Library research - looking for a proof that the topic I am thinking of choosing is correct.
Looking at different types of armour. The abundance of drawings showing various kinds of armour is huge so I decided to pick those that I found most interesting and unusual. There was also one that was an example from Poland – this made me think about and specific examples of armour from Poland. I moved onto looking at books about Poland and Cracow. Some of those armour examples have really interesting shapes that I would like to develop or experiment later on. Definitelly I do not want to make an armour as such, but I really think it could be a good starting point for more research and Project Proposal.
In some of them, like in “Portrait Of Poland” by Bruno Barbey I found images showing more the air pollution than armours of any kind, so I decided to upload them in the section before, so that the link between both pictures would be more visible (like the image of a man plounghing a field with a huge factory on the horizon and the one showing a man on a field but with a Toyota instaed of an ox). It is also a proof that the problem with air in Cracow is not easy to solve – the picture was taken a couple of years ago, which shows the scale of pollution. It was bad back then, but now people are in a greater danger. When I lived there there were daily announcemments about the air condition and advice to stay at home.
Also, I wanted to see if Bruno Barbey visited Poland once more to possibly take more pictures – it turned out that he didn’t but I found other photographers from Magnum photos (Carl de Keyzer, Erich Lessing, Robert Capa, Mark Power) that did. I have chosen few images showing Nowa Huta Still Mill in Cracow – also uploaded a bit before, next to other Steel Mill images. These photographs show the Still Mill in a different perspective than the ones I got before – people are actually working, the factory is alive and because of that it is easier to visualize the heat and noise of it as well as the scale of the machines. This makes me think of the amount of work that was done there, It is easy to say that is iss huge, but when looking at these pictures I really understood it. It is second biggest Steel Mill in Poland. I think those images of workers present that well. This also links to the idea of working space I was thinking of much earlier - how the workers were actually using the space and how small they were compared to huge machines. This contrast makes methis of Jean Tinguely sculptures and how they resembled humans in a way. Here humans resemble machines, because they are almost dissolved in the surroundings of machines. It is a really intriguing contrast and makes me think of tension between human and machinery. The work ethos representing that by the surroundings of the work.
However, in the book “Stary Krakow” by Adam Bujak I found images of typical Polish armour - Hussar's wings and karacena. Those examples of armours are younger than medieval armours, as they date from renaissance. However, the fact that the knights had wings on their backs has the connection to air - wings are associated with flying, moving in the air. This is another element that links armour to my topic. I also found the note that because of the air pollution the monuments are dissolving and cracking. This means that same things are happening to our bodies when being in a polluted area. Stone seems to be more protected – it is hard and heavy, human skin is much thinner, as well as our lungs or veins. Methaphoricaly this means exactly what I was thinking of before - the idea of hypernature that is not only about new species of flowers. We lost control over it and the hypernatural machine is turning against us. Though I do not want to sound scary (as Edward Burtynski said - environmental organizations have used the stick too much already). My point is to show how it is and possibly find my own answer for this problem.
This research is a proof to me that choosing this topic gives a lot of various possibilities of development. It is also common enough to be understood by many people yet personal to me so that it is really interesting to me. Although I still need to find some interesting techniques for this project. Having in mind the origins of air pollution - steel factories and machines in them I want to use knitting machine to present this. But possibly I would like to find something more exciting than just knitting machine.
Material research - a visit to a shop with builders tools. I thought about visiting this particular kind of shop as I wanted to find something that would remind me of my sketchbook markmaking and research images. I found colorful wire and a dark green mesh and a plastic pipe that reminded me of some of my research images in terms of colour and textures. They represent those industrial elements from my research well. I think I should try experimenting with wire in my samples as this is an element that reoccures in majority of my images and represents the element of industrialization as well as the steel research and armour I have made.
Evaluation of this stage of the project:
What went well?
I have found an area I would like to research further - the winged armour of hussars. I also have already some material research, which is good to have it that early -- it will enrich the research even if I will decide to change some of them later on.
What did not go well?
I did not found many pictures of Polish armours in the books, so I will need to do more online research. I still haven't found any technique that would fit the project.
How can I move on from now?
Find a right technique to this project. Look for some artists references that would visualize my thinking about the project. Go to exhibitions - look for some that are related to the topic of knights.
© Julia Labis, all rights reserved