Ben Branagan, Inca Starzinsky and Sophie Smallhorn- 3 practitioners I discovered today and not being able to decide who to write about I decided to do all three.
Ben Branagan is a south London based artist and designer making really interesting collages using found photography or pictures he’s taken himself, cutting out and overlapping images to create a sort of surreal vibe where you are looking into several dimensions at once.
Looking into type for the show I think a good way to go about it would be to make our own typeface for it. That way it’s original, can relate to the style of the exhibition better and we don’t have to think about copyright stuff. Incorporating cardboard and gaffa somehow in the typeface (either that we make it out of the materials or use it as markmaking, printing with the cardboard or drawing with it maybe) would tie the design together and would make it really personal to the show.
I found some nice inspiration for this, my favourite work being that of Kellenberger- White for the Glasgow Festival of Visual Art 2014.
The first thing I started to consider when thinking about ideas for the show was how the space looks. As we already know where the exhibition will take place and the conditions we will have to work with, honestly all I could see were problems. How are we going to cover up that door, how are people going to understand how to navigate in a place where I myself have lost my way several times, can we use the ugly lockers in the narrow corridor to our advantage somehow or will they just have to stay an ugly element in the show, how can we make the dark and stuffy 2nd floor feel lighter and bigger etc.. Our exhibition space kind of bummed me down a bit but realising that it is what it is and that there is one big advantage with it (no more carrying heavy furniture to another place) I began researching ways to make the space work.
What it needs is:
- bold designs
Gifs! Gifs are pretty fun because you can turn a quick drawing into something that looks like it was way more complicated to create. I have made gifs before but today I was introduced to another, more easy way of doing it on a workshop held by Russell Weekes.
Starting of creating simple movement with a round sticker confined to a drawn square and thinking about how the sticker needs to be placed for the movement to feel smooth from one frame to the next we later advanced to creating our own drawings or trying to make a gif stand still.
Diving further down into my three words, I decided to explore other ways to make them visual and began playing around with stamps and letters to see where that led me.
For this, I started to write the single word first somewhere on the paper and then developing it into something else after reading the word over and over and capturing what I felt while reading it. I thought it would be good to see what associations I made after actually constructing the word myself, putting the letters down with my own hands.
To start off this group project of coming up with a design for the summer show 2018 and pitching the idea to a panel, I have been looking at some exhibitions to see how they display work/ present it/ write about it/ label it/ guide you round the space/ design the exhibition guide etc. I have so far been to three different ones: Barbican, Saatchi gallery and The Whitechapel gallery and what I have come to think of as most important and what I look for as soon as I walk in is signs. Wayfinding. Especially noticeable (or not noticeable actually) was the wayfinding in the Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican. Consisting of a small map with one arrow, a lady that tells you to go upstairs first and a tiny tiny sign on a shadowed part of a wall reading “exhibition starts”, you’re supposed to go about your way hoping you’re making the right turns. Well, wrong turns were made, the lady directing people up the stairs had to chase after some who started wandering about on the ground floor first and people kept bumping into each other trying to find the most logical route to go.
My first project of studio Give and Take will revolve around three words: may, child and old. These words need to be investigated thoroughly and communicated visually as 10 gifs and 3 posters. Apart from that, I am also starting a drawing journal in which I will draw something everyday to form a collection of observations and thoughts in a way.
Before going on and starting another year of projects, I’ll summarise what I took with me from last year. What I’m most proud of achieving so far is probably how I managed to keep everything going at a fast pace when juggling so many projects at once. What I would like to improve though is related to my blog- and that is curating my images better to make my content more cohesive. I would also like to spend more time doing research for my projects because that always seem to be the most time consuming part of a project. I want my portfolio to look cohesive, thought through and feel like me so I should start to art direct everything I do from here on out. I want to be proud of my finished projects and the work I put in, leaving uni next spring.
Best get going then haha!
I thought the printing process would be pretty straightforward, I had my paper and my pdf and my print credits. But printing proved to be difficult. First try came on landscape on a portrait oriented sheet of paper, second one came out with the poster on the back the wrong way round, which I didn’t notice until I started to fold my A2 down to A5 and fold up the flap on the first page that reveals the introduction text to the zero movement underneath (a feature I added to make the design more dynamic and again make it more dramatic with a “reveal” kind of) and the text wasn’t there. Sigh. A shame because the registration for the front and back images was almost perfect. Third try came out the way it should (after I rotated the back poster in ID cause I thought that might fix the previous problem, but now I’m not sure that was the actual problem. Maybe that could have been solved by rotating it in the print preview or rotating the paper. hmm…) but the problem now was that the registration between front and back was off by one cm. So a lot. Way annoying.
Pager from both sides, by Lisa
So the cover is now sporting a vertical white line that is not supposed to be there and the letterpress image sits a bit too tight to the folded up flap on page one. But I am going to leave it like this because everything else is how I wanted it to be and I cannot afford to print it again. I don’t love it, but I like it! But I almost think it looks better as a flat poster than folded up because it just makes so much sense now. And the Zero movement kind of didn’t and the design seen laying flat as an A2 is almost more representative of that. The kinetic type poster though I think looks great.
Front and back cover, by Lisa
Just before I went to print my pager, I changed my cover a final time after a series of tests because I wanted to incorporate more of the light aspect of the Zero movement. So I took some experimental photos of the shadows created when lifting the cut out pattern I did a couple of weeks ago and really liked how they turned out so I decided to use that. Playing around with how to place it I eventually made up my mind on a design and stuck with it. The problem I have had with the red bit in the pager I tried to solve by taking the red completely off and focusing on grey instead so I did some tests with a drawing I did a couple of days ago where I using my fingers, created shadows on silver lines so the image looked like waves. Tried to place it in my layout in several different ways but none of them felt right so I ended up deleting that image completely and instead using the cut out pattern I used for the cover so they link.
Cover trials and layout decisions
And this is the final design: