Visual exploration has certainly been a helpful start to the course, giving me an insightful taster as to what to expect in future projects, work and module layouts. As the brief was simply ‘Exploring the city’, that’s exactly how I started; exploring Leeds and what artistic value it had and what I could draw from. Of course I realise that it could have been any city I could have explored, but Leeds is as new to me as any City I’ve also never been to so I decided to stick with it.
Although it may seem fairly generic when asked to ‘explore the city’, my initial interests grew to be that of buildings and landscape. I’d taken some interesting photographs with my phone during a study trip Liverpool, and became quite fascinated with composition and contrast in the images. I found my most striking photographs to be that of building silhouettes and landscapes, contrasting with the sky or other empty space. I decided to a screen print of one of these, using colour to my advantage when printing the sky or the ‘empty’ part of the image. I received some interesting results with this, but couldn’t help feel I was stretching the use of the image, and that there really wasn’t a lot more I could explore with this concept.
However, when it came to experimenting with collage, a great deal more ideas started flowing. I found so much more experimentation could be done with it, which is why I turned my attention to a more collage and photography type route, which then turned into adopting the theme of ‘fragments’. Collage particularly gave me the idea to carry this theme out, as quite simply when constructing collage, you are constructing fragments of subject and material relating to your topic. However, I still felt as if I hadn’t quite found my self a strong enough process to reflect my topic, so I decided to think about fragments in a less literal sense. I came up with using fragments of conversation, or speech to be a focus and somehow integrate them into my photographs and collages.
For research at this point, I walked around Leeds on a Saturday afternoon with my journal, and noted down any conversation or speech that sounded interesting, humorous and stood out. I feel this was the exact missing part my project was lacking so far, and was what I could use to complete my work with. My final piece consists of three digital collages, with speech fragments reflecting the area being portrayed. However, it is admittedly quite hard for anyone seeing this for the first time to decipher properly, due to the brief very speech fragments I included and the array of structures featured in my images. Although overall I feel what I was trying to personally demonstrate was conveyed enough to my liking.