Here To There
For this Image Making unit, I had an option of three projects of my choosing for opportunities of , in the end I chose the project Here to There. I was most inspired by this project since I as a photographer is more into the narrative or theatrical side of photography. Here to There provided workshops, seminars and lectures that would enable me to explore the fluid nature of images, created by intertwined symbolic, spatial and temporal connections that have the ability to impart contextual depth and alternative interpretations to photographs.
For my project idea, I thought it would be interesting by having medieval playing cards and recreating them with a modern twist. The modern twist in comparison to the authentic style of the Jacks, Queens and Kings would contain elements of the current or modern era to portray an entirely new Jack, Queen and King.
JACKS,QUEENS AND KINGS
(The latest designs of the playing cards)
I scrolled through my playing cards to inspect each picture card, my favourite three picture cards were the queen of clubs, the king of spades and the jack of spades. I’m not going to remake these literal poses and facial expressions but more use these cards as an influence to produce future development to my project.
WHAT WERE THE INFLUENCES AND INSPIRATIONS TOWARDS THIS IDEA?
In my spare time, I friends and family liked to play card games such as Solitaire and Poker which would commonly be played on technical devices like iPhones and iPads, I was also very visually interested in the symmetrical patterns and reflected portraits of the Jacks, Queen and Kings along with their colour schemes.
PLAYING CARDS AND THEIR HISTORY
(Playing cards around early and late 19th century in comparison to the latest designs)
Historically, playing cards have amazingly been around the world for many centuries until now, the latest versions made in late 19th century had been occasionally retouched, by the 20th century the card designs had became more detailed and took up quite a large area of the card which brings me back to the images above. In terms of the games, the old versions of these cards including the ones on the image above, did not have a symmetric pattern which I presume was challenging for the players to notify the cards because of the one angle that shows the correct angle and full presentation of the cards. The patterns have clearly proved to me that small traces of current designs of cards are slightly recognisable (mainly with the colours of the clothing and head designs), the clothing and head designs overall are the key elements that would make me understand this developing series as I follow onwards in inspection.
ARTISTS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS
Other than just an element I use in my spare time to play games, other photographers and collage artists have influenced me to develop this idea.
JEFF WALL & KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI
The photograph “A sudden gust of wind” by Jeff Wall has been an inspiration to the woodwork known as Travellers Caught in a Sudden breeze at Ejiri by Katsushika Hokusai. Jeff Wall has proven that this woodcut construction is not the only possibility of creating the image by representing it with photography which is similar to what I am trying to develop.
This collage artwork of Jamie Reid had been well known for Sex Pistols fans. This was more of a literal reason of adding this artist into this blog as The Queen has been used as a key element for the artworks representation of Britain and one of its biggest bands.
JUAN SANCHEZ COTAN & FLEUR ALSTON
With mention of the queen I was honoured to go back to the similar styles of Katsushika Hokusai and Jeff Wall with these still life images.
Back in 1602, Juan Sanchez Cotan painted this beautiful still life of fruit and vegetables, featuring some elements hanging on a string. The image on the right shows a modern version being produced with the photography of Fleur Alston that has the popular Kentucky Fried Chicken elements as a replacement to the original fruit and veg.
This collage has a presentation of flowers with a clever colour scheme with not just cut outs of flowers but also cut outs of colours of peoples eyes. The compositions of these eyes have significantly shown me that the image is a bouquet of flowers. This artwork has shown that new elements placed in particular compositions can possibly create new images or representations of the elements themselves.
This collage artwork has a room containing all sorts of elements from Raoul Hausmann. In contrast to Hannah Hoch, the image to me looked a little chaotic since my eyes were surrounded by colours and strange compositions but has equally interested me.
This collage work simply has photographs being sewed onto another photograph turning a casual portrait to a portrait of visually unsettling humanoid creature. In contrast to the work Hannah Hoch and Fleur Alston, this construction or development has been more of a basic medium with an outcome of a new image being displayed.
In this artwork Martha Rosler combines these two images of the female working at home and a war photograph to make the image present a narrative as its final outcome. My idea of using new elements in style of a symbolic reference to the medieval era would not really present something narrative but rather something symbolic.
By moving onto photography with a more of a different medium of production, I have been quite intrigued by this Wizard of Oz styled photograph for Vogue magazine by Annie Leibovitz. The photograph is honestly more towards an audience who would have a pre knowledge of understanding this photograph in terms of the theming and characters being portrayed in the image, this direction would remind myself what my idea would go through since this ideal style is in relation to symbols of a popular series of games.
This collage between the city of London and famous cartoon characters creates a pre known and enjoyable image for the viewers that are familiar with the characters. Peter Blake in contrast to Annie Leibovitz has all sorts of characters instead of one or one group of characters which brings out more of an ovation in terms of the image’s interest or audience reaction. Although the cards are more recognisable than these characters since they have been around for longer periods of time, the response to the images would still in similarity have the same response with not just with the style cards, but with the modern elements that would ideally redecorate it. In finalisation of mentioning this collage, the work of Peter Blake mainly reflects on the chaotic compositions of the modern elements matching the chaotic patterns on the symmetric historic clothing of the symbolic picture cards.
Much like the compositions of the cartoon and comic book characters, there is the work of Markus Hofko. Instead of having these fantasies in the City of London, we have some these elements floating around in space. The space background is also a pre knowledge fantasy element as much as the others that surround it, this work reminded me of my childhood memories of my bedroom which had a space themed wall with planets and space shuttle stickers, but as for the cards, they are elements that I still use to this day probably like most other people since its quite a general element to use on holiday occasions for example.
JOHN VINCENT ARANDA
JOHN VINCENT ARANDA
In contrast to the work of Peter Blake and Markus Hofko, John Vincent Aranda has compositions which look to be essential in terms of the image itself dramatically expressing an intense experience in style of a comic book. the composition of the faces take me back towards the work of Annegret Soltau a little, in addition these essential compositions in contrast to Markus Hofko create a new character which is quite the journey I was going with my modern side of playing cards.
Much like the playing cards idea, this work by Valero Doval has a very similar medium and construction. The old portrait photograph has particular elements replaced by colourful and more modern elements making the image quite humorous or comic since the red circle looks like a representation of a clowns nose in my opinion.
To finalise my inspirations, I was honoured to show the work of Pepe Mar. This instillation artwork in similarity to Markus Hofko has also got its chaotic colours, the composition is simply in a form of a sculpture which presents the work as an instillation as its final outcome.
These test shots I photographed were of myself posing in similarity to the King Of Spades with his sword. In contrast to the king, I would have headphones and a selfie stick.
A sketch of the symmetric patterns on playing cards along with my ideal logo compositions.
After the shoot I imagined the symmetric clothing of the cards and recreated them using modern logos as their new patterns such as the Facebook and McDonalds logo.
I would use recognisable elements from society to redesign the clothing leaving only few of the original symmetric designs behind just to make the image more understanding. The card design in combination with these modern elements work well together creating one image symbolising our everyday lives since cards is something we like to use once in a while just like the other elements that resemble the original symbols in the cards authentically. By printing these logos and photographs, I cut them out and layered them on A5 sized pieces of paper, the outcomes were pretty interesting and I was certainly happy with them and knowing I needed to make them look more like cards by having the symmetric effect. To do this on the photographs, I would need to make sure that the image is perfectly framed so then I can copy and reflect the image on the bottom of its original form.
Here I photographed some friends of mine ready to print and cut for my collage cards.
MY DEVELOPMENT WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHS
In addition to the Jack, Queen and King, I created a pattern for the back of the cards by using Photoshop to merge an image of a crowd using their modern gadgets (such as IPhones and the most modern digital cameras) with the basic general pattern of a hidden playing card.
In comparison to the first cards I practiced, both photographs of the subject faces were above and below along with either less logos or logos being placed in better compositions that essentially match the original patterns of the royal clothing, this is either with the font or the colour of the logos. The sizes were A4 so I could see the symmetric patterns more in detail, and with these three symbolic characters developed, I also tried printing in many sizes including the original size of playing cards.
For this part of the development, I searched up four some more playing cards of Jacks Queens and Kings. These styles were much smaller than the previous ones which were A4. These smaller designs had influenced me to use two reflecting logos on each card.
Before the logo development, I erased the original heads of the Jacks, Queens and Kings so that the photographs would replace them more accurately than the A4 sized cards.
Once I finished this part of the process along with the replaced heads, I then needed to add some logos, the difference between this development and the previous development I did on the A4 sized cards was that I essentially chosen particular logos that correlate with the colour scheme of the clothing on the authentic medieval characters which as an outcome portrayed more of a contemporary symbol.