The brief for this project was to create print and motion solutions that explore and
incorporate my chosen vampire metaphor, while also looking at the relationship
between image, text and sound.
The metaphor which I established is Twilight, the period of time that separates day
from night and in turn, means the difference between life and death for the vampire.
As legends, vampires have existed for years, it is a phase or condition which grants the
bearer eternal life and the ability to change into different forms. However, the legend
itself, as real as it may seem, does not exist. Through time, the legend has changed
and evolved from one theory to another and is constantly transforming, like that of
twilight where the colours develop and the clouds shape shift.
‘Supernal’, which means relating to the sky or heavens, explores the passing of this
period of time, the evolution of the vampire and the relationship between these
two seemingly disparate entities, and looks to recreate the conditions seen in the
transformation of the vampire. Both pieces explore the eternal life of a vampire when
in actual fact, this ‘state’ is something that doesn’t exist. It is intangible and only given
life when placed in the hands of a mortal.
Twilight For several months during the course of this project, I awoke early and observed the slow, subtle transition between
night and day. Capturing and comparing this elusive moment for my records.
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so that I may be
and may live
This quote originates from Ancient Egypt and is related to Mother Nut (Nuit), who
looked over the deceased, allowing them to pass through to the afterlife protected.
Goddess of the sky, she was known to give birth to her son each day and was thus
linked to resurrection. She is commonly depicted stretched across the sky, covered in
stars. As mentioned, the “imperishable stars” were where one would go after death.
The text itself connotes the divine, immortal nature of the vampire and their ability
to have power over others and grant eternal life. Theses words were commonly
etched on tombs in order to protect the dead until they were reborn. Similarly, I
discovered this quote on a tombstone during a university visit to Highgate Cemetery.
The font is reminiscent of script seen on funeral papers, the text is stretched across,
expanding and retracting to highlight particular words. Some are also sliced through,
separating words into two, challenging the immortal intimation behind the text.
Evolution plays a vital role in the legend of the vampire, with the transformation
between human and immortal but also the fact that they are able to change into
different forms and this is reproduced in the boustrophedon’s ability to mould and
change depending on how it is folded and whether it is opened out. When opened out
and left organically, the shapes mimic the chemical structure of DNA, the building
blocks of genetics and in turn, evolution. As vampires evolve from the human species,
the boustrohphedon becomes a physical representation of a vampire’s DNA, with the
edges curved like wings.
With 7 squares representing the 7 days of the week, this gives the piece an eternal
quality as it creates a never ending story. The boustrophedon form also allows for
multiple possibilities in terms of the path of the story, like that of the vampire legend,
there are many variations based off of one. Through the use of tracing paper, the
twilight imagery is given an ethereal quality; other worldly. The text exists in the
space that runs between both dusk and dawn, the night, as this is the only period in
which they can truly come alive. However, with tracing paper allowing the light to
shine through the text, it also unveils the truth about the legend and the fact that it
doesn’t actually exist.
stretch yourself over me so that I may be placed among the imperishable stars and may live forever
Suspended above and around us, time is an intangible, black and white commodity which we cannot fathom, it is
only when we capture these moments that colour and meaning is injected into them, bringing them alive.
The circle represents not only the circle of life, but the fact that there is no beginning
and no end means that it becomes a symbol of eternity. In my piece it also represents
the ticking away of time, with the circle revolving like the hands on a clock face,
counting down to the start or the beginning.
The action of observing twilight as I did, put me in a position of waiting. Anticipating
an event which passes by so subtly, that you have to argue whether it exists at all.
You can be caught in that moment as though it lasts forever, because it appears to be
constantly buffering and loading but never arriving you take on immortality. My piece
mimics the loading wheel we experience regularly in technology and encourages a
sense of anticipation as it reaches an audio climax.
Paying particular attention to the colours of twilight, the mauves, pinks and orange
hues, that when watched, Three minutes in length, a minute dedicated to the past,
present and future. This becomes the circle of life, never ending. Eternal.
Dawn chorus, is the time during twilight when bird song is most prominent. As a way
of translating sound into text, mnemonics are used to identify different birds by their
songs. As the dawn chorus is a signifier of the arrival of night or day, these seemingly
random phrases communicate this transition, this change.
My motion piece takes the concept a step further, and instead focuses on the
nonexistence of the vampire. The fact that twilight cannot be witnessed and that there
is no exact moment that can be labelled daybreak or nightfall. Like the vampire, it is
something man-made. The text itself takes on the shapes, forms and behaviour of the
birds which the text is echoing. Like a flock, the letters undulate in different directions
as though alive.
What features prominently in my piece is the Warbling Vireo which has a very sinister
mnemonic linked to it. A threatening warning which mirrors not only the danger
posed by the vampire but it also has sexual undertones that we come to associate with
“If I sees you, I will seize you
and I’ll squeeze you, till you squirt.”
For the poster I attempted to mix the gothic nature of the historical vampire legend
with the contemporary qualities of the Twilight movie through the application of
typography. I experimented with hand done techniques which rely more heavily on
layout and positioning of text.
Having two layers reiterates the layers of meanings within the various films. The fact
that the ‘Tilth Wig’ layer is cut out allows the viewer to peer through and discover
where it originates, while also casting a subtle shadow over the backdrop.