BA8: The Color Purple- Updates and Progress

This post should provide an overall progress summary of my project so far which is illustrating / creating a visual response to ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker. I haven’t blogged much about this at all yet so hopefully this will provide a detailed reflective summary of the work so far!

To begin, I created a lot of initial experimental imagery to see if anything triggered ideas in my mind.

I was playing around with paint, watercolours and ink and anything that seemed to connect with the mood of the story. Eventually I began creating some paintings and experimenting with stitching into them, as quilting plays a huge part in the story and is a huge narrative symbol. My peers were keen on me creating a literal embroidered quilt to illustrate the story but I felt that this idea is a little too obvious for those that know the story.



Below are a couple of key images in my development so far:

  • I created the first ‘portrait’ by accident when messing around with sewing into the eyes. I realised that the string could look like tears and the string could be a metaphor within itself. Even though the painting is bad and I need to (and have been) practicing and refining the paintings I do, I thought this was an interesting image so far. The image below of the tree was the reverse side of some paper I had sewn into over a painting of a tree and this was much more interesting than the original painting! I think these images are a pivotal point of my project so far and are the most interesting.

The image above shows a development from this slightly of something else I’ve been thinking about now. I will blog in further detail about the key elements of my research so far but this idea is inspired by one of them. I went through my research file and really studied the aesthetics of the african american quilts I’d been looking at and some key elements of these which I’d like to try and incorporate into my images include:

– ICONS: As seen in the above image. Many quilts have simplified icons or shapes in order to tell a story
– SYMMETRY: Within the icons which are also in grid – like layouts at times and have interesting geometrical elements.
– PATTERN: Something I need to look into and textiles in African American art.

At present I’ve been picking out elements of the story and making them into symbols. I hope to continue with this experimental side of the project and see where my ideas develop! I aim to explore character, the storys structure and pushing the idea of the thread as a symbol.