Wallpaper Paint:

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I decided to try another avenue with the project; the side that is the group of people that prefer painting their walls rather than using wallpaper.

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So, I decided that I would make a design based on a random design I found via google. I made it up in layers; keeping the bottom layer plain and with the obvious ‘paint texture’ at the top to ensure the materials recognition.

I then built up the pattern in layers; the darkest to lightest, all repeated both via mirror and from top to bottom; which I achieved via more stencils, that I filled in and overlapped.

It took far too long to be anything remotely practical, and the finished product still had some errors, as human involvement is want to do; but it did however achieve its purpose of being of ‘equal’ standard of extravagantly patterned wallpaper, despite being painted, and therefore cheaper via money if not time.

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Second Stencil Test:

I tested the stencil plan, I previously used on the UK shield; i.e. marking out the drawing fully, then separating it into layers by shades. It worked pretty much in the same manner, the paper was still too delicate, to hold up very well, and the overlapping of the separate designs, was awkward and hard to use properly.

I used the image of the hand as it was the easiest design I could think of; the aim was to see if I could create a simpler pattern that would hold up made of paper. It didn’t work.

After a conversation with a tutor, it was figured that 5/10mm perspect would be the best material. As it is both lightweight and more durable. Although this would mean I would have to laser cut the pattern, which in turn would mean drawing out the shield on illustrator and to have three separate designs cut. This is turning out to be more complicated than I had previously thought.

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Graffiti Stencils;

SAM_2469 SAM_2473 Stencil graffiti is a popular area of graffiti as it is much more controllable, although more time consuming method of working. I used the book “Stencil Graffiti Capital: Melbourne” by Jake Smallman and Carl Nyman, which covers some artists that have found their start in the alleyways of the town. Such as HA-Ha, Meek, Syn and Prism, all well known and have displayed their endeavours in the streets; some began there, some evolved there and others have merely visited.

The book also covers some the basic attributes of stencil graffiti; politics, war, women, texts, symbols, profiles, music, animals and robots. It advises the ways they are used and why; explaining that graffiti is a way for the voices of the faceless to be heard, whilst keeping the anonymity.

I decided that I would try this method out; for my first stencil I used the UK Royal coat of arms, the plan is to produce a series of the same coat of arms and then change one of them in the mass of ‘correct’ ones, to be realistic. That is if a lion and a unicorn were both in the same room, it’s safe to assume that one of them would be eaten.

To make the image I’m after it requires three layers, stencils, the first the silhouette of the crest, then the shadows to separate the different areas, i.e. the lion from the banner, and then a top one for the outlines. I’m currently making SAM_2475these in paper, although I do want to make it in something a little sturdier.SAM_2477

Images and desire Lecture:

“The Culture is mad.”

We looked at John Berger’s programme “The ways of seeing” (1972) on the BBC, where the most sticking statement, I thought was the phrase “Art galleries are like banks.” Berger states that “oil paintings have become commodities – monetary worth.” He claimed that money existed in oil paintings and sculpture, and thus are what started a critic of all art objects; that is they become objects of snobbery, wealth and/or power.

His most frequent phrase is “Glamour”, that idea of beauty that depends entirely on looks, although we all seem to pretend otherwise. Berger states that “The model has taken the place of the goddess.” That is, the ideal feminine figure in oil paintings of mythical scenes and statues of young, beautiful women posed dramatically has been replaced with the contemporary, for whichever era, women that are posed, and fixed, and styled to be the ultimate form of beauty.

The final part of the show comments on the idea that glamour cannot exist without a social envy; as glamour, particularly in the “publicity”, i.e. advertisements, preys upon the human aspiration to something you’re not, that make you believe you will be richer in life for buying whichever product, although in reality you will still be the same although with less money.

“You are what you have.”

Berger sticks with the fact that any one persons place in society is determined by birth, which we must admit is still a fact, and will always be so. Although he does bring up the idea that advertisements mock that, turn it into something like a whispered insult: “you are inadequate as you are.”

“Now it has evolved to “not being faceless but just not being famous.”

He also notes on the advertisements echoing devices of art and sometimes, particular works of art, sometimes including the original in the actual advertisements. There was also a comparison of oil paint and colour photography as technological developments: they both quickly worked the way up to the most versatile and useful media at their times.

The ending of the programme covers the manipulation that advertisements use to convince you; that they appeal to the public conscience although there is no conversation between advertisements themselves; charity advertisements for the starving, the old or the lame, whilst the next page will be a luxury item of chocolate, alcohol or clothes.

 

Graffiti idea and research:

Creative_Wallpaper_Graffiti_015971_ My tutor saw my progress with lino prints and thought I should reconnect with the wallpaper patterns more, and the major theme through most of them was the utopian view point in them; landscape with wildlife and gardens. This made me think about how we use these ideas of ‘good’ as symbols, we idealise them and yet only allow a certain kind of them inside our home. I thought about having the outside recognise the inside of our homes in the same way: only turning that on its head as well – that is only allowing an honest view rather than dolled up lies.

So the subject of graffiti came up; stencil graffiti in particular, to fit in with my lino printing. I had a look in the university library; it had an interesting book, that wasn’t exactly on topic, “Bathroom Graffiti” by Mark Ferem from 2006. It covers; first the topic in general – what it actually is, and what it means, “Bathroom Graffiti is not so much a chicken soup for the soul as it is a seafood gumbo for the mind.” According to this book it was Alan Dundes, a professor at the University of California, for anthropology, who coined the term “Latrinalia” to mean “shit house poetry” – literally poems written in the toilet.

Although the main point in the preface is that the Latrinalia is not just poetry, but a reflection of social culture; “Baths, wine and sex destroy our bodies. But only baths, wine and sex make life worth living!” is a piece of graffiti from a bathhouse in the ruins in Pompeii, Italy, and is, by Dundes theory, still a theme of today’s graffiti and social lifestyles that humans base their lives off. The whole idea of graffiti is another of humanities incessant, useless needs; humanity needs to leave a mark on the world, as all are afraid of being forgotten.

“Give a man a fish you feed him for a day, if you give him a wide tip marker he can live forever, immortalized for the moment, or at least until a new coat of paint arrives.”

Although some Latrinalia is crude and gorges on the basest human desires, others are witty poems, intellectual comments and cultural critiques. Examples from Dundes include a “Freud Sucks” written backwards on a towel dispenser, only to be read properly if you find the appropriate angle in the mirror next to it. Another is graffiti_743099“If Pro is Progress, what is Con?”

As you have probably noticed, or you will next time you’re in a public stall, religion is another big part of the graffiti: “Bathroom graffiti is just one of the beacons calling attention to a pandemic spiritual disconnect.” Whether there to insult, or be the start of a new conversation happening in least talked about places on earth, Dunde decides that “The latrinalists of today may just be tapping into that additional fifty percent of brain mass we happened to come by so long ago.”

“In losing our identity we might discover who we are.”

There is a moment in the book that Dunde takes to comment of the universal collaboration; that is that all people seem to have the need to reply on this unofficial message board to all who come across it.

“As society applies cultural constraints to freedom, and the smell of censorship wafts through the air like a summer barbeque (or a public restroom in need of a cleaning), the women of the future world are gathering their thoughts on bathroom walls, not to incite riots but to incite the spirits of the collectively oppressed.” He comments that the graffiti is just used as its stereotyped “call me___” and insults or crude messages or doodles; most graffiti is collect together people, to comfort, support or give advice to a group in society to combat the cultural need to keep people in line.

“Hope is our weapon” (Written in ANTI-MARKET, Echo Park, CA)

There is also an entire passage dedicated to “Escaping Identity”, which is particularly achievable in a unisex bathroom, as “the culture of bathroom graffiti enjoys a diversity of perspectives that we all appreciate.”

Politics and Cultural comments are popular as well; “Government is Not Resaon: It is Not Elequence. It is FORCE. And Force, like Fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful monster.” (Written in Sid’s Bar in Newport Beach, California. Spoken by George Washington.) The quite aninimatity of the toilet cubicle allows for all opinions to be spoken in secret to all the world (or at least the next one to enter), it’s the equivalent to the voting box.

“My carma ran over my dogma” (written in International cafe, San Francisco, CA)

It’s a strange type of therapy, where you’re talking to strangers and they’re talking back, and it’s useful and monetary worth means nothing; it divides the individual in the cubicle at the time; their moment of immortalization, and includes them in this history of conversation between a thousand others.

The Thing I found most amusing, aside from some of the comments themselves, was the amount of spell checking and grammar control in the bathroom graffiti; there are scarce few images that haven’t had something crossed out a replaced with the appropriate spelling, or an added comma or capital letter or colon.

“When the last tree falls, when the last river is polluted and when there is not a breath of clean air left, people will realise you can’t eat money.” (Written in Canada High School, Calgary, Canada.)

Dunes also notes the increasing rise in the topic of apocalypse; the laterinalists have been noted to comment freely on just about anything; this they cover with the ultimate coming together of humanity; what we’ve done wrong, and fearlessly poke the point that we may be nearing the end, about to “be in for the ride of its[humanities] life.”

“I’ve survived Milkshakes and drank earthquakes. Invested in Soda Pop + Sofas. For Now, I’m Counting Rocketships and Fingertips!” (Written in Gowanus Yacht Club, Brooklyn, NY)

graffiti-wallpaper-4The final part of the book introduces the phrase of “culture jammers”, which I am given to understand means those who speak up. Dundes says “Culture jammers re-appropriate public space, or at least alter it. Bathroom graffiti becomes a unique equalizer, a form of mass communication that’s been grafted into the public consciousness. Because bathroom walls have yet to be co-opted by the counter culture trend spotters, they allow people from any and all social, economic and cultural backgrounds to have a voice.”

Lino Printing:

drawing for linoI discovered the lino printing technique after I decided to try and print lino print 3 practice velveton velvet fabric; it was recommended as etching was too delicate and the fabric wasn’t exactly a flat surface. I used the same original stencil to try it out; It printed well onto the velvet and the black ink showed up well; we did have the problem that the lino I had cut away wasn’t smooth so when I roll ink over it, it got caught on small hills and mountains in the removed areas, which in turn left ink dots in unwanted areas. I tried to make it lino print macrointo a repeat pattern but I couldn’t get the print in anything lino print 1 practice paperresembling a straight line, I quickly found other things to do.

I tried messing with the colours; we had a few different inks to try. So I began with overlapping them; merging them like a 3d films have a red and a blue image overlap to create the wanted effect. It was fun, but made me realise I couldn’t overlap them so they were exactly on top of each other.

lino print 2 practice paperWhich then spawned another lino print, which ended in complete failure, but it did help with my stencils. I tried to create a single image with multiple colours, different areas of shape and colour with one lino plate. I made my original pattern; a crown, and printed it (and me being an idiot I used the black ink that was already out) before returning to cut the crown down, into the shadows and the pattern on top, to go over the already printed silhouette – which promptly failed since the other colours were too light to go over the black ink.

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Pixelated Computer Wallpaper:

flower pixel buSomehow the Pixelated style of art always comes back into it; namely because it the newest media and the most universally understood. It stands for the computerised generation, the ones growing up with images and words made up from these tiny squares, rather than the paper and ink of their predecessors.

It invited itself into this project due to my general Google search; which came up more options and helpful websites for computer wallpapers, backgrounds and screensavers than real life wallpaper to cover the inside of homes. There are some amazing images that literally crashed my computer, with their 1080p resolution at 28” full screen mode.

The idea of using ‘proper’ wallpaper from real time, as wallpaper for the new area we spend most of our time (as opposed to our sitting rooms). Hence I drew out, by pixel, my original stencil on the computer. I mixed up the colour shades a little to throw in the original computer game drawing style from the Hitari days, making it blurry although pixellated drawing flowerrecognisable with a shadow like quality. stencil 1SAM_2462