This will be the final entry on my blog/journal before I hand in all my research to my tutors tomorrow so although I will be continuing to document my work leading up to the exhibition, this is my final 'official' entry. With this in mind, I am now reflecting on my recent work and my reasons for creating an installation as my final piece of work, and where I see myself taking my work forward post graduation.
When I began this final project I knew for certain that I wanted to create a finished book, which is now almost completed. I also knew that I wanted to create something a little different and a little more immersive for an audience, although I wasn't sure for a long time what form this was going to take.
One of my early influences, and something I have gone back to again and again, is the work of Davy and Kristen McGuire, in particular this piece here entitled 'The Paper Architect'. What I love about this, apart from finding it a most beautiful and enchanting piece of storytelling, is the use of live action mixed with animation. Is it theatre? Is it illustration? Is it installation? I suppose it was my ultimate goal, to try and create something which would transcend the traditional view of what illustration is and pull an audience completely into the world of the story.
My installation piece is therefore a stage set, or the re-creation of the world of the old sailor. Within that space an audience can be fully immersed into the action, surrounded by the sounds he hears on his boat and a witness to the memories playing inside his head. Whether or not it will work as well as I intend remains to be seen, but it is my hope that the audience experience will be a meditative one, that it will invoke the memories of the viewer and make them reflect on their own lives and the things or the people they have loved, lost and found.
Thinking of a way forward, it is my intention to continue to make personal work, to continue with my themes of memory and fairytale and to continue to find ways of realising and interpreting those themes. Bookmaking will always be my first love, but from those books I have found that it is possible to bring to life the world within the pages and to create an exciting experience for the viewer which also fulfils my own ambitions to push at the boundaries of what illustration is.
Here is my finished animation, or my 'still-moving image' which will be played on a continuous loop into my installation space.
The idea of 'The Still Moving Image' which I discussed at length in my final dissertation, came from the video artist, Bill Viola, who slows down his images to such an extent that the movement becomes an incredibly intense and intimate experience for an audience to watch. I was stuck for a while just using photography, which I feel is relevant to the ideas within my work in that a photograph represents a single moment in time, a snapshot, a fragment, and it feels poignant to look at photographs for precisely this reason, that it is a moment in time forever frozen and perfect within that single frame. To turn my work into an animation therefore didn't feel quite the right thing to do, until I looked into the work of Bill Viola and started thinking about a single instant in time as a memory replaying on a continuous loop, as 'persistent' memories often do.
So, with all this in mind, my 'still-moving' image plays on a continuous loop into my installation space. The image becomes the persistent memory of the character of the old sailor who is haunted by, or maybe comforted by, memories of the woman.
(This clip is also accompanied by sound, which may or may not be the final version depending on how much time I have left before the deadline!)
I am a ...
... Teller of Tales. A Creator of Books. An Artist, Illustrator and A Boatbuilder. A Professional Daydreamer, Occasional Mermaid, and always The Eternal Optimist.