As part of museums visit on the 6th of March to the Natural History museum we were asked to make 100 drawings of one same subject, so every time we saw this particular thing in the museum we had to draw it. We could interpret this as we wanted as long as we take the objects/ artefacts out of their natural surroundings and put them into a neural space without any references.
As the group that was sent to the Natural History Museum, we received a list of things we could draw such as Dinosours, Birds, Wings, Feet, Tail or Claws. I decided the letter one: Claws.
Surprisingly hard, in my opinion, was it to define what a claw was, is it only a hard, sharp and usually curved nail of an animal such as found on a cat or tiger? Or is the extension of a nail, such as the nail of a human still a claw? Do the claws of a lobster count too? And what is at the foot of a horse – a hoof- is that a foot or still a claw? I decided to be quite playful with this decision and considered all of them as claws even though they are not all used for the same purpose and varied in shape and appearance.
I quite enjoyed the task to walk around, only focussing on one particular object, it made me look different at the objects which I Drew, realising that I passed whole sections such as fish without even looking at them knowing that I would not find what I was seeking.
The amount of the drawings, however, was challenging. Even though I was focusing on only one very particular topic, I found it very hard to get to the number hundred and had to change my drawings/sketches quite a bit to get to the amount. I used different technique such as drawing only outlines, one-line drawings, only considering the form instead of the details – reducing the actual object to particular key features.
I think the drawing exercise was not the most useful one regarding expanding my drawings skills but in my organisation and focusing skills. Focusing only on one and not many things, living out the environment and any references were whey challenging for me, and I consider to do this exercise from now on more often.
The task of the 9th of March was then building on these 100 observational drawings from the museum’s visit. By making a little zine with three spreads, not more, plus a front and back cover featuring the designs. The idea of the task was to expand our skills and thoughts on a topic we care about connected to the issue of the drawings. The zine itself did not necessarily to have a clear narrative of following any common sense but could also just represent a particular mood we might have during our visit.
The Zine had to feature a title on the front cover, a word or sentence on each spread and we could include a short paragraph at the end of the back cover to ensure the back is not blank.
I used the drawings of the museum’s session and transferred them on a paper that was marked with different grids and marks. The zine is titled as ‘The traces we leave behind…” and continued this sentence over the next three spreads with “…bits and pieces, here and there…”, “… to a representation of ourselves…”, “…and then disappear into nothingness.”. The zine is exploring the human desire of not being forgotten; I explained my idea and the topic of the zine in the ending paragraph:
“The traces we leave behind” covers the topic around the fear of beeing forgotten over time by beloved ones but also from the world after passing away. Many are afraid of death, not specific of the actual act that more of what happened after: to themselves as the soul/spirit/ghost but at the same time to their remembrance. What do people remember? Do they do something in Memoriam of them? Do they remember at all? However I believe after a while there is no one left to remember, and we are forgotten, returning to nothingness, where everything starts and ends.
I used no colour, except the very distinctive but I already used during the sketching in the museum, and in my opinion, it fitted ver well to the quite blue and depressing/sad topic of the zine. I also added the colour to the back of the sheet to include also the inside pages into the concept of the zine.
I liked the task, even if it was a bit hard to get to the zine itself because I struggled to find a topic which inspired me, but I’m very satisfied with the briefs outcome.