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.
Inspired by my collaborative work, I have decided to experiment with combining my photo manipulations I have produced within my individual work and stop motion animation that I have experimented with as a collaborative.
I think this is a highly interesting outcome, It portrays the idea of everyone else in the city being silhouettes or just bodies that may as well not be there. The figures being cut out one by one shows how you are surrounded by so many people but you might as well be the only one. This has been a successful experiment and I will continue to think about animation within my individual work.
Previously, I have drawn on top of tracing paper to portray the fact that everyone else around a person in the city might as well not exist and to show the ghostly bodies of the city that move around you with zero interaction or conversation. I have now experimented with cutting a single figure out of the tracing paper and placing it over my photographs which I feel is more successful in its portraying my concept but not as visually appealing as drawing on top is.
As with my more recent photo manipulations, I started experimenting with ways of showing that vice versa, you may as well not exist to all the others around you and that not being noticed or acknowledged in the city can make you feel extremely lonely within it. The manipulation below is highly unsuccessful in my opinion, It hasn’t really worked in showing that you may as well not exist and looks unprofessional as the tracing paper shows the glue underneath it.
Due to this being unsuccessful, I experimented with cutting out all the people in an image apart from one. That one person is definitely unnoticed in the image and I feel this method of manipulating the tracing paper accurately shows that to all the other people in the city you might as well not be there. I am glad to see successes coming out of my exploration and continuous working.
I am glad my tutor suggested I continue experimenting with these materials as I believe I have created some successful outcomes here. I have also learnt what doesn’t work and progresses within my project.
As my tutor suggested, I have been conducting further experimentation into portraying the hidden loneliness of the city through photo manipulation. He suggested I considered the fact that I didn’t have to cut out the whole of the figures from my photos and that I could make statements by just cutting out certain parts. Below, I have experimented with cutting or blocking out the face of all the bodies bar one to portray the fact that in the city, all the people around you may as well just be bodies with no identity just moving around you. As you do not interact with them, they may as well have blank faces. I think this definitely shows one person to be singled out and portrays the feeling of being alone, but I do not think this manipulation is as successful as cutting out the whole figure and for me does not make as bigger impact. The white cut out faces are clear, but I feel the image below where I have blacked out the faces is highly unsuccessful and the act of manipulation is unclear.
Throughout my exploration of photo manipulation, I have focused on the fact that all the people around you in the city may as well not exist, but until now I haven’t portrayed the fact that you may as well not exist to them either. Below are some images I have worked with in portraying this idea. Feeling unnoticed and unappreciated by others is a massive contributor to feeling isolated or alone.
Here, I have scribbled out one figure. I think this is successful in making a subtle statement about people feeling lonely and going unnoticed in the city, It is not immediately obvious until you really look at the picture and draws you in to think about the reason behind blacking out a person. Below, I picked someone who goes unnoticed and is ignored by many on a daily basis, a big issue salesman and scribbled out their face to heighten the fact that their identity is unappreciated.
In my opinion, these below are my two most successful manipulations in showing the fact that you may as well not exist to others in the city, and how lonely it can feel being unnoticed. The figure is obviously singled out and prominently taken out of the picture portraying the fact that they may as well not be in it in the first place. Being different can evoke feelings of loneliness and here a white silhouette differentiates the figure from the others.
Experimenting further with photo manipulation has definitely given me new angles to explore feelings of loneliness in the city and I have explored different ways of portraying these angles. As my tutor suggested, I am now going to do some more experimentation with tracing paper and combining it with my photographs.
The work of Nesta is highly relevant to my project. She portrays the loneliness of living in a city within her work and as I have done in my work portrays the figure as a white silhouette. However, she focuses on the fact that she may as well be invisible in the city and how she feels alone and I have looked at this subject from a different perspective.
“Alone in the City is a digital collage series based on my experiences living alone in London, I hoped to capture the day-to-day happenings of living in a big city by yourself.” -NESTA
I am focusing on everyone else around you in the city and the fact that they may as well not exist because of the loneliness and the zero conversation that occurs. I had already thought about making the figures silhouettes and white in colour to create a ghostly image, but her work confirms to me that it makes for a successful outcome.
I came across the work of Laura Lina whilst browsing around “the circle walked casually exhibition” situated at the Kunsthalle in Berlin. Her work inspired me to think about how I could use my photos to their full potential and how I could start manipulating them and drawing on top of them as a quick way to get my ideas flowing and display something visually interesting at the same time.
Above is an image of her work that I took in Berlin, The colour palette of these images is interesting to me, they look very grand and renaissance. She has drawn on top of existing imagery using gold pen and framed them simply as stand alone art pieces. The shapes and lines are very geometric and contrast with the curvature of the women within the underlay nicely, however interestingly at the same time they seem to complement one another.
Laura Lina’s work was the initial inspiration to my own photo manipulation related to my project on hidden loneliness in cities. I started thinking of ways to show to show this idea using my photos as a medium of their own. I have started experimenting with cutting people out the pictures, scribbling over them and painting on top of them. I have eradicated all the other people apart from one in different ways to show that when in the city, even though you are surrounded by people you are still lonely. There is no interaction and you may converse with no one all day.
The images in the previous post were black and white. I thought that I would do some colour experiments too to fit in with the inspiration of Laura’s work. This process has allowed me to think about how I can portray my ideas in paintings and final pieces etc without having to spend ages producing trial and error experiments that may be unsuccessful. It has shown me I can use existing imagery as a starting point to fuel my investigation into a project.
I think these images are highly successful. They definitely portray being alone in the city and accurately convey the idea that the other people around you may as well not be. It may be interesting to explore the idea of the fact that the people around you don’t even notice you really. You are just a body that they are passing by with no identity. I could portray this by not showing any facial features or things that would identify them.
I believe that collage, photo manipulation etc is a brilliant way to start making work and can show you ways of portraying an idea that you hadn’t thought of before. I will now use this research and experimentation to influence paintings/mixed media pieces that I will produce.