On reflection, I feel that the work I have created surrounding the Hidden City Brief is highly successful. I have been extremely out of my comfort zone when working on this project in a vast variety of ways and I feel that I have really pushed and challenged myself. I have always considered figures and the human form to be a weakness of mine when it came to drawing or painting them. When I had the City Brief, it seemed like an obvious opportunity to experiment with the figure and work on a project incorporating people to improve my skill. I have never really worked with photo-manipulation in this way before either and I have certainly never used my photo-manipulations to inspire paintings that I would create. I have worked with a variety of new methods including under-painting and working with grounds, and I feel as if I have learnt a huge amount, developed my skills and grown as an artist.
I really thought about what I was going to base my project on and I feel that it really paid off. I feel that the Hidden Loneliness of City life is a highly interesting concept that is so relevant to today’s society. I started by experimenting with portraying loneliness through working with photography and manipulating techniques. I was highly inspired by the cutting out all of the figures from my photographs apart from one, to portray the feeling of being alone in the city even though you are surrounded by others. I thought about the fact that all the other people in the city may as well not exist or at least might as well just be white silhouettes and I started working with paint and illustrating these ideas on board. Attending the paint workshops on a Monday has been an incredibly valuable use of my time and allowed me to work with new techniques and painting methods. I think my painting skills and knowledge has definitely been heightened.
In my opinion, there are quite a few successful elements to this body of work. The amount of experimentation I have done and how much I have learnt and progressed because of this is undoubtedly a success. I think all my paintings are successful in their own right because they have all taught me something. I worked with a sepia colour scheme and experimented with the scale of the people and use of background, because of this I came to the conclusion that monochrome was more effective in highlighting a feeling of loneliness than sepia and so I started experimenting with monochrome painting. This informed one of my final pieces and I definitely feel that it is only a successful final outcome because of the prior experimentation.
One element I feel is particularly successful is my consolidation of the work I produced and how I have linked it in to the work that I produced as part of the collaboration group with other students. I think that including stop motion animation into my project portraying loneliness was the most fitting way to link in what I have learnt through collaborating with my peers. Stop motion animation has turned out to be the perfect way to showcase the photo-manipulations and tracing paper experiments that I have been producing throughout the project. I feel as if I have successfully created a body of work that has a deep concept and portrays the fact that you can be surrounded by others in the city but you may as well be alone as you rarely interact with anyone. I also feel I have accurately shown how you may as well be invisible to others in the city and that you are singled out which heightens people’s feelings of loneliness.
However, there have obviously been things that haven’t really worked within this project which I feel I have quickly moved on from. For example, I attempted to show loneliness through bright colours but it didn’t really work. The art looked far too cheerful and I quickly pushed this idea to the side. Also, I don’t feel that working with a palette knife was a success as it detracted from the concept and the figures in my opinion. Finally, even though the concept of headphone beings was interesting, Looking back, I don’t think that the outcome is particularly successful. I think it looks quite unprofessional and amateur.
In conclusion, overall I feel that this project has been a success. I have challenged myself, experimented widely, practicing drawing and painting figures and learnt many new skills and approaches to art. I feel I have managed to demonstrate the hidden loneliness of city life and visually portrayed the fact that in the city you can be surrounded by many others but still feel so alone. It has been an incredibly interesting subject to research and create art work in response to. I will definitely notice others more in the city and make the effort to smile and make conversation with people because I know how lonely they might feel even though there are many members of the public around them.
Within this City project, I was asked to create two final pieces individually, one inspired by the fine art painting project and another that reflects the ideas, thoughts and new processes that I learnt during the collaborative process. As a collaborative we made drawings and stop motion animations. It seemed obvious to me that for this second piece I would like to create an animation that includes drawing to fit in with what I have learnt and worked on with my collaborative group and to portray the hidden loneliness of city life. The collaboration work we made as a group has already informed my individual work and I have started playing around with animations showing loneliness in the city.
I thought the experiment I made where all the people were cut out of a photo one by one apart from one individual was quite interesting and had a lot of scope for progression and so I have decided to make a stop motion animation incorporating the manipulation of my photographs to portray inner city loneliness as a final piece.
I have included two aspects of loneliness in the city within this piece. The imagery where all the people are cut out/scribbled over/painted in portrays the fact that you might as well be alone in the city when surrounded by others because you interact with no one. If the only people you see are the passers-by of the city then you are going to be highly lonely because you would never converse with anyone face to face. The imagery where only one person has been singled out conveys the fact that you are insignificant which heightens the feeling of loneliness and that to all the other people you might as well not exist. Also, singling one figure out portrays them as being alone within an urban environment.
Within this piece, I have experimented with manipulating photos in a variety of ways to show loneliness. I have also included drawing within the piece and the use of tracing paper and paint. I think this piece is very successful and consolidates all the photo manipulation work I have produced throughout the whole of the project. These photo alterations inspired my paintings and kicked off my ideas to create this body of work so it seems only fitting that they make up one of my final pieces. The track that is playing behind this animation is “The lullaby of Loneliness” by Aaron English, chosen for obvious reasons. I have uploaded my final piece to YouTube so it is shared with the public and I can gain feedback from the users of the site. I think this piece is successful in portraying the hidden loneliness of city life and demonstrates a skill that I have worked on from making animations with my collaborative group.
The artist Kimsooja was brought to my attention by one of my tutors. In particular, it was suggested that I looked at “A needle woman”, a video installation of the artist standing in the middle of busy streets in different parts of the world as people pass her by and walk in the direction of the camera. She is a feminist artist and is approaching women’s labour of sewing within this work but I believe it definitely applies to the concept of my city project even if being alone or singled out amongst others in the city was not the artists original intention.
This work made me think about the hidden loneliness of city life and the notion of being surrounded by others in the city but alone. She is standing in the middle of many people, but no one is interacting with her, she is being overlooked and people are just passing her by. She is an insignificant figure to them and at the same time all the people around her may as well not be there at all. The feeling of loneliness if highly evident in this work and I believe her video showing herself surrounded by others who are not interacting with her or even acknowledging her existence is not dissimilar to my project imagery of a coloured figure surrounded by white silhouettes.
This piece is highly inspirational and influential to my work, it confirms to me that you can be surrounded by others in the city but at the same time singled out and alone. It sort of highlights the ideas I have been working with and in supporting them adds to my works success.