Home Truths – Initial Research

In the first lesson we were shown an extensive slideshow of different artists. I wanted to pick out a few I liked and talk about them. 

Grayson Perry – Map of Nowhere

Grayson Perry is an English contemporary artist, born in the 60’s. ‘He is best known for his ceramic vases and tapestries, as well as his observations of the contemporary arts scene, and for dissecting British “prejudices, fashions and foibles”.’ In this piece, created 2008, he was playing with the idea of there being no Heaven.  Perry said this about his piece; ‘People are very wedded to the idea of a neat ending: our rational brains would love to tidy up the mess of the world and to have either Armageddon or Heaven at the end of our existence. But life doesn’t work like that – it’s a continuum.’

This piece stood out to me because of that. I love the organised mess and chaos in the etching. It almost gives me a feeling of dread and is quite ominous, the lack of colour adds to this feeling. The illustrations are so interesting and in-depth. Its a feast for the eyes. I enjoy the encapsulated design, it holds everything together connecting it all. This would work for my feeling of home. Perhaps I could make an object like a bowl or plate to encapsulate my pattern. 

Helga Steppan – See Through 

Stephan is a Swedish artist now based in London. In her practise she works with primarily photographs and mixes them with installations, sculpture and performance. ‘Steppans work deals with topics around participation, identification, abstraction and reproduction, where she is interested in the interplay – or space – between the two dimensional and three dimensional’. This piece of one of a collection of photographs in which she colour coordinated all her possessions. ‘Asking the viewer to consider whether they can discover the artist’s persona reflected in the meticulously constructed installations of her material possessions.’

What I loved about this collection is the almost similar looking scenes but once you look closer you realise they’re completely different. The black coloured photograph above also has this organised chaos feel similar to Perry’s piece. Its a clever idea and allows the audience to see in to her life through inanimate objects. This is something I need to show in this project. I need to tell a story with a constant 2d design. Stephan use of her objects is something I could play with in my own work. Doing this might help to tell my story. 

Ellie Curtis – Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist book cover 

Curtis is London based Illustrator, Printmaker and Printed Textiles Designer. On her blog she states her inspirations come from ‘people watching and noting down characters, Renaissance paintings, underwater nightlife, Japanese woodblock, domestic animals range of expressions, medieval tapestries, Egyptian frescoes.’

Oliver was one of my favourite stories as a kid. I have a lot of positive connotations with the story which is why this book design stood out to me. Along with the vivid yellow background and beautifully detailed prints. I think the style really worked with the book. Oliver is quite a gritty story about children who have no parents and live on the streets. I think she captures that with the scattered design and use of brown ink. The interweaving leaves and trees mixed with the characters makes this cover fun to explore with your eyes. The repeating pattern almost feels like a maze much like the streets the kids are living on. Overall I think it is a really clever design and i’d love to have that similar weaving feel to my own piece. I think that would capture how interwoven my home is to me, its like my home is part of me. 

Overall I feel much more informed about pattern and what I could explore. There is a far bigger world of pattern than I thought. I’m excited to start experimenting more with the research i’ve gained now. I want to take that organised chaos aspect and implement that into my own designs to represent my feelings about home. Moving forward I’m going to continuing experimenting with my own visual reprentaiosn of home. I also might look further into Grayson Perry’s work as I found it quite fascinating. 


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