Archive for the ‘General’ Category
April 13th, 2011 | Richard Almond
Rather than a solid facade differentiating between inside and outside, the transition is eroded. A series of meshes mediate gradually between a sealed inner box and the world beyond, offering inhabitants intermittent glimpses of the elements. The connection to the water and the landscape is heightened, visitors experience a gusting wind, splashing waves and the sounds and smells of a working harbour as they move through the building. There is, however, a sense of enclosure and protection, a suitable level of containment which allows users a sense of safety whilst they inhabit a series of floating platforms in constant motion.
June 16th, 2009 | Richard Almond
Took a day off on Saturday and had a trip down to Brighton. It was the first time I’ve been and I was very impressed with the Royal Pavilion, but particularly intrigued by the West Pier, which was victim to a huge fire in 2002. The piers’ walkway has subsequently collapsed but the charred frame of the main platform still exists a few hundred meters out at sea. I can’t help but imagine the burnt shell as the site for a student architectural project, or in an ideal world even a site for my installation, possessing obvious decay as well as vivid memories for locals and holiday makers. We can all dream…
June 7th, 2009 | Richard Almond
This has got to be one of the best things I’ve seen yet on iPlayer, if only Britain was still like this now. Absolutely brilliant, make sure you watch it!
“Semi-naked women, wurlitzers and prize goats are just a selection of items used by the British government to promote the country’s image abroad. For four decades, the government produced thousands of strange little films in order to sell an ideal Britain overseas and now, for the first time, they are shown to the country that inspired them.”
May 19th, 2009 | Richard Almond
Half-way through this animation project, I went to the Tate Modern’s Rodchenko + Popova: Defining Constructivism exhibiton.
This deeply inspiring collection of paintings by Liubov Popova and media artwork by Alexandr Rodchenko is one of the best I’ve seen. The graphical style of Rodchenko seems the precursor to the software we use today. In his Photo-Montages, the physical layering of colour, images and type relate directly to the digital layering systems we now use in the likes of Photoshop and InDesign. The work, however, has an authentic hand-made charm that simply cannot be replicated with a computer. Posters from the early 1900′s were some of the very first non-western advertisements, and show clear differences in style, being heavily influenced by Russian Constructivism. The high-contrast greyscale images, used with powerful primary colours and the aggressive Russian alphabet condure up a sense of nostalgia even from those born decades after his death.
I couldn’t help but see similarities between the forms in Popova’s paintings and my photographs of the studio space. Popova’s paintings are incredibly architectural, and possess a strong sense of 3-dimensionality. The sharp, angular geometry reminded me of the looming rooflights in the studio, and being thoroughly roused by the exhibition, I felt I had to incorporate some of this inspiration into my work.
Throughout the process of constructing my Flash animation I was continously reminded of the Constructivism exhbition by the fortuitous imagery that occured. In particular, when creating masks to limit an animation to the area of a window – see the image below.
After a lot of consideration, I feel I’ve settled on a suitable method of integrating some of this Constructivist imagery into my animations. In briefly isolating the glass in greyscale from each scene during the transition to the next, I’ve achieved some of the intended aesthetic whilst further reinforcing the concept of the windows as the focus of each scene.
May 16th, 2009 | Richard Almond
I’ve been doing some further messing about with Yooouuutuuube, using much the same method as I did with the image-glitching previously. I took a simple colour spectrum and passed it through Yooouuuutuuube, recorded the results and passed this back throught, etc, etc. Each iteration possesses its own unique character, and the clips quickly build up a retro pixel gaming aesthetic. The results are pretty interesting.
May 12th, 2009 | Richard Almond
It seems Yooouuutuuube is this month’s coolest new web gadget, so I thought I’d give it a go since there could definitely be some scope for experimentation as part of my thesis project. There are some really nice results online already but I was supprised to find that nobody seems to have uploaded a simple colour spectrum yet. I uploaded my own and here are the results…
May 8th, 2009 | Richard Almond
I eventually managed to get to Shunt last weekend, and it was one of the most incredible spaces I have ever set foot in. I can’t think of a space more perfect for hosting my installation idea. A labyrinth of tunnels and vaults under London Bridge Station, and steeped in history, the venue was used for over 100 years to provide storage for wine before it was distributed by train throughout the country. Shunt is actually a collaborative of 10 artists, not the venue itself, yet they use it to its full capacity.
Stepping through the inconspicuous plain black doorway, you wonder if you’ve arrived in the right place. A cramped, dimly lit lobby leads straight to the exhibitions. You pay your money and carry on, exploring the brick vaults. To the sides are occasional small doorways with a warm glow and people spilling out. Inside these tiny chambers, what seems like hundreds of people are captivated by an artist playing piano or singing. Groups of peculiarly dressed individuals rush around, chatting and drinking. It’s unclear whether they are performers or visitors. You feel like you’re part of an underground cult. Moving on you meet the first installation piece, and immediately you are plunged into darkness as your eyes struggle to adjust. There is a long, narrow walkway spanning the length of a vast, vaulted space, with a doorway at the very end. The only light source is a single floodlight behind the door, casting shadows from silhouettes as people reach the end of the space and move through to the next.
As your eyes begin to adjust, you realise the strange whisperings you heard were not entirely imagined. Moving shapes emerge from the pitch-black catacombs which run perpendicular to the main space. Small groups sit quietly in the darkness. The space draws you onwards, the feint hum of music becoming louder and louder. You explore further installations and spaces. There is a small room with a pool table which leads through to a hallway in which a rather eccentric band blasts out their songs to an appreciative crowd. More and more of these deeply interesting spaces appear, and within 10 minutes of entering you feel lost and disorientated. The great thing is that you just don’t care, it’s all part of the fun.
The culmination of your wanderings always seems to lead you to the main bar space. This epic expanse is a double, even triple-height space littered with columns which support huge brick archways, and filled with thumping music. The odd performance artist wanders by, doing something strange. I bought a couple of homemade cookies from a nice bloke at the end of a dark tunnel. It seemed quite normal at the time.
Whilst exploring one installation (a miniature, wooden pantheon perchance), I spotted a nondescript, hand-painted white arrow on a wall in the very corner of a seating space. Between a couple of sets of ladders, the arrow looked like it had been painted by a workman to mark the route of a service cable, but upon closer inspection it pointed to yet another tiny opening, through which a short candle-lined corridor led to another tiny exhibition space. The space was hosting a small exhibition by an art student from Birmingham, and it struck me as the ideal place to hold my own installation. After a conversation with the student however, it became apparent that this would be very unlikely. I was told that because of overwhelming demand, Shunt simply weren’t considering any more artistic proposals. It seems a very much ‘who you know not what you know’ sort of place. That’s not to say the events and installations are poor of course.
Shunt was a thoroughly unique and entertaining experience, yet I left a little disappointed. Partially because I knew how unlikely it is for me to use the space to host my installation, and partially because in a few months the complex will close for the final time, being filled with concrete as part of the foundation system for The Shard.
April 24th, 2009 | Richard Almond
A while back I was asked to submit a photo from last year’s Cambridge Folk Festival for possible inclusion in the new Schmap guide to Cambridge. I’ve just found out that the pic has made it into the guide, which is pretty sweet, but the one they chose is strangely probably the worst photo I took that day…
April 9th, 2009 | Richard Almond
Well I had a run in with a pint glass last week and came off a fair bit worse. My wrist more specifically – I’ve cut thru a tendon that makes my fingers work. It’ unfortunately my good arm as well, so I can just about type, but otherwise its unlikely there’s going to be much work from me for at least the next month…
March 31st, 2009 | Richard Almond