– a bit of a JUmbLe… –
It’s no secret at this point, I’m having a bad run this term; what with being sick, having bad news from home and being thrown off course—
Anyway, bit of a catchup on what’s happened in the past few weeks. I’ve been quite sick but I’ve continued my photography of the phenomena outside my house and taking inspiration from them to write up a collection of writings for my I.P.
I find myself jokingly referring to these atmospheric visuals as ‘Biblical set pieces.’ There’s something mildly… apocalyptic about them? When I say apocalyptic I mean it with reference to its revelatory definition, as the word is derived from the Greek ‘αποκάλυψη’, meaning revelation or discovery. The truth laid plain and bare in the sky; but what is the truth? Is Muirín speaking through her clothes or is it simply something S. wants us to see?
S. likes to drape Muirín in his clothes he gifts her. Sometimes she is covered entirely, other times he leaves gaps so he can see her. I much prefer her when she is calm, but there is something majestic in her destructive fury and power; it is a sight to behold.
– how bizarre –
The way the clouds are captured in this images brings to mind mangaka Hirohiko Araki, and his interpretation of clouds in his work.
Araki’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is a long-running manga franchise that pertains to the story of a family tree and their struggle with things ranging from vampires going to terrible lengths to gain power, to a seemingly simple man who is actually a serial killer with a fetish for hands.
He has had collaborations with Gucci and an exhibition in the Louvre in 2009, 2010, and 2016.
He takes inspiration from various sources such as fashion, Western pop culture and music, classical techniques in painting and sculpture, and Paul Gaugin’s manipulation of colour.
A particular (personal) standout in his career is his 7th instalment in the Jojo series, Steel Ball Run, which ran from 2004 to 2011. In 2005 Araki changed the magazine he would publish Steel Ball Run in because the weekly release schedule of Shonen Jump was too stressful for him, and instead began publishing his work in Ultra Jump, which had a monthly release schedule; allowing him to have more time to work on his panels and thus dramatically developing his art style, and giving him the chance to create full-page-spreads.
These are some of the Steel Ball Run volume covers. You can see his inspirations from Gaugin in his use of colour. He always features dynamic poses for his characters, and strives to show beauty in masculinity; often having female-presenting male characters or male-presenting female characters. His imagination and creative are a huge inspiration to me, as his outlandish plots and re-contextualisations of certain historical events/figures such as the story of Jesus Christ in the happenings of Steel Ball Run.
His art style has evolved dramatically since the 80s, starting out with highly masculine characters with massive muscles, taking inspiration from the popular at the time manga Fist of the North Star. He struggled with drawing women in his early career which is why little to no women are present in instalments such as Phantom Blood and Battle Tendencies. After Araki’s 3rd instalment, Stardust Crusaders, his art style began adapting a more effeminate essence to it, even if subtly. Male characters would have more feminine poses, softer facial features etc. Araki pushes and transcends the line between masculinity and femininity, allowing for intriguing character designs with clear inspirations in fashion and his own personal touch of… well, Araki.
– workshop 3 –
For our group workshop proposal Nidhi and I decided to collaborate and address everyday struggles. We thought we could lead a workshop that would serve as a cathartic experience for the group. A bit of meditation, a bit of creativity through making stress boxes with our worries on them, the installation of the boxes with appropriate lighting, and finally a physically therapeutic moment of catharsis through the smashing of water balloons. This workshop would have been quite relaxed and stress-free in order to fully appreciate the struggles we go through everyday.
– workshop 4 –
This week I had to research ‘sculpture,’ and I had an artwork in mind, but I couldn’t find it cos I don’t remember the name of it. On top of that I had received some pretty concerning news about a family matter, so I just couldn’t bring myself to present anything. Having gone back to look at what I could have presented I found the following…
“Thailand based contemporary artist Rook Floro created sculpture and installations that have a confrontational way of provoking questions of desire, repression, fear and inhibition. Abjection is an important part of Floro’s vocabulary, in the sense that it is self-revelatory, and spurs self-examination, as well as simultaneously challenging societal stigmas about suffering and mental illness. Various series feature alter egos, representing in a sense the complexity of the human spirit, a more symbiotic understanding of our psychological make up, not always irreducible to categories. The artist also confronts concepts of normalcy and the aberrant. And yet it has the capacity to shatter the mind, bearing the marks and embodiment of an almost painful intimacy, a telling of secrets.” – Rosa JH Berland
I find these sculptures and actors to be very unsettling to watch and interact with. The walking silhouettes create a sense of anxiety and uncertainty around the humanoid figure in the middle.
– workshop 5 –
The Worry Dolls were constructed this week. Unfortunately I wasn’t present due to illness, so my coverage of the happenings of the workshop are what I have gathered from my classmates.
A little larger than I thought they would be! Our group created two ragdolls which were placed at the entrance of the School of Art. We wrote our frustrations on the dolls and even gave them some accessories to give them more of a personality. There is something quite disturbing about having created these dolls and giving them distinct personalities only for us to burn them later… Why do they need to burned? Did they ask for it? Is that their purpose? Do the LIVE for this? Will it hurt? Will they come alive at the end? Will they scream when they burn?
Combustion releases energy, and there are different types of energy, negative, positive, neutral… Perhaps this is the only way negative energy can be disposed of… fire… is it Prometheus’ fault we now have this power to burn things at our own free will? I suppose we’ll never know, but stories are what memories become when we forget them…
– IP Ending –
This is the final outcome of my project.
I was playing around on Adobe Illustrator in order to make a cover image for the booklet, but after discussing the aesthetics of the cover I decided a simple serif font would be appropriate. “muírin and the spring tide” was the initial working title, but I felt like it lent itself more to a fairytale rather than ‘a listener’s account.’ So I decided to call my booklet by what its contents are: whispers in the night. I chose a blue colour for the paper because I wanted the reader to feel a serene, calming feeling while reading it, while also reflecting the colour of the sky from my photography; with the colour of the letters reflecting the sea, as they are the sea’s words and I have put them down.
The poem Umbral Echoes was the first piece I wrote for this booklet, and I was singing the words in order to give the words a rhythm, which I hope is received by listeners of the recording below. The next two pieces, His Clothes On Her and An End Too Soon, are more free-form prose and storytelling, where I try to let the readers in on some of the lore I created for the sun, moon and sea, but never letting them in on everything. As a writer I must know everything about my story, but I don’t have to reveal everything to my readers. Le Guin does this in her short story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas to the bewilderment of the reader. I prefer it when their imagination goes wild. Slashing Dance/Too Fast To Think is a more conceptual piece of writing, where I reflected on my experience of the powerful storm we had on the seafront, with the sounds of the sea being interwoven between my written thoughts, immersing the reader by distracting them, just as I was distracted and mesmerised by Muírin’s attack on the land. Lastly is the piece Rebellion & Evasion is a letter which I wrote in response to the rest of the pieces I created. All my efforts of understanding the whispers were rendered futile in the end, as we speak a different language; all I could do was interpret. I could not help her… All I could do was listen… Maybe that’s all we should do. Listen to the little things around us. Make them a part of our ‘everyday.’ Accept their existence, their importance, their purpose, their function.