Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Peacocks - Laura Ward

For the Research Methodology unit I decided to focus on peacocks. I chose this bird as I was already vaguely aware of their rich history and how much they have influenced culture and religion, so I thought they would make for a really interesting project. I separated my research into five words that I had collected from a survey asking participants to describe the personality of a peacock and produced a variety of work inspired by these descriptions. This poster (above) was based on the word 'protective' and shows peacocks 'watching their backs,' promoting their aggressive nature and tendencies to be protective towards themselves and other members of the muster. The peacock was firstly drawn out with black fine liner pen then duplicated and colored using Photoshop.

My research covered a lot of influence the peacock has on religion and its wide range of connotations with wealth, wisdom and dignity, especially in India where it is the national bird. I also learned about its highly political role in the National League of Democracy in Myanmar, and its use in impressive architecture such as the Peacock Room inside the now abandoned Sammezzanno Castle in Tuscany. Following this, I thought it would be interesting to take this powerful and iconic bird and contrast it combining them with the mundane lives and daily problems that we sometimes face as humans. Therefore, I created a series of cartoons throughout my project depicting the bird facing such problems as loneliness, which was also a product of the fidelity research I covered exploring how the bird can sometimes die from lack of companionship, providing a really refreshing view on the bird.

After looking into their famous connotations with flamboyance I decided to create a poster that showed peacocks celebrating their appearance with a proud attitude. This poster uses the 'P' section of a dictionary page as the background, then layered with my fine liner drawing once again with the text 'Bird Like Me.' It would have improved the effect of the poster to include the peacock's plumage but I felt that it crowded the image with so many peacocks layered onto one another and it would have created large spaces of block colour, which I felt was more damaging to the overall image.

For my final design, I produced a lino print of a peacock's portrait, printed with black ink, then transferred onto Photoshop to add color adjustments and text. I felt that the peacock's most striking and significant attribute, like with many organisms, is their passion for survival. I aimed to express this passion with the bold use of red, contrasting it with black to encourage a feeling of danger around the bird. What is most surprising is how they have adapted their bodies to withstand short distances of flight in order to hide in trees for safety during rest periods, despite carrying a plumage that is almost half its entire length and contains over 200 feathers. They maintain a perfect balance of personal safety, making them one of the most successful survivors of the bird kingdom.