26 Sep 18. I settled on the following as a title for my assignment:
Title: Using the theme of a “Fallen Warrior”, develop an image to mark the coming 100thAnniversary of the end of The First World War.
The Ossett War Memorial, which I had drawn during an earlier project, was chosen as a starting point. Looking for a suitable support for my picture, I had a piece of A1 cardboard that came with a delivery of paper – it still had brown packing tape on it and I decided to use it. The position of the tape led me straight into a composition, with one of the pieces of tape becoming the base of the memorial. I then played with various printed images, some from photos I’d taken of buildings and the memorial in Ossett marketplace, and others cut from contemporary pictorial magazines (“The Great War”). I’m interested in the phrase, “The Great War”, which is what the First World War was known as before there was a second one. When “The” is removed, “Great War” seems to allow a different possible meaning, and I decided to use “GREAT WAR” in my picture. I included a copy of the current statue in a “fallen” position at the base of the monument. This is how it looked at the end of the first day, after sticking down some images, painting some areas and adding some wallpaper samples:
I learned of a plan to install stones around the memorial with names of 315 local men who died in the First World War, so I decided that somehow I had to include the number 315.
I wanted to include an actual contemporary item from the War and chose the cover of a “Soldier’s Testament” of the type given to British troops, and I stuck it on the memorial.
During the glueing process I became interested in the way that spray adhesive leaves patterns and decided to use it on the sky, with powdered charcoal and pastel sprinkled on it before it dried.
After considering including the words, “GREAT WAR” 315 times, I chose to indicate 315 by choosing 315 words from the Soldier’s Testament and writing them in brown ink on the picture. I later decided to change that by covering it up with wallpaper and writing some of the words in pencil in a different place, shortening the writing to 315 letters.
I added an image of Ossett Town Hall after changing it in Photoshop and the silhouette of Ossett church in red wallpaper. I also changed the gas-masked figure on the monument.
I drew some converging lines inspired by the paving in Ossett marketplace.
Two photos during progress:
During the process I was keen to keep the war images at the top of the picture separate from the Ossett town images below – the only part connecting the two areas is the monument itself.
This way of working gradually to progress to a completed picture by experimentation and alteration suits me well. I’m slightly concerned that I haven’t done much “drawing” in the picture, but the way it developed as collage seemed best.
The finished picture: