I have been thinking over the past month what to do with my final year, in terms of my final project and dissertation/journal. I have been reading the book 'Girl Reading' by Katie Ward as it was suggested to me by my tutor - the book explores seven portraits, seven artists, seven girls and women reading. An imaginative evocation of seven different worlds ranging from the seventeenth century all the way up to 2008. I am about midway through and enjoying it, all though on several occasions I find myself slightly lost at times, the descriptive understanding of the writer is strong throughout. During the briefing I was also introduced to Umberto Eco - an Italian medievalist and cultural commentator - the author of 'Six fictional in the Fictional Woods' - a book that I am currently waiting to be delivered. Umberto questions the implications of society, between reality and fiction - what occurs when they become blurred. This idea really appeals to me, in a sense I am an activist of blurring my real life and fantasy worlds similar to that of the women in Katie Ward's book. My cosplay can be seen as a way of foregoing reality and entering a fantasy world - making it my reality by crafting the costume and wearing it/acting in character on stage etc. My art also focuses on fantasy interpretations, I am more drawn to magical and surreal ideas and ideals. One of the artists I hold in high esteem is Victor Eredel who merges his photography [reality] with his art [fantasy].
This method greatly appeals to me as I love my photography as much as my art, thus the ability to merge the two is something I'd really like to try - it also strongly puts across the idealism of blurring ones reality with fantasy notions. Often we see things in our minds that others cannot see - this would allow the artist to portray the things seen in their mind making it a form of reality upon paper or screen allowing people an insight. It can put a twist on reality - as shown in the above image featuring the snail - it is only a very small change but has a strong effect and questions the reality of the piece.
One last example I have come across was a video I blogged not to long ago - http://emiillustration.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/third-seventh.html
The Third & the Seventh by Alex Roman. The images and locations appear real despite being made entirely out of CG animation which alone brings questions to where reality stands but then the further into the piece you get the more abstract and blurred it becomes as books explode and giant orbs of levitating water float through the structures - looking realistic the entire way through.
I have decided to base my final project around these themes and inspirations, I will explore the blurring of reality and fantasy in my own style while exploring others. I hope to combine my art, textiles and photography within the project and possibly attempt some animation.
My aims for now are to complete 'Girl Reading' and start Umberto Eco's 'Six walks in Fictional Woods' to give me a greater understanding of the idea and to continue to be on the outlook for examples and other forms of expressing the idea within other artists works. All of which will help inform my dissertation/journal in terms of research and ideas.