Line Of Enquiry. Unit X.2

Beginning the development of ideas around our research, I began looking into William Wilde’s style and responding to some of the shapes and features that recur in his work. These are some experimental designs of patterns and styles that we could use in our own characters. I liked experimenting with mixing fabrics like some of Wilde’s inventions. I am assigned to creating an environment for our production and this gave me some ideas on using patterns to overlay textures within a stage scene.

theatres resp

Here are some more refined responses I created with the reference images of old and new theater. I had contemplated using a wide shot so an audience could be seen as silhouettes in the foreground; we could have implemented a variety of animal heads as spectators enhancing the bizarre surrealism. However, this would make the stage too small for any real detail to be used on the main subjects and leave limitations to how we could develop the camera moments later on.

Colour is a significant factor in Wilde’s work which is why I think it is crucial to get the correct compositional balance without over or under compensating. Here is a selection of colour samples I put together with reference to some of Wilde’s collections. I prefer the white and blue designs as they refer to the collection that the client presented to us at the briefing but I can see this being too bright in the scene and takes away from the subject at the center. This could be fixed with readjusting the hues and making a bolder version of the patterns on a dress that the character is wearing.

When presenting these to the group they seemed to like the yellow and black designs overall so I will use these to develop the shape composition of a border but will consider having a colour variety for the final film. Perhaps we could create a border that matched in tone or texture to the outfit worn by each character iteration. Of course, I will keep in mind that this must be toned down as not to make them overly distracting from the central characters.

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I built a mock-up of what a possible composition for the stage curtains could look like and split them into movable layers. This yellow and checkered design is the variant that my group mates preferred but we agreed this is too loud. Seeing the checkers on a much bigger screen also proves to be slightly sickening with the warped illusion. I will revise the tone and pattern in this combination but I will also look into a less basic set of assets. When looking back over mu research I have decided to explore the use of embellishments on the designs such as chains, gemstones, and lace. A want to push the grandeur of the traditional ball that may have inspired the minds of the 16th century Cinderella retold through a surreal pigmented collage.

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In our recent group meeting, we focused on what kind of characters we are going to have appeared in the scene. We didn’t want them to be real living humans so we discussed using mannequins or stitched dolls to enforce the fantastical and bizarre myth of a storybook. Of course, our version of the story will contain a little more of Wilde’s risqué appreciation of the female form and a nod to the punishment it must experience in its transformations; Cinderella’s in particular. I implemented the heads of some of the animals found in various versions of the story and picked some with traits associated with strength, fertility, sensuality and adaptability. I referred to 50’s pinup girls for engaging poses that express a range of personalities.

For the next stages of production, I will design a range of fully furnished sets and further explore the designs of the character and style we wish to convey. Perhaps overlaying animated textures and shadows will improve upon the very 2D aesthetic of the current mock up. Hopefully, we can develop a greater atmospheric depth with a collage paper vs liquid ink variety of design choices. We will also go further into appropriate music and sound that reflects the ideas that are presented.

Research. Unit x.2

Aschenputtel is the Grimm Brothers’ name for Cinderella. She is not helpless, in fact, she seems to be more of a proficient witch. This is considering she needs no help in summoning enchanted birds and wishes from a magic tree. Charles Perrault (1697), Histoires ou


du temps passé, Cendrillon is the French version of the story and the closest to the one that we all think of today. It marks the introduction to most of the ‘Cinderella’ tropes such as the Fairy God Mother, the Pumpkin carriage, and the glass slipper. From Egypt we have Rhodopis; originated in first century BC/AD adapted from the Strabo, historian, 64 BC – 24 AD – this version seems to cover similar ground as the ‘germanic slave girl’ narrative however wrapped in appropriate Middle Eastern politics and social situations. In fact, it seems pretty much every country has its own variation of a similar tale.

In breaking apart the elements of the story or various versions there usually, tends to be some kind of party involved. We decided this might be a good theme to base a suggested narrative around. We don’t intend to make something with a clear linear story, we would rather build something symbolic and simplified that will allow the critic to draw meanings upon the issues we suggest. The ball is something we discussed as having great potential for working some engaging imagery and an opportunity to showcase some of the stylistic traits within William Wilde’s work. This naturally drew us towards the theater and presenting the commentary as a performance constructed in front of the audience.

I begin my environmental design research with 1910-30’s theater. I think building a stage with an authentic style and


it with modern pastel tones will give the atmosphere a surreal re-invention of classic aesthetic; much like what we see in Wilde’s dresses.


ball at the Carnival of Venice. This is a great source of inspiration for ostentatious theatrics. When we think of masquerade we naturally see the key component of a mask. The tradition began as the carnival marked a time when all social classes could mingle; the masks offered anonymity and the opportunity to see within (ironically). It offered to hide association with any form of identity, origin, age, gender or religion in a society where social classes are defined and unlikely to interact.

In the client briefing, William Wilde mentioned a few of his inspirations and the message he conveys. Feminine strength and breaking the convention of acceptable fashion. I Find his exquisite use of


to be


to the concept of femininity, and a striking statement of brutality the female body endures within the industry of fashion; latex is not easy to wear. I also admire the blending of vintage cut designs with 50-70’s style patterns. The use of latex captures clean liquid shapes of bold ink, enhanced by sharp lines morphed around an organic form.

unit x comic1

The group decided to have a female form be constructed on stage and torn apart and rebuilt. It conveys the nature of the modern ‘Catwalk’ in creating and recreating aesthetic while affirming the classic transformations that occur with every respective representation of Cinderella through history. This is a storyboard of the general


of what we build. This is unlikely how the final will look specifically as we aim to modify and redesign the composition and


of the set and perhaps modify the subject that is formed into something more abstract.


Keenan, V. (n.d.). The Grimm Brothers’ Cinderella: Summary & Characters Chapter 3 / Lesson 29 . Retrieved from

Rhodopis (The Egyptian Cinderella). (n.d.). Retrieved from lit.scribbles:

Thorpe, J. (n.d.). 9 Things About The Original Brothers Grimm Cinderella Story That Are Nothing Like The Disney Version. Retrieved from Bustle:

wilde, w. (n.d.). Latex Dresses. Retrieved from William wilde :

Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence by George C. Kohn (ed.), Facts. on File, Inc., New York, 1995.


Unit X. Reflection.exe

Our unit x project was a very illuminating experience and nothing like what I was expecting from previous group projects. Despite the many snags we hit along the way, ultimately the outcome was a great success in how it was built as a theoretical concept and the ideas had remained consistent into its final assembly. I believe this idea had its limitations in some areas as well as being limitless in what we could create. This projects has opened me up far more to the various 2D animation techniques that I have encountered in the past, now I know how to utilize them around an abstract and very mixed media project. Attending the animation workshops proved instrumental in designing the videos used in the installation. As a group we had decided whatever idea we would be working on did not necessarily have to be in the medium of film, photography and animation, this helped us in keeping an open mind in collecting broad ideas and it resulted in our project being much more unique than it may have otherwise ended up.

About those snags however, they seemed to be somewhat out of our control. The first issue seemed to be with the projectors being far too big for the plinths. You couldn’t put the glass close enough to the lens without there being some of over spill, they also produced a significant amount of heat which was very noticeable in a room of synthetic fabric. The room itself was built with hooks, pegs and string suspended from the roof tiles. Problems encountered here are the quantity of fabric we had to use. I have done similar set ups in past exhibitions which made this easier to construct once we had the means of hanging the walls. The whole group helped with the construction of the room so any technical problems that came up were quickly dealt with.

Eventually we had the projectors switch to smaller ones that improved the aesthetics of the set up greatly. Smaller projectors could be put right up to the glass and have no over spill at all. The bigger projectors also took much of the focus away from the glass, they in themselves being a big part of the composition benefited from being fully seen illuminated in a free space.

As a group we would all meet up 2-3 times a week to test out our work and collect more materials and footage was the best way to stay on top of where the project was going and how it was to be achieved. It built our strength as a team and we cooperated better the more we got comfortable with each other. I value the skills I have developed in collaborating with others in vast creative projects. I feel I will also benefit from creating contacts with people learning other creative subjects as a resource for future projects. The exhibition could have been improved with a more dynamic set up; with more time and more investment in resources, the light could have been set as directional and in a wider space. the original idea was to have the light from underneath the glass and have the top shelf rotate, of course this was would have required us to build a custom plinth with a motorized rotating panel. Understandably, this didn’t happen but the set up we went with worked very successfully in the end. perhaps it was this true element of chance being consistent through every step of production. The outcome was never certain in exactly the effect it would have. everything was down to the condition of the moment. every test was in a different room, never the same video, never the same angle, always a brand new result. this is liberating as a representation of interpenetration. People at the exhibition would describe it as calming, others found it claustrophobic. It truly embodied the idea of energy and variable chance.

The videos show two different set ups of the exhibition.

The final compilations projected through the vessels.


Unit x. Line of Enquiry

For our Unit x project the plan is to build a dark room installation. The element of chance is illustrated in the refraction of an amalgamation of images blasted through warped glass.

First of all we had to establish that we could actually get some sort of reflective or refractive material to project through. We visited the glass blowing facility in the university and asked if they could commission us some glass or give us some old samples to use. The glass technician asked that we draw some examples of what we want. Here are the ideas we had.

Early on we wanted to use full glass pieces but these would have to be quite small as full glass uses lots of material and time to sculpt. Our designs also had facets and faces that would take far too long to polish; unpolished faces would block light and limit the refraction. The group decided on a round ball, a jagged shape and the wobbly flame shape. However, after a quick test I did with a small light and a Kilner cup, the I found the hollow objects shine more brightly that a solid one. {which will be more suitable}

We borrowed a hollow glass vessel to test if the effect would even work at all and we could develop the idea further. We hired out a dark room and a projector and found flowing colourful videos to test what compositions would give the best effect. These are some images from that test;

The glass completely dispersed the images and emitted wispy liquefied patterns out of random colour information. An interesting development was that the light bouncing around the vessel would mix and create colours that weren’t in the original image. The outcome was so successful that we asked for 3 similar and hollow shapes to be made instead of solid ones. After some consideration of space in the exhibition, we decided that only two vessels would be more suitable.

It is interesting to see the glass as distortions of seeing. The installation is intended to provide the audience with an experience of seeing; not the physical world as filled with beings objects and events all separately, but as everything that is, was or will be the continuum of energy flowing freely, randomly and in absolute constancy in creating what we know as perceived existence. Considering this, it has been established that sound plays a great aspect of sensing and perception. Conor and Matt have suggested some ways to generate a random sound wave from a live feed. Using live or rather real ambient sound clips to mix would work most effectively to maximize the experience – and uses the same principles used to generate imagery.


In the meantime, the group had gone out to collect images from a walk around town and then these are colour manipulated with various combinations of affects generated at random. The test was repeated with these new shapes and the results are very pleasing. The light spread is significantly bigger with these vessels with them being wider. The display uses the same principle of light as representative of energy that Peter Erskine aimed to portray. While he split light, we are mixing it; or rather allowing it to mix itself in whatever information is translated.

Over the course of each test, there has been many mixed results in how effectively compositions work. It seems some of the darker areas seem very strong in breaking apart shapes and give the illusion of flowing beams or independent movement in and around the space. I decided it would be interesting to experiment with some techniques learned in the 2D animation workshops. These two tests were created with the combined techniques of digital ‘paper cut out’ and ‘stream of consciousness’ experiments in mind.

In collecting imagery for the final production, we had to determine a location randomly by dropping a pin on a map – these are from in and around Whitworth.

The images and films collected her were manipulated and put through the glass while in after affects, this helped in acknowledging how a new composition would look in case we couldn’t get another projector on the night. Equipment being a rather significant roadblock in our progress, especially when it comes to plinths and space – we had to test as often as possible. This ultimately always gave us a clear strategies in solving problems we encounter with software; with the six of us present someone would always have a solution.


The Day we final got to have a look at our exhibition spaces at London Scottish house was the first real clear indication as to how the final product may look (it is still very much left to chance) though this is most definitely to our advantage. At this point we have all the components we need to put together, as every test we have done has been in different rooms, each has come out very different with all the variables this concept has; its near impossible to recreate any of the displays exactly. Its rather unknown as to how it will look in that particular space with both vessels lit.

Originally, we had toyed with the idea of having a rotating plinth but as time and technical resources go, it would not have been a small job. The next idea was to have the projectors stand and project up through the glass – this also would have taken much time and resource to build a see through shelf and suspend a projector vertically. Luckily the AV store had projector plinths already built – we may have to have two of these and build a small shelf on the front.


We had plans to use the small office room space to projector display – these are drawn up designs what the the set up may have been. I had pointed out this may be rather tight for people to walk into the space without entirely blocking out the beams. Although we would have had much more control over the spread of light and sound contamination into other displays. At this point we were still undecided on how sound could be controlled by the audience – similar to Haraldson’s interactive light shows. The difference here being that he is a master coder and we did not have those kind of skills. Therefore we would likely not be using a keyboard.


We are allocated a back wall space that requires us to build most of the environment, idealy out of fabric – adding greatly to the liquid euphoric nature of the production. We would have used a black environment however black absorbs light and the walls would work much better when white and reflective. Using white cloth would make the light visible from outside and entice onlooker through the curtain. Curiosity of what might happen is the foundation of human nature – why we take chances. Below are the new initial ideas for the space.


Conor produced new audio from existing films and made them ethereal and yet still recognizable.

Throughout all the technical developments, ha have been working on multiple animated sequences to layer over the films. The film below is some of the tests using various coloured shapes and also black ‘anomalies’.

I can easily see the sequences with coloured shapes are too loud to even identify any independent movement – the black shapes work so much more prominently against a vivid base.

Drawing basic shaped and formations in flash and moving them along a path with a classic tween made the production fast and efficient. Each video was animated and exported on a transparent stage in Edge Animate so they could easily be composited over films in Premiere Pro. To generate random combinations I could import them under one source and have them dropped in to premiere out of sequence. As the animations are black shapes on a transparent background, it is impossible to identify anything that was in the clip until ran over a film – aiding indiscriminate design.

A composition of the abstract animated films.

So far Polly, Daisy, Matt, Johnathan, Conor and myself have all been absolutely involved with every step of production.


“In the dark and slightly blurry”

 – Dynamic group description

14 . 9’30 1’30

Digital Animation as Stream of Consciousness

Session 1 Test 1. Adobe Flash Professional

This version of Adobe Flash took some getting used to but ultimately, it showed proved to be a very efficient drawn animation tool. This way of animating is one that I could pour hours into and come out with surreal or narrative based films. I plan to use this method as the base for my projection animation that could later be modified using other programs and techniques.

Digital Cut Out Animation

Session 1 Test 1. Adobe Flash Professional

I have had an interest in cut-out animation for years and am a big fan of Monty Python and Terry Gilliam’s work. Trying his way of physical cut-outs works great with the practice but was very tedious to attempt anything elaborate. It seems Gilliam knew this technique is best used in comedic shorts – and knew it well. To use the same principles in a digital medium allowed so much more creative freedom and efficient production. It was fun to take random objects and build quick obscure narratives (or lack of), it leaves enough to the viewer to draw conclusions before being turned on its head. I see this as a useful skill to incorporate into surreal animations and get quick results.

Unit X. Research

This light installation by Harald Haraldsson uses geometric glass shapes to refract light in an interactive light show. PRISMA 1666 is named after and inspired by Sir Isaac Newton’s famous experiments in 1666 on the refraction of light through crystals. Light beams are projected into a space occupied by glass prisms which bend the light and create optical anomalies. His engineering skills allowed the audience to interact with the display and manipulate the beams.

Light is not random at all, however , the architecture of the environment are dictated by the infinite variable of chance – be it natural or synthetic.

Yayoi Kusama created this light installation that projects an illusion of infinity. hundreds of hanging lights in a room of mirrors is a simple construction but gives such a powerful representation of foreverness.

 I find this links greatly to space and our existence as a part of this incomprehensible amalgamation of stars, planets and the unknown. it almost leads into the concept of string theory in seeing infinite representations of yourself displaced throughout space and time and refracted visual entity outside of our head and in front of us.

 Peter Erskine held similar experimental installations with lazer-cut prisms that project rainbows in existing modern and historical architecture called ‘Secrets of the Sun’ / ‘S.O.S.’

Erskine’s concept is built upon 3 ‘BIG IDEAS’:

  1. Sunlight is Energy.
  2. All Life is Solar-Powered.
  3. Everything is Connected to Everything Else.

‘S.O.S’ is a reminder that the world and everything in it is powered by the sun, our future is only sustainable with the natural powers ; most important being solar. This project uses such simple ingenuity and remains so vastly complex in the discussions it raises. Light is the spectrum of which the human eye can see and this is simply the way it is and is never considered or appreciated in any way other than aesthetically; fashion, art, material product design e.c.t. Literally breaking down beams of the sun into its physical formula of separate colour and using it to ‘paint’ a space signifies the fact that everything is made of other components, that exists because of something else, sustained by something else, food for something else, works with something else; every thing is informed by a million billion variables. And it is this infinitude that brought me to the idea to use glass/ clear mineral to displace an image, film or performance and invent something absolutely unique in space and time.

These three installations particularly interest me in that they all demanded a huge amount of collaboration with other experts in technological and physical disciplines, but also that of those willing to allow these artists to communicate directly to the people by way of experience and presenting in a public space. It shows the openness that the fundamental nature of expression is the act of communicating an idea.

In a group discussion, we decided to investigate glass blowing. We plan to create a variation of shapes and explore how light would act when projected through them. It would also be worth experimenting with reflective material as well. Were as the light sources could vary between real and abstract film/images.