Over the first and second week, I have come up with two different ideas that both relate to the environmental issue of plastic as an invasive material in the ocean. Here I explain my design-related idea in more detail, with contextual readings on possible contemporary and historical influences I have currently looked at.
Idea Two: Design-related
This project would run to the guidelines of a brief.
To make an awareness campaign, targeted at the primary audience of young adults (18-25) and the secondary audience of late teens (15-17), on the current environmental issue of plastic being an invasive material in our ocean habitats and wildlife. The campaign would run across various social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube and Instagram). The campaign would have a local focus (kept within New Zealand).
One output would be a video, raising awareness of the current state of our oceans and how much plastic our country contributes to this problem, or how plastic we recycle properly, then ensuing a call to action to create a movement of social responsibility. This call to action would be in the form of signing up to receive a special recycling bin, collect plastics and make it into a collage to post on social media with a hashtag related to this campaign and then use the bins to dispose of their plastic. All plastic would be upcycled into everyday items such as shoes and clothing. For signing up, participants receive the bin, tote bag and tee shirt made from upcycled plastics.
Potential media: I would be using a mixture of analogue and digital media to generate an output of work. I would am thinking of using photography to create collages of plastics and would like to use mixed media to make fluid backgrounds for posters and other advertising. I have considered using drawing skills alongside gouache for colour or Adobe Illustrator for colour to make imagery in contemporary collage compositions. I would need to use Adobe After Effects for video editing and other software such as Photoshop or InDesign for any billboards or poster designs. My materials will become clearer through trial and error and in establishing a sound brief to follow.
Formal: This composition has been comprised from various layers of 300gsm cotton rag paper that has been coloured with ink pigments. The cut pieces of cloth have been layered ontop to create a contemporary collage image of an owl.
Forms: The forms in this image are varied, yet the predominant forms used are rounded and curved; semi-circles, ovals and rounded lines. The exception would be some angular line work and triangular and diamond cut out shapes. Variety has also been expressed through a range in sizing, drawing the eye toward certain areas of the composition. For example, the large circular formation of the eye resting in a pool of negative white space immediately creates a focal point for the viewer to draw into.
Colour/Tone: Cromer has used various hues of purple as a dominant colour throughout the work. Pastel pink, peaches and blues compliment the purple, providing a soft and delicate feeling to the work. Black and white establish contrast to define the background from foreground as well as creating definition between each shape that forms the owl.
Spatial: The background is a flat mauve colour, a two-dimensional negative space. The owl rests on top of this area, positioned in the center of the composition. The size of the owl compared to the space left in the background balances the composition symmetrically as each side has an equal amount of space either side of the owl.
Facture/Texture/Execution: The texture in this image appears rather smooth and flat but when examined closer, one can see the grainy texture of the cotton rag paper. On some pieces, the purple pigments have formed blotchy and swirling textures. Each shape has been individually cut out from the cloth paper and then placed onto a flat surface. Each component builds up in layers to make the finished collage of in this case, an owl. I think that Cromer must transfer his finished originals to digital media to create and sell multiple prints.
About the artist: Pete Cromer is an artist and designer hailing from Australia. He travels between the Surf Coast, Geelong and Melbourne areas for work (Pete Cromer, 2018). Cromer prefers to create work that depicts a more minimalist and playful outlook on life. Using various shapes and forms cut out from painted and inked papers, Cromer explores a making process of using mixed media to create colourful collages. “I think it’s just the way I see the world. That’s just the shit in my mind and so that’s what I need to get out. I just see things as more simplified blobby forms rather than detailed work… I just see the world a lot more simply than I think a lot of other people do and I just find that more fun” (Hunting for George, n.d.).
Formal: This composition is comprised of many various forms of ocean plastic and items constructed into a three-dimensional sculpture.
Forms: There are many various forms in this collection with shapes that are flat, round, square, oblong, jagged, long, short and so on. The range of shapes, sizes, colours and lines found in these forms create a dominant principle of variety. Each individual shape was selected to create the overall form of a baboon.
Colour/Tone: A cool analogous colour scheme has been used, reflective of the environment from which the objects were retrieved, the ocean and shorelines. A spectrum of blues and greens have been used. A complimentary use of warm analogous yellow and orange create definition amongst the anatomy of the composition. Each colour has been organized into its own space within the composition, gradually flowing into one another as the hues move closer in similarity to one another. The layout of each form according to its colour creates a sense of organized balance and makes what is a great variety into a unified image.
Spatial: The baboon has been placed in front of a grey background, to contrast against the muted colour and allow it to stand alone. Alone, the objects are very different but their placement and story are a deliberate choice according to colour, size and play a role in depicting the distorted relationship between nature and manmade objects.
Facture/Texture/Execution: The textures vary on each individual plastic object. Some are very weathered, with fading and a grainy surface. Some plastics appear a lot smoother. Different textures are achieved through various shape and line established from each plastic object. Frayed rope has been used, giving a fur-like texture. Tightly wound rope creates a soft texture on the head and ankles.
About the artist: Gilles Cenazandotti was born in 1966 and hails from the Northern Cape of Corsica. Cenazandotti holds a passion for collecting obsolete plastic objects and litter to transform them into contemporary collage installations – varying in forms of flat collections onto large flat boards and three-dimensional sculptures of endangered animal species. “The irony is that the extraordinary creatures are constructed of petroleum, oil and plastic based products that are destroying their habitats and the environment” (Contessa Gallery, 2018). Through his work, Cenazandotti endeavours to make imagery that reflects the current state of our planet due to plastic pollution. “His work attempts to show a complex, enigmatic nature, a technological paroxysm where man tries to imitate nature through artificial recreation” (Contessa Gallery, 2018).
Formal: This composition has been made up from many individually drawn images that comes together and form one illustrated arrangement. Typographic elements accompany the illustrations creating an overall theme for the work.
Forms: Various forms have been used in this composition, ranging from organic floral shapes to objects and animals. The forms are predominantly organic and rounded.
Colour/Tone: Meddings has used a warm analogous colour scheme of yellows, oranges, reds and pinks. The use of an analogous colour scheme creates a sense of unity throughout the work because it allows for each individual illustration to rest harmoniously together rather than creating contrast or detracting from one another.
Spatial: The background is flat and acts as a two-dimensional negative space. The illustration has been drawn on paper. The whole composition is two dimensional and flat. The layout of each illustration marries together in a collage format, as though they were individually cut out and stuck in place. Meddings uses a range of various sized images to create balance and focal points to lead the eye about the composition. These would be the text, the bear and the wolf.
Facture/Texture/Execution: Texture is non-existent in this artwork, unless you could say that the texture of the paper and gouache is smooth and flat. The gouache has been used to create smooth illustration work. Meddings has layered and blended various colours to establish depth and shadowing in her illustrations.
About the artist: Lize Meddings is from the UK, where she studied and graduated from Plymouth College of Art with hons in illustration. During her studies, she established a zine series called the “Sad Ghost Club” which received an international following through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. From here, Meddings has created many illustrations with a focus on femininity, mental health and the likes of plants and animals in between. Her illustrative style focuses on exemplifying the ‘quirky’ – using colourful, cartoon-like imagery arranged in a collage format to exemplify her thoughts and feelings on otherwise serious topics such as mental health.
In creating her work, Meddings brings together a young adult following through social media that can relate to the content of her work due to its lighthearted portrayal. In turn, her work raises an awareness for the commonality of such issues that students and young adults face (self-doubt, stress etc.), making her audience feel as though they are understood and not alone.
Formal: This composition is a series of five individual artworks exhibited together as a unified body. All five compositions represent a differently shaped plastic bottle. All have been composed from fragments of plastic and plastic objects in collage layout to create silhouettes of bottles.
Forms: Various forms have been used in these compositions, rounded and angular shapes and lines are established through the wide range of plastic objects used to piece together each bottle. There are also varying sizes within each composition, some plastic objects are larger while others are smaller and have been positioned within their composition to create balance and lead the eye about each composition. For example, the yellow bottle contains three large circular forms that lead the eye in a diagonal line from the top to the bottom left of the bottle.
Colour/Tone: Each composition consists of various hues to a specific colour. Green, yellow, red, orange and blue hues have been used to compose each image. Using only one set of predominant colour for each bottle provides unity within each separate composition and variety as a whole set.
Spatial: The large collaged images protrude out from the white background space of the wall. Although the plastic objects lay flat on the wall, their form creates an illusion of three-dimensionality. In front of each composition sits a plastic bottle in the colour of its collaged form. These have been placed there as a point of reference.
About the artist: Tony Cragg is a very versatile sculptor, using a wide range of materials in his work to explore ways in which to blur the lines between the natural and man-made. In this case, Cragg has gathered together many different coloured plastic objects and shards that fall under five colours: green, yellow, red, orange and blue. The exhibition is named “Five Bottles” and was made in 1982. This was a time for Cragg when he began using plastic more often in collage work to explore this theme of creating compositions of imagery that is familiar using manmade materials, with each contributing part relating to one another form the whole.
Contessa Gallery. (2018). Gilles Cenazandotti Biography. Retrieved from: https://www.contessagallery.com/artist/Gilles_Cenazandotti/biography/
Gilles Cenazandotti. (2018). Gilles Cenazandotti. Retrieved from: http://gilles-cenazandotti.com
Hunting for George. (n.d.). Pete Cromer. Retrieved from: https://www.huntingforgeorge.com/brands/pete-cromer
Lisson Gallery. (n.d.). Tony Cragg. Retrieved from: https://www.lissongallery.com/artists/tony-cragg
Lizemeddings. (2017, September 7). Wonkiest text ever? [Instagram post]. Retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/p/BYvHQ84Fmf9/?hl=en&taken-by=lizemeddings
Pete Cromer. (2018). Pete Cromer. Retrieved from: http://www.petecromer.com
Plymouth College of Art. (2016, June 13). Alumni Shorts: Lize Meddings — BA (Hons) Illustration . Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/GRhGpVDXKe8
Tony Cragg. (2018). Sculptures 1980-1984. Retrieved from: http://www.tony-cragg.com/index.php?/sculptures/1980-1984/932