The Echo Collector
As the sun went down on the night of the seventeenth of February, my friend took a boat, a fishing trawler, and set out to cross the ocean from Ireland to Cornwall.
He did not know how to sail and he was alone.
He told me that he was no longer in control of his own destiny, that something else guided him that night and that he no longer cared if he lived or died.
While he was at sea, he claimed to have been visited by a woman whose presence, though it soothed him, gave him no rest.
Nobody but he ever knew for sure what happened that night on the ocean, but afterwards, when I visited the boat, I listened while he told me his tale.
Years later, I created these images.
They are my memory of his memory.
An echo of an echo.
Not to be trusted.
But now that they are finished I finally understand that the woman in the story is me.
But I did not steer the ship that day.
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.
So here I have my cover designs, laid out in indesign, complete with a rough idea of what the book cloth will look like down the left hand side. The circles will be 'cut-outs' to an image beneath the main one, which echos the image on the other side of the back-to-back format. Yes, I know it sounds complicated, but it isn't really.
I've chosen to keep my covers dark and dramatic, rather than use the gold which is predominant inside the book. I feel that this gives a nice contrast and it also echos the title page images which are in the more delicate gold. Also, I just like the way this looks as the cover and the atmosphere it suggests.
I'm really excited now to soon have these finished and to be able to share the finished story in its completed form.
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.