Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Sock Puppets...

 I have discovered there is a whole lost sock puppet culture online exchanging tips and information on how to make them entire blogs dedicated to them. Replaced by shop brought, conventional synthetic hand puppets...sock puppets have developed a persona of retro nostalgia. I love it! The quirkiness you can achieve by using miss match fabrics and textures lends itself to my deigns and research.

Jenny has uploaded a series of images that inspire her a lot of them are from a specific artist, Brian Moore. Famous for creating modernized 1940's style propaganda war posters about current political issues.  ( )  The washed out colour palettes used in his posters are highly used as a generalised palette for my work.
I have found a range of toys made from socks instead of just as hand puppets, these quirky little creatures seem to be more popular the more unique, quirky and ugly the are in appearance:

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Chosen concept:

The chosen concept was emailed to me this morning:

Concept – ‘Put a Sock in It’

It’s 2022, the ice caps are melting, the ozone layer is disappearing faster than it can be repaired. CO2 emissions are at alarming levels and water wastage is up 500%. The Government must take drastic action.

From this day forth, socks are banned.

The play is set is a dystopian future, not too far away from, but not quite like our present day. We are in The Country ruled by The Government and people are using up resources like there’s no tomorrow, and maybe there isn’t?

With socks banned, what will old men wear under their sandals? How will footballers hide their shinpads? Can you get away with wearing fishnets or will the police confiscate those as well? With night time stockings raids, and knee highs being sold on the black market, there are terrible things afoot.

We follow a sock puppeteer as she tries, secretly to save any remaining socks from the incinerators. Meanwhile, we are kept updated on the few remaining socks who have thus far evaded the sock police.

The play will comment on environmental issues – a small change can make a huge difference, and political issues – a government driven to ridiculous measures and the effects of an irrational regime. It discusses the threat of the unknown and a societies drastic, ridiculous reaction to fear.  It will be performed by 4 actors, 1 male 3 female in a heightened physical style using absurdist humour. The set will be minimal with striking lighting.

This is what we have so far, ideas for development include looking at characters affected by the sock ban, in particular a sock puppeteer (inspired in part by Sharai Lewis) who is perhaps a little too attached to her puppets and maybe, creates an entire outfit out of socks that she has hoarded?


This is the concept that has been disided for the script.
I am a little disapointed by the change in title and the shift from the original  plot of the Boogeyman.
However I am still confident the research I have carried out can still hold some relevance to the new plot line, title and concept. I am still planning on basing my designs around the work of Hew Locke and will begin more indepth research towards puppetry and sock puppets in stead of one specific creature. 
I am still very excited about the outcome of these designs and intend to begin some initial sketches after a little further reseach closer to the chosen subject areas.

Friday, 18 March 2011

The lower Gallery :Hew Locke....

 After a session in the library looking for artists and inspiration I was about to head home and took a short cut through the AUCB Gallery. To my delight was a visual explosion of colours and textures. A fantastic refference to the type of relife work I would like to base my designs around. I spent about an hour walking around making notes and sketching the work to futher inspire my design work, I took a brochure and went and found Jo straight away in a flurry of excitment.
This is the artist I intend to research most in depth as a reference towards textures colours and effects.


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

After my first tutorial...

After the meeting with Jenny yesterday I felt very happy about the direction of my self directed project. Arrived at my tutorial with lots of ideas and thoughts to discuss. Though I was slightly worried about not having a concrete concept to work from. My tutor discussed the various concept ideas that had been disided upon and how to research them furhter and more depth.
It was suggested to find a collection of images and textures that inspired me and ask Jo perry to start experimenting with different fabrics and techniques. This will create a range of samples to work from when finalzing the fabrics textures and finishes later on in the design process. These samples can also be shown to Jenny and her team at the next scheduled meeting, to help provide visual aids of what the designs will eventaully look like.
These are a few of the images I find really inspiring :

Monday, 14 March 2011

Various concept ideas

Various concept ideas that have been brought to light and possibly need to be further researched/explored are:
The monster being made up of mess from inside the closet

The monster being a little man who sits in a closet typing mischievious letters

The monster being a form on conscience

 The monster being made of socks (really like the idea of socks over the hands)

The world being based inside a closet

 Having a massive amount of political reffernces

Costumes and slapstick acting from Cirque du soleil

First meeting with the director...

Today I met with Jenny Jenkins, Director of the Patchwork Theatre Company. I was very, very excited about meeting with her for the first time to discuss the basic ideas and concepts of the project title.
Jo perry my Supervisor and maker was also at the meeting which meant we could propperly discuss design options and logistics, along with bugeting and schedueling.

Jenny and two other menebers of the company were present. I found this imensly useful, as the more people inolved in the production meeting to discuss ideas; meant the more feedback I got towards design ideas.
After a breif presentation of my initial research and recap of some plot summaries of various versions of the Boogeyman. I showed Jenny and her team the spectrum of images I had found surrounding the concept of the Boogeyman.

Jenny was initially delighted with the amount of research I had collected to back up my design work. Expressing a greater intrest in the more childlike dipictions of Boogey man. Jenny and her team explained that her company tend to work more in the relms of comedy than horror and therefore are looking for a more lightherated character design for the Boogeyman. As apposed to that of the dark twisted characters previously dipiced in hollywood.  As a result of this I intend to dircet my research more towards the absurdest theory and puppetry used within theatre.
As the general concepts surrounding the story of Boogeyman tend to be quite sinister and dark, it was disided that the company would improvise there own concept loosely based on the idea and themes of the Boogeyman. This is a concept yet to be chosen and finalised however basic themes of political reference, fear and hyrachi were disided upon during the meeting itself. 

Now that I know the generalized themes of the concept I can begin my further more developed research toward these areas. Directing a more specific search towards these aspects of my design theory and development.

I have set up an account on a website called DropBox. This is an online file sharing website where people can be invited to openly share a private online folder and access the uploaded files anywhere in the world. This has made it easier for myself and the director to exchnage information and ideas freely as and when we need to. Therefore I shall upload all the information I presented to the team today onto DropBox so they can acess it in order to help them with brainstorming the finalized concept of the production.

This is the image Jenny and her team liked the most as inspiration for the concept and costume design. I shall use this as my main guide and refference in creating and developing the characters.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Boogeyman mood-boarding...

Over the past week I have been collecting images related to the Boogeyman.
I have been references various different portrayals of past creations relating to the Boogeyman and a combination of other images of what I think the Boogeyman could potentially look like.
The images I have found range on a very varied spectrum. Some a childlike depiction of cute and cuddly monsters derived from children's books; others daemonic portrayals of psychotic figures crawling from the dark corners of the imagination.
I have chosen to look at such a wide variety of images as i feel it will give the director a larger choice of images to work from. It also provides me with a better grasp on what the generalised view of the concept of the Boogeyman.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Initial stages of the Boogeyman...

I have spent the past week researching the original texts history and origins of 'The Boogeyman'.
I have been watching all the filmic versions of the story and reading up on information surrounding the topic, using various sources and forms of media. As a result of this I have discovered various historical references from my research including the original myths behind the tale itself.

The myth based on a real man who would carry orphan babies to the orphanage in baskets or sacks in the 17th century. Victor Hugo wrote about this chracter and cited him as the origin of the Spanish Bogeyman myth. In Spain and Eastern Europe – The Sack Man – carries children away in sacks to eat them. Not a paranormal figure, but a psychotic murderer who is accepted as someone who will take naughty children, or children not home before tea. 
This was also found to be linked to an old story told by mothers, of Jewish men who would carry children away in the night in sacks to circumcise and castrate them.

There are many different versions and takes on the original story of the Boogeyman, including a variety of different films. However there is always the constant theme that the Boogeyman is a dark and scary character used to either control children's behaviour though fear. This create is usually portrayed as something that lurks in the cupboard or under the bed of its victim's and only come out at night when its dark and everybody has gone to sleep. 

I find the basic information I have found out of the concept of the Boogeyman very inspiring and now intend to start gathering images surrounding this.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The beginnings of my self directed project...

For my self-directed project, I have been chosen as the designer for a forth-coming performance entitled: The Boogeyman.
I will be designing the costumes for a theatrical company known as, The Patchwork Theatre Company. They are a small touring regional theatre company based in and around Dorset.
I chose to apply for this roll, as I have a deep fascination for fantasy and fictional story telling, and would like to pursue this further later on in my career. I am very familiar with the project title’s original text and find the idea of designing the costumes for such an influential piece of fiction truly inspiring. I am a great fan of horror and believe being given to opportunity to design characters as complex as The Boogeyman would be a great challenge. One I could learn and grow from. 
I have never designed for the stage before. Therefore I feel it would be of great benefit to me as a designer to learn to work to the boundaries of theatrical design and fully understand what this entails. 
I am very excited about meeting with my director and discussing the ideas and concepts she wishes to explore fully.