her. The flask is also bigger than the objects I have chosen for Blanche and Stella to represent Stanley’s dominance over these two characters.
To draw the hip flask I used a grey colour but with a hint of red underneath the grey. The red symbolises Stanley’s anger and violence towards the other characters especially Blanche. The fact that it is partially hidden shows that Stanley is not always angry and that he can be caring towards Stella.
The relationship between the body in art and design and my practise, illustration.
The body has been depicted through illustration for many years. Illustration has been used to explain the inner workings of the body, for example medical drawings showing how organs work in the body. Life drawing is also used within illustration to accurately depict the body but it can also be about capturing the movement of a person and portraying it on a page. Illustration in comics or books, like the one from the comic Neurocomic above, can also be used to explain how things within the body work in an artistic and simple way.
As part of the colour workshop we were given a list of artists to chose from to research and write about. The first artist I chose was Sara Fanelli. I chose her as I like her work because of her use of texture and collage and how all of her pieces look different because of the different use of materials and bold colours.
She has undertaken illustration work for various publications, including the New York Times, the Independent on Sunday and the New Scientist. Her clients include The Royal Mail, BBC Worldwide, and Tate.
She starts with a drawing of the composition, then she plays around with it, interweaving it with all the different items she uses and experimenting with the typography too.
She uses paper for her work that has been stained or previously written on, like shopping lists or pieces of rubbish.She also uses prints and etchings in her work ,sometimes cutting them up and adding them to her work.
Brecht Evans is an illustrator from Belgium, he studied Illustration at Sint-lucas Beeldende Kunst in Ghent, Belgium, from 2004 until 2008.
He uses unusual lines and repeated patterns, often chequerboard, to fill a space in an overwhelming way. This technique allows him to get a lot of character and atmosphere into each image, filling them with detail.
Some of his drawings are like paintings, he doesn’t separate the colour by outlining his work. He also builds layers upon layers in his work which leads to characters on top of each other, buildings and other levels overlapping.
The colours in his work look otherworldly and vibrant and the contrasting darkness in some of his images make them look eerie and strange.
His colorful watercolour, marker images and prints contain a wide range of creatures, scenes and people. His palettes are surprising and enchanting, seemingly depicting other worlds.
Eda Akultan is an illustrator born in Istanbul in 1985. She uses digital collage, traditional printmaking techniques, paper ephemera, 1950’s fashion catalogues, old family photos and geometry to produce her work, these techniques create a world within her work that is unique and distinctive.
She completed a MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins in 2010, and she has worked for a wide range of publishers including The New York Times, Time, Wired, Herman Miller, Bafta, Krug Champagne and Pentagram NY as well as showing work in exhibitions.
A summary of what I have learnt from the workshops I have taken part in.
The workshops that I have taken part in over the past few weeks have helped me to understand how different lines can portray different meanings, how colour can be used to effectively evoke emotions in people, how shapes can be used to create compositions.
The first workshop, Words To Draw By, helped me to understand the different ways in which line can be used to portray different actions and feelings. For example lines can look rushed or angry as well as calm and relaxed. I learnt how lines can be used to portray verbs such as scratching, pushing and flowing. I also experimented with some different ways of creating lines such as using a twig dipped in ink and using a leaf to print a pattern. I also learnt that selecting a a random quote from a book to use as a title can give a piece of work a whole new meaning.
In the second workshop, The Colour Workshop, I learnt how different shades of colours can mean different things to different people, for example it could remind them of a memory. I also learnt how colours can be used to be the focus of a piece of work, colours can be used to portray information within a piece because of the different associations with them. We also looked at how colours can be used to evoke certain emotions in people when looking at a piece of work.
I also did a workshop on dry-point etching. I learnt how to print using this technique. This workshop introduced me to new techniques that I had never tried before, I learnt how to transfer a design onto plastic, by scratching into it. I then learnt how to apply ink to the template and how to use a printing press to transfer the image to paper.
In the Matisse Workshop I learnt how simple shapes can be used together to create a composition. I also learnt how bold, block colours can work together or be used to create a piece that clashes and confuses the eye. I also learnt how colours can affect a composition.
In the last workshop, The Collage Workshop, I learnt how to use random colours and textures to create one composition. I also learnt how important negative space is within a piece and how it can be used to give a whole new meaning to a piece. I also learnt how adding text to an image can give it a whole new meaning and context.