Project 2: Exercise 2.3 Personal experience

This project takes the next theme of personal experience as the inspiration for the exercises and resulting pieces of work – in theory this should be really revealing and exciting!

The first part of the exercise was to document a daily routine using a series of photographs and these 24 were my most successful.

I decided to document the simple task of making my breakfast and I chose the images based on clarity and also how each communicated the next stage in the routine – they did not need to be anything other than simple and straightforward.

In order to photograph the photographs clearly as a sequential series for this blog and also to go in my sketchbook I arranged them in rows going from left to right.  From this point the course material states to try arranging the images in different ways in order to communicate my routine to a spectator and there were several suggestions in the course material such as a concertina book or grid – I explored these options and did like the idea of the concertina book in particular but wanted to explore further ideas.  I recorded my ideas in my sketchbook in simple diagrams with annotated comments.

The idea I kept going back to was one relating to my zig-zagging route around my kitchen as I reached up to cupboards or to the draws and fridge but having drawn roughly my route in an even rougher sketch of my kitchen I found it difficult to translate this to a simple but clear format initially.  However having taken a short break I came back to my sketchbook and looked again and realised I could recreate the route in a much simpler idea with the photographs taking a zig-zag route across an A1 piece of paper – it is a very simple idea and very much on the idea of a timeline but also taking inspiration from the work of Jan Dibbets.

The next stage of the exercise was to explore a range of techniques that would generate new images derived from  my photographs – and I freely confess that one of these just did not work!


The first suggestion is to take 3 images and cut out a section of each before layering the images over each other in different configurations.  In retrospect I now realise I could have cut a totally random section out rather than a specifically chosen one such as the sides of the cereal box although it did work well with some results I can see the possibility of design development.  The above photographs are the clearest of the ones taken and when I zoom in on some of the images I can see possibilities for further design development – the side of the cereal box in this photograph is one example due to the abstract shapes that appear through the layers.

I was not sure how this technique would work and at times found it a little frustrating but I also found it produced some potentially exciting results.  The best results were produced with the  either section from the side of the cereal box cut out or the two of the bowls removed  and then the other images layered beneath with resulting abstract possibilities appearing in the removed areas.

3.  …. yes I am aware this is out of order but I did this third suggestion second due to having to wait for a delivery of new printer ink!  The suggestion for this technique was to take a different photograph before using Tipp-ex or white paint to draw on top of the image to create abstract or ambiguous images – the aim was to produce three new annotated images.  Did I like this? was this technique even successful?  I could happily write a huge NO over the top of the images! No matter how I tried this exercise with 2 different photographs to produce 5 different images I did not feel I could produce an abstract or ambiguous result – I confess two other images were just crumpled up and aimed at the bin! The only image I even remotely like was inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama who primarily uses polka dots in her work – I literally put polka dots over the boxes and packets on the shelves and I feel this changes the feeling of the piece and to an extent disguises what they are.  Will I use this technique again?  in truth it is unlikely!

2.  The second technique listed but the third one I tried was to take a different photograph, enlarge it up to A4 and photocopy it on to acetate before layering the two to create a blurred image.

Straight away I felt I could see possibilities with the use of acetate and loved using it.  The second suggestion was to try using my copier or something like Photoshop to reverse the colours into black and white but so that white became black and vice versa – unfortunately my programme on my laptop was not able to do this so I just printed a good black and white image before copying this onto acetate.

At this point I have produced 2 new images and the idea was to go on experimenting and manipulating the images to produce a total of six new annotated images in my sketchbook. This third image has the original coloured image on the base with the two printed acetate images overlaid with one revised – the image is very dark with indistinct areas blending and blurring into one another but then contrasting with stronger defined areas.

This fourth image has been created with the original A4 coloured image plus two new A5 acetate sheets, printed with the coloured version and black and white version, overlaid in opposing directions.  I find the colours have become blurred in the centre whilst the two red glasses are very distinct at least towards the top of their bowls – there is a feeling of almost ghostly imaging overlaying and blurring edges.

The fifth image takes the black and white A4 version as the base with the A5 coloured and black and white acetate images overlaid in opposing directions.  This image has produced much stronger shapes and contrasts with a hint of colour in some areas – the colour becomes almost a shadow.  I also like the fact that this image has the effect of side borders which concentrates the eye on the central section.

Finally I have taken the black and white version and overlaid it simply with the coloured acetate but in the opposite direction which produces an effect akin to a reflection.  I really love the blurring of the shapes on the right hand half of this image – it give an impression of the glass melting or dripping.

4.  The final technique was concerning deconstructing by cutting, tearing, shredding, soaking or any other method before reconstructing to develop a new image.  I decided to simply cut a coloured A4 image into strips before doing the same with a black/white image and a coloured acetate image.  I then alternated the paper strips before weaving the acetate strips through horizontally and this produced a new image approximately 15 x 16 inches in size.  I particularly like the combination of different shapes, tones and colours but also the effect produced of depth which borders on a feeling of perspective – this new image is totally abstract which is unusual for me to be comfortable with but I find it exciting and stimulating and now may finally understand the abstract expressionists which I studied in the latter stages of my art history course!

As I now reflect on this series of exercises I think it is blatantly obvious which one I found the least successful – I have no wish to try the Tipp-ex based exercise ever again although I do appreciate that the technique could work well with a different image perhaps of a photograph taken in an entirely different location or of a differing series of objects and perhaps also done with black or grey paint as opposed to white.  I certainly found the layering technique with random holes cut in the photographs really interesting as I could see potential abstract design possibilities opening up but there is no question the technique I found most successful was the one which I used acetate – I think it is obvious in this blog how exciting I found this and the final image created from 3 deconstructed images is probably one of my favourite results produced from my studies with OCA so far.  I am really surprised how much I liked the acetate as I was very hesitant in how it could be used and what results could be produced but the resulting effects of the layering were incredibly revealing and exciting in terms of new colours, tones or shapes emerging and this is a technique that I think will be part of my repertoire for the future and no doubt will be used in further course work.





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