Morocco: Premier Pro Video Editing Workshop

Before we go to Morocco next week, we were given a video editing workshop on Premier Pro, incase we wanted to make any video responses to our trip. I have never worked with video art or Premier Pro before so the workshop helped me develop new skills. Below are some notes I have made for future reference:

  • to begin, import desired videos into bottom left-hand rectangle.
  • running your mouse over these videos, left to right, will show a quick view.
  • double click a video and it will go into top left-hand box, where you can edit the length using { } symbols (called mark-in and mark-out).
  • drag edited length video into bottom right hand box, which is the timeline of the video.
  • audio and visual are separated into A1 and V1. If you add more videos or audio tracks they will appear above and below as A2, V2, A3, V3 etc.
  • to edit clip transitions click on effects in bottom left-hand box, drag across chosen transition and place where you want it to go in the timeline box. You can lengthen or shorten the transition using the red brackets.
  • can do the same with audio but instead drag to A1, A2 box etc.
  • The white line on the audio bar changes the volume, volume should never exceed -12
  • top right-hand box is to view the actual video you are making.
  • you can layer up videos and audios, but it works like a hierarchy, if you have a V1 and V2, V2 will appear instead of V1 as it is directly above it in the timeline.
  • but you can change the opacity of the videos.
  • when you have finished your video, make sure timeline box is highlighted and export using the format H.264 (name highlighted in blue is what it’ll be saved under).
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Morocco: Marrakech Initial Research

Over the Christmas holidays I started researching into the city of Marrakech and different aspects and places I might want to explore. I bought a travellers guide as I thought this would be a good starting point for initial research.

Initial Research

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Main Places to Visit

Marrakech Medina– During our visit to Marrakech we will be staying within the Medina walls. The Medina is the walled, old city founded by Sultan Youssef Ben Tachfine back in the Middle Ages. It still adopts a deeply traditional way of life and is home to many ancient palaces, mosques and labyrinthine souks. I think it is going to be really interesting to see a more traditional lifestyle and get stripped back to the basics, that I think, Western culture has lost.

Majorelle Gardens– The Majorelle Gardens are a 12 acre botanical garden created by Jacques Majorelle in the 1920’s and 30’s. Apparently, the cobalt blue (now known as Majorelle blue) that the buildings within the garden are painted to, comes from the colour of French workmen’s overalls, according to Majorelle himself. I think I am most excited to visit the Majorelle Gardens. From the pictures alone, the colours of the building look incredible, and I love plants, especially cacti! I think there is going to be plenty to explore here and it will be a great place for sketching. It is also home to the Berber Museum which displays traditional Berber textiles and costumes. I think this will be beneficial for my research into the significance of patterns in Moroccan culture.

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Majorelle Gardens (photo by Nicolas Mathéus)

Souk Sebbaghine– The Souk Sebbaghine is one of the many souks within the Medina, and although I want to visit as many of the souks as possible, to get a sense of all the different trades, I am especially interested in the Souk Sebbaghine. This is the dryers souk where you can see saffron wool against the blue sky. Currently I’m focusing on the colour combination of blue and orange within my subject work, but all the bright colours may be beneficial for my practice.

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Souk Sebbaghine

Berber rugs– I’m sure when I visit Marrakech there will be an abundance of rugs, that most likely, souk shop owners will try to sell to me. But it will be really interesting to see all the different patterns and colours, and if they relate to anything.

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Berber rugs

Maison Tiskiwin– The Maison Tiskiwin is home to a collection of Moroccan Saharan artefacts collected by Dutch anthropologist Bert Flint. The collection illustrates the cultural links across the desert. The huge collection of carpets, textiles and clothing from the Sahara could be useful for my exploration into the meaning of Moroccan patterns, and so if I get the chance, I would really like to visit the Museum.

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Maison Tiskiwin

Jemaa el-Fna– The Jemaa el-Fna is a square located in the centre of the Medina and is home to a lot of activity and trade. Within the square, you can see snake charmers, monkey men, performers, storytellers and henna women. I definitely want to visit the Jemaa el-Fna whilst in Marrakech but I don’t want to buy into any of the animal tourist trade as the animals are poached and treated cruelly. As it is a central meeting point within Marrakech, I wonder how it will compare to our Piccadilly Circus or Trafalgar Square in London.

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Jemaa el-Fna

Bahia Palace– The Bahia Palace  was built in the 19th century and literally translates to Palace of Brilliance. This is probably due to its extensive and intricate decoration. I really want to visit the Bahia Palace as it looks beautiful and the extensive decoration could be key to my exploration of patterns and colour.

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Bahia Palace

 

Image Bibliography:

A visit to the dyers souk in Marrakech

http://www.thedesignphile.com/majorelle-garden/2014/2/14/majorelle-garden

https://rugsofmorocco.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/rugs-of-morocco-colourful-berber-rugs-old-weaving-from-berber-tribes-of-morocco-home-pile-rugs-flatwoven-rugs/

https://visiter-marrakech.com/incontournables/maison-tiskiwin-ou-musee-bert-flint.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jemaa_el-Fnaa

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahia_Palace

Field 2 : Morocco

I am excited to be going to Morocco for field this term as I think it is going to be really beneficial for the development of my work. I want to explore patterns and colour within Marrakech as this is currently what I am looking at within my subject work. It will be interesting to see if pattern and colour have certain significance or meanings within Moroccan culture as the colours and patterns I am currently exploring all lie on an aesthetic level. I also hope to tie any inspiration I take from my visit to Marrakech in with my new ceramic skills I have learned from my previous field module, Home Truths. As an initial idea, I think it would be really interesting to create a collection of tiles with my own patterns based of what I see in Marrakech. I am really looking forward to experiencing a completely different culture and I aim on recording my trip through sketching and photography. I want to bring both a disposable camera and polaroid, as well as having my phone camera, as I think it will be interesting to see how each differently capture the landscape.

Final Pieces

These are the finished results of some of my practice pieces. Within them I have tested different decorative and building methods to experiment with what would look good on my final pieces. I am really pleased with all of the results I have achieved, some through their appearance, but essentially how much I learned through them. I am especially happy with the bowl with sgraffito as it confirmed for me that it was the right technique to use in my final pieces.

 

For the most part, my final pieces technically and conceptually were also successful. The cobalt carbonate sat well in the sgraffito. It smudged slightly but I don’t think this matters. If anything I think it adds to my work as it makes them more personal. Additionally, a couple of my sculptures were broken but I also didn’t mind this. I plan to try and replicate a technique in ceramics called ‘kintsugi’, in which you fix broken ceramics with lacquer and powdered gold. I like this idea of taking a vessel that has become valueless from breaking, and adding value to it whilst fixing it. I think this would work well with the use of memories in my work. It is also a very attractive addition.

Throughout Home Truths I was trying to convey the idea of commemoration through souvenirs and personal photographs from past holidays and memories. I think I managed to do this quite well, as it is commemorative for me through the illustrations, and the whole concept of souvenirs is relatable. There is some pre-disposition within us to feel the need to buy a souvenir when we go on holiday, to remember the place or to give it as a gift.

Overall I have found Home Truths to be a really enjoyable and rewardable project for me to undertake. It has shown me new techniques that I plan to use within my subject work, and develop my pre-existing skills in ceramics further. If I was to continue this project I would continue to make objects, similar to Lubna Chowdhary’s ‘Metropolis’ and just keep expanding my collection. Also I would consider using a clay that fires white in order to remove that extra step of using white slip on my sculptures. If I was to exhibit my work, I think it would be quite interesting to put my work in a gallery’s shop and make multiple copies of each sculpture (using slip casting), and see if people try to buy them.

Home Truths Reflection

Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed Home Truths this term. It has allowed me to develop my understanding of ceramics and learn new skills that I hope to apply across to my subject work. My subject work presently does not use ceramics, however it is a material that I wanted to adopt into my work, and Home Truths has given me that confidence to do so. Up until now, I have kept my ceramic work and artwork very separate. Home Truths has given me the key to begin to integrate these two lines of production together. Additionally, before Home Truths I really struggled to get all the inductions I would need to be able to fully utilise the ceramic department. Now I am fully inducted and will be able to start my use of ceramics in my art next term.

I began Home truths by looking at ceramic artist, Elizabeth Fritsch. In particular, her vessel, ‘Blown-Away Vase, Over the Edge, Firework XII’. I was drawn to this vessel due to its bold use of colours and patterns, and fore-shortened shape, creating the idea of an optical illusion. The use of colour and pattern is what I have been focusing my subject work on, in particular, how they can be used to convey a place. From the beginning I wanted to link my work from Home Truths across to my subject work, and I thought Fritsch’s vessel was a good example for both. Although my Home Truths work has moved away from using colour and pattern to commemorate, Fritsch was still a really important starting point for my project and has allowed my work to improve and develop quite dramatically.

Throughout Home Truths I have learnt a variety of new techniques and processes within the making and decorating of ceramics. Before the project began, I had a fair amount of experience in throwing and hand building, however I had never done press moulding, which is a process that I have really enjoyed using and want to apply across to by subject work. It is an easy way to make large vessels fast. Through decoration, I learned a variety of techniques. Although simple in concept, I found the resist painting with slips and using paper towels really effective and beneficial for the decoration of my own work. It is such a simple concept, but it allowed me to achieve precise and intricate shapes that I would not have been able to achieve with a paintbrush alone. Also I have never really worked with coloured glazes before, only underglazes. It was really exciting yet intimidating to use the glazes, especially the oxides, as they change colour in their glaze firing. This unpredictability in the glaze, and ceramics in general, I found really exciting but daunting. Within my subject work I am used to having complete control over my work. I think loosing this control and having things not always go right was really beneficial for me and may translate over into my subject work, as it may allow me to experiment more without worrying about the final outcome.

Timing was a key element in the project. Within Fine Art and my practice, it is very easy to get immediate results and finished pieces. However ceramics is a lengthy process as you have to account for drying time, and the two kiln firings. In addition, things can very easily go wrong.  I struggled with this time management a little bit which translated across into my work. For example, I applied white slips to my sculptures when some of them were too dry, causing several to crack. The same goes for when I used sgraffito to scratch the images onto the sculptures surface. The clay and slip were too dry on several of my sculptures, causing clumps of the slip to fall off when I was trying the scratch the lines. This lead to less defined illustrations than I was hoping for. Although I made these mistakes which ultimately affected the visual outcome of some of my sculptures, it was a learning curve that I will be able to apply forward in any future ceramic work I make.

The whole of Home Truths revolved around the idea of commemoration and how we could commemorate through objects. This was actually much harder to do than I initially thought as I am used to creating work solely for myself and what I am interested in. I began the project by only looking at colours, patterns and personal photographs. A problem arose that this commemoration was too personal, and that a wider audience would not be able to relate to my work. I had never even thought about this as I am so used to making work to please myself alone. Home Truths made me challenge my initial views and create work that a wider audience may be able to relate to. Although I still had my work as a personal commemoration of memories, holidays and therefore places, with the use of sgraffito to etch in personal images, I had to adapt my initial ideas to be more relatable. I came up with the idea of making miniature sculptures of typical tourist souvenirs from different places around the world, hoping that people would look at these objects and be reminded of places they have visited.

Home Truths Week 4 #2

Today we got all of our tiles back from their final firing in the glaze kiln. I am really pleased with the results of most and how much the colours have enhanced in the glaze firing, especially on the tin glaze tiles. This gives me hope for a similar effect from my final pieces.

Today I completed the final steps for my final pieces for Home Truths. I filled in the sgraffito marks on my sculptures with the cobalt oxide tin glaze, applying it with a paintbrush and then removing any excess on the surface with a dry sponge. I found this surprisingly easy to do. Once I had done this I applied a transparent tin glaze over the top of all of my sculptures, in order for you to be able to see the sgraffito lines once out of its final firing.

 

On my large press mould bowl I applied a normal transparent glaze.

 

Home Truths Artist Research

Lubna Chowdhary

Luna Chowdhary’s work relates closely to my own practice both in intense use of colour and her motifs. She connects ideas and aesthetics from Eastern and Western worlds, exploring their relationship together. This loosely links to my subject work this year as I am looking at the different places I have visited and comparing my responses to each place and what I think it means to me. Luna Chowdhary’s work is “a kaleidoscopic vocabulary of colour, shape and patterns” that “offers unlimited possibilities that can be implemented on any scale”. The use of colour and pattern is especially important for my own work this year, therefore, I think Chowdhary will be a key artist to look at both in and out of the Home Truths field project.

I am especially interested in ‘Metropolis’ which consists of over 1000 small scale sculptures positioned in a line formation along a section of the floor in the V&A. I am focusing my Home Truths project around the objects of tourism, and associations with a specific place, connecting my personal relationships and memories to them through sgraffito. Chowdhary’s ‘Metropolis’ documents the material culture of our environment, showing the complexity of human production and the man-made. Her sculptures draw on memory which links to my idea of holidays and memories. ‘Metropolis’ is an ongoing project that Chowdhary is still adding new objects to, to the original installation. I like this idea of the instillation changing for different viewers, depending on when they visit the exhibition, no matter how minute.

 

Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry is an artist that I also happened to look at last year, focusing on his ceramic exploration of ‘Who are You?’, in his Channel 4 documentary. I am particularly interested in his illustrations of people on the surface decoration. The drawings are kept fairly simple, using only a black pen to complete line drawings of his subject. I think this idea of simple line drawings will translate well across into my own work as I want to use the sgraffito technique to apply illustrations from past holiday photos onto my pinch pots.

 

Previous blog post on Grayson Perry:

https://eviebanksart.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/grayson-perry-who-are-you/

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Grayson Perry, ‘Memory Jar’

Philip Eglin

I really like Philip Eglin’s ceramics with line drawings of people on. I like how Eglin keeps the design of both the object and the surface decoration quite simple. I also like how handmade the objects he creates appear. They are not perfect like you would find in mass production. The work of Eglin has had a really profound influence on my work and he is a key artist for me to refer to for home truths.

 

Bibliography:

https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/WzeegYze/open-studio-v-a-ceramics-resident-lubna-chowdhary-july-sept-2017

http://lubnachowdhary.co.uk/projects/metropolis-installation-lubna-chowdhary/

http://maaklondon.irostrum.com/AuctionIndex/10010?pageNumber=20

http://maaklondon.irostrum.com/BiddingProcess/BiddingScreen/4797?pageNumber=20