Gaston Bachelard’s comment that “People crave spaces that inspire them to daydream” sums up my exploration of imagination in art. My research as an artist this year has focused primarily on subconscious composition, colour and narrative in visual media. These three subjects have driven me to produce and develop a series of detailed and colourful mixed-media illustrations created through technique-driven, research-led practice. ‘Heroine’ explores the viewer’s imagination and inner ability to construct and form narratives by looking at still images. The images themselves have been created by an abstract, ‘Rorschach’ ink-blot method, and have then been illustrated as the scene progresses itself, using only the chapter headings from Joseph Campbell’s theoretical ‘Hero’s Story’ as themes for each piece. I have challenged Campbell’s narrative theory by changing the various characters in my artwork to females. This gives my artwork a feminist outlook, as I wish to challenge the preconceived notion of the female hero. Being influenced by Gustav Klimt’s work, I have further enhanced the feminine aspect of my artwork by exploring the use and value of gilding in illustration, to invoke a physical and emotional response from the audience.
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