Saturday, 8 November 2014

@Phil New ideas! Opinions please!

After the OGR I took onboard Phil's comments about my travelogue being too happy. Being the happy person I am I looked at Ernst's work but unintentionally added far too much cheer to my city! It's not really that I didn't understand Ernst but more I clashed with him at first, I was a little stuck on how to create a depressing, unfriendly city.

I went back to some of the research I did about Ernst and relooked at some of his paintings and colleges. I noticed more of an uncomfortable aura and the way colours are pushed. Though he uses bright colours they're contrasted with intense shadows and there is something uncomfortable about it. The forms in the artwork are also often twisted and deformed shapes.

I also looked into Freud's theories and noticed the elements of neuroticism and the unconscious mind. Ernst's work shows feelings of repression and almost a fear of the unknown.

Having a better understanding of what direction to take I then tried to figure out what makes something seem depressing or creepy, I looked at graveyards, etc and noticed this feeling of abandonment and things being rundown. I don't think the people of my city would care about how the city looks however this isn't an excuse to be lazy on design! I'd have to carefully consider how it may have looked to start with and then take it from there.

I really liked the idea of a forest and water, both are places that can be dark and hide the unknown so I had a think of how I could incorporate both and came up with the idea of a swamp because I felt it could portray the kind of atmosphere I wanted. I also still want my bird imagery in there, I thought of an idea of the citizens wearing animal themed masks. The most important people would be wearing sinister bird masks and it's be a way of establishing a hierarchy within my city. Also the masked element would show that these people have something to hide.

I'm a little stuck however on what kind of buildings and amenities would be a part of my city, the last thing I want to do is be really generic about it. I know most likely my buildings would be made from wood, rocks, dirt and natural materials but trying to figure out an interesting setup with these materials is a little difficult.


  1. The one thing with Max Ernst (If comparing him with Dali) is that he would make things out of one material to look like a completely different thing. A tree that looks like a building, or a building that looks like a person! (Dali on the otherhand distorted objects but keeps them relative to how we use them) That might be useful to keep in mind.

  2. Hey Kayleigh,

    I honestly think that 'photomontage' might be a useful way to think about forms and structures - creating things out of collisions of disparate objects - do that, and I think the melancholy will creep in - in addition, Ernst as inspired by de Chirico - look at his environments/street scenes for a sense of how you might think about this city - de Chirico's world is uncanny and sad. A lot of Ernst's paintings are very organic, with a lot of texture - which is why I think you should look at his work that is more structured and object based; might be more helpful.

    1. Thanks Phil, will have a look at that now!