Recap – rerouteing our initial intentions.

Our core narrative for this project is to make people believe ‘What IF…these mythological/ Fantasy structures and hidden buildings and characters existed amongst them. We will do this through illustrating parts of the city that already exists and extend on these in our own strengths a different perspective that forces the viewer to question their surroundings. Our body of work will hopefully consist of drawings inspired by alan lees fantasy illustrations and architectural illustrations that might be a little more clinical but shows a hidden structure that is not obvious if you were to look at the building in a conventional way. We are also hoping to illustrate from the documented reflections.

If we have enough time we will also look into actually creating these structures on a miniature scale and place them within the city as public interaction is an important value to our group.

Our sub-narrative could drive from the stories of the mabinogion and hidden structures could derive from fantasy films, e.g. hidden gateways/ structures for a hidden society… the narrative will come from creating the work.


more photographs of reflections for reference

1621665_10200601798567722_970702459_nPhotograph by Sara Christova.

field Collaborative- Photographing Reflections.

This Week our Group has continued to photograph the reflections within the city- With the prospect of Illustrating from these…How their illusions can play with our perception. Creating fantasy cities.1940292_10201472922284230_132105750_n 1899099_10201472922044224_159529612_n 1899118_10201472922244229_1213781232_n 1903183_10201472922164227_1870514610_n 1922578_10201472922204228_2003347062_n 1800910_10201472922124226_1599055854_nPhotographs by Magda Lackowska.

painting project.

20140217_15565720140217_143055I have just began a brief where we study the basic principles of handling paint. Working from a chosen image that relates to the city, a previous drawing and an object; we set up the composition ready to paint. The aim of this session is to create an underpainting in one hue and grading tones. I chose to work with Green to fill in the composition as it was this sort of colour that was classically used in many underpaintings by great painters. Beginning by focusing on three main tones. Firstly a vague mid tone, secondly the darkest tones, then the highlights left white. Once you have the basic principle of  the grades in tones you can work back into the piece creating less contrast within the piece. What draws me to my use of this particular green tone is its vibrancy and so that once we begin to build colour on top of this the green underneath will resonate through, particularity depending on what hue and shades I chose to apply.

Constructing movements within art. DADAists

Constellation. The DaDaist manifestation. A lecture by Andrew Broadey

Dada was a movement of negation, formed by disparate groupings of young artists who were appalled by the violence of WW1, which they viewed as a symptom of the wider failure of the modernising tendencies that had brought it about. Dadaists attacked convention, normality, and rationality, which they understood to be linked with control, manipulation and domination. Dadaists subverted traditional media such as painting, sculpture, and photography, whilst they also initiated new modes of performance, which brought their work into spaces of social interaction. Zurich was neutral during the WW, this is where Hugo Ball and Triatan Tzara founded the Cabaret Voltaire. The cabaret ran nightly on a small stage in the back room of a bar and featured poetry recitals, dances, readings of the Dadaist texts, plays, and songs presented by Hennings. In 1852 Karl Marx issued the following claim. “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like an nightmare on the brains of the living.”

Jean Arp

–         These convictions were also shared by Hans Arp. “Revolted by the butchery of the 1914 World War, we in Zurich devoted ourselves to the arts. We are seeking an art based on fundamentals to cure the madness of the age, and a new order of things […] We had a dim premonition that power-mad gangsters would one day use art itself as a way of deadening men’s minds”.  Arp experimented with accident and automatism. He tore up paper and dropped the fragments onto another sheet affixing them where they fell, Arp sought to produce works where the laws of chance might become tangible. He felt chance to be the fundamental basis of all rules as it “embraces all laws and is unfathomable like the first cause from which all life arises.

Tzara Dadaist manifesto.

By setting forth a series of contradictions the text dismantles established procedures of sense making. “I write this manifesto to show that people can perform contrary actions together while taking a fresh gulp of air; I am against this action; for continuous contradiction, for affirmation too, I am neither for nor against, and I do not explain because I hate common sense. Within this procedure of rejection lays the seeds of Dada as anti-art (art that challenges the existing accepted definitions of art). Like Tzara Duchamp sought to question accepted conventions of artistic appreciation, and he nominated objects as readymade’s because of the “visual indifference” they engendered. Instead of art’s existing pre-occupation with visual pleasure, or as Duchamp says the ‘purely retinal’, Duchamp titled his works in ways that complicated our cognitive relations to the objects. Picabia produced drawings such as Portrait of a Young American Girl in a State of Nudity (1915), which like Duchamp’s readymades presented the viewer with a disjuncture between title and motif which poetically drew out the message that modern life was making people like machines.

Dadaists in Berlin were highly aware of the rise of the mass media and in particular photo-journalism. Montage and collage became strategic modes of intervention within the German social life. Burger believed that Dada practices were formulated in recognition to the role that art played in society at this time.

Burger identified Dada with a radical questioning of art’s status in society, and a refusal to play along with the role that had been pre-determined for them as artists. Their works were a rejection of these institutional conventions, fulfilling what Tzara referred to as the need of “accomplishing a great negative work.

Andrew Broadey

Notes on Futurism- By Andrew Broadey

The movement was generated in the fervour of rapid social modernisation at the turn of the century and took its cue from the transformations surrounding it. The motor car, telephone, the aeroplane,, and Edward Muybridge’s stage by stage photographic capture of movement all fuelled the engine of Futurism. The Futurists drew upon these aspects of city life and sought to intensify them through their work. Gripped by tensions between the industrially powerful north of the country and the largely agrarian south. Anarchists, Socialists and Nationalists, cajoled the government to pursue radical approaches to the country’s modernisation, including war and increased social integration, generating conditions that were conducive to the eruption of a politically motivated avant-garde such as Futurism.

Marinetti heralded dynamism and simultaneity of modern experience, and he promoted modes of Futurist art that functioned as analogies for such modes of experience, rather than representations of it. City life became both the subject and context of Futurist art. The movements name, initiated by Marinetti, suggests not only that the movement was concerned with producing the art of the future, but also that it is concerned with a forward movement – a concern with the hereafter. The Futurists also sought to create direct incisions within public life on the street. 

Balla’s Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash The impact that Boccioni sought to create through such paintings can be seen as consistent with the capturing of sensations of movement in works such as Balla’s Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash. 

Boccioni sought to create a new conception of sculpture as “a translation […] of atmospheric planes that link and intersect things’, and because ‘objects never end’, the sculptors aim was to ‘model the atmosphere that surrounds things’. This created sculptures that captured the dynamism of an observer’s perceptions of the sensations of movements. Thus Bocionni was not seeking to create a representation of the world but create an analogy of it, that served as an intensification of it. This re-orientation of art is captured in a metaphor developed in Marinetti’s Destruction of Syntax manifesto.  “Lyricism (art) is the exquisite faculty of intoxicating oneself with life, or with filling life with the inebriation of oneself. The faculty of changing into wine the muddy water of life that swirls and engulfs us”. Thus for Marinetti to make art one first become inebriated by life and then bring this drunkenness to bear upon life itself. In this process neither art nor life remain static categories, allowing the Futurists to fulfil their aim of transforming everything. Thus we can see Boccioni’s sculpture as an attempt first to engage in the flux of bodily movements and then through his sculptural practice intensify them.

By Andrew Broadey



Constructing movements within art and design – The begining of Cubism

A lecture by Andrew Broadey.

Modernisation  –The societies of Western Europe went through rapid and wholesale transformation in the late 19th century. As production shifted from rural settings to the city, life was less governed by the seasons and more by the clock of the factory. The enlightenment, the collapse of feudalism, and the rise of the bourgeoisie initiated a process of widespread secularisation, accentuating individual experience, leading to a widespread sense of individual alienation within an increasingly mechanised world.     The depiction of Manet as a heroic figure, who initiated a rupture with tradition, draws upon two notions that are typical of discussions of modernist art – rejection and innovation. Modernism is characterised by a particular construction of the figure of the artist as an isolated and gifted individual whose subjectivity, through some notion of self-expression, would reveal the truth about the age. Manet’s practice exacerbated these tensions between tradition and modernity. The artist engaged with modes of realist practice developed  by artist’s such as Courbet, but extended their scope focusing upon the dynamism of modern city life, whilst also questioning conventions of composition, modelling, pictorial space, and realisation. Emile Zola arguedthat painters like Manet “do not have this preoccupation with the subject which torments the crowd above all; the subject, for them, is merely a pretext to paint, while for the crowd, the subject alone exists.” This shift in priorities can also be identified with the persona of the Flaneur, adopted by many of the artists responsible for the emergence of Impressionism. The flaneur immersed herself in urban space observing and interpreting the events around her. The flaneur’s desire to draw out significance from its fleeting and fragmentary moments informed the methods of impressionist painting as a species of naturalism.  Impression was conceived as a way of conveying the truth of experiences. Thus the technical devices that the impressionists developed – sketchlike brushwork, lack of conventional modelling, and the juxtaposition of contrasting colours – were part of an attempt to engage in an advanced observation of nature. The Impressionists sought in these devices and in the concept of the impression a primordial examination of visual experience. Monet’s passion for truth to what is seen led him to paint the same scenes in series rendered in contrasting light conditions, such as his paintings of Rouen cathedral.

Cezanne worked with the Impressionists before retreating into isolation and focusing his work away from their concentration upon light effects, and towards the solidity of the objects revealed to us in visual experience. Two terms were often used by Cezanne to describe his method of painting ‘realisation’, meaning to bring into being, and ‘modulation’ meaning to vary, and adjust areas of paint Cezanne identified his task as bringing into being his visual apprehension of the motifs he studied. He sought a means by which to ‘realise’ his subjects through the organisation of lines and colours that gave stability and clarity to the image transferred to canvas. Cezanne felt that the Impressionists were too enamoured with the effects of light. Cezanne felt that the way people see was inherently confused, and he thought that through concentration and research an artist should be able to bring order to this confusion. He sought to introduce visual focus by relating our visual sensations, so as to allow the objects surrounding it to fall into place. Thus the artist built focus through the careful modulation of areas of colour in relation to one another, in order to reconcile the multiplicity as a unity. Cezanne sought to realise the order he felt existed within nature within his art, yet he also prioritised the visual sensations through which he perceived nature. Through acute observation of appearances he sought to tease out this order. What resulted was an order of art that had a life and a logic of its own and anticipated the development of Cubism.- Three Women (1907-8), sets some of the ground work for Les Demoiselles by reducing the entire pictorial field down to oppositions between triangular units. Steinberg notes “Triangulation…becomes the first move, followed…by a process of continuing subdivision. In other words it is a field that divides into segments, and, in so doing, engenders a woman’s thigh”.The work develops upon the harmonious integration of elements within Cezanne’s works, but whilst Cezanne’s works can still be read as compositions of distinct objects Three Women comprises a web in which the background and three figures emerge as readings of different configuration of triangular units.

Analytical cubism-This dynamic tension of studying the multiple facets of the scene and constructing a way of rendering them through the organisation of cubic units also led Picasso and Braques to create increasingly complex compositions throughout 1910.