Graphic Art: Leeds

Leeds banner Main sheet copy

Graphic Art: Leeds was a banner design proposal put forward for North Street in Leeds city centre.

A graphic art piece which will excite and reflect the modern, dynamic, newly cosmopolitan city of Leeds.

The backing tones and the image of greenery reflect the cities status as the unofficial capital of Yorkshire. An image of the Yorkshire Dales, flourishing green fields and neatly crisscrossing hedgerows. Green pod-like representations are added, floating across the parameters of the banner surface. The pods vary in the tone of green to aid the visibility of textual format present. The lower section projects darker tones, the upper lighter shades. Thus, presenting the concept of a natural landscape where the horizon of the land reduces to the blues, or more often, grey’s of the sky.

‘Leeds’ as a heading uses a hand styled script, but is equally rather bold, Artlis font in principle location. A tonal use of yellow draws on the artistic nature of North Street.

The 5 headings feature elements of Leeds’ to be expanded upon, cosmopolitan status. They reflect the nature of the business’ present in the major artery of city centre streets. Non-alignment of the titles are to suggest a dynamic motion. The concept of them being flashed before your eyes in the ever-changing city.

‘Culture’ identifies with Leeds’ strong involvement with the arts. The home of Henry Moore and the birthplace of Damien Hirst, both leading names in British art. The Henry Moore Institue and the Leeds City Art Gallery both highly prestigious within the creative spectrum. A vibrant music scene, an unrivalled club-culture and the major Leeds Festival which partners with its Southern counterpart: Reading. Introducing some performance from the Playhouse, Leeds is a cultural haven.

Equally, a city steeped in ‘History’ presenting an industrial heritage. The former mills of the textiles traditions that expanded rapidly during the Industrial revolution.

‘Shopping’ ‘Food’ and ‘Drink’ represent the business’ present in North St. The clothing retailers, the restaurants and cafe’s, the bars and pubs which align the major city-centre thoroughfare.

Consultation with the business present would allow for modifications to be conducted. The use of yellow could be adapted if a tone of greater significance was proposed. The titles could be added to or reduced, the descriptive word re-applied.

A artists approach which can strengthen and more than meet the needs of the city in which it is intended to compliment.

Leeds banner lamp sheet copy

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Redesign: Hockney: Westminster Abbey

New des copy

A year ago this week David Hockney’ stained glass window design to mark the reign of Queen Elizabeth the Second was revealed.

The window received many reviews, many positive, many negative.

The Queen was claimed by Hockney to Say:

‘An amazing brightness and clarity, it is a simple, utterly recognisable, direct scene.


From Hockney’ birthplace, the Yorkshire Post stated:

‘It looks like it was painted by a six-year-old.’

 

The Dean, the Very Revd John Hall declared:

‘There’s absolutely no harm in having something which is particularly vibrant and different.’

 

And, I myself, reviewed the window in my article ‘Hockney Smokney’ classified it as being a ‘National Blunder’ in addition to:

 

‘Some kind of organic jellyfish-like form surrounded by randomly positioned pods which bear no relation to the framework of the glass.’

 

So, one year on I have taken it upon myself to create a new design for the window.

and….

..it was much more difficult than I initially imagined….

I have kept with the theme of the Queen and her love for the countryside. More abstract in design I introduced yellows to the uppermost section to imply sunlight. The main bodies of the windows beginning with greens of the land, raising to blues of the sky over the higher sections. The circular elements have the potential to be formed through glass blowing, they introduce the idea of flowers or perhaps blossom. The organic nature of the layout suggests the motion and that of falling.

The result:

I have managed some subtleties.

Is it fit for the Abbey?

No, indeed it is not, perhaps an early concept which could be developed into something of greater standing.

 

Hockeys

Hockney Smokney!

Rags, the Boutique does Southport

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Last Saturday saw the fun of Rags Boutique at Southport Festival.

For the magic-themed festival we created an array of high standing wizard hats, a collection of mushroom masks. Black cats masqueraded and a troop of unicorns topped everything off.

Alison Little started Rags Boutique workshops over a decade ago as part of Bold Street development as consumers were flocking to the newly opened Liverpool 1 and retailers were losing custom. She then found a temporary home for the workshops and an exhibition venue in The Old Paint shop, Rapid. The workshop has grown from strength to strength making appearances at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and the Museum of Liverpool on several occasions.

Last weekend it was Southport’ turn and it livened up Mermaid gardens in the traditions of Lord Street. Southport Festival takes place in early May, lining the streets with arts, dance, music and comedy.

More about Southport Festival

Much fun was had on the streets of much loved Southport.

Contemporary Art Smoothie

Cont art smoothie copy

Process milk from Damien Hirst calf ensuring it is free from formaldehyde.

Add some melon from Sarah Lucas’ Au Naturel, tell her to stop ‘Eating a Banana’ and combine to the fluid.

Juice things up with some KY Jelly from Tracey Emin’ bed.

Technique: turn everything inside out the way Rachel Whiteread did with ‘House’.

Pour over ice into one of Grayson Perry’ pots.

Tell Antony Gormley’ men from Another Place to line up and wait to be served.

Nest in a Goats Beard

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Nest in a Goats Beard is an abstract print produced by Carmen Garcia. It is currently being exhibited as part of the ‘She Eclectic’ exhibition at the Victoria Museum and Gallery in Liverpool. This is a section of flash fiction created by Alison Little as a response to the piece:

The image topples round, propelled up by some kind of yellow bubble making machine launching abstract forms. Patterns which expand, texture which can be touched. The machine: a cross between the yellow submarine and the Liverpool tower. A gigantic but equally girly form. Almost folding out, mounts, triangles positioned above the ground. The main form taking the shape of a sixties modernist detached estate disappearing downhill as it stretches away. Floating forms emerge, a kind of balloon making cartoon pistol firing out at comic-strip enemies. A fun-filled water game set within a reclaimed play arena. The form of a shoulder combined with a jumper suit, powering over engrossed in the imaginary of re-enactment.

North End Writers is based from the Victoria Museum & Gallery, holding their monthly meeting there last weekend. The writers read extracts which were written in response to works in the exhibition in the Gallery Space:

The Readings

More about She’s Eclectic

 

A Letter to your Former Self

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‘A Letter to your former self’ was a prompt for a sketch. It comprises of a mixed media image, pen and ink in addition to hard and soft pastels which are fully exploited. The figure representing the artist is almost angelic as it rises above the dangers of the personalities depicted below. The people are given the surround of an inferno to show the evil nature of their ways.

First, on the left we are presented with a girl who’s hair is entrenched by grease. From her mouth, vomit in projecting or possibly lies. A man, colossal in scale stands next to her, clothed in a T-Shirt brandishing Maine County. His body actions appear to be jerk driven and almost overacted. The face is blocked out, the visualisation of the facial features in denied, possibly a survival mechanism. Dreadlocks take control of the next character, malnourished but extremely confident through his stance, a drug dealer perhaps. We then see the image of a bore rising up, unfitting with the other figures. Centrally located, is a small but shifty character, the eyes look stoned as he hides under a well-worn woollen hat. A push-up bra babe then slots her way in, a true beauty with large eyes to match her breasts. Adjacent a geometrically formed man with glasses to match is present. One of his legs appears to be shorter than the other, a birth defect perhaps. A large, overweight women take over the majority of the space available. The next bound security pass shows her profession: a social worker, the fat drizzled features of her face depicting a falsehood of caring. Penultimately, the row is finished off with a dangerous man associated with the RAF. The final member of those present is a soldier, possibly a Para slotting his head into the image.

In ‘Letter to my former self’ the girl tells herself to avoid any other the characters, to rise above and not to allow any of them to cause her harm.

The sketch was completed by Alison Little, the prompt was provided by Allyson Bright:

30 days of Art Journaling Class

 

The Liverpool Mountain

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Does the luminosity of the latest contemporary public art form in Liverpool turn you on or off?

Ugo Rondinone, the Swiss-born, New York-based artist has gifted his work to the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool.

The multi-coloured stack of rocks finished off with a T section had been sited on the waterfront, nestled beside the Tate Liverpool for almost four weeks now. The sculpture was commissioned to mark ten years since the Capital of Culture, twenty years of the Biennial and thirty years of Tate Liverpool.

Other works by the artist have included seven mountains, simpler luminous rock stacking forms, located just outside Vegas. Initially unpopular, Sixteen million visitors later its safe to say it has won over the public. Will the Liverpool mountain win the hearts of the art-loving Scouse city dwellers? Will it become an icon of the city like the initially revered Superlambanana?

The form is said to be based on a combination of ancient totem poles, medieval rock balancing and hoodoos. Hoodoos being rock spirals formed from weathering over centuries, commonplace in the desert of the United States. So do the seven mountains in Nevada seem fitting in their location in ways the Liverpool Mountain does not?

Do the aesthetics of the colour choice resemble the artistry of a primary school pupil first being given luminous paint in the eighties then deciding all the colours must be used at once?

The verdict: It certainly does brighten up a drizzly day on the docks. Let’s wait and see if the luminosity of the Liverpool mountain turns on the cities art lovers.

Photos Credits to Jamie Pickering.

Ugo Rondino

Liverpool Biennial

Tate Liverpool