Looking again at the book Mesmerization, I really liked the layout and the tranquil feeling I got when I read about the Body and Soul spell, which is part of the lifestyle spells. I was interested to make this spell into a collage because I wanted people to get the same feeling of tranquility that I got when reading the book when they look at my collage.
I started off by taking elements from the book and making a quick brainstorm.
Just as I did for the Luxury Fever collage, I decided to make a list of elements I wanted to include in my collage.
I then found images that corresponded to these elements, some of which I knew I wanted to put in my collage.
I was aiming to create a very tranquil, zen feeling to my collage so I took a starting point of a man doing some meditation. He is looking up to the sun and therefore nature. We can see the colours and the background of the image make us feel very relaxed. I though placing him at the bottom of my collage would make it so he was looking up at my collage and that being his calm tranquil meditating space.
I love the idea of water and rocks and the cross between man and nature. These again create a relaxed atmosphere and make me think of being at a spa and being pampered. To find this image I actually looked up Zen Garden which is a specific type of garden in which one would feel at one with nature, I found out about this garden in the book and felt I needed to explore it more.
I wanted to put in an image that we could associate with a calming sounds. I came across the wooden wind chimes as mentioned in the book and thought this added a more sensory aspect to my collage.I had the idea that people would not only look at my collage and be transported though sight, but through sound as well.
I felt I needed to put in a picture of a spa setting because its what most of us consider completely tranquility and relaxation. We can see the woman in the photo in a very neutral, nature like setting and this again brings us back to the idea of the interaction between man and nature and we see a harmony between these two elements. She also looks fast asleep and completely as peace with the world and this again pulls us into this relaxing mood. The book Mesmerization says ” The spa proposition uses disarming language…leave it all behind, spoil yourself, you deserve it.” This is what the spa photo encompasses as well, this feeling of letting it all go and being pampered.
The candles and the rose petals are part of the spa experience. Candles are also very relaxing to watch whilst they burn and the wax creates a sort of reflective pool inside of the candle. Both of these elements also give off a sensory feel, just like using the wind chimes for sound, I wanted to use the candle and rose petals for smell.
The lemon to me just looks fresh: it’s healthy, it’s colourful, it looks and tastes good! I love the bold yellow and I think that stands out on my collage. It also adds a taste sensory to my collage, which is helping me to achieve a 4D effect.
I love the idea of an infinity pool, the way you never see the edge of the pool and it could go on forever. Looking at this image I can hear the running water and almost feel the pool water around me. It is also a very idyllic location and it looks as though it is in the middle of nowhere, this creates a harmonious and soothing setting and is why I chose to include this whole photo in my collage.
I wanted to add in another aspect of nature to my piece and I immediately thought of flowers. I chose this pink one because I like the shape and form of it and I also love the colour and feel it fits in well with my collage. It is also another sensory aspect.
The palm tree is in my collage purely because I think the beach setting is a very natural setting, often associated with holidays, peace and quiet. Palm trees represent hot climates, sandy beaches and clear blue water. To me this is the ultimate place to relax and be completely at peace just listening to the waves lapping against the shore.
The next three images all fall under the same category of the reality of life. In the book, it says that we want to relax and be at peace with ourselves to escape our daily routine and the harsh realities of the world in which we live in. I chose these three images because I feel they say a lot about today. Firstly the non smoking sign is a prohibiting sign, it is stopping us from doing something and limiting our freedom. I did not use this image for the smoking aspect but for the way the red symbol is covering an image showing what we can not do.
The images that show people protesting came to me whilst reading the sentence “The corrupting power of society, government and mass culture.” People are protesting more and more for things that they do not agree with and do not think is right. This is the reality of our lives today, the government has a lot of power and they are making decisions that are not ones that the population necessarily like. We can take the example of the rising tuition fees in Universities, which involves the idea of spending money and financial stresses.This is why I added in the dollar note, to show spending and a consumer society that we live in.
The image of the incense stick in my collage shows the smoke of the stick pushing a calm atmosphere into the centre and blowing away all of these images of protest and day to day reality.
I then created some sketches of how I thought I wanted my collage to turn out.
I started by sketching quickly on an A5 scale. The first sketch helped me to start vizualising where I wanted to place each image. Although I didn’t like the composition of the first one, it really helped me form my ideas to go on to create a second more solid one.
This is my final composition for my collage.
I then chose which parts I wanted to be image, painting or 3D.
Just I had done on my Luxury Fever collage, I took different dimensions and proportions so I knew how big I wanted each image to be.
This is my final collage.
Although my final collage differs somewhat from my draft idea, I am still really happy with what I have achieved. I think my use of a lot more circular objects gives a continuation throughout my piece and the real looking rose petals make it much more realistic! I also tried to use a lot of 3D aspects which made some objects stand out and therefore gain a lot of importance.
Due to the fact I could not find any incense sticks I had to make one of my own. I do not feel it gives too much of a contrast and I would have rather had real one. I found some mirrors whilst looking for objects for my collage and felt that they fit in well with the idea of reflection and calm. They also remind me somewhat of water and looking at ones reflection in a pond whilst listening to the relaxing sound of running water.
I would not want to change anything about this collage, although I can see some improvements just in my composition or even my painting skills, I am pleased with my work and how I have used a relaxing and calm colour palette to enhance my theme.
Mesmerization, Gee Thompson, Thames and Hudson, 2008