Thursday, 24 July 2014

Collaborating with Alex Moldovan for Monochrome Madness Exhibition (Sunday 20th July 2014)

Having been to the previous pop-up exhibition, 'Without Us There is Only Mud', run by the Unpretentious Arts (click here for my previous blog post about the exhibition), I was kindly invited by one of the photographers, Alex Moldovan, to collaborate and be part of the next exhibition 'Monochrome Madness'. 

I was absolutely excited to be part of the next exhibition and couldn't wait to get stuck into the collaboration! As an exhibition, there were five photographers and five artists (including myself) who took part. Each piece would reflect on a poem they were given from a collection written by Antonia Kinlan, a very talented poet!

Collaborating with Alex Moldovan

Initial discussions took place over a coffee, a very long chat indeed! I was introduced to the poem we were given titled 'Worth':


In the Darkness
I wonder what I ever did
To reap such rewards?
Giving comes easily
But the lack of return
Makes me question
My worth,
Kindness reaps neglect
An emptiness that lingers
Long after apologies
Are never offered.

After much discussion, we both decided on a theme for our collaborative piece. This theme would use 'loss' and the spiritual world' as a starting point. Here I drew up a basic concept of the idea we came up with:

'Doodle' of composition
The basic idea was to split the image into two, so the top half and model would be photography and the bottom half would be my illustration. The scene would be in a forest setting with the model in a lake so we could get the reflection of water in the image; my illustration would become part of the reflection.
Once the idea was agreed on, it was time for the photoshoot. Alex decided to be the model in the image therefore it was quite interesting helping with the shoot! After losing a pair of flip flops, imitating Billy Elliot, and getting very very wet and muddy, the photograph was complete!

Photograph by Alex Moldovan
Now I had the photograph as a base, I was able to begin my illustration for the piece. The arm movement in the image immediately reminded me of a bird's wings, therefore as there is a lot of spiritual symbolism of birds I decided to illustrate an Eagle in flight as I felt the bird symbolised power, freedom and spirit, all aspects I wanted to portray in the image.

Initial bird sketch in watercolour

Eagle illustration in watercolour by Carla Taylor

I was very happy with how the illustration turned out, making sure I included detail and tone in the image. The background is loose contrasting with the detail in the bird which I feel works well. When I sent the image over to my collaboration partner, Alex, he suggested that I also illustrate some feathers to enhance the piece overall.

Feathers in watercolour by Carla Taylor

Now the illustrations were complete, it was down the Alex to use his fantastic Photoshop skills to merge the photography and illustrations together. I was able to watch the whole process of editing which was very intriguing! Five hours later, the final image was complete!

Before and After: Original Photograph (left) and Merged Image (right)

'Worth' by Carla Taylor and Alex Moldovan 

'Worth' Colour Version by Carla Taylor and Alex Moldovan

Overall I am very happy with how the image turned out, especially the colour version. The detail in my illustration is not lost and I think it compliments the photograph effectively, as well as the poem.

Monochrome Madness Exhibition

Flyer featuring myself for the upcoming exhibition!

'Worth' on display at the exhibition

Monochrome Madness Exhibition. Photography by Matthew Nuttall

I must say that after meeting all of the artists I was pleasantly surprised by not only their work but their enthusiasm and creative passion. It was interesting to see different interpretations of Antonia Kinlan's poetry come to life altogether in the exhibition. Unlike in my last post, I am going to leave it up to you as a viewer to interpret and enjoy the work yourself just as I did in the exhibition. Here are the pieces featured, photography by Alex Taylor:

Caitlin Sagan's piece with a slight tone of blue to enhance the detail in the photograph, stunning!

Briony Sullivan's painting really shows off her talent, the text included really allows the viewer to think about the meaning behind the work.

Howard Cheslett's sculpture completely captures symbolism and religion in his piece, the effort is clearly noticed!

Katie Lodge and her piece; a lovely realistic portrait really captures the mood of Kinlan's poetry.

Mark Lawrence once again impresses all with this fantastic, eerie sculpture.

Martin Beech's photography work is of a very high standard keeping in theme with Kinlan's dark poetry.

Photograph and piece by Matthew Nuttall. Incredible how the photograher has captured the sky in this image, so much detail!

Alex Taylor's photograph for the exhibition. The beautiful smokiness in the background of the image really creates the perfect backdrop and reflection of Kinlan's poem, a remarkable piece!

Overall, all those who took part in the exhibition should be extremely proud, all the work was amazing and complimented the poetry very well! A special thanks goes out to the Unpretentious Arts- Brian
and Antonia Kinlan who organised this event, Herbert's Bar for hosting it and of course a huge thanks to Antonia for providing such inspiring poetry!

Watch this space for the next pop-up exhibition by the Unpretentious Arts!