The aerial views in all the videos are taken with my camera during my trips from Sardinia to London. The images were adjusted with Light Room application and in most of them the Ken Burn effects were applied.
VIDEO ON THE ALPS
It is such a great feeling experiencing and recording the beauty of the earth.
Jim Wark's (see Critical Analysis) captured the awe-inspiring diversity of America, thus celebrating the country's vast spaces, spirit of freedom, natural beauty, and tireless industry. Wark is such a prolific photographer whose work is everywhere ‘I feel like I’ve left something of a legacy for the future’. Not only the natural beauty but also aspects of civilization are pretty well documented. About serious and often deadly tragedies, Wark comments ‘I try to make everything visually artistic, not just a documentation of disasters’. ‘If you want the images to be widely appreciated, you have to compose them.’
In contrast with what I in reality saw from the plane in lucky journeys with clear visibility I explored the dream of an artist who digitally transformed Manhattan into mountains and valleys. Shi Weili in his project ‘Shan Shui in the world’ revisits the ideas implicit in Chinese literati paintings: the relationship between urban life and people's yearning for the nature, and between social responsibility and spiritual purity. With generative technology any place in the world can be represented in the form of a shan shui painting based on geography-related information of the place.
Shan shui ‘mountain and water’ paintings have been part of Chinese art for thousands of years. They have deep spiritual and political meanings and are an expression of the artist's inner soul.
Gary Snyder pointed out that ‘Nature is not a place to visit. It is home’.
For the unknown poet of the verses at the beginning and the end of the video, nature and his/her soul are the same, deeply part of one another. Giuseppe Ungaretti expressed his profound feeling in such concise and powerful way in his ‘Morning’ poem . Everything is harmonized by Edvard Grieg’s ‘The morning mood’ joining intensely in the celebration of the grandeur of nature.
Artist Website and Video:
VIDEO ON UK
The lively music is part of the English country dances of 17 century. Most images show the rural areas, the way farmers have modified them. Few urban views appear here and there.
Andy Yeung aerial photos focus mainly on the urban and architectural. A born-and-raised Hong Konger, culls inspiration from the familiar, the gazillions of buildings soaring high into the sky of his own town. For him it is a rewarding experience capturing great moments with the camera and transforming them into something new and artistic. His aerial series, including Urban Jungle, has attracted international attention. Yeung has worked with various internationally known newspapers and companies. He remind us an old saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and so it is, indeed.
VIDEO ON FRANCE
On the above link you find Paul Éluard’s poem in French and its English translation. The audio of the poem runs through all the video and it is the voice of the author himself we are listening to (See Critical Analysis for information about the poem)
The Second World War images were taken from the internet. France political maps show the area invaded by the Nazi and the one still free from occupation. Thousands of copies of the poem were dropped by the Royal Air Force in dozens of occupied French cities to encourage people to resist occupation.
VIDEO ON SARDINIA
Click here to listen to the song below:
Cara cantu ses bella isula mia Darling, how beautiful you are, my island,
po tene tenzo un’amore profundhu I love you deeply
Terra de tenores e de ballu tundhu Land of tenors and circle dances
Totus cantos ndhe tenen zelosia Everybody is jealous of you
Ses sa terra prus bella de su mundhu You are the most beautiful land in the world,
Ti ndhe dien furare si potian If they could, they would steal you
Narat su ditzu: viere e non tocare There is a saying: look at, do not touch
ca est sa nostra: lassatela istare 'cause it's ours: leave it alone
I would have liked the above song at the beginning of the video but I couldn't find a free copyright version of it. The land in this popular song is felt like the beloved bride. This archaic way of singing provides the music and rhythm for the traditional dances in this case ‘su ballu brincu’, shown at the end of the video with the dancers wearing the traditional costumes. Singers and dancers are from Orosei, the village I am from.
On this poster there are some aerial views of Corsica, they are part of a project I have not completed, yet. The physical maps of the atlas show the locations of mountains, rivers, plains and so on but zooming with the camera you catch the specific and it is a really exciting.
Kacper Kowalski, who has an addiction to flying and learned to fly on a paraglider, starting in this way aerial photography, comments ‘I saw the world like a map: straight down, I saw features, I saw code of humans’. He captures breathtaking images of natural and urban environments offering a new perspective on the landscape. Kowalski believes ‘that the role of the photographer is to tell the story of phenomena that affects people lives in such a way to move the viewer… The photograph is an important key in evoking emotions’.
Click for enlargement
WEARABLE / USABLE ART
All the hats have been inspired by different countries shapes and I tried different techniques. I was shown a traditional way of making hats with the use of buckram that loses its stiffness when wet to acquire the desired shape of a head block. To keep all the edges in place and stiff, the millinery wire has to be sewn onto the buckram and on top of it the bias binding. All the different fabric had to be sewn or attached with special glue. It was a very laborious process but in the end the hat looked like a crown.
Leather is an interesting material that is stiff when dry and bends in any desired shape when wet. The choice of materials for me has a fundamental role in the creation process.
According to the Dictionary of symbolism ‘the hat represents authority and power'. It could be very much so as I utilized the shape of political maps, where states rule on people and nations identify with specific characteristics like culture, language, religion. Susan Stockwell (see Critical Analysis) does not make hats but she makes dress sculptures which consist of female forms fashioned out of paper, maps and money, often with political implications and relating to past colonial histories and trade.
At the moment I am experimenting and playing with design styles and exploring milliners achievements.
Stephen Jones and Rachel Trevor-Morgan (see Critical Analysis) are two milliners working in London. Their hats are hand made and meticulously elaborated. They are not inspired by maps but it is interesting for me to understand the creation process they follow.
Stephen Jones says he can make a hat out of anything. ‘Each hat tells a story. It is not only how hats look: it is the confidence, the spirit they give you. Everybody says ‘You should be yourself’ but actually it is quite nice to be somebody else and the hat could be that transformative. The hat is a symbol of royalty and the royal hat is the crown: it is the combination of power, majesty, money, religion’.
In Rachel Trevor-Morgan experience, most women love hats, but wait for endorsement from others.
'A hat completes an outfit, there is no doubt about it – but some women can still feel a bit scared of drawing too much attention to themselves. Yet, when they find a hat which results in showers of praise, they are then hat lovers for life'.
Rachel Trevor-Morgan has been one of the Queen's favourite milliners. She was awarded a Royal Warrant and she is now part of the royal headwear designers’ team. The girl who used to admire her mother’s hats was then able to build a brand fit for royalty.
South America Seat
Fabric and polystyrene beads are the materials employed in this work all sewn by hand. The real map has been used for its design. On wood the details of the coastline are more evident and detailed than on fabric. My first plan was to make a wooden chair (and I will). South America Seat is part of the plan to try different way and materials to accomplish my projects.
According to ‘The poetics of the thresholds’ the chair occupies the place of pre-eminence among the pieces of furniture as none of the others (tables or beds, for example) 'are said to rule, or judge, or decide, or determine, as the chair, the throne, the bench, the seat are said and expected to do'. It is very interesting this definition, the seat as a decision making place. As mentioned above, at present I am experimenting with design styles and materials.
Among the Latin American artists, I focused on the work of Maximo Laura. As a textile artist, Laura has explored the boundaries of Tapestry Art, experimenting and innovating through a number of techniques, themes and mediums.
The bright and vibrant colour combinations and tones for which Maximo Laura is known for, are created by hand-blending the yarn, mixing single or multiple solid colour threads. ‘Colour is a powerful wave of energy, light and depth in every section of my work’ the artist states.
All starts as a drawing on paper and continues with the colouring of the design of themes like: Musicians, Sea Life, Landscapes, Animals, Andean Mythology and Symbols.
All Laura tapestries are hand woven on a floor loom; some might take weeks others might take months to create.
By intertwining Peruvian tradition and contemporary art Laura has provided a continuity of Peru’s millinery textile tradition, expressing his views and culture through a voice of today.
Click for titles and enlargement
T Shirts and Cushions
All the T shirts have been printed on both sides with different aerial images and lines of poems or songs. Some of these are included in the videos and some others are by John Denver ‘Islands’ and ‘Country Roads’ songs. I wanted art to take around with me wherever I go not just to display on specific settings.
Michael Tompsett (see Critical Analysis) abstract water colour maps and skylines printed on clothes and objects for the house and just recently on face masks (face art), inspired me to try printing some of my art ideas on t shirts and cushions. Wearable Art... Usable Art... Art not only for Decor and Beauty. We are surrounded by art and design (plates, cutlery, glasses, mugs) and for special occasions more refined art and design. Of course Tompsett is pleased to know that hundred of thousands of people have his art work displayed on their walls and his art is also used as the set decoration for TV series and films.
On the cushions were printed three images of dancers created by assembling different African countries as shown in the video animation
Click for enlargement
African countries assembled in the shape of dancers were animated and their movements accompanied by the music of John Bartmann ‘African Bliss’.
African dance is polycentric which means that the body is segmented in areas able to move to different rhythms within the music, which is quite complex and difficult to master. In addition to being a unifying activity for community members, dance is often an expression of spirituality in tribal religious rituals. Africans dance to celebrate a birth or a marriage, to pray for prosperity and better crops or to ward off danger and disease.
Dance and music are generally very rhythmic and uptempo because the principal instrument is the drum, which is considered the heartbeat of the village.
DEGREE SHOW PLAN and BUDGET
I was not sure if I could use the many aerial photos I had collected. When I realized that with the Light Room application clarity and quality could improve, I discussed with tutors and technicians options on ways of using them. The ideas came step by step. I tried to combine the images with music, poems and songs. The videos should be shown on a monitor in a loop as in the above sequence. Headphones should be available. The animation should be at the end. It needs adjustments, as the files were left in the college computer I could not do anything about it.
The Poster gives a general view of the content of the four videos. The poster should go above the monitor showing the videos or next to it.
T Shirts and Cushions
The work of Michael Tompsett invited me to try printing some of the aerial images on t shirts alongside text taken from poems or songs. On the cushions the images are from the Animation Project. These items should go in the the area alongside the videos and poster as they are related. Maybe if there is not space for all the five T shirts, two or three should be displayed next to the cushions in a standing position.
Hats and South America Seat
Early this year I made a list of projects I wanted to develop. The playful use of maps led me to design some hats. With the advice and support of the technicians I tried the traditional way of making hats and then a sculpture method with leather material. They should be placed on the floor (maybe on top of suitable fabric) together with the bean bags.
South America Seat is a project developed during the lock down. I had a large map of the continent from a previous project (Amazon Forest Fires) and luckily some suitable fabric. I would make another large bean bag of India and surrounding countries to go together and this section should be on its own. Possibly two more hats would complete this area. To accomplish this project I need the right type of fabric and accessories (zip, bias binding...) and leather, the use of head blocks, maps the right size, re-filler for bean bags. To complete the project, working part time, I might need around three to four weeks.
I had to abandon a story telling project involving clay and mold making with silicone and plaster which will be part of my future projects (see Professional Showcase).
Buckram, bias binding, millinery wire, fabric, glue, thread £.15
Poster cm 130 x cm 90 £.60
5 T shirts £.125
3 Cushions £.60
Fabric for bean bags £.60
Bean bags filler £.40
Bias binding, zips, threads £.15
Maps for hats
Map for bean bag