CLASS NOTES & MORE:
07.02.2022 – Tutorial Notes
- Print out my cards and bring them to workshops – to get help in designing the porch (and other areas) by my colleagues and get some fresh ideas!
- Write a novella and publish it on this blog chapter by chapter.
- Stop thinking about the end.
- Experiment more!
12.02.2022 – Class Notes
This week’s class was the typical first workshop of the semester class… But with a homely twist! Our tutor, Miranda, made sure to transform the space around us into a cozy, warm corner with comfy couches and a beautiful old rug. I regret not taking a picture!
The whole workshop had three phases – not counting my short exercise, which I will post in the first week, to keep consistency – unsighted drawing of whatever came to mind during watching the presentation, 10 minutes of sighted drawing while the media displayed were still fresh in our minds, and finally, an individual 15-minute research on one of the projects shown during the presentation.
I chose Lindsay Seers’ “The Lost Room” simply because the title seemed to speak to me.
Her work consists of a series of images sometimes paired with text. The idea was to become a camera, as simply photographing the house wouldn’t be a good representation of either the bond she had with that place. With reflective paper stuffed into her mouth and a black sack over her face, she began the difficult task of becoming a camera. The pictures from inside her mouth are rather unique, with a rouge tint reflected from the redness of her mouth. It’s quite fascinating how committed she was to the project, truly bonding with the house which wasn’t even her actual home. She got to explore it like no one else could, becoming one with it – like the furniture inside it.
My project is a process of creation of a story inspired by research, as well as by my family members and memories. My aim is to educate myself and broaden my horizons – that’s why I decided to collaborate with my friends and colleagues and collect their responses.
These responses collected on my research cards will then be turned into inspiration for my story – the house and character designs, as well as the chapters themselves. Through trial and error, I’m still learning the best ways of creatively challenging my peers, as well as incorporating their feedback into my project.
As it’s my final semester at Aberystwyth University, I decided to come out of my shell and make the process much more external than all of my previous projects.
This is the second week, where we ascend into the world of a father-son bond, the garage that unified two members of a family through their hardships.
09.02.2022 – Research
Articles used for this research:
Garage as a term comes from the French word for shelter – garer. Although sheltering the car from the weather and potential thieves or vandals is the main reason for their existence, they serve multiple purposes – such as storage and entertainment. They also often play the role of a workshop or a rehearsal place for garage bands.
I found quite a lot of media with the word “garage” in its name, such as two vintage movies titled “Garage” and one more or less recent production called “The Garage”. I suspect there are a lot more media that touch upon the concept of the garage, but it’s a really hard subject to research – I wasn’t able to find any artistic or literary articles that would discuss the garage in the larger – social, artistic, intellectual etc. context. What I found were, unfortunately, only DIY materials, discussions about the sizes and measurements and a couple famous garages.
Garage, other than being great for storing vehicles, gave birth to a new rock ‘n roll genre called Garage Rock. It’s characterised as energetic and often unsophisticated in lyrics (according to Wikipedia).
If I had to write down my own thoughts and conclusions about the garage, I’d say it’s a space that radiates masculine energy. It’s both the home of the car and the place for the owner to learn new skills, improve their vehicle and even relax.
12.02.2022 – Research + Experimentation (Cont’d)
14.02.2022 – Experimentation
Character design – Aaron Przybylski
Aaron is Mrs. Przybylska’s second born child and a skilled self-taught mechanic. He’s quite smart, but has a talent for making trouble and pulling himself into misfortune. He’s loosely inspired from my uncle, just like Stanisława Przybylska is a representation of my grandmother. It’s also important to note, that each location/room has its own main character – a person Stanisława associates with that place.
18.02.2022 – Group Experimentation
19.02.2022 – “The Garage” (1980) Mini Review
While carrying out my research, I stumbled upon three films titled (The) Garage. I wanted to watch one of these to analyze the artistic representation of the garage(s) portrayed in it, similarly to last week. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), my film of choice didn’t focus on the garage itself, but rather on the human greed and the faults of corrupted power systems, represented by the cooperative.
The plot of The Garage takes place during a meeting of a Soviet cooperative. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the garage being built will have to be reduced by four spaces, resulting in the eviction of four members – the least “useful”. Chaos ensues, as the four members protest for their rights. Unfortunately for the cooperative, the meeting cannot be dismissed, as it turns out that someone locked the door…
The Garage is a bittersweet comedy which lets us see ourselves through the lens of the characters it portrays. What started as a childish dispute over four spaces resulted in a debate about inequality, human nature and abuse of power.
19.02.2022 – Garage Design
A Lifetime To Remember – Chapter 2
The old garage doors had already served their time to Mrs. Przybylska’s family. Jenny promptly noticed the small interferences in the smoothness of their opening. Not only they were slower than they should, but a couple dents and rusty spots here and there didn’t manage to escape Jenny’s sharp eye. She already made a mental note to replace them – if they decide to purchase the house in the first place.
As the overworked doors finally opened, Stanisława went inside to give Anna and Jenny a small tour – even though there wasn’t that much to look at. Mrs. Przybylska’s car stood in the middle of the garage. Neither Anna nor Jenny wasn’t interested in checking the brand of the vehicle since they weren’t there to buy it. On the west site of the room stood a workshop table with some papers messily placed on top of it. Next to it was an empty bin and a tall storage shelf with various tools scattered on it.
“Forgive me the mess! I don’t really touch anything here; it was all managed by my husband and my son. Now I’m a widow and my son visit once a month – you know how this goes.”
Anna stepped inside the garage and looked at the table. She quickly noticed something interesting among the papers.
“That looks important. Is it the car warranty?” She said, handing the paper towards Mrs. Przybylska.
“Oh, my goodness, yes!” Stanisława put on her glasses and quickly read the paper. “That looks like it’s for our old car! I really need to clean here.”
She folded the paper neatly and put it inside her pocket.
“This place is so small, but it brings so many memories. I didn’t come here too often after my husband died; you see. I don’t have a driver’s license, so there wasn’t any reason for me to use the car. This place was important for him. It’s where he bonded with our son.”
Mrs. Przybylska quickly took a napkin and wiped the tears out of her eyes.
Anna patted Mrs. Przybylska on the shoulder and Jenny awkwardly looked away. “Here it comes…” She whispered inaudibly.
“Our son, Aaron… As a child, he was… difficult. As much as we loved him, he just looked for trouble on any occasion. We were worried for his future.” Mrs. Przybylska stopped and sighed. “He would skip school even if we drove him there and walked through the door with him! Constant fights, bad grades, misbehaving… Deep inside, he was a good kid – he is a good person.”
Mrs. Przybylska wiped her eyes once again and put on a fake, yet welcoming smile.
“We had a shop with car parts a few blocks from there. That was our primary source of income. His siblings weren’t too interested in it, but Aaron loved spending time there. He would help, obviously wanting something in return as typical. After we closed the shop he would spend his free time in this garage, tinkering in our car. Oh, if you could only hear the arguments when he would mess something up!” Stanisława laughed gently. “Darek, my husband, would chase him around the whole house, and in the end, he would have to repair what Aaron broke by himself! That little rascal.”
Mrs. Przybylska shook her head at the memory and kept laughing.
“Aaron was the glue that held us together. He may have been a troublemaker, but he always cared for his siblings. Whenever they screwed something up, he would always help them avoid punishment. Well… Most of these times happened because of him, but…”
“He seems like a good kid after all.” Summed Anna, looking around the workshop table.
“Oh definitely! He just had some dumb ideas. Once, we bought all three of our kids a huge box of chewing gum.” Mrs. Przybylska gestured to show the size of the box. “It was expensive for that time because it came with little cards that kids like to collect. Aaron was too impatient and decided to open all the chewing gums, throw them out and just keep the cards! You can’t even imagine how angry it made us.”
Mrs. Przybylska chuckled and looked towards the women. Anna was listening to her with curiosity, but Jenny seemed to grow irritated. Mrs. Przybylska sighed and walked towards the door leading into the house.
“I won’t stall you for longer. Let’s see the rest of the house.”