Today we had a lecture on Graphic Design by Lydia Czolacz, a PHD student at Huddersfield University and designer. The lecture was fairly interesting discussing the birth of surrealism through dadaism and the commonly found shapes, patterns and themes of both that are carried on through to today and surrealists today. Even though this was essentially a repeat of my first term in my undergrad at Huddersfield University, I still found it interesting as there was some things that we hadn’t discussed before such as the undercurrent of sexism within these art forms. This can be seen in works by male artists such as Andre Masson’s Metamorphosis of a woman (1970), Max Ernst’s Robing of the Bride (1940) and Rene Magritte’s controversial Le Voil (1943) all of which show women as objects, focusing on the sexual parts of her body and her shape and ignoring her face entirely.
We were then asked to think about female surrealists, which was harder than it sounded. I could only think of Gala Dahli and Frida Khalo who in her own work The Two Fridas (1939) where her face can be seen clearly and body is covered. Then there’s work by Lee Miller, a former model who herself was a muse to Man Ray, who himself like to photograph and sketch the female form, and took to art herself. One of the works was of a severed breast that had been put on a plate with table cloth and a knife and fork (1930) to protest the way women are viewed by men in art as well as everyday life.
We were also asked to create our own serialist piece in half an hour and we had to choose one of three topics to represent. I chose time and my work can be seen below. I found this a little challenging as I felt I had to use Photoshop in order to create it and I had a real struggle in creating basic shapes and filling them in. I used images from Lydia’s database as well as my own pic and the MS Teams logo to create the image.
We also made our own sigil which was interesting work. We had to think of a phrase to manifest, delete and multiple letter and draw a circle and create points around the circle for how many letter are left, autonomously drawing a sigil by connecting the points on the circle. I chose the phrase ‘please wear a face mask’ and i deleted 9 letters and my finished attempt can be seen attached.
Our following lecture with Roddy was about the work we had created for the study task, the poster we had to create as well as discussing the work we had made for our own projects. My poster was well received, surprisingly, especially for a novice user of Illustrator without a tablet.
I had previously discussed changing the direction of my work to something that doesn’t involve anti-maskers directly so I chose to focus on discarded masks. I managed to take some photos of various masks that had been thrown on the floor or hung up and left and I showed these to my peers who had some useful feedback. One comment that stuck with me was to think about typologies and to make sure that most of the pics are similar in style which will aid in getting the point across and it was also suggested to do some studio work if possible. I was asked to think abouyt the long term implications of masks after the pandemic and the environmental impact they could have.
We also discussed instagram and websites and how we communicate with people using them. What are we saying with them and what do we want to gain from them? This made methink about my own instagram and how ‘jumbled’ it looked when compared to the account we were shown by @Sean.p.campbell which has a common theme and style throughout when compared to mine.
So all in all, a busy day