GENIUS LOCI

Genius Loci refers to the spirit of a place, for this project I was interested in exploring this concept for a souk I had visited at night. I explored different techniques of image transfers, from acrylic to acetone.

 

I was really interested in the grain effect created from acetone transfers, it reminded me of a historic photograph. I was keen to explore this process further, I tested the effects of using different amounts of acetone to see the variation in the quality of transfers. I also used different tools to apply the acetone, such as a paintbrush, spatula and a pencil to create different effects.

I explored compositional ideas by creating a collaged panoramic image. I really like this effect and I enjoy its disjointed and ambiguous nature. 

A limitation of this process is that it is difficult to control the quality of the transfer. For some transfers that weren't as successful as I had intended, I worked back into them with pens and pencils to add certain details. I enjoy the effect, however for this project I did not feel it was a suitable technique for capturing the spirit of place.

Acetone image transfers

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Collaged images acetone transfer

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Acetone image transfer with oil pastels and pen

Acrylic image transfers

Acrylic transfer on silver foil

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Acylic transfer on gold foil

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Acrylic transfer on cardboard from crinkled image

For the acrylic image transfers, I experimented with different surfaces such as metal foil, masking tape, paper and card. For this project, I was most satisfied with the effects of using metal foil as the plate. The subtle silver and gold hints that appear through the image made me reflect on some aspects of Middle Eastern culture.

I was also happy with the effect of crinkling the paper. The outcome of this technique reminded me of a recovered historic images and I think it is important to use this efect to reflect on the history and tradition that constantly occurs through the souk.

The bottom left was created by transferring the image onto crinkled masking tape, the piece next to it, I had used pen, graphite, charcoal and acrylic ink to accentuate focal points and details. Through exploration of different methods I didn't pursue these 2 techniques further as I felt it was not the aesthetic I was looking to achieve and it did not achieve the spirit of place.

Acrylic transfer on masking tape

Acrylic transfer on paper

Final Piece

For my final response to this project, I created a collaged landscape from my own photos. It is an acrylic transfer on a metal plate, both gold and silver, I also used the technique of the crinkled image. In order to truly capture the spirit of the Souk Madinat, I wanted to incorporate as many senses as possible when presenting it. During the developmental stages of this project, I explored the idea of spraying my work with Arabian oils, I also created a soundtrack to recreate the cityscape so it became an immersive piece. 

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Souq Madinat, Acrylic image transfer on metal foil plate, 85x35cm