This third part of the course takes a more personal and political approach to documentary. Using sketches, collage and photography from Cornwall and Cambridge, it deepens my interest in psycho-geography in the context of feminist and political critiques of consumerism and global capitalism.
The key focus is exploration of the dynamics of text and image:
- how text and image combine to create narratives and meanings
- the ways in which visual communicators author such content
- the role an audience has in reading it.
I work in multiple media adapted to the various briefs: ink and wash, gouache, photocollage/photomontage and printmaking media. My aim is to significantly improve and clarify my image-making process and explore in more depth my feelings and reactions to ‘place’ incorporating and further developing the creative processes developed in Project 1.3 Creative Design Toolkit. My diverse sources of visual inspiration are:
- Feminist artists: guerrilla girls, Laura Oldfield, Barbara Kruger etc.
- Cartoonists like Gerald Scarfe, Ralph Steadman and Ronald Searle
- Collage artists like Hannah Hoch, Romare Beardon and Richard Hamilton.
- Digital photomontage illustrators like Tim Marrs
- Simplified surrealism of Alessandro Gottardo
- Cambridge illustrators (see post on Cambridge Illustrators), particularly collages of John Tordoff
This exploration of visual dynamics of text and image is based on a personal sketchbook of part of the South West Coast path from 5 days in St Ives, Cornwall. A key influence at that time – when rain stopped walking – was reading Rebecca Solnitz’s ‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost’. The sketchbook is a ‘concertina compilation’ with pull-outs and add-ins from spontaneous mark-making, personal reflections on the various influences (Solnitz, Huguette Calland exhibition at Tate St Ives, Brexit angst and climate change in the News) and pencil sketches and photographs from walks.
Continuing from my reading of Rebecca Solnitz, I take texts from other psycho-geographers about the places I am interested in for this module as the beginnings of illustrated versions. My aim is to deepen my understanding of different psycho-geographic approaches to documentary and point to areas for further thought and investigation in subsequent projects. My main focus is on women psycho-geographers, but I also look at the work of men who have a similar political critique and/or have written about places I look at in this module. I consider how far and in what ways gender might or might not affect our ‘human’ perceptions and image-making processes.
Using Cam and college magazines from Cambridge University and my own photographs, I produce a series of image and text collages about some of the tensions and contradictions of life in Cambridge.
Using the insights and skills developed in the previous projects, I develop a fanzine of sketches, digitally manipulated images and collages with text of my thoughts and reactions to life in the Grand Arcade in August. In particular issues of ethical consumerism and the way global companies and urban environment shape our lives and relationships. I use a wide range of media, including print media: drypoint, gelli-plate, linocut and card-cuts adapting to subject matter and photocollage. Inspired by Dan Eldon and feminist fanzine artists like Laura Oldfield.