As part of my literature studies, which comprise the bulk of my degree, I have had the opportunity to study Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” in depth. I have struggles, however, in the course of literary response and genre analysis to find a way to make relevant the everyday struggle of the author that had such a profound impact on her writing and in particular her view of the creation of life and loss. As a young woman in a time of high infant mortality she was not unique in her experience of multiple miscarriages, stillbirths and infant deaths. Frankenstein, the novel can be viewed as an extended expression of maternal grief and birth trauma. But there has been little scope for exploring this within my literary studies as the responses to text had very specific criteria that needed to be followed. I have used the text of Frankenstein, particularly sections dealing with the the creation and rejection of the creature by his creator to create the embryo, stuck together in a mottle and almost random way to mimic the creature, stitched together from various parts. How does this relate to the everyday? This is the everyday reality behind the gothic, supernatural tale.
Again reverting to my favourite medium I used a felt tip pen for the bulk of this exercise. I did play with charcoal and paint but found that my techniques with were not up to the challenge.
For this work I chose to respond to the word silence. Silence is most evident to me in the dead of night when everyone else is asleep in my house, but as an avid Doctor Who fan, I couldn’t possibly depict “silence” with out the monsters of the order of the Silence. I used an ink wash to create night through the window, and a white crayon to break up the night for the clouds and moon. The Silence themselves were drawn separately and stuck over the top of the inky surface of the interior and exterior background. I chose not to tie them into the background with shadow as I felt that would tether them into reality in a way that I did not want them to.
Development notes:I tried this exercise in a variety of mediums and with a variety of different body parts. I found that looking towards the end of limbs, as described in the setup notes was the simplest and most effective. In order to be able to maintain a stable pose I decided to stretch my legs out on the couch rather than stand. I struggled to find the right level of detail and tone to include in order to convey perspective without completely overwhelming the picture as I tend to do.
Project 5, Ex 1
My difficulty in depicting myself on such a large scale led me to use the impression of my body left on the couch that I use to complete my work and homework. As I write from home for long periods of time there is a distinct “Morgan- shaped” gap left on the couch. I used ink for the flat tones, charcoal for the shadows and felt tip pen for the details.
Draw a household item in a 3D space
I’ll draw ad overlocker in a cube shelf. Pity I can’t draw…
Back to the literal drawing board
I chose David Hockney as one of my studied artists as a contrast to the work of Safet Zec, among other reasons. Hockney’s use of line is much more minimalist and stripped back than Zec’s, using the simplest possible configuration of lines to create the scene or object that he is trying to depict. I also chose Hockney because chairs, although they are usually occupied feature in much of his work, and whilst most of his prominent work with chairs as the central focus is done in lithograph I have chosen a couple of examples of portraits in which the depiction of chairs demonstrates his overall approach to drawing chairs.
Article about David Hockney:
Yorkshire Spring Drawings – David Hockney
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/20 14/apr/18/david-hockney-yorkshire-spring- drawings
I chose Safet Zec to focus on due to his complex use of line, with his drawings often relying on a technique of building up lines to create density and texture. Even the negative space that others may leave blank is given texture using lines.
Zec’s exposure to atrocities and political instability in his youth is the inspiration for intricate and painstakingly designed line drawings, that a both nostalgic and sorrowful.
Article about Safet Zec:
Haunted by War – Shelton Lindsay
http://theculturetrip.com/europe/bosni a-herzegovina/articles/haunted-by-war- the-art-of-safet-zec/