One of my earliest childhood memories is of when I was about three – it’s a bit of a foggy memory but I’m at a beach in Tioman, it’s my first time playing in seawater and I’m having fun.
I’ve always loved the sea, and so this project began with me delving into the idea of oceanic waters, which then led on to ideas of navigation and cartography. Moral philosophy was explored on a parallel track which later converged.
The main deliverable was a 60pp A4 art publication which comprises nine vignettes of curated prose and treated image. Through which I hope to spark meaning through the juxtaposition of navigation, cartography and moral philosophy; a space for the translation and reinterpretation of thought and emotion from designer to viewer.
In line with the curated prose, selected regions of the world map were treated to become more of abstract expressions of thought and emotion, less of scientific / geographic apparatus. The aesthetic was informed by 19th century etchings while keeping consistent with the modern minimal aesthetic; a meeting of past with present.
The secondary deliverable was a handcrafted, fully-functional ornamental wooden compass where the arrow may be calibrated by the user to point in any chosen direction. The idea being that while we no longer require such outdated apparatus to navigate, we very much still decide our own existential directions. I point my compass north of west by a few degrees in approximation to America; I’m working towards an Eisner nomination. Where a compass from old would be heavily decorated with flourishes, I kept my compass design minimal in line with the overall design language, again, welding an invention from the past with an aesthetic from the present.
The last deliverable was an original song written to tie the entire project together, packaged in a handcrafted wooden case with a foldout lyric poster. Poster stylised as the prose in the main book, suggesting that this is the voice I’m contributing to the dialogue I created. A folk-styled acapella song was treated with carefully controlled autotune, repeating the past / present motif, while the vocals gradually layer into a building crescendo, similar to how the main deliverable, the a4 art book, is an amalgamation of numerous voices.
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Lewis, Bart L. (2003). The Miraculous Lie: Lope de Aguirre and the Search for El Dorado in the Latin American Historical Novel. Lexington Books.
Drye, Willie. National Geographic. El Dorado Legend Snared Sir Walter Raleigh.