Major Project Notes: Thoughts after Jonny Hannah’s Lecture at the University of Portsmouth on Friday 2nd December 2016:

johnnyhannahAfter Jonny Hannah’s talk today I was filled with energy and inspiration and wanted to get home to start making! I was particularly fascinated with his fictional world ‘Darktown’ and the artwork he has produced to build this fantasy including 3D painted, or as he likes to call it, ‘vandalised’, objects, linocuts, drawings, paintings and screen prints (on paper and wood). It reminds me of when I was a child and enjoyed making miniature gardens, pretend telephones and computers. I used my garden as if it were another world, watching the wildlife, chickens and ducks as if I were some sort of mythical woodland creature, born and raised in the wild.

I like this idea of seeing a garden through the eyes of a child. I would love for my project to have an element of fun and playfulness. I don’t want to loose the feeling of excitement and adventure that I’ve experienced over the last couple of months doing my daily creative challenges: experimenting with a wide variety of materials and trying new techniques such as screen printing on fabric, making or adapting 3D objects etc.

I could relate to what Jonny was saying about the benefits of producing work quickly and using the drawings from his sketchbooks within final pieces because of my daily challenges (Inktober and Blockvember). This means that the overall look of his work is fresh, raw and has a lot of character. It doesn’t look too slick or finished. He works predominantly in black and white and then adds colour using photoshop or through printmaking techniques.

I also love his use of typography. Some illustrations are created almost entirely from type, especially his book covers. I would love to experiment more with typography, multimedia work and could even create a mural on my garden wall.

I believe that my ideas for the proposal so far are too specific. I could produce a collection of work as well as workshops that celebrates nature. Work that doesn’t look too slick or finished, but instead showcases the materials and processes in order to inspire others and engage viewers with the subject matter.

Perhaps a celebration of British wildlife that can be found nearby, in gardens, parks, beaches, forests, urban areas etc. This opens up opportunities to put my illustrations into context by speaking to wildlife organizations like the national trust for example. My work could raise awareness of how to attract more wildlife into your garden. I could record journeys to beaches or forests which include maps, ephemera, photographs, overheard conversations etc.

I was talking to Jonny about Southampton and it’s hidden gems such as Netley Abbey and Totton Harbour. Perhaps I could illustrate guides to places like this and produce them as small scale publications.

This project would give me the freedom I need to keep my work fresh and excited for the next year and be something that I could carry on after I finish the course. I loved hearing about Jonny’s work branching our into fabric design and wallpaper designs too. This links to my very early thoughts about creating patterns and prints based on nature, taking inspiration from Avant Guard, ‘Art as a way of life’ – allowing me to make artwork that continuously crosses disciplines: art, craft, design, printmaking, drawing, painting, sewing, textiles, sculpture, animation etc.

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