Personification – The Trenches

Personification is giving an inanimate object a life or emotion. To kick start this project I began by exploring my surroundings. The studio space, outside, other buildings and stuff on my desk. I was asked to bring things in such as:

– vegetables
– art equipment
– kitchen utensils
– clothes
– plants
– conkers
– dried leaves
– twigs
– etc

When I had chosen my items to work with, I was given a choice of 4 war poems. Based on my interpretation of one of these poems I had to personify each item as though they all had life. Being restricted to only two colours, but a range of hues from those colours, a series of illustrations was asked. I chose the poem ‘…..’. It is about the acceptance of dying and the passing of body and soul. For my items I chose to work with small, red, dried chillies! giving to me by Chris, they had been sitting on my window cill for quite some time and need a use.

Representing the dying soldiers in my poem, the chillies worked well. They were all skinny but stood at different heights. The stalks on the tops of the chillies looked like helmets worn by soldiers. The dryness of their skin made them look withered and decayed. To accompany my small chillies I also used big red pepper. In my poem the pepper represented the hand of death itself. Very big, confident, abrupt.

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The colours I chose were green and blue. Having reflected on the colour project, I found those colours were cold, neglecting, dull and made me feel sad. I also asked for the opinions of my colleges and they agreed. I used three hues each for both of these colours as I was trying to keep it simple.

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The brief also stated that I needed to produce a 12 paged book. So I decided to expand on the book idea and make it out of fabric. It thought this would also add to the grimy, grainy feel of the poem and the context. For my choice of technique I used stencils and worked with a layering method. Having three hues of each colour this method worked well. I divided each image up into layers and printed them accordingly.

Once all dried, I added finishing touches and sewed my book together. Each page was A3 so I cut sheets of foam board of which I placed inside to make the pages sturdy. If I was to improve of this project, I would have make full use of the printing facility. But I am pleased with my results.

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