Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Show Must Go On...

Many issues have arisen with this exhibit. Yes, we are in the Sculpture Court - the most visited area of ECA. But that comes with a price. Actually a high price.

We are provided birch panels. They are beautiful. But apparently because of their price, we are not allowed to do any 'permanent' damage to them. For example, putting a hole in them. This is an issue considering I'm hanging 12 Aluminium mounted prints.

Additionally, the colour of the birch washes out my work. Making it almost look sick. A greenish tone.

The solution: take boards, paint them white and attach them to the birch. It hasn't been enjoyable, it has been 3 days, 5 coats, and no matter what I cannot wash the paint off my skin.

But it is worth it. The pieces look great against the white.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Always Moving, Always Changing

My work has developed much this semester. Especially in relation to how it will be displayed for the degree show.

I've finally and completely given up on the tracking system - allowing my images to be moveable against the wall. I gave it one more shot, I went to a few local model shops and inquired about their train tracks. Of course, their train tracks are only meant to lay flat on the ground and not against the wall. Therefore making it nearly impossible to attach anything to it.

I've decided to keep the images still and allow the audiences eyes to move. To move through a story. I've been working on numerous posters that convey relaxation in transport. Imagery from history and colours that signify a time when trains and planes were fun. Think red lipstick, bright blue eyes, think vintage advertisements.

 Final Degree Show Layout:

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Head Out West, Glasgow

It was only recently that I heard Glasgow had a transport museum. This makes sense being that the only underground rail is found in Glasgow. A visit was long overdue considering that I've never ridden the "Clockwork Orange." (Glasgow's Subway).

I can't quite pin point what I loved so much about Glasgow's Subway. Perhaps it's the fact that it's so old and small. It's the opposite of the Tube. The Tube being busy, overcrowded, hot. Glasgow's Subway was empty, there were only four cars. It is a single circle, apparently you can do the whole loop in 20 minutes. That made me smile. From city centre, Clockwork Orange got  me right to my destination - Riverside Museum - Glasgow's Transport Museum.

London Transport Museum's goal is to be the world's best transport museum (taken from their mission statement). But after visiting the Riverside Museum, I will have to say Glasgow might currently be in the lead. Granted, it has just moved and is in a whole new building - new exhibits.

Glasgow's Transport Museum takes you back in time. There are Hollywood like sets that you walk through and feel as if you're back in a time when the previous transport type was used. Want to know what the world looked like when we used horses and buggies? Make a left into this alley.

Glasgow's Transport Museum is also more interactive. There are more opportunities for the audience to work with certain exhibits.

People are drawn to history, they're drawn to the past. Glasgow Transport Museum proves this.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Side Work

I've taken on a few fun projects on the side. Mostly the reason for such is to clear my head from degree show stress.

Natural Selection Brewing wrote us designers asking for a label for a beer they're releasing this summer: Anorak. I immediately saw this as an entertaining project to take on for a couple hours. 'Natural Selection' automatically made me think of dinosaurs. Perhaps I took this contest on just because I've always wanted an excuse to make a design with dinosaurs in them.

Next, a friend from Napier University approached me and asked for help designing the Nurses' Grad Ball tickets. She asked for vintage typography, and she got it.

And last but not least, I've finally created a website for myself. Continuing with vintage typography, this is my header:

Saturday, 24 March 2012

To The Modern World

It was about time I visited the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. I will be honest in saying I've been avoiding this visit for a long time now. I'm not normally drawn to Modern Art exhibits.

Saying that, I was extremely impressed with The Sculpture Show on display at the National Gallery. Jaw dropping.

The Real Body exhibit is overwhelming. You are in a room with lifelike figures, so lifelike that they seem like real individuals - models perhaps on standby and at any moment would jump out at you.

In the way it's enticing to the audience, I too want to convey that magnetic draw from piece to audience. Clearly my work will not be so bold, but there was something to learn from the power a single piece can have. One does not need a giant bus shelter or bright/bold lights to draw in the audience.

Outside the gallery is a trail of more sculptures and installations. The museum provides a trail map (meant for kids clearly, but my friend and I made an exception) to take you from piece to piece. It was this interactive type of display that inspires me. I have two 1200x2400 panels. How can I create an interactive display for my audience? How do I lure them in? How do I get them to find joy in public transport?

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Escape to Nature

The Royal Botanic Gardens have always been my favorite getaway in Edinburgh. It's a simple bus fare away (or walking distance on a good day) and a chance to be surrounded by peace and tranquility. Truth be told, I even have a favorite bench that's hidden in the trees.

Today I decided to take a break from studio work, course work, context and escape to the trees and nature.

Coincidentally, there were a few exhibits displayed.

The exhibit Hard Rain was on display. The aim of the exhibit was to bring attention the need of sustainable development. Photographs were on display outside the green house that convey “our headlong collision with nature.”

The exhibit was memorable due to of course the Bob Dylan song playing over and over again, but also because it's rare to find such large displays of photography outdoors. Especially where you least expect it: botanic gardens.

Continuing on the trail, I came upon a tree wrapped in pink material.

It immediately reminded my of street art and yarn bombing:

The pink tree in the gardens though stood for raising awareness for breast cancer. It stopped many visitors in their tracks as they just stared at a pink tree. If the intent was to gain reaction, it was successful.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

'Cut a zero from your budget'

We just received the dimensions for our show space, and they are much smaller than anticipated. Cutting many inches off my original idea. I'm quite excited though that us designers will be in the Sculpture Court, the main and busiest section of the college, also beautifully lit.

But back to dimensions, 1200mm x 2400mm is much smaller than what I was expecting! Thank goodness I didn't continue with the bus shelter idea, clearly impossible. Though my IKEA rails aren't necessarily the perfect prototype and barely work anyways, their size is too large for the space given anyways.

This is when the creativity sinks in. Bigger clearly isn't always better. Shrinking works down could come to an advantage, I was thinking before in large scale - because I normally do - but now is a challenge to create a more intimate exhibit.

On another note, I have created various poster designs. Not all of them are brilliant, but the intent is to play with ideas. They are now in my mind, they can easily be modified - and will have to be modified once my railing system is figured out.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Does it 'move' you?

The idea of a moving exhibit came to mind after visiting the London Transport Museum. In a previous post, I mentioned just how overwhelming and stressful this visit was due to the large amount of children and the difficulty of being able to walk through the museum. After exiting the exhibitions, I made my way to the cafe - I then delved into my sketchbook with a panini and a glass of wine. It was a simple joy of not being surrounded by the smell of diapers and sounds of whining.

Sketches came about and it became clear what I wanted to do: allow my posters and imagery to be moveable, like that on a train track - moveable in a sense that the viewer is able to put my pieces together like a puzzle. I enjoy the fact that the control is in the hands of the viewer, the audience and not so much myself. I can and will set it up in a way where they are able to play with such imagery and find meanings amongst themselves.

Creating such imagery and 'puzzle pieces' is not so difficult. In my mind, I need to know how the physics will work: find a railing system first, then modify such pieces.

One trip to IKEA, I came across a shower curtain railing. This shower curtain railing is meant to be hung from the ceiling, but why wouldn't it work by being attached to a vertical wall?

After long hours of simply figuring out how to assemble said shower curtain:
(Why IKEA instructions have not gotten easier over time is beyond me...)

I assembled my shower curtain rail, now to attach a mock poster. I know the the images/posters used in my exhibit will be printed on a thick foam core, so fear of piercing through a simple foam board from the student store is not a worry at the moment: just make sure it sticks...and it moves from left to right.

It works. Kind of. Not really actually. Yes said poster board moves from left to right, but it squeaks and doesn't move smoothly. I assume this to be from the fact that the tracks are meant to be hanging from the ceiling and not from a vertical stand point. Without the board, the tracks are smooth - due to no weight. Of course the board is somewhat flimsy, something I figured could be fixed with a double railing:
But I doubt that would take the squeakiness out of the movement.

I tried, and it's not successful at this point.

New ideas: looking into railings found in drawers, railings found for large scale objects such as televisions, etc. I know there are rail systems intended to be attached to a vertical wall, now to just find such at a reasonable cost and are easily moveable. No squeaks please.

Friday, 2 March 2012

It's a mouse, not a magic wand.

Taking a break from construction, planning, and inventing for my degree show, I am inspired. Too often my mind is spinning quite quickly with ideas, thoughts rather - that I forget to stop and breathe. Stressed at all? Take a break, go for a walk. Draw something that has nothing to do with what is stress related. Wander in the library, find a book that is not in the design and/or exhibition section.

When looking over research I've gathered thus far, I am inspired by the underground poster designs by Theyre Lee-Elliott. I noticed a few of such posters at the London Transport Museum, they are implanted in my mind.

His aesthetic is inspiring:

How often we're faced with marketing posters featuring little to no free/white space. Especially in America. It's relieving to view simplistic posters featuring little logos, mass text, etc. This reminds me again that design is art - I don't have to just be a skilled person who knows how to use a mouse and a drawing program. "It's a mouse, not a magic wand."

Furthermore, I came across a TED Talk by Jaime Lerner:

After the first minute, I immediately liked him. This is a man who was able to transcend his thoughts and imagination into a complete and reliable reality. I knew nothing of this man before this video. I simply typed in the search bar "public transport" and came across this beautiful mind. A bit of history: Jaime is a renowned architect and urban planner, this talk specifically focuses on his work towards the city Curtiba in Brazil. (Where he was once the mayor).

Of course with most, if not all TED talks, he was quite inspiring. He spoke of how he influenced the city through changing the means of bus transport. Here, I have been working on finding joy and happiness within a bus or train - and this man focused on the influence of the architecture and appearance of certain bus stops. It was a view I never considered to focus on before. At all. He examined the trends of transport, the influence of a city map, and of course the mind of the commuter. In a friendly and humorist stance, he related transport to a woman saying. "The car is like your mother-in-law, you have to have a good relationship with her. But she cannot command your life. If the only woman you have in your life is your mother-in-law, you have a problem."

It make sense.

Yet another brilliant quote when it came to focusing on his project(s): "Creativity starts when you cut a zero from your budget."

I'm surrounded by brilliant artists, designers and illustrators alike, who are using the best of their minds and hands to get such work done. Whether it be finding old frames in second hand shops - sanding down such, repainting such. Or it's coming across inspiring rare books outside the university library, other examples also include that of building, hammering, painting, and even welding certain new materials.

This creates nothing but a smile in an artist's eye.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

London Transport Museum - My Bliss

Today I went to the London Transport Museum and was widely impressed. I was overwhelmed, but impressed nonetheless. The biggest shock of my visit was when approaching the museum, there was an actual line to get in. The museum was quite crowded, extremely actually. There were many children and strollers - kids running around. At a few points, it was even difficult to navigate through exhibits from the overcrowding.

Though it was slightly aggravating, I did enjoy seeing the large interest in public transport. At first, I was confused about the overcrowding. It's not often you hear good words about public transport, so why would people take time out of their busy days to pay to visit a museum revolved around it? It was then I remembered: Oh yeah, little boys like trains. I had forgotten about the playfulness of trains and vehicles.

The first exhibit at the museum was the least crowded, people breezed through the World Cities Walk to get to the next exhibit: the old buses and trains. Victorian era displays. 

I still found the World Cities Walk to be quite interesting, it displayed maps and videos of people on public transport from all over the world.

Though I was interested in seeing actual old carriages, my main interest was that of original posters and artwork for the Tube and trains. There were many cases with pull out drawers to view original documents: posters, tickets, flyers, postcards, etc. To me this was the most fascinating part of the exhibit. Yes, it was enjoyable climbing in and out of old trains and buses - but I found my joy in the poster artwork.

Poster design by Theyre Lee-Elliott

By far, the busiest portions of the museum are the trains and buses. Parents and children alike are smiling and enjoying their interaction with such historical objects.

What I've taken away from this exhibit is the need for my degree show to be interactive, educational slightly, but interactive at most. Here people have found joy in the 'old' and 'historical' aspect of public transport. Similar to my work, the London Transport Museum has created a marriage between the old and the new. Historical and Modern. Encouraging and Educational.