Critical Reflection-

Throughout the lectures I was introduced to schools of art, theories, artists and more that assisted me in establishing an appropriate vision of the nature. The lecture materials included historical styles, systems of rules and coherent artistic ideas that helped me to derive out and insight of my individual self-contained project.

There was a wide range of styles of art to traverse over from the lecture materials. Us as students of art developed an understanding of the doctrine that knowledge is limited to experiences and those encounters are made by observation of tangible forms of art. The module maintained an equilibrium between theoretical framework and their applications. We

encountered theories, their historical contexts and compatibilities. For example, Bauhaus was a school of design established in Weimar in 1919. The school faced hostility from the Nazi regime that led it to close its doors in 1933. The cohort and developers of this school and their ideas of functional designs in applied arts fled the radicalism of the Nazis where they did not find a supporting environment to nurture, flourish and express themselves. The applied arts aim at producing aesthetically appealing and intellectually stimulating designs and this is one of the noble messages of art.

Within our learning sessions we also discussed ideas about reading images Connotation- symbol of passion and love. This image holds a lot of disguised symbolism.

The denotation of this image is that it is an image of a man and woman on their wedding day. He holds her hand and she hold up her ruffled dress. There what looks to be their pet dog looks on in the foreground. The connotation of this image is if you look closer into it you notice hidden meanings beyond the denotation. If you look in the middle of the man and woman you see a candelabra with only one candle in it. This refers to christ as a single light. The pet dog symbolises faithfulness and fidelity. Fido a generic pet name for a dog- latin for faithful. Having the shoes to the left and them in bare feet suggest they are standing on holy ground. Behind the man and woman is a mirror which reflects the setting. It is decorated with the 10 scenes from Passion of Christ. As you can tell this is a very religious

During later lectures we learnt about vanishing points and the impact of perspective, this being the art of drawing a solid object on a two-dimensional subject.

MASS NOUN. The art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other: the theory and practice of perspective [AS MODIFIER]: a perspective drawing.

The appearance of viewed objects about their relative position, distance from the viewer, etc. A trick of perspective.

1.the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface to, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a point. [as adj.]: a perspective drawing. see also linear perspective and aerial perspective. A picture drawn in such a way, esp. one appearing to enlarge or extend the actual space, or to give the effect of distance and a view or prospect.

here is Albrecht Durer’s interpretation of a Rhino. The image was based on a description and brief sketch of an Indian Rhinoceros. Durer had never seen a Rhino before but as you can see from the written description you can recognise what it is. However, he draws a small twisted horn on its back, and gives it scaly legs. None of these features are present in a real Rhinoceros.

With the course of this module I gained practical skills in interpreting art pieces and identifying theories like abstract-impressionism, cubism, fauvism, symbolism and much more. Speaking of theories and art movements, there are a lot of key characteristics in each art movement that makes it unique from the others. For instance, Abstract expressionism, is an art movement in experimental nonrepresentational painting as well as photography which defined the artistic climate where photographs for American were produced. For example, the intriguing features of this movement attained a singular prominence in the world of art for decades for being expressive and turbulent yet elegant. Gorky for instance, was one of the deriving forces of this movement as well as Picasso and Miro and more. Another key element in this module was symbolism or application of symbols in art which began as a French literature movement that aimed at representing ideas and emotions by figures unlike realism and naturalism. Another similar topic that was studied during this course is iconography. In the history of art, this field focused on studying and interpreting figural representation or symbols. I personally find symbolism, iconography and incorporation of calligraphy fascinating and creative. Later in the course of the module I came across techniques in photography such as different components in the structure of a photograph. Those components are perspective, position details, leading lines, patterns, symmetry and more. I learnt that those feature in paintings and photographs enhances the meaning of the art and can be used to deliver specific messages.

The lecture materials were very informative, simulating and engaging. I had the opportunity to learn from them and explore thought-provoking theories that I was able to utilise and apply in my project in meaningful manner.

From the lectures I learnt many theories to which I incorporated within my work. This short research focuses on looking at how symbolism, geometrical illusions, purposeful errors and iconography are applied in the field of Fine Art in order to suggest resemblances. The unique characteristics of the selected painting will be discussed in terms of how historians, critics, academics and specialists interpret the features of it. I have incorporated some of the elements that Paul Cezanne used in his painting. For example, Cezanne committed deliberate errors to construct an artistic illusionistic effect in drawing the table lines. I integrated a black background to derive a perceptually adequate representation of the intended shape. The photo was capture in such a way where the dark background makes the visible part of the apple resembles a toroid. This geometrical shape could have been achieved in more precise way if the stalk was removed but I left it there to show where the toroid is originated from.

 From the lectures I learnt the term ‘Visual Literacy’ is credited to John Debes, co-founder of the International Visual Literacy Association. Debes’ definition of the concept is, “Visual literacy refers to a group of vision-competencies a human being can develop by seeing and at the same time having and integrating other sensory experiences.”

Within lectures we also explored ideas of hidden symbolism I do love to use mirrors for self-portraits. Don’t use your camera’s flash with a mirror as it won’t give a nice result!

I took this photo in the big shop for furniture I use a mirror is a natural lighting in afternoon I was happy in this photo in my opinion The camera lens is third eye in a composition that has come to epitomize the modernist role of photography in creating a new vision.

The tasks in this module and working with groups to complete work opened the doors for me to explore how it is like to be a member of a group working on a given task. I improved my interpersonal skills, communication techniques, time management. Yes, there were obstacles and challenges in exchanging comments and ideas with some team members. However, my teammates and I managed to complete the task successfully and efficiently. We used group chats to discuss ideas and assign tasks. This task taught me that time management is the key to succeed in and if you are working with a group, communication is crucial to have high degree of successfulness. Being adaptable to the changing circumstances and approachable are important personal characteristics for each team member to have. During this module I was introduced to multiple theories which I was required to understand and demonstrate my understanding of them in my work. The theoretical aspect of the course paved the path for me to strengthen my background in photography and eventually improve my photography skills by incorporating the practices and techniques of different movements. The experience was very practically enriching in terms of improving skills and proficiency.

There are ups and downs for everything and for this module I came across difficult times where I ran out of ideas or felt shortage of perception and assistance. However, I managed to display adequate understanding and performed good from the practical point of view. I gained confidence in communicating with classmate and lecturers and gained the ability of distinguishing between different schools and movements. Now I can differentiate between various artistic techniques and has become more capable of separating between elements and how to apply them to my work. In conclusion, I made my best in implementing the different compounds of the lecture materials to my work and showed appreciation, subtlety and good level of development.

References

Jones, J. (2019). Arnolfini Portrait, Jan Van Eyck (1434). [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2000/apr/15/art [Accessed 13 May 2019].

The Chester Lecture Society. (2019). Now you see it. Now you don’t, the art of visual deception — The Chester Lecture Society. [online] Available at:

Now you see it ..Now you don’t, the art of visual deception
[Accessed 13 May 2019].

Totally History. (2019). Durer’s Rhinoceros – Facts & History of the Painting. [online] Available at: http://totallyhistory.com/durers-rhinoceros/ [Accessed 13 May 2019].

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individual task

Task 2

Individual work:

This short research focuses on looking at how symbolism, geometrical illusions, purposeful errors and iconography are applied in the field of Fine Art in order to suggest resemblances. The unique characteristics of the selected painting will be discussed in terms of how historians, critics, academics and specialists interpret the features of it.

For this task, a painting by the French artist Paul Cezanne whose work was influenced by Post-Impressionism, Modern Art, Impressionism, Romanticism and Cubism will be studied. The painting is called The Basket of Apples and it is categorised as Still-Life oil painting. This genre of Fine Art is characterised by lifelessness representation of what can be described as spiritless objects.

The Still-Life paintings and photographs are not endowed with life and that is the distinctive characteristics of The Basket of Apples, the focal point of this research. “Paul Cezanne, was inclined to the philosophy that the creative space of artists should not be confined to representing real objects in real space.” (The Basket of Apples, 2019)

The painting is composed of pictorial representations of an intentionally oddly-shaped table, basket of apples falling down the table due to the elevated left side of the table, a tilted bottle, a plate with stacked biscuits and tablecloth. The composition is inanimate and spiritless since these are the predominant stylistic features of the Still-Life Fine Art. However, the imperfections of the painting are there to symbolise the disposition of the artist.

From my personal perspective, the painting is imbued with symbolic and ritualistic elements. The well-delineated sculptural structure of the painting is characterised chiefly by the emphasis on formal structure of objects like in the rectangular shape of the table which is in two different planes. I think the signature of Cubism is obvious in this painting

specially in the texture, colours and geometrical representations of the objects which contributes to the disposition of the work. The arrangement of objects imitates the complexity, hierarchy and equilibrium of nature and how things can be perceptually misleading.

This photograph is my response to the painting. I have incorporated some of the elements that Paul Cezanne used in his painting. For example, Cezanne committed deliberate errors to construct an artistic illusionistic effect in drawing the table lines. I integrated a black background to derive a perceptually adequate representation of the intended shape. The photo was capture in such a way where the dark background makes the visible part of the apple resembles a toroid. This geometrical shape could have been achieved in more precise way if the stalk was removed but I left it there to show where the toroid is originated from.

Task 3

Figure 1: Carleton E. Watkins/public domain (LEARY, 2015)

The tree with its permanently woody majestic structure, sometimes considerable height and beautiful foliage holds many meanings and interpretations that convey powerful messages and situations. For example, each one of the photographers in the list had his/her own thoughts, emotions and experiences to convey by capturing photographs of variety of trees.

The tree as a natural object is so versatile and has a venerable stature that is deeply admired and tinged with awe in many different cultures and religions throughout the history of humanity. There are many people who take the tree as a natural object that symbolises segments of their personal lives, political inclination and historical events.

For some cultures, certain kind of trees holds denotations that speaks for peace, tolerance and resilience. The olive branch which is an integral part of the tree is probably one of the most well-known figures that emblem peace.

For an environmental point of view, the tree is simply one of the widely used characters that used to encourage the inhabitants of plant Earth to look after their environment in the same way trees does. The value of trees is unmeasurable that the effort and ambition of a single photographer who cared about trees led to the idea of National Parks System. Carleton Watkins was one of many ardent photographers who contributed to establishing the power of trees by through photographic documentation.

This photo is one of many staggering photos that Watkins used which was compelling enough to convince the president of USA at that time to sign the famous Yosemite Grant of 1864 which declared that commercial exploitation of the Yosemite Valley is forbidden by the law.

The tree is one of the most powerful gifts of nature with its wide range of meanings it represents the peace of mind that we all continuously pursue.

Each kind of tree has its own value and meaning in science, politics and society. For instance, Oak is revered for its endurance strength and known scientifically to have the properties that facilitate blood circulation and other health problems. (LEARY, 2015)

From a political point of view, the tree usually symbolises balance, determination and adaptation. Many political parties and countries use certain kind of tress to show their ideology, doctrine and vision.

This photo I took in the park of an eye-catching oddly-shaped tree. Although I do not know what kind of tree this is, but I can tell from my point of view that this strange-looking tree symbolises endurance, strength and experience. The cavity represents to me emergence of new life, protection and isolation. I took this photo in such a way where the surrounding of the tree which is the main positive space appears to be intertwined which could be interpreted as being a symbol of community, compassion and cohesion.

Task 6

Self portrait

I do love to use mirrors for self-portraits. Don’t use your camera’s flash with a mirror as it won’t give a nice result!

I took this photo in the big shop for furniture I use a mirror is a natural lighting in afternoon I was happy in this photo

I took this image just for this article, I used the self-timer drive on my camera (a Lumix g80). I aimed and focused the camera at myself. Then I chose the proper exposure settings, hit the button, and jumped in!

I took this photo in studio with a darkroom and beauty dish light above my head I was looking straight to camera with a natural lighting

Birth name Magdalena carmen Frieda, born July 6, 1907, died July 13th, 1954 (aged 47), training self-taught, movement surrealism, nationality Mexican

in this portrait I think that Frida tried to set the background of her portrait as somewhere where she feels most inspired and, in a place, that she is fully immersed in, a place that is comfortable to her. Frida I think incorporated exotic animals into herself portraits because they often roamed the streets where Frida grew up , in her loneliness and desire for children I think that Frida turned to animals as comfort and felt that they played a significant role in her portraits because they portrayed Frida as she perceives herself , not how others may portray her.

Frida’s ex-husband Diego was often in Freda’s thoughts thus the reason I think that he is so close to her thoughts. Frida in my opinion felt influenced by Diego’s intellect and often tried to incorporate him in her portraits as much as possible.

Frida’s hair which is elegantly pinned up suggests that she is depressed without Diego by her side. Also, the tears in the portrait suggest that she is lonely and quoted that 2 I am lost without Diego”.

when looking at the piece I detected movement from the monkeys hanging off her, I also thought that Frida achieved a balanced feel with the piece because of the vibrancies of colours and little movement adds a realistic feel. I also think that the portrait shows variety because they are different shapes and forms. Overall, I think that the piece is harmonic and well composed.

Details of portrait:

Oil When looking at Frida’s portraits it’s important to visualize what it is that she was trying to achieve…. was there a message, was she trying to portray her emotions? Or is it simply how she wanted to be thought of? I enjoy Frida’s portraits because it shows her as an artist and what she sees herself as.  I think that is very important in an artist and often hard to find, originality is key. Many artists get lost in portraits of how they want to be seen not as they are, and I think that Frida is an inspirational Hispanic artist.

When doing my research, I learnt that Frida’s childhood was no walk in the park she grew up whilst the Mexican revolution was occurring, and I think that she used that concept and portrayed it though her surrealistic artwork. I learnt that elements and principles are an important when creating a coherent piece her use of vibrant colour, elements and principle of design create an exciting and exceptional composition. I look forward to hearing and learning about her through more artwork in the future. on canvas mixed media

Michael MATTIS, (a collector and copyright holder for Ilse Bing, text adapted from walk text for “Paris night and day: photography between the wars, at Boston college’s McMullen museum, on view through June 8th) : born into a prosperous Jewish family in Frankfurt Ilse Bing studied mathematics and art history before picking p a camera and launching a photographic career that would last for three decades. “self-portrait with Leica” is being’s best-known photograph. With its perfectly positioned mirror capturing a photographer now of artistic conception, it is both a personal manifesto and a touchstone of this artistically fertile era-an icon of modernist French photography.

© Ilse Bing, Self-Portrait in Mirrors, 1931

One of the most widely reproduced self-portraits of the 1930’s this image shows a young woman fractured by reflections in two mirrors which show her looking straight at the viewer and in profile at the same time. The camera lens is third eye in a composition that has come to epitomize the modernist role of photography in creating a new vision.

group task-

Task 1

John Everett Millais Ophelia, (Oil on Canvas) Tom Hunter The Way Home (Cibachrome print)

Ophelia 1851-2 Sir John Everett Millais

Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829–1896. Born into a wealthy family in Southampton, he attended Sass’s Art School and was considered a child prodigy and a pioneer of British painting. He began painting Ophelia in 1851. Based on a character from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the scene, painted in oils, shows the demise of Ophelia as she succumbs to the calm of the waters, not committing suicide but not wanting to thrive either.

Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,

Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay

To muddy death.

He began by painting the background foliage within the image. This took 5 months and this time is evident in that the blooms themselves would not have flowered together as in the painting. The later inclusion of Ophelia – modelled by Elizabeth Siddal – took several months, during which Siddal laid in a bath warmed by nearby lamps.

Tom Hunter. The Way Home.

Tom Hunter, born 1965 in Dorset, began studying photography at college and for his master’s degree at The Royal College of Arts in London.

His book ‘The Way Home’ was published in 2012 and explored the area of Hackney and the people living there. Hunter liked to show the constant battle of nature versus the city development. This image is the story of a young girl heading home after a night dancing and slipping and ‘losing herself to the dark slippery, industrial motorway of a bygone era.’ A Cibachrome print created from a colour transparency is considered a fine art reproduction photograph that would never fade as most prints would.

The similarities between these two images are immediate. The simple form of the girl in the water surrounded by lush greenery is unquestionable, as are the concepts that bring this poor girl to this moment, and both are calm and accepting of their fate. The processes used in the production of both will ensure long lasting and vibrant definition, a representation of the finality of death perhaps, the images as lasting as death itself. Exploring the influence of painting on photography.

Discussing the media used by painter/photographer.

The Pre-Raphaelite signature is what Millais used in his famous painting Ophelia. Millais was an advocate and one of the founding artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement who worked to enliven the art and its spirit before the period of the Italian artist Raphael. Ophelia is a manifestation of how Millais sought refuge in the natural beauty and its sophisticated simplicity. Away from the sweeping materialism and industrial revolution, the artist chose to depict the enchanting charm of the medieval era. The innocence of the painting is glaring and so as the very purpose of the movement which is imitated in Ophelia.

The fundamental characteristics of the Pre-Raphaelite movement are the nostalgic tone and distinctive choice of colours which resembled the inclination of the group. The predilection of the group was associated with being immensely meticulous about minute details and high degree of clarity. This Victorian-era painting was painted on canvas and oil colours which gave Ophelia its distinguished and highly detailed appearance like it is a high-definition photograph.

Millais used two location to paint this masterpiece. He painted and completed the natural landscape in one place and used the studio to paint the lady in the painting. The way that this painting was painted in is relevant to modern landscape photography where photographers capture purely unadulterated natural sites and sometimes landscapes with man-made modifications. The two canvasses were coated with glue substance and a ground composition to cover the surface of the painting. The whiteness of the painting was intensified by Millais using zinc oxide which is chiefly as painting pigment. (The Story of Ophelia, 2019)

Tom Hunter Way to Home techniques.

Photographer Tom Hunter managed to convey his passion for photography by capturing strikingly accurate aspects of the life around the UK in his project The Way Home. Tom’s spectacular representations in his photographs and the use of unique photographic processes like Ilfochrome or Cibachrome gave his photographs chromatic purity, vivid and precise details.

Task 4

Chris Killip-youth on a wall, yarrow

Born on the isle of man in 1946 Killip left school to pursue career in hotel management but became a full-time beach photographer in 1964. He moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1975 as the northern arts photography fellow.

A young boy sat on a wall wearing working class clothing, hands up to his face with eyes shut tightly.

It can be read in different ways depending on the level of knowledge behind each viewer. It can be viewed as a young boy upset and alone or a skin head demonstrating anger prior to a fight.

This is an iconic image, famous image and for me one of, if the best British portrait ever taken. It’s been read as metaphor for Britain at the end of empire, at the end of its industrial reign. Britain awaiting the huge political and social change that was to arrive with thatcher a couple of years later.

This is black and white images, mostly made on 4 by 5 film, are now recognized as among the most important visual records of living in 1980s Britain. They are dense, vivid, solid, black and white images of working people in the north of England in the seventies and eighties.

This image looks as if the children are either living in the car or working. this show the poverty is England at that time .1984  

“Another picture features graffiti on a wall that says, “Bobby Sands, Greedy Irish Pig,” and next to it is a graffiti that says “Smash the IRA” [Housing Estate on May 5th]. I never released this picture while I was living in Newcastle. I felt it was too much about prejudice and intransigence. It’s from May 5, 1981. I can tell you the date, because it’s when Margaret Thatcher announced on the radio program The World at One that the IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands was dead.” – chris Killip

Task 5

Task 7

ANDREAS GURSKY

Andreas GURSKY Chicago board of trade ll 1999, C-print mounted to plexiglass in artist’s frame 73 by 95 inches

Chicago Board of Trade, executed in 1997 is packed with kaleidoscopic details that unify into a glorious, transcended whole. It investigates the relationship between the micro and the macro scales, overlooking the scene from an almost scientific perspective. It represents the struggles of an everyman, the battles that take place at his workplace, in the hub of contemporary commerce. The individuals that occupy the photo are fragile and mortal, surrounded by the monumental architectonic space, and represent the natural phenomenon within the cold, calculated realm they’re in. Andreas Gursky photography often symbolizes the man’s frailty in the world of data and facts, and this photo is no different, as it provides the cautionary tale of the wealth, and inspires with its abstract beauty.

He was born in LEIPZIG in 1955, but he grew up in Dusseldorf, the son of commercial photographer. In the early 1980s, at Germany’s state art academy, the kunst Akademie Düsseldorf, GURSKY received strong training and influence from hid teachers hilla and Bernd Becher, a photographic team known for their distinctive, dispassionate method of systematically cataloguing industrial machinery and architecture. a similar approach may be found in gursky’s methodical approach to his own larger-scale photography.

Pyongyang IV is an image that offers the glimpse into the North Korea’s Arirang Festival, and investigates the themes of surface ornament and pattern, recurring in his best works, but in an entirely different part of the world than that we are used to.

Paris, Montparnasse is one of the first examples of digitally manipulated Andreas Gursky photography. Executed in 1993, this image is a symbol of the anonymity in the urban society, high-tech communication, and globalization, as well as the growing alienation of the individuals within one community

This piece is a diptych made in 1999, and it represents the artist’s understanding of the way we see the world It allows the viewers to examine the saturated colours, the arrangement and the hypnotizing effect of the goods made for mass consumption and sold in the market

biography

  • Pre-Raphaelite Reflections. (2019). Reinterpreting the Pre-Raphaelites: Tom Hunter.

[online]

Available at: https://dantisamor.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/reinterpreting-the-pre-raphaelites-tom-hunter/ [Accessed 10 May 2019].

  • MNN – Mother Nature Network. (2019). How Carleton Watkins saved Yosemite Valley.

[online]

Available at: https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/how-carleton-watkins-saved-yosemite-valley [Accessed 10 May 2019].

  • Hodgson, B. (2019). Chris Killip photographs of 1970s Tyneside go on show in Madrid.

[online]

journallive. Available at: http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/chris-killip-photographs-1970s-tyneside-6181427 [Accessed 10 May 2019].

  • Widewalls. (2019). The Priciest Highlights of the Andreas Gursky Photography in Auction.

[online]

Available at: https://www.widewalls.ch/most-expensive-andreas-gursky-photography/ [Accessed 10 May 2019].

[online]

Available at: https://www.pablopicasso.org/avignon.jsp [Accessed 10 May 2019].

lectures-

Task 1

Tom Hunter, The Eve of the Party, from the series Life and Death in Hackney (1998).

John Everett Millais, The Eve of Saint Agnes, 1863. Oil on canvas. Private collection

Just as the Pre-Raphaelites did in paint, Hunter photographs in a sharp, even focus to capture every fine detail of his sitters’ surroundings. Rich, luminous colours are combined with subtle effects of natural light. The relationship between painting and the new art/science of photography was one the original Pre-Raphaelites were conscious of, at the time — though of course paintings still had the advantage of colour over sepia and black-and-white photographs. Hunter’s work demonstrates that, far from being distant and Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite art engaged with social themes still very much relevant today: love, loss, death, social alienation. the epicentre of the new warehouse rave scene of the early 90s. During this time the old print factories, warehouses and workshops became the playground of a disenchanted generation, taking the DIY culture from the free festival scene and adapting it to the urban wastelands. This Venice of the East End, with its canals, rivers and waterways, made a labyrinth of pleasure gardens and pavilions in which thousands of explorers travelled through a heady mixture of music and drug induced trances. Is there some suggestion, then, that this urge for young people in the 1990s to formulate their own vibrant subcultures, consciously breaking away from mainstream norms, had its roots in the spirit of youthful artistic rebellion which led to the founding of the P.R.B.? Such a supposition is quite ingenious given the persistent general view that Pre-Raphaelite art is stale and sentimental. In casting the compositions of Millais, Hughes and others in a new light, Hunter invites us to reconsider our relationship with them, as viewers in the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries, and to remember how radical and controversial the art of the P.R.B. was in its day.

Task 2

This symbol is a signifier, it signifies that the power to an            appliance may be controlled at this point.

Natural history series: away from the flock the sheep seems oblivious to its fate and appears to be prancing with life. Corpses of a sheep a tank with formaldehyde. He transforms an organism-which is lifeless-and he retrieves its lost vitality. He forces us to focus on the sheep’s, an animal that been provides us with food and warmth, transforming it from the mundane into something “special”. Away from the flock, is a term associated with religion, specifically Christianity.

fox Talbot (1840’s) oak tree in winter at lacock abbey

Talbot ideas: Talbot wanted to get away from the ideas of mental pictures and all the fuss that had to do with it. his idea was to coat a piece of   paper with a light-sensitive silver compound and place it onto a camera with the sensitive side facing the lens. The compound had to be kept in darkness before it was used in order to work, applied to the paper in a dim room, and stored in a light -tight environment while it wasn’t being used. He used his paper as not just a photograph but rather as a negative. he was able to use the paper negative to create multiple copies of positive prints. He would treat another piece of paper with the silver compound and then after that, place the first developed negative paper on top of the new one. He would put the two together in a glass, then expose the frame to light.

Uelsmann is an experimentalist whose work looks back to the photography of the Surrealists in the 1920s.  In the 1950s when Americans were fascinated by the social landscape, Uelsmann’s subject was humanity under constraint…. During the 1960s he began to take nature for his theme, and to represent growth and change across the seasons (The Photo Book (1997) p.464)

Here we have a visual photographic manipulation where the subject is trees, in a dramatic landscape setting.  Uelsmann created manipulations such as this in the dark room using multiple negatives.  As stated in The Photo Book (p.464) he was certainly inspired by the surrealist movement and used his work to convey his themes well.  Again, the inclusion of the trees seems to represent the symbolic associations with humanity, growth and change.  In contrast to the earlier reference to T’ai Chi, this interpretation, given in The Photo Book (p.464) is from a sociological view, rather than from a philosophical stand point.

Floating Tree (1969) Jerry N. Huelsman Gelatine Silver Print

This painting content is based on one of the stories from the metamorphoses by the classical poet Ovid. Pan, the goat-legged shepherd god, desires syrinx and pursues her. The beautiful nymph could not return this love, fled to her father, the river god laden, and exactly now that pan reached her, asked her sister, of whom one is represented at the edge of the image, to transform her into a reed. from this reed, pan, full of resignation, made a flute with various long pipes, which called either a panpipe after him or a syrinx after her. Poussin shows the moment in which pan appears to reach the feeling nymph.

This is a piece of work by Rene Magritte called ‘The Treachery of Images’. The picture displays a pipe and below it Magritte painted ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ meaning ‘This is not a pipe’. It is a painting of a pipe, not a pipe.

Although some people may have different levels of understanding about a subject, they can speak to each other with broad conceptual maps. Take a gardener talking about a tree for example. He could turn to his neighbour and explain that he has had his oaks and elms pruned but the neighbour might only understand that something ‘tree-like’ is being discussed. His other neighbour might know the difference between an oak and elm tree due to the leaf shape. This neighbour has a broader knowledge of the two trees. The third neighbour might be an expert and know that the latin for an oak tree is ‘Quercus’ and an elm tree is ‘Ulmus’.

Task 3

Key history

The Birth of Visual Literacy

The term ‘Visual Literacy’ is credited to John Debes, co-founder of the International Visual Literacy Association. Debes’ definition of the concept is, “Visual literacy refers to a group of vision-competencies a human being can develop by seeing and at the same time having and integrating other sensory experiences.”

Visual Literacy is the ability to interpret, negotiate and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image.

The birth of visual literacy:

Hand Print, Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave (circa 30,000 BC)

The Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave in the South of France is a cave that holds the earliest known and best kept figurative cave paintings in the world. Above is an image of a hand print showing us that pictures are used to tell stories.

Cave Paintings, Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave (30,000 BC)

Above is another cave painting.

Around 5000 years ago we started to see basic, unevolved alphabets which we call Proto Sinaitic Script. These gradually grew over the next 3000 years, evolving into our western alphabets.

Shapes that are given meaning become symbols which then become letters and numbers. Egyptian art was heavily layered in symbolism. Art in religion use symbols to convey meaning and ideas. The Rise of Christianity saw a re-emergence of hidden symbolism within art.

Islamic art took a more decorative route using a lot of circles to convey the idea of being infinite which reminds muslims that Allah is infinite.

Complex geometric designs give the impression of unending repetition.

Johannes Gutenberg Printing Press

Joseph Nicephorus Niepce- Inventor of photography

The invention of the printing press by Gutenberg set literacy and meaning free, allowing people to read and interpret information for themselves. Like Gutenberg, Joseph Nicephorus Niepce had no idea of the real implications of this blurred image he produced.

Photography released painting and ultimately sculpture from the shackles of reality. This freedom lead to the idea of having the artist as an originator not reproducer. Throughout this turmoil and the growing visual literacy, new commercial exploration of image was beginning to evoke. As photography developed and colour photography became more accessible the commercial photographer replaced the illustrator. Without our now sophisticated visual literacy, advertising has no currency.

 Task 4

Reading images

Shared conceptual maps are not enough

Language is therefore the second system of representation in the process of constructing meaning – It must be a common language the general term we use for words, sounds, images that carry meaning is ‘SIGNS’ In order to exchange meanings or concepts, we need a shared language.

Connotation- symbol of passion and love

bove is an image of ‘The Arnolfini Wedding Portrait’. This image holds a lot of disguised symbolism.

The denotation of this image is that it is an image of a man and woman on their wedding day. He holds her hand and she hold up her ruffled dress. There what looks to be their pet dog looks on in the foreground.

Roland Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher, linguist, critic and semiotician. His ideas explored a wide range of topics but centred on two different levels of signification, ‘Denotation and Connotation’. These are terms used to describe the relationship between the signifier and its signified. He broke images down in structures. What you should do is think about what it means/denotes. We can’t help but look for meanings.

Denotation- literal meaning. What is pictured? e.g. a photo of a child is a photo of a child. No matter how the child is photographed, it still represents a ‘child’.

Connotation- meaning of it within a culture. Ethical issues and society is sue, not allowed to do that. How it is pictured.

Lighting, framing, focus etc are examples that can change a meaning of the way we look at an image. For example, a black and white or sepia photograph of a child could connote the concept that it is old and something from the past. The reader is reliant because they are having to use their knowledge to look further into the image.

The connotation of this image is if you look closer into it you notice hidden meanings beyond the denotation. If you look in the middle of the man and woman you see a candelabra with only one candle in it. This refers to christ as a single light. The pet dog symbolises faithfulness and fidelity. Fido a generic pet name for a dog- latin for faithful. Having the shoes to the left and them in bare feet suggest they are standing on holy ground. Behind the man and woman is a mirror which reflects the setting. It is decorated with the 10 scenes from Passion of Christ. As you can tell this is a very religious painting when you look deeper into it at the connotations.
an van Eyck (1434) Arnolfini Wedding Portrait

 Task 5

Perspective:

MASS NOUN. The art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other: the theory and practice of perspective [AS MODIFIER]: a perspective drawing.

The appearance of viewed objects about their relative position, distance from the viewer, etc. A trick of perspective.

1.the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface to, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point. [as adj.]: a perspective drawing. see also linear perspective and aerial perspective.

– a picture drawn in such a way, esp. one appearing to enlarge or extend the actual space, or to give the effect of distance.

-a view or prospect.

-geometry the relation of two figures in the same plane, such that corresponding points lie on concurrent lines, and corresponding lines meet in collinear points.

2) a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view: most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective. True understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion: we must keep a sense of perspective about what he’s done.

3) an apparent spatial distribution in perceived sound.

Many an object is not seen, though it falls within our range of visual ray, because it does not come with the range of our intellectual ray, i.e. we are not looking for it. So, in the largest sense, we find only the world we look for. – Henry Thoreau

Above is an engraving produced by William Hogarth called ‘Satire on False Perspective’. A first look at this engraving and you would think it makes sense but if you analyse it closer you will notice Hogarth plays with the perspective making it look senseless and abnormal.

‘A guess’

In the reading of images, as in the hearing of speech, it is always hard to distinguish what is given to us from what we supplement in the process of projection which is triggered off by recognition.

‘Indexicality’

Unless we know the rules, we have no mean of guessing which aspect is presented to us. After learning that the most appropriate response to reading is reacting, the bush woman learns to read. Egyptians would have a different set of rules and names that we have in our modern-day life.

When we read books, we create an image in our minds of what is happening as well as when we hear a voice on the radio, we imagine what that person looks like.

 Above is ‘The Bayeux Tapestry’ which illustrates the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. Using pictures to tell the story even to those who can’t read or write is interesting because even to them it illustrates words on a page.

Above is Albrecht Durer’s interpretation of a Rhino. The image was based on a description and brief sketch of an Indian Rhinoceros. Durer had never seen a Rhino before but as you can see from the written description you can recognise what it is. However, he draws a small twisted horn on its back, and gives it scaly legs. None of these features are present in a real Rhinoceros.

Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the most prominent architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance. Brunelleschi is probably most commonly known for his development of perspective in its representational form. He discovered the principles of linear perspective and with these principles you can draw using a single vanishing point, which all lines on the same plane appear to meet, and objects appear smaller as they move back into the distance.

Simple geometric perspective took so long to develop even longer than fire or the wheel and yet in a sense it has always been there. You must look at a painting or drawing from one angle for the perspective to be correct.

Leonardo Da Vinci problem

– accurately conscious of the problem of viewpoint

– working on such a scale in a building

Different types of perspective include: Aerial- viewpoint from above, Linear- moving away into the distance, Scale- things looking larger than they should compared to the rest of the image and Receding Planes- where they look to be layered flat but recede into the distance.

Task 6

Controversies:

Eadweard Muybridge- The Horse in Motion

In 1878 Muybridge produced the first ever moving picture with his early photographic experiments. The idea was to see if a galloping horse takes all four hooves off the floor at any one time in motion. Before the days of moving pictures, the human eye was unable to capture the processes of fast-moving objects. Muybridge used photography to analyse the movement of the horse in stages.

          Pablo Picasso – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Here is one of the most famous Cubist oil paintings done by Picasso in 1907. The painting was a significant development from the traditional composition and perspective in painting. Picasso decided to distort the 5 female bodies and place them in a demoralised posture. We also see here how African art and savagery influenced Picasso giving these females mask-like faces using very violent brushstrokes.

Kurt Schwitters and Theo van Doesburg collaboration

In 1923 Doesbury and Schwitters created a campaign to introduce and educate artists to the Dada movement. Below is a poster for the evening classes which were put on to help teach about Dadaism. The word ‘Dada’ is repeated several times in a bold, red typeface and it is decorated with multi-lingual slogans. Dadaism inspired Surrealism, Pop Art and Punk Rock.

Hugo Ball

Here is a quote by Ball, “For us, art is not an end in itself… but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in”.

Sex Pistols 1977