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Reportage Final Presentation

For this final presentation I wanted to create a piece that summarised my efforts in capturing the essence of the musical events that I’d witnessed at St. Pancras Station. I decided to redraw scenes I’d witnessed, attempting to keep that loose and authentic feel of the original drawings. So, I used my drawings of Sam Lee & Friends as well as one of the two pianists as the main focus of the drawings, with scenery and people listening or passing by with their luggage as the background.

Image 1 is a rough plan, which I use as a basis for images 2-4 (which are A2 sized). With these images I was trying to capture the business of St. Pancras, as well as the familiar songs that the old man was playing, attracting people to stay a short while and listen. I think I succeeded and I was pleased by small things like the sense of movement and the depth created by something as simple as using two images of a ceiling on top of each other, one smaller than the other. But I wasn’t happy with just the old man, so I made a second image quickly, as I was aware that the deadline was creeping up on me.

This one feels a lot more like the rest of my reportage work; messy, contained to panels and very rough. I attempted to pre-emptively bring life to it by dabbing colour in random parts before drawing, with mixed results. Some of it has benefitted, others feel like they’re unfocused or put there for the sake of it. I balanced this by adding some thought-out colour afterwards, taking inspiration from some of my more successful work.

So, with these two images, I presented a final piece (6th image), which was made of both the 4th and 5th images hung up on a wall, but also with a speaker behind it playing some music selected from Sam Lee’s album as well as the sound from some video recordings of the two pianists and this youtube video of Sam Lee performing live. I wanted to use sound to make a more immersive piece so that the viewer could hear and feel the atmosphere that I was recording and responding to, but I still wanted the art to be the focus, so I hid the speaker directly behind the work. I received some very positive feedback when I presented my work, many of whom were intrigued by the music. Later, when we allowed people to look at our work as a miniature gallery, many people were drawn to my work because of the music and they were intrigued as the source was hidden (quite a few of them actually had to peek behind the image to convince themselves that there was music).

So all in all, I feel that this project was very successful as I have experimented and adopted a new technique for drawing, combined sound and still art for the first time and discovered that drawing musicians whilst they play can produce interesting work.

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