As most of you now know, I recently took part in an arts show for the BBC called ‘Home is Where the Art Is’ which was shown on April 16th on BBC1. It has been a very rewarding experience and extremely challenging!
Lots of people asked me about the ‘behind the scenes’ of my commissioned artwork, what went into it, being such a conceptually piece.
I went through a long but short journey of only 2 weeks of production time where I had to explore the passions, loves, likes and preferences of the buyers only by looking at their home, without ever meeting them in person. I then had to select key elements after ongoing feedback from the buyers (by the way, they were not allowed to see any part of the artwork in the process, I don’t think this was something made clear on the show so that’s why I mention it here).
I made a long list of elements from my conversations with the buyers in order to create something that portrayed the beauty of imagination, according to the given brief, they were after a bright coloured and contemporary piece that celebrated family and the love for music and travel.
I incorporated places that they visited, family members, hobbies (cycling), experiences (bungee jumping, flying on a microlight over the Victoria Falls), swimming with whale sharks, the love for music (I used the song score of their wedding song ‘The Universal’ by Blur), the love for Radiohead (I had an intense colour session experimentation through a few days, exploring textures and atmosphere of the albums designed by Steve Donwood - which some of these creations were used as a background on the final piece), the love for Manchester, nature, the love for being outdoors. And more…
Connecting everything harmonically, seamlessly takes a while. And after hours and hours of matching each element I got to the -almost- final stage of producing this artwork.
Once the artwork got Giclee printed on fine art paper I then got to the embellishing stage:
Shiny balloon strings and 24ct of gold to show off the beauty of the whale shark flying through the sky.
I was so pleased with the finished piece.
I have to say, I went through loads of emotions during the production of this artwork, feelings of excitement and also of uncertainty as I could not possibly know what they would think of the finished piece. It was a very fun and rewarding experience in the end!
Now, a big insight into the details of this piece:
I felt very connected to this piece throughout because my aim was to portray a wonderful world, where the buyers could see some of the beautiful places they’ve been, their children being held by an imaginary building constituted in part by the Manchester Library and the Metropol Parasol in Seville both of which are emotionally linked to them. The mushroom shaped building (Metropol Parasol) gave me the possibility of extending the mushroom structure, in order to create a seating position for the children.
I had a sense by looking at one of the children’s room that by the type of books they read to them, imagination plays a big part so I decided to capture the feel of raising very imaginative children; that’s where the Manchester Library comes to play an important part in the piece, being a place to open up to imagination through literature. If you haven’t noticed, there are also 2 bikes parked up outside the library, these symbolise the couple and their love for cycling. The wheels are connected, generating sense of union and love.
Experiences of a lifetime
This is were the bungee-jumper comes into the scene! So there he is, on the top left, letting himself go, jumping into the unknown (or more precisely, a bunch of balloons! Why not?!…everything is possible).
Flying on a microlight over the Victoria Falls, surrounded by a giant jellyfish and whale shark, crossing a massive rainbow made of bright coloured paint…this is were I felt I could incorporate my unique approach to art.
The couple holding hands jumping over Lake Matheson, one of their treasured places.
The joy of a child
The coloured balloons were an element that the couple really liked to incorporate into the artwork. I thought this was a lovely idea because balloons are intrinsically related to the innocence and fun of a child.
I decided to place 23 balloons in the piece, were their daughter would be holding them in joy.
Their son is sitting on top of the imaginary building as well looking at the world above him in awe. Fascination, happiness, such an ‘in the moment’ feeling, all concepts related to a very happy childhood. I wanted to make these elements clear and to make them play an important part in the piece since -hopefully- generations would look back and admire the wonderful world their parents gifted them.
A feast of colour
The colour scheme used was highly varied, my aim was to convey a bright coloured piece with a balance of warm and cooler tones. The colourful waterfall on the background was made with acrylics. I spent a full day doing colour experimentations with different pouring mediums and colour tones whilst listening to Radiohead. The couple that commissioned this piece really like Radiohead so whilst doing the colour experimentations I let myself flow into the mood of the different albums whilst trying to convey rhythm through colour.
The music element
The song scores that go along the sky are part of the song ‘The Universal’ by Blur, the couple’s wedding song. Being such a special tune for them I definitely wanted to use it. I also think this song communicates the mood of the artwork itself so well.
The element of gold
We talked about hand embellishments and the buyers seemed very keen for me to go the extra mile and add something unique. I decided to add 24ct of gold for the balloon strings and the whale shark, in order to enhance the dreamy aspect of these elements.
Do you like this artwork?
Are you interested in owning your own bespoke piece of art with my unique creative flair?