I am very pleased with the body of work that I have been producing relating to the City. I feel like I have an interesting concept, exploring the Hidden Loneliness of the City and have experimented with this idea in depth. However, I felt like I needed to consolidate my findings and portray what I have learnt and think is working so far. I decided to make a piece reflecting on these findings.
In this piece, I have incorporated a variety of different medias including paint, ink, charcoal and gouache. I have portrayed the sepia tone influence that I have been working with inspired by an artist I came across in Berlin and user Shoe 18 on the deviantart forum. I started off with a dark brown ground here, influenced by my experimentation after undertaking the grounds workshop, I also painted an underpainting using a palette knife and worked on top of this employing Dry Brushing techniques that I learnt from attending the paint workshop sessions with James Green. I have worked with the concept of all of the people around you being insignificant and portrayed that they are just bodies and may as well just be white silhouettes because I believe it is particularly successful and left one person in colour to show they are lonely and singled out among all the others that they do not interact with.
I wanted to formulate a piece that includes all the experimentation and things that I have learnt that I believe have been positive and successful within this project. I believe this is an accurate reflection of this and a successful piece of work in itself. Now that I have consolidated and reflected, I feel that I can move on in my project with confidence and continue my experimentation.
After my tutorial on Monday, I realised that I haven’t experimented with monochrome because I was so inspired by the influences of the artists I mentioned, but this is what I will be working with next, I believe that the loneliness may be heightened by an empty monochrome background and the colours of the one person will appear more vibrant and therefore the person will stand out more. This seems like it will progress my work further and add to the portrayal of the Hidden Loneliness of Cities.
Hidden Loneliness in Cities – Colour Exploration – Artists That Have Explored Urban Loneliness Through Brighter ColoursPosted: March 9, 2014
After producing quite a successful and substantial body of work focusing on the use of monochrome colouring and sepia tones, I have decided to investigate whether these colours are affecting the loneliness of my work. After producing my green shaped underpainting, I started thinking about the fact that the figures didn’t appear to look as lonely as in my darker works and so I would like to clarify this by briefly investigating and producing some brighter works and analysing their success in showing the hidden loneliness of city life.
To start, I thought it would be beneficial to investigate whether existing artists have attempted to show loneliness in cities through bright colours. I have come across a few, but I do not feel that the figures within them feel as lonely, because darker colours create a negative atmosphere and bright colours a positive one, so the figure seems to look like they are just happily walking through a colourful city even though they are alone, rather than feeling down and depressed by the fact that they are.
Leonid Afremov – “Alone in the City”
I am really drawn to the technique adopted by Leonid Afremov, however, in terms of portraying loneliness, I just feel that the figure looks as if they are walking back from somewhere by themselves. In my work, I am investigating portraying loneliness in the city where there is others around you. It is horrible to think that there are so many people but you interact with no one which heightens how lonely you feel in my opinion. This is a beautiful painting but I am not sure it portrays the same message as my work or is successful in showing loneliness in the city, partly because of the bright more positive colours and partly because there are no other people for the figure to feel lonely around or feel like they don’t exist to.
Miki De Goodeboom – “Lonely in the Big City”
I think the abstract nature of Miki De Goodeboom’s piece is highly successful, even though there is no city like imagery behind the figure, because of the square and geometric shapes our brain seems to associate them with one. Here, I do feel that the figure looks lonely, I think it is because of the chaotic looking city and the figure seems to look overwhelmed being alone within this chaos. Also, the colours here are not as bright as in Afremov’s work.
Casoni Ibolya – “The Rainbow City after Rain Alone”
I like the softness of the work here, Even though the colours are not as vibrant as the other two artists I have looked at, the artist has still used brighter colouring to portray inner city loneliness. Again, here I feel that the figure does look lonely. I think this is to do with the fact that the world around them is colourful and they are painted in blacks and greys. The work makes me feel as if the figure feels alone and as if they don’t belong in this environment.
After exploring how existing artists have portrayed loneliness in cities through the use of brighter colours, I am going to investigate it myself, I will produce some coloured works and experiment with the idea of there being lots of people around you but no interaction, just as I have in my darker works. I will then analyse the success of this and decided whether it is more affective to paint Urban Loneliness in bright or darker colours and continue to work with whatever the verdict is.
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.
Here I have attempted to illustrate being alone in the city, and feeling overwhelmed by its mass structure and buildings through combining the drawing of simple city outlines and my photography of people in the city.
I have experimented with a few different medias when creating these kind of collages including pencil, fine liner, black indian ink, nut-brown ink and ball point pen.
I think the outcomes show the figure to be isolated and I like the contrast in detail and complexity between the drawing and the photography. I am enjoying exploring displaying urban loneliness artistically and even though these are simple images, they do portray being alone in the city.