Saturday, 1 June 2013

Gdansk: it brought out the pattern in me!

Just got back from another great trip with Martyn...this time we were Drawing in Gdansk! It's a beautiful Polish city with lots of history and, as with my trip to Spain last year, this has fallen at the perfect time - I'm finished for the summer - yay! :)

View of Gdańsk's Old Town from the Motława river.
Here are my drawings from the week (a much shorter one than Spain...) and I must say - I'm surprised by all the pattern that's come out! I'll be honest, it's completely thrown me for where I should take my work next year (that dreaded 2d or 3d question...grrr!) but that's what this last big summer break is all about...stepping back and assessing what's worked best these past 2 years!

So, the journey: 

Day One....

After wandering around the shipyards, taking lots of photos and stopping for a very curious coffee at the ship builders cafe, this arrangement spoke to me out of the window:

an abstraction of the shapes of the rust on an old shipping container!
After walking back to the old town we set ourselves up at a cafe facing the water:

I was more literal in this record of the mill...
...then a little more abstract about the cabin on top of a boat!

What's going on? So many styles!!??

Leigh and I parked up at another cafe

where these guys were playing in the square!

The main square is laden with groups of colourful tourists.
The jazz music seem to fit so well as their backdrop, I just had to record it over the top!
Tutorial was interesting that evening....lots of styles to choose from! I questioned my  drawings as being very separate beings to my 3D could I combine the two??? 


Day Two....

We had a life-drawing session scheduled at the local art school in the afternoon so in the morning it was soaking up the city:

view of the Town Hall, with a beautiful blue sky!
abstractions of the crowds and picking out separate colours.
I'd like to layer up more of these - from different locations maybe....?

And in the afternoon a collaborative drawing session! The task: team up with a student from the Polish school and work into each other's drawing. 45 mins on your 1st drawing, swap to your partners drawing, 45mins, add your own style to the drawing. Go back to your original drawing - what problems now lay for you, 30 mins, close.

I was teamed up with Igor, who uses spray paint as his medium! Not only that but the students worked * REALLY BIG * - their easels are the size of doors - no joke!! This was of course a challenge enough in itself, then to contend with a medium you have never used and work into it - * s c a r y * exciting and liberating too though - really great exercise!!!

I forgot to take a picture of my original drawing but here is Igor's, just after I've added some marks:

It was great watching him work, the technique - amazing! It feels like a Francis Bacon this drawing -  I love it!!!

Now my drawing, with Igor's addition and mine again on top! A vast improvement from the original underneath - yep - he sprayed all over my original drawing!? I was very happy about that though because I hated it!!!

Over both drawings, there were some elements that worked better than others - 
these are my favourite bits:

We held a tutorial afterwards with some of the Polish students - this was interesting to gain their perspective on our work. It was suggested that my style was more painterly (fine art) than design (which sent my head off in a spin again - of course!) Appreciated the comments though and am parking them for now as I digest what's going on!!!

Day Three...

It was Polish bank holiday and a special procession took place in the city. Whilst waiting for it to start we had a coffee and I drew some tall buildings...

the procession got underway with lots of national dress

Afterwards we head over to Westerplatte (by Pirate Ship of all things!) and set up camp by the monument. The view was of windows, ships and cranes. I abstracted and assembled again:

primary coloured boat
marks and cranes and windows and colour

So as you can see, lots of pattern happening in my sketchbook! I'm enjoying it, just not that sure what to 'do' with it? Screen-printing maybe - but on to what? My feedback on last term was asking for more design work so maybe I'll start there....?

Well, from now until I go back to Spain (September) I have a lot of time to think about what I want to be doing next year. I've my dissertation to get stuck into (thinking installation ceramics as a subject), family to visit (France) and a mess of a studio to sort through! (eeek! it's a total tip!) Hopefully though some sense will come out of it all? In the meantime, it's back for a couple of days then off again! This time to London, for work experience!

To close however, Gdansk was brilliant - I will definitely be going back! 

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