Online portfolio and print on demand catalogs for Graphic Design and Animation graduates from the Department of Design 2012. On this page you will find our conference presentations, and by hovering over the menu groups on the left you can read contextual documents. You are welcome to attend our Grad Show, opening on 29 November 2012 at 6pm, and daily from 30 November to 6 December 9.30am – 4pm.
The underlying basis of this project is my interest in the documentation and re-contextualising of the urban environments I frequent on a regular basis. I intend to graphically examine and portray the elements within these environments which I find interesting and feel are undervalued. Through a series of publications I will present the intangible elements of my daily commute through photography, drawing, painting and site specific installation.
Photography has been a vital part of my process, as I have been trying to present and examine the intangible elements within my chosen environments, often a photograph is the only way to capture a particular mood, feeling or atmosphere.
While exploring these environments this was one of the most time effective and easily facilitated methods of documentation, through these photographs I have been able to visually explore and record a significant range of native urban textures. Once edited and compiled these photographs will serve as the basis for my publications. A constant element was needed within my publications as I am exploring quite an extensive and experimental range of image making and layout techniques, the constant presence of these closely cropped textural photographs will help with the overall harmony and rhythm of the publications as series.
This photography process is connected to the concept of Psychogeography, this was a definite starting point within this project, Defined by Guy Debord as “the study of the specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” (1) Strongly connected to this is the concept of the dérive, while my travels were not without direction, I was able to draw inspiration from these two interconnected contexts. I mainly photographed surfaces rather than three dimensional objects or places, I chose to do this as I intended to then introduce these surface textures into a range of digital workspaces, using their lines, colors and shapes to create new patterns and textures that could then be printed and pasted back into the original urban environments. Stephen Powers states, “This is the highest art you can do, this is involving communities, this is taking input and data from a community and putting in on the wall.” (2)
I have begun to experiment with and edit a selection of these photographs, adding text and layering multiple images within a single composition, but the addition of computer generated text over such rich gritty texture found within the photographs was not effective. As a solution I began using hand-painted text within elements of the work, I used the underlying form of the classic font Helvetica while also letting the application of the paint and the texture of the canvases effect the final appearance of the painted text.
When I finalized my original aim “To visually investigate mapping and examine the value of various intangible elements within urban environments with a focus on Auckland city. Further examining the relationship between people and the environment they inhabit.” I originally intended to include a number of different subjects within the framework of this mapping project, however after documenting my own journey from my home in Mt Eden to work and university in Pt Chevalier I decided that it would be possible to sustain the project with my material alone.
Due to the personal nature of this project I realized it may be difficult to combine the visual stories of multiple participants. At a later stage it will be possible to add further narratives to the work, once I have a model to follow I will be able to recreate this with data, photographs and other material provided by future volunteers.
The collection of objects from specific sites has lead to an interesting visual conversation. I collected items individually, however after their grouping they have been constantly rearranged, edited and manipulated. They are now beginning to speak as a carefully curated visual representation of the emotions and feeling connected with the spaces I have been frequenting and researching. I will continue to collect and curate this small set with the intention of showing it in conjunct-unction with my final publications.
“Some pieces of work result from simply taking stock of the myriad mes sages that crowd our everyday lives; by designers observing the things that others take for granted and editing them to reveal something new, for instance in Alex Rich’s Almost/Nearly project, where observations are “lifted”, or perhaps stolen, to become “work”. A photograph of a road sign is entitled “Airplane”, drawing our attention to the shape and form of the graphic; a fence punctured with paper cups left by builders assumes a strange, graphic beauty when photographed in isolation. Together the group of photos remind us that the details of our everyday landscape hold much magic when reappro priated as a means of non-verbal communication.” Claire Catterall (3)
I have been very interested in the physicality of the journey I have been documenting, I have moved away from creating work solely within digital mediums and have begun experimenting by graphically interacting with canvas taken directly from the urban environments, once these have been completed and photographed I will then re-introduce these items into their natural habitat, and document this for inclusion within a publication. By defining common points of interest within the urban environment throughout various demographics I have chosen well recognizable items, signs and grates that will resonate with most people living within the metropolitan Auckland area.
Jason Williams (Revok) – Diamond 1 – 2011
I would like to further this collection/canvas process and begin to collect a wider range of materials from the street, which could then be arranged into entirely new physical forms and either stand as a piece of work alone or act as a starting point for further graphic interpretation and manipulation. The work pictured above by Jason Williams is a highly complex version of the collection and physical collaging of textures which I would like to explore.
Recently I have delved into the self published zine vernacular, the quickly produced handmade publications fit naturally with the urban environments and personal journeys I am trying to convey within my work, this method of production allows for quick production and experimentation.
Through this range of different formats, inserts and binding methods I am also hoping to explore the concept of wall/art installations presented within a printed format. Within my first submission of this project earlier in the year I included a selection of found items, rather than recreating this again I will attempt to transfer this layout, process and overall aesthetic into a print medium.
Banos – Hard To Get Old Without A Cause (Installation)
The political associations connected to the use of public space is one of the key contexts I explored in the earlier stages of this project, this series of mural works in Brooklyn produced by Steve Powers is a good example of work I would be interested in initiating, the murals depict the complexities and rewards of relationships through Powers unique wordplay, they are as much a love letter from him to the city and it’s community as anything else.
The idea of community based design or artwork is of great interest to me. Public artwork and murals are frequently used within an informal mapping conversations. However I often find it is hard to combine graphic design and graffiti in any unique or interesting way, for the most part design work which uses elements from the graffiti vernacular often fails to succeed, I think for urban mural work to be truly engaging it must first involve or reference the community and space it inhabits.
Auckland city council’s beautification initiative and urban gentrification, with the removal of color and art from our streets and communities in recent years I intended to examine the curiosities and beauty still left within the textures of the physical environment itself.
Through this examination of our surroundings I am personally beginning to explore the possible influence of our surroundings/environment on a populations creative output. To further this I would like to explore creation of work outside, through either a mural, street installation or a poster campaign, this context leads into the wider question of The importance of urban art and the role this plays in developing a cities cultural significance and status within a global community.
The wall pictured below was my first attempt at a larger scale work involving typographic elements. To keep this mural work as clean and symmetrical as possible I knew I would need to use stencils of my chosen letters. This allows for the first application of spray-paint in any color to then be covered over with more expressive and gestural brush strokes visible within the final work. I used A3 sheets of paper containing single stenciled letters, which I then physically taped and arranged on the wall, this led to a fair amount of crooked lines and words and no real control over the overall composition. While this process is not entirely rooted within graphic design I feel the choice of such a classic typeface and the simplicity of the spacing and color added with the overall aesthetic achieved, sits nicely within the framework of the project, the texture of the paint and the scale of the work reflect the texture and size of the landscapes I am attempting to document, these outdoor works can then be photographed and will appear throughout the final publications.
For my second large scale wall I decided to pre-prepare a larger portion of the layout this will allow for a stricter composition and cleaner result, rather than using A3 sheets of paper as in the first wall, by designing the layout on the computer I was able to incorporate new linear elements and was allowed greater control over the space and harmony within the composition. I sectioned a large Eight meter long wall into AO sized portions which I then cut into stencils. The process is depicted below as is the computer generated layout in it’s entirety.
Resene Color Awards – Trestle 2012.
Example of photographed found objects for the publication. And Spread example from publication, featuring a full page photograph, accompanied by a related item.
Photographs of a test publication, the final work will be similar in size to this but will include clearer images and will be perfect bound. I will also like to explore further the idea of packaging for the graduation show, and develop an interesting and interactive packaging system to house the publication.
Powers, Steven. “TEDxPhilly – Stephen Powers – Urban Love Letters” 14 February 2011. You Tube.
Catterall, Claire. Specials. London: Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2001. Print