Thursday, 23 August 2012

An update (finally!) - Fair warning it's very long

Well we've finally earned a break on the art course and that means I've finally got the time to write a post because these last few weeks have been absolute murder.
Take the time to get a cup of coffee.  This thing turned out to be longer than I expected.
Why? What happened?

It's like this, strange voice in my head.  The course was going well, classes were happening with a boring regularity and art was been created (1) but all the while the deadline was sneaking up on everyone, probably to the tune of jaws.

Suddenly the only thing anyone can think of is what needs to be done.  We had 5 projects due and all of them were only halfway completed or not even started at all.  Clearly there was only one thing that we could do and that was panic! and then moan.
There were only two things we could do.  Panic and moan.  And try to weasel out of things
Three! There were only three things we could do. (2)

Thus it was with just four days to go we manged to complete the projects in question.
    1. Create a poster in the style of David Carson based on your horroscope sign.  Be prepared to justify your choice and give a presentation about your work.
    2. Create a film. (3) have a script and storyboard
    1. Take a tool and an animal, Combine the two.  Nothing could be simpler right? right.
    2. Create a visual language chart.  You're free to make it out of any materials that you like.
  •  3D
    1. Create a sculpture that uses light.  A light sculpture if you will.
    2. Create a Tukutuku panel. 

So what actually got turned in?
David Carson was the artist responsible for the grungy look of the early nineties.  This is only one of a number of things that I now know about him.
Aside from a 20 page document with every single concept drawing and reference image I used I also included this monster:
But I didn't print it out on the right paper because the printer hates me (4) so I'll probably get marked down for that.

The film that we made was creatively titled Batman and the mysterious mystery of the missing moon. It was a rip roaring adventure set in the years of the Adam West Batman (5)
I was pleased to write the, for want of a better word, script and the filming on this really came down to the wire as one of the members of the group was absent whenever we had to film.  But we were able to work our way around this only to find that the final climatic
scene had been lost and there was no time left to rerecord anything.

Naturally it was time to attempt to edit and panic at the same time (6) leading to the following video as the result.

Batman: Mona
Robin: Jayden
Commissioner Gordan/The Riddler: Me!

Behold! The twisted genius that is me brings to life Happy the Harmonidile.  A strange combination of Crocodile and Harmonica.  Drawing isn't really one of my strengths (7) so I chose to do it in the style of an aspiring artist who has submitted a character design to NZTV for their childrens show and gotten his work back with work all over it.

I do like the idea of this though and will most likely redesign Happy in the future.

The Visual Language Chart project was another matter entirely.  My first idea was to make a comic book with a strip for every entry but with 75 different jokes required I just couldn't do it.  The image book that I whipped up in the end was 65 pages long and only had three jokes (8).
  • Tone - In the description it says "Tone refers to the degree of lightness or darkness of an area.  Tone varies from the bright white of a light source through the 50 shades of grey and into the depths of the deepest blacks. 
  • Rhythm - The image is the sheet music for "I got rhythm" by Ella Fitzgerald.
  • The end - Finishes with "And then there is death" which is less of a joke and more of a Sandman reference but sometimes you just gotta work with what you got.
The light sculpture was one of the easier projects.  For the light aspect of it I played around with the primary school thing of cooking oil/food dye and water combined to make an ocean in a bottle.

After suspending it between the hoops I took it home and photographed it in pitch black which made for some interesting shots.

However the biggest project of them all was the Tukutuku panel.  Not only did we have to make one but we also had to write an essay about the meaning of the various panels and also show that we understood exactly what our one stood for.

Thankfully I've already posted about the panels so it was simply a matter of joining the Tukutuku postings, adding some photos and also this bit.

My Tukutuku panel:
The background of the Niho Taniwha design is to illustrate the teeth of the Taniwha who may or may not be entirely mythical creatures (9) 
The Niho Taniwha appealed to me because of my interest in mythology, if I had enough money to fund myself then I would happily spend the rest of my life buried deep in research and tracking mankind’s development (10)
The layout of the teeth is also important since they can be thought of as eating the kao kao of the shield.  The two go together very well because  the kao kao represents the warriors and eating people is something that Taniwha are very good at.  The other, perhaps more sneaky explanation is that the shield is the coat of arms of Tottenham (11) 
Through a rather large leap in logic we can infer that Tottenham represents England, a country that ruled over us and stole huge tracts of land from various everyone.

Thus the Taniwha could be said to be eating England.  I leave this in the realm of possibility because I still have relatives over there (12)
But back in boring old reality I have to admit that the real meaning behind the Niho Taniwha is that the teeth represent my family who, like the Taniwha themselves, are spread far and wide across this beautiful land (13)

The finished product.  The shield is held on by thick braids of wool.

The white teeth on a white background don't really go together but we didn't have any other colours handy.

Note: This is what the back of the Panel is supposed to look like.  Everything neat and tidy.
This is the back of our one.  The less said about it the better I think.

  1. Naturally we tore our creations to pieces after coming to the realization that we were nothing more than hacks.  Hacks I say! - This too is an important part of the creative process. 
  2. You get the idea
  3. I have learned to be especially wary of projects like this.
  4. It really does!  Anytime I go to print something there's always something wrong with it.  It's like a voodoo curse.
  5. But, alas, with no batusi.
  6. A difficult feat in itself but I managed it.
  7. Something I'll be working on over the break
  8. I'll warn you now that it's not my A material.  I save that stuff for you guys. 
  9.  Certainly nobody who’s found one has returned.  Something to think about before you go Taniwha hunting. 
  10. My theory is that if you could trace the stories and legends that each culture back far enough then eventually each story would blend into each other.  I don’t exactly know what it would prove but it’s still a good theory. 
  11.  Where my partner, Jayden is ancestrally from.
  12. Although considering they actually live in Edinburgh they might be ok with it.  
  13. We're all just biding our time until the day of the glorious uprising.  Your best bet is to marry into the family as quickly as possible.


  1. So, the move "Came down to the wire" aye? :D

  2. All these years and I still hate that turn of phrase.

  3. You're really talented. They have you doing all sorts of different things! Everything looks so great!

    1. They're working us so hard that there is no time for anything that isn't course related. This includes going out on the town and/or sleeping regular hours.

      If I'd known my insomnia was going to come in so handy I'd have quit years ago!