Seeing Texture & Tone

 

 

radial drops

radial drops

ocean run

ocean run

As part two in the Photography workshop this week my aim was to investigate through the lens of a camera, paying close attention to tone and contrast. Neither images were shot on campus, but rather on my photographic journal days of my recent holiday back home in Auckland, New Zealand.

The images were chosen due to the variation in texture and tonal values that they each portray in their own unique ways.  I consider them to be atmospheric and narrative, but thats possibly because I have created my own stories about them.  However, I will let you develop your own meaning for them.

‘Ocean run’ is constructed with horizontal striations that continue to graduate into lighter tones into the background. The contrast between the textural foreground and smooth background is what makes this an interesting image to suitably portray this brief. The free spirited traveller entering the picture plane on the right is the feature focus, which the eye is led to by the directional lines made by 4WD tracks.

‘Radial drops’ is a mysterious and elusive image, displaying radial textures as apposed to the striations of ‘Ocean run’.  It utilises a balanced variation of tonal values. The eye is led towards to square shapes in the left hand bottom corner, as they are the contrasting shape of the abundant circles created by the water fountain droplets.

Advertisements

Passion for Pattern

After creating a the ‘Patterns in Nature’ to use in this months project brief, I went on a side path to explore how I could manipulate the pattern and its elements on Adobe Photoshop.  These are my most successful outcomes in the short time I had to side track, and the results left me feeling really excited and curious about delving into further experimentation outside of this project brief. I am intrigued by how pattern simply evolves in it’s own way given the chance to do so. Photoshop and Illustrator have enabled me to experiment with just a few of infinite possibilities.  In a lecture about Patterns in Nature, I was told that as artists we need to understand patterns, as they are the order and structure of all things connected.  Patterns provide us with knowledge and familarity, which is why I feel so passionate about pattern in all its forms from nature or otherwise.  We find patterns in language and mental processes, mathematics and science, sound, music and technology, human and animal anatomy, in natures cyclical seasons. It is no wonder then, that we are drawn innately to pattern.  For more about pattern and how we perceive them, check out Jason Silvas clip  ‘To Understand is to perceive Pattern’

An Artful Life: Kahori Maki

Born in Japan 1961, Kahori Maki is an acclaimed artist/designer, having produced many works in various disciplines including illustration, installation, painting, graphic design, and object design.  Working as an active freelancer since 1994, Maki has collaborated with leading brands and companies such as Designworks, Shiseido, Levi’s and McDonalds.

In addition, Maki has been working on Solo exhibitions and her works have featured in numerous fashion and design magazines.  Her un-mistaking recognisable style is seen extensively in posters, commercial advertising, window displays, interior walls of buildings, fashion shoot back drops, textile prints and even on cars. This month, Maki’s work covered the walls of an entire warehouse for an audio-visual event in Brooklyn.

Maki’s stylised imagery, regardless of where she features it, is striking and tends to provoke mystery with its edgy, dark, fluid and organic forms. Her designs depict nature in its beautiful power and seductiveness, portraying the exotic and the eerie.  Maki’s designs are always nature inspired, but her signature monochromatic illustrations are far from traditional depictions of nature.

(Maki is) one of the first fashion illustrators to identify the dramatic impact of the natural forms through dark monochromes rather than the more traditional soft pastels

Furthermore, Maki juxtaposes her work by placing it in the extreme urban environment or context – factoring in her philosophical concept of how urban life is deficient of nature.  A concept marvellously complimented by the surreal and dark moody nature of her work, portraying her deep connection to the less desired aspects of nature.

I am not afraid of looking into the shadows and shedding light on the beautiful creatures that live in the twilight worlds

Maki talks about connecting the aspects of nature to a part of the human soul, and I interpret her work as an expression of the depth and mystery contained therein. I find myself also connecting this quote above to the human soul, and what may lay within the darkest corners. I too, am not afraid of looking into the shadows of my own soul and shedding light on what may be there. What beauty and treasures are still yet to be discovered?

Finally, I am inspired by Maki’s love of nature and the darkness of it that some may find oppressive or grotesque. Many of her works convey to me the idea of portals into other worlds. She expresses the melancholic with such elegance; one cannot help but be allured into the realms of swirling, meandering lines and forms.

The work of Maki has influenced my current project significantly. I have drawn upon her concept of combining animal and insect life with fauna and flora, and placed the bold outlines of them in a perfectly random occurring pattern.  This research has led me to have confidence in taking an organic and bold approach to pattern, and I have explored and developed numerous possibilities for an outcome in this brief, of which I hope to experiment with further in the future. For the mean time, lets see how my project for ‘Pattern Universe’ has developed.

Watch this space.

References:

IdN. Wayfinding+Signage: Kahori Maki. IdN , v17 (n5), 56-57.

Maki, K. (2010). Works. Retrieved May 28, 2013, from Kahori Maki: http://www.k-maki.com/

Quinn, B. (2009). Textile Designers: At the Cutting Edge. London, UK: Lawrence King Publishing.