Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Individually Control

Individual Control

Individuality as a means of feeling control. How we choose to try and claim individual ownership of our lives in a self proclaimed superiority over others. That perpetuates a cycle of everyone feeling like they are in control. This kind of inwards thinking that seems to spawn in society. Snapshots of those we see around us who create only to prove their worth. I've represented this as pictures within pictures. a cycle that could go on forever which strangely looks normal to us as we perceive it.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

To Conform or Segregate

To Conform or Segregate

Kind of an appropriation piece of John bracks' 5pm Collins street which now takes the roll of 'society' in my image. A choice for most which causes a great deal of controversy, to conform to the expectations of our peers or to stand apart as a separate identity. Where do we draw the line? Is there a gray zone? How does this choice impact on us as a civilisation?

All images, besides John Brack's work, are photos from my social media.

The Proposal

Week 4: Proposal

By now my work has very much taken form of exploring human identity, who we are as a society and a species. Not necessarily the conflict between the 2 but who we are versus who we perceive ourselves to be. So far in my blog I have chosen to look at how we identify through symbology and how we perceive others based off their surroundings and hey they choose to present themselves. But other sub-topics I might choose to explore is an idea explored by John Brack (later mentioned) is standing out, being an individual persay. After all while we are expected to work together in a society but encouraged to develop our own individual sense of identity.

I would like to specifically explore the idea of conformity and working together as a society versus individuality and breaking from social expectation. My exploration isn't really to find an answer or to make a point or even prove something. It just is to look at where we stand on being a society and how it reflects on our individuality. What happens when we choose to break from society? Is it inherently productive/good to stand apart? Essentially I want to make people ask these questions themselves through my artwork.

Specifically I have been looking at John Brack, as a long time admirer of his work I now find myself reflecting on his work once more for inspiration. He explored, perhaps intentionally as is my belief or inadvertently, the themes surrounding us as a race and how we perceive ourselves and each other in society.
'Self-Portrait' John Brack 1955
But most of all Brack not only captured this fundamental nature of society but how it changed over this critical period of time. Where we went from these similar tertiary colours in monochromatic schemes to brighter and more confronting palettes. The perfect portrayal of the many versus the one:
'Nude with a Dressing Gown' John Brack 1967        '5pm Collins Street' John Brack 1955

I plan to do one more Illustrator piece in the near future following Bracks '5pm Collins street' as well as a few other pieces surrounding photoshop and past work I have explored. Specifically I have been looking at my local community at the student village. We have a great variety of students with varying talents and many of them choose to identify through specific things. This comes back to some past work I have done regarding 'dreaming' which can relate to identification through material possession. Which is also something that society tells us is important.

- 'The Ian Potter Centre' NVG Victoria, John Brack, viewed 25th March 2015, http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/johnbrack/
- A Robots Design, Kees van Vugt, Viewed 25th march 2015, https://www.facebook.com/ARobotsDesign

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Standing out

Standing Out

It's pretty easy to stand out, in most cases people do. Devil's advocate to last weeks idea of conforming behind a symbol or ideal, which we identify as a society what makes us wish to stand apart? and is it all that bad?

Tuesday, 10 March 2015


After a heavy session of exploration I decided to do a bit of a personal piece. Living on student residence and living through a 'college' system many of us identify through our assigned college. In some sense I am an 'Endeavour Viking' and proudly.
The explanation behind this work is the black zone is essentially the void, we walk through that door and fly our colours with pride. A representation of how 1 symbol can be identified with a great number of people. Everyone will follow and take the spotlight to not only say 'this is me' but to say 'this is us'. Community in it's rawest form, to gather under a single banner and stand together.

Obviously the strokes of colour are not random. Red is often recognised as a 'red carpet' or associated with royalty. To say we are important and certainly worth recognition/respect. The yellow (if you hadn't guessed) is our spotlight. From the blackness of nothing, we emerge and make our presence known. The dragon artwork is actually an illustrator file I made for the college recently. I have a strong connection of not only ownership, but community pride.

Incidentally on inspection i was informed my work closely resembled a style used by the late Gorden Bennett. An indigenous Artist who's work I am very fond of. Especially how he captured the theme of 'home decor' in such a simplistic style. While some principles are different, like my use of minor perspective, our styles are similar and definitely this is someone I can grow to admire and reference in the long term.

Identification through symbolism

Carrying on from my previous post, it got me thinking about how I chose to look at this male individual as a daily commuter based purely off the fact he was standing and looking at a clock in a suit. Do these simple symbols represent who we are? From an external perspective if we see someone branding a symbol we recognise we often look and assess them based off that association.

Sourced from: http://www.istreetfashion.com/
Initially I went down the path of exploring symbolism, logos and eventually branding. But the corporate world really doesn't say much for identity and who we are as people. So I backtracked to this image, of the woman tattooing the crown onto her lower back. Why wear a crown? Does she see herself as a queen or someone royal? Or is it a pride thing?

Sourced from: http://forbookssake.net/
Pride in national heritage perhaps. Which took me down the line of looking at National Identity which many people love to identify with. Especially with relatively recent news surrounding Scotland voting to break away from Great Britain.

I myself identify strongly with being Australian and in other countries it would be very much the same.

Worth checking out is: http://lourdesdadang.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/australia-cultures-and-identity.html
which talks about Australian Culture and Identity.

But it's not just the idea of National Identity, but identification through symbolism. Flags, Footy clubs, Universities, Communities, Online clans, Body art all count as some form of symbolism that we identify with. 
Sourced from: www.trbimg.com
The power of being able to hold up an image or artwork and say "this is mean" comes down to the old phrase. An image speaks a thousand words. Perhaps it's far better to identify through imagery than it is through words.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Journey Begins...

Who Are We?

A question about society, about each other and about ourselves. In this blog I want to explore through artistic expression what it means to be human. Just who are we? As a species and as individuals.

Week 2 had me finding out what sort of theme I was going to explore. In my process of looking at things I could explore, I began began looking up themes that interested me. Like time, space and the future. All of which seemed to stray very far from what themes were presented before me.
While looking up the concept of 'Time' I ran across this image...

Sourced from http://physicscentral.com/explore/plus/timeless.cfm
Which got me thinking about who we are. Looking at the guy watching the time, who is he? He's well dressed, probably a business man on the daily commute. But like all men on the daily commute (I count myself as one of them) we are surrounded by others, but often it feels like we are isolated and alone. A dull time in which there is really nothing to do but count the minutes till the next train.

But what conditions us to feel like this? I would like to explore these ideas, who we are and identity. In test #1 I was instructed to use the live trace feature of Adobe Illustrator to create a black and white image.

Well originally the image was nothing but a black splurge across the page. But this was an inspiration in itself, by whiting out the outline of the clock and platform I was about to create definition out of the darkened area. Essentially outlining the only 3 things that would matter to the man in this circumstance. Himself, that clock and the limited ground in which he walks.

Later I hope to explore more about who we are, 
but for now I am simply playing around with what I have.