Throughout Unit 3, I have been exploring the themes of summer and how it causes girls to feel vulnerable and self conscious but also how it allows girls to feel carefree and relaxed. The following potential directions are for my two artworks for Unit 4, the first artwork being a collection of 2D works and the second, being a collection of digital photographs. These potential directions were selected from my folio that were created and explored throughout Unit 3 and will need to be further refined during Unit 4. They are clearly marked in my folio with pink post-its.
I have selected these exploration works for best representing and expressing my theme, whether it be the vulnerability of summer or the confidence of freedom. This is reflected in the position of the model’s form and postions in the photographs and the use of gestural, lineal shapes of the drawn women in my 2D works. The explorations of watercolour painted backgrounds on Potential Direction #1, #2 and #3 is contrasted against the gloomy and smooth, navy blue figure and the white pearl wash over the photo in Potential Direction #10.
The brightly coloured and patterned wash over Potential Direction #11 and #12 reflects the opposite side of this, forming the basis of the overall artworks. Using the aesthetic qualities in my 2D drawings, I have explored confronting images. This is done through the use of definitive and gestural lines that outline either the underweight, boney bodies or the round and curvacious bodies. I have cropped areas of the woman’s form and focused specifically on the torso and legs of the body, as seen in Potential Direction #4, #5, #1 and #8.
This idea removes the identity of the woman because her face is not included and to some extent, not important to the overall concept. The sexualised images of the woman creates vulnerability because it suggests that she is an object and nothing more. I believe this contributes to the aesthetic qualities of summer and how self-consciousness girls feel, I would like the audience to question their own feelings and how they feel during these times.
I wanted to focus on these feelings further through the subject matter as females are often seen in almost nothing, which centres attention onto their bodies and as result, creates the feelings of self-consciousness. Colour plays an important role in my 2D works as it seperates what is to symbolise the bad and the good of summer, seen in Potential Direction #9 and #3. I trialed different compositions but decided the centred images were then the centre of attention, leaving the viewer with no where else to look besides the confronting drawings.
In Unit 4, I want to continue to refine the smooth surface and fluent shape of the figures in Potential Direction #1, #2 and #3, although I will need to further refine the material I am working on such as watercolour paper, illustration board or cartridge paper. I will further refine the brushstrokes and the colour of the watercolour background and whether it changes for each work in the collection or stays the same for all three. During the Design Process, I have explored different ways of symbolising and signifying both sides of summer in my digital photography by the poses that the model was fixed in.
Potential Direction #13 and #15 effectively communicates vulnerability, due to the hunched over position of the body, knees slightly buckled suggesting she has emotional weight pulling her down and exhausting her. However, the poses of Potential Direction #11 and #14 both suggest freedom and happineess as in #11 her arms are held out in a horizontal line, calming for the viewer to look at. Potential Direction #14 shows an arched back and arms flung backwards proposing the idea that something, perhaps the self-conciousness and vulnerability, is parting from her through her chest due to ‘feelings’ of summer.
Potential Direction #10 and #12 poses are both gentle, placid and docile, symbolising a weak and vulneable person. The pearl, white wash of watercolour painted over Potential Direction #10 and the coloured washes over Potential Direction #11 and #12 help to symbolise the happiness and lighthearted effect of summer, however, I believe the colours in #11 were too overpowering, making it difficult to see the photo behind the paint whilst #12 is balanced more evenly.
I also trialled black and white edits, seen in #13, creating a subtle and restrained effect for the photo, creating high contrast, adding a small amount of drama, which is also confronting. As this did not fully represent the opposite side of summer, I experimented with spot colour (#14), the maroon, red top, symbolising the happiness and passion of summer, however, red may also symbolise anger, blood and fire. In Potential Direction #15, I have edited the photo to have a purple, blue filter creating a calm and cool feeling to the viewer.
Lastly, in Potential Direction #16, the images have been printed onto a sheet of thin, paper cardboard creating a vintage, nostalgic effect due to the prickled, dark and faded surface of the photo. I really enjoyed this effect as the photos did symbolise vulnerablilty. The effect of the cardboard encourages the viewer to look back on old memories through photos. I plan to further refine the exact method I will use, to represent the opposing sides of summer that I am trying to reinforce. Throughout my folio, I have annotated all these works in more detail, the Potential Directions being marked with pink post-its.