Tuesday, 30 July 2013

COP 3 - Research terminology


Photographic documentation


Online research


Statistical data
Analysing trends



COP 3 - Research approach

My aim is to gain as much understanding as possible about the nature of flowers and why thy mean so much to mankind in terms of their artistic form as well as their commercial value.

Research topics:

The nature of flowers and the value of their existence:
- Literally what they are
- Facts and information about flowering plants
- Historical existence
- The relation to science

The language of flowers, symbols and meanings:
- Coded messages, flowers represent words
- Literature
- Flower associations
- Global significance
- Religious attitudes

Cultural attitudes and historical revolutions:

- Flower power
- Hippies and symbolism
- War

Flowers in art and design

- Art portraying flowers (Andy Warhol, Van Gogh)
- Commercial value of art and design
- Popularity in print (fashion, interior)
- Iconic floral imagery (Laura Ashley, Cath Kitdson)

Monday, 29 July 2013

COP 3 - Proposal questions

Context of practice 3 

Proposal Form Guidance 

"Does the significance of flowers lie in artistic nature or commercial value?"

What research needs to be undertaken into the general and specific contexts of your practice?

What historical events have had a significant impact on your chosen subject? And how?
(imperialism, slavery, colonialism, war, diaspora, natural disaster, human geography?)

My aim is to investigate historical events which are associated with flowers such as:

Poppy day
- Flowers which are associated with days of remembrance.
- The use of the poppy was inspired by the Word War 1 poem ''In Flander Fields'' by John Mcrae, 1915. First used by the American Legion to commemorate american soldiers (1914-1918), and later adopted by military veteran groups in the commonwealth especiall UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
- White poppies - Alternatively worn to show pacifism (belief that violence, including war is unjustifiable) - peace sign is widely associated with pacifism 

What political events are significant to your chosen subject? 
(legislation, political ideologies, political systems, revolutions etc?)

Flower power 
- (non violent revolution)
- Flower power was a slogan used during the late 1960's and early 1970's as a symbol of passive resistance and non-violence ideology, it was a time of social change. 
- Hippies embraced the symbolism by dressing in vibrant clothing with embroidered floral designs. 
- Advertisements became more sophisticated, brightly coloured flowers were portrayed in ads in the sixties. 

American opposition to the Vietnam War
- Flower power is rooted from the movement against the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War, demonstration started in the U.S in 1964. 
- (Refer to my visit at the War Remnants Museum in Hoh Chi Minh city in vietnam, took photographs of propaganda posters from the American phase of the Vietnam War)  

What cultural attitudes inform my subject?

- Flowers have a symbolical meaning world wide, whether it be beauty, love, remembrance, birth or death. 
- They are considered to be an embracing gift, spread across all cultures. Mankind appear to have and always will have a deep emotional connection with flowers. 
- The message conveyed through giving someone a flower can mean different words in different cultures. 
- Flowers are globally significant. 
- Western culture vs Japanese culture (language of flowers)

Who are the key figures within my chosen subject? 
(This may include makers, practitioners, writers or thinkers)

Charles Darwin - Science
- Understand the evolutionary history of flowering plants and what Charles Darwin meant by stating they were an "abominable mystery". 

- Look at how poets write about flowers in their work, using them as symbols and similes in their poems. Literature is art only in written form. Writers and artists both understand the connection between flowers and people. 

William Wordsworth - Literature 
- Flower poems wrote by William Wordsworth who was a major english Romantic Poet. Poems such as Daffodils. 

William Shakespeare - Literature
- English poet and play writer William Shakespeare employed emblematic meaning of flowers, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
- The meaning of flowers dates back to 1600's where William Shakespeare wrote "There's rosemary, thats for remembrance" in the play 'Hamlet'.

- By the early 1800's people where using flowers as a secret message to convey their feeling to others. This was spread world wide by the 1830's.

Other questions: (Unsure)

Is my subject culturally specific, and if so, how?
What are the economic factors that influence my chosen subject?
Is my chosen subject related to any technological advances in society?
Are there any dominant or prevailing attitudes that inform my subject?
What is the pacific history of my subject and how has it developed over time?


Sunday, 28 July 2013

COP 3 - Generating topic

To develop a strong idea I decided to do some brain storms in order to find a topic which I wanted to write my dissertation on. Here is how I started:

Topics of interest


Illustration, typography, branding, print, textiles, interior, clothing, exhibition and packaging.


Design and art, similarities and differences.
Pattern and print.
Processes and material.
Product, range and distribution.


What is graphic design?
How design evolves.
Is design the same as art?


Is design the same as art?
Is design the same as art if the intention and content are different?
Does design serve the same purpose as art?

Example: Andy Warhol created work which could be defined as art, concepts were unusual, sensation of difference, wasn't singular pieces of work, more reproduced - method and motivation was commercial. Art or design?

Following on from this I was swayed to incorporate the idea of flowers into art and design and to perhaps discover why they have always been present in art and to unpick why they always will be.

Flower issues to raise:

Seasonal - spring, summer, autumn, winter, scent, colour
Happiness - beauty
Reproduction - life, evolution, commerce
Significance - art and design
Value - what is the flower worth
Ownership - e.g who does the maple leaf belong to
Representation - colour and flower, meaning
Biology - appears in education
Literature - concept for poems and song lyrics
Popular culture - wicker man
Aromatic - used to influence mood

New questions:

Why are flowers so influential?
Why have flowers been so influential throughout the history of art and design?
Why have flowers been so influential in global culture?
Does the significance of flowers lie in artistic nature or commercial value?

Topics to investigate:

- The nature of flowers and the value of their existence
- What flowers represent and their symbolical meaning
- The use of flowers in logos, branding, marketing and reproduction

- The impact on print in the 1960's (also flower power)