Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Le Scaphandre et le Papillon

As part of our Kino4 cinema club at university we watched to film Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell & the Butterfly).

Here is a brief synposis of the film: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a translation of the French memoir Le scaphandre et le papillon by journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby. It describes what his life is like after suffering a massive stroke that left him with a condition called locked-in syndrome. It also details what his life was like before the stroke.

On December 8, 1995, Bauby, the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, suffered a stroke and lapsed into a coma. He awoke 20 days later, mentally aware of his surroundings but physically paralyzed with the exception of some movement in his head and eyes (one of which had to be sewn up due to an irrigation problem). The entire book was written by Bauby blinking his left eyelid, which took ten months (four hours a day). A transcriber repeatedly recited a French language frequency-ordered alphabet (E, S, A, R, I, N, T, U, L, etc.), until Bauby blinked to choose the next letter. The book took about 200,000 blinks to write and an average word took approximately two minutes. The book also chronicles everyday events for a person with locked-in syndrome. These events include playing at the beach with his family, getting a bath, and meeting visitors.

My own review- I was unfamiliar with the work of Julian Schnabel but as ever I was willing to learn from the film and use it as inspiration. The film was beautifully styled, a charming and emotional story of struggle and hope. I found the strength of the character particularly endearing and the belief of the other characters so heart warming. It was definitely a film that I could watch again as it really appeals to my design sensibilities. The subtle colours of the intro to the film are wonderful and the title sequence is like no other.


And so we went to the Tate as well, it was great and the docks are so beautiful.

The ‘this is sculpture’ exhibition was wonderful, especially the sculptures of people. My favorite has to be Allen Jones chair scuplture. It has such style, attitude and the fetish angle of the figure is something that really appeals to my style. This also asks the question of what he is trying to convey about women, or if the piece is simply an interesting table sculpture.

There were so many inspiring things at the Tate it is difficult to pick out more, to see a piece by Rachel Whiteread was lovely, the simplistic, ghostly quailty of the light switch sculpture really has impact in the flesh.

Finally, we sat and looked at the works of Mark Rothko, this work is not to my style but I was so impressed by the sheer scale of the paintings. Even though the pieces are of such dramatic colour and tone just being able to sit and admire the blocks of colour really made me feel very relaxed.

What a lovely day.


A wonderful jaunt to Liverpool

As part of a university trip we headed over to Liverpool, I had such a lovely day even though I was carrying vast amounts of luggage, not the best way to enjoy galleries.

I would love to return to Liverpool in the very near future to visit the Walker Gallery collections as we were strapped for time, it would have been very beneficial and inspiring to have a longer period of time in the gallery.

I particularly enjoyed look at a lot of the pre-Raphaelite pieces, I find the realism and aattention to detail fascinating, I could spend hours looking at those alone.

The Bridget Riley exhibition did not fail to impress, the optical illusions created by her simple pieces are astounding. I love the mathematical look of her pieces, they are almost diagrammatical but with a real artistic flare. The mixtures of red and pink clashing with such force inspired me a lot, I will try and think out of my comfort zone from now on. The use of these colours at the prefect time is something that can only be achieved with experience, truly mind blowing!