All Posts in “Illustration”
For the design of the cuttings, I have been influenced by the subversive paper cuttings at ‘The First Cut’ exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, 2012. 31 international artists who cut, sculpt and manipulate paper, transform this humble material into fantastical works of art. These artists include Kara Walker, Beatrice Coron, James Aldridge and Chris Kenny. I was also inspired by African art especially the tribal masks and the African themed musical 'The Lion King'.
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I decided to create a nightmare world where by the main characters are tree monsters. The tree monsters have been inspired by african art, mainly masks and the art of the silhouette. Most masks have been carved from wood and bone and so look great used as monster faces on the neck of creepy tree silhouettes. There is also an eclectic mix of other scary and not so scary creatures such as a bat monster, snake monster, spider monster, elephant crow hybrid monster and many more.
I printed the designs and shared them friends to do interesting things with and share what they have done on my blog.
My Research blog
Using the African masks to create monsters was very easy because they already look so scary. The dead looking trees also made great spindly bodies for the monsters. As soon as I put them both together I knew I had created some truly freaky characters, ideal for a nightmare tale.My friends used the cuttings in different ways. They were printed out and used as scary masks. One friend wore the mask and went on a journey in his car and then went shopping in Tescos. The photos he took look really bizarre. Masks were also put on teddy bears and even a baby. One photo I thought was very funny was one of 'Tree Monster' blowing bubbles.The cuttings were also used to create interesting silhouette effects by lighting the monsters from behind. This created some very scary images.
There were also some some small cuttings used and arranged on a cutting mat. I really like the roughly cut out look of these laid on the grid. It was a clever idea to have the skeleton hanging from one of the lines.
The cuttings have also been used as very strange decorations for window and plant pots. They have even been stuck along pieces of cotton to tell stories.
When all of the photos were posted onto my blog I decided to create a story from them. You can see it here below.
First a spider appears in the kitchen cupboard, then lots of monsters appear. Then one of the monsters possesses a man by sliding down his mouth. You can then see the man becoming a tree monster with branches for legs and arms and a monstrous face. Then you can see that this man's teddy bear has also been possessed. The newly possessed man then decides to go for a car ride to the supermarket. He sees his new monster face in the wind mirror. As he parks his car he sees that the parking symbols on the road have also turned into tree monsters. He decides not to panic and do his shopping. He then goes home to bed and reads a story book about how to survive a zombie attack.
I have no a experience with paper cutting art so it it took a while to get used to, I had to suffer minor few finger cuts but nothing serious.
I found that most of the people I shared my cuttings with were not happy with posting straight onto my blog. They found it easier to send them direct to me by email or text message as most photos of the cuttings were taken on camera phones.
I would like to expand on this project by sharing with more people to create more interesting and varied results.