Reflecting on the multidisciplinary project, proposal and presentation…

I think that overall this project has been successful – it has definitely been beneficial to mix with and learn from students from other disciplines, and I do think I have learnt a lot from this experience.

The emphasis at the beginning of this three week project was to actively engage in a social issue or general issue affecting our city. With this in mind, I do think that we thoroughly engaged in a strong concept that investigated and brought light to the sort of hidden ideologies in capitalism that parallel with communist tactics of messaging. We were enthusiastic and ambitious in the topic that wished to engage with – however our failure to take into account the time limitations meant that our final piece and presentation, in my opinion, didn’t thoroughly engage with the message we wished to deliver.Our end piece I think is fairly successful considering the time frame we created it in, however I do feel that more time should have gone into considering layouts and the actual placement of the imagery and text on the poster.  The process of generating and meeting a proposal has been a really interesting experience.  We were thoroughly engaged in what we wanted to achieve, however I’m not sure if we actually achieved this in as much depth creatively in terms of a final presentation and piece. The presentation was a little bit rough around the edges as we had each prepared some sort of sideline work in support of the actual piece, but hadn’t considered quite how to relate it all together. So when presenting, it did seem quite an organised and not cohesive.Hopefully the beginnings of the project and the ideas at play within it, were able to prompt some kind of response in the members of the wider group that watched our presentation.

Propaganda back in the city

In preparation for our presentation, I wanted to explore the idea of reintroducing the imagery that we had made in response to capitalism in Cardiff, back into the city. Unfortunately a limited time period meant that I struggled to actually physically carry out this sort of campaign – I did begin to play with how and where the images/posters would fit back into the city. I carried this out on Photoshop, taking the areas of public focus in Cardiff and introducing the ideas that we had been exploring throughout the field project. Here are examples of these, which I then wish to present as part of our final piece presentation for assessment – I feel that doing this would perhaps contextualise the work a bit more.

Final piece

We have been working on a final piece for our Field presentation, and have finally produced a poster that we intend to print out onto size A2 poster paper. In our final piece we looked to highlight the hidden ideologies and messages existing in Cardiff, and by referring to the style of Russian propaganda posters, draw attention to how this messaging could be considered to parallel somewhat with places of communist influences. Our aim with this piece was not necessarily a critique of either Capitalism or Communism, but instead we intended to highlight the extent to which both systems are similar in their desire to influence the minds and understandings of the people living within them. One system doing so through overt propaganda, the other through the perhaps more subliminal method of advertising (also towards the end, one of the group members began to consider how nationalistic ideologies could be considered to be another element of hidden meaning throughout the city of Cardiff and so we decided to make some reference to this in the poster).

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Some sideline work in response to the group work

Having researched into a number of Russian constructivist artists, I have become really interested in their style of working and wanted to do some of my own work in response to this. Although this work will not be directly included in the final piece itself, I do think it will enable me to better understand the way in which the Russian constructivist artists worked – which will hopefully generate some inspiration as to how we can approach the designing of the end piece.

With these images I have played around briefly with the ideas of capitalism and government, but have more particularly looked at representing places in Cardiff through the style of Russian Constructivism. The images are made in reference to some of the earlier pictures I have taken of places in Cardiff. I found it really interesting to apply this way of working, and although I acknowledge they may not mirror exactly Constructivist art, I have really enjoyed engaging with this movement as a point of reference.

Further Discussions

We have been having really fascinating discussions with each other, and our tutors – really reflecting on the comparison between Capitalism and Communism. Its all quite theoretical at the moment, we have each been creating work in response to the issues that we have been discussing – our next step is to amalgamate these and create a final outcome.

In our discussions we first considered creating a sort of Propaganda book , creating imagery and posters and collating them in a book format. However, we reflected on this and felt that a poster would be more in keeping with the sort of imagery we were looking at, the majority of advertising and propaganda that we had found through our research was conveyed in a poster format – the necessary message was condensed into one image, so we felt this is the direction that it would be best to go down.

These were some of the posters that we looked at before making the decision to create a more condensed style of poster – we considered the layouts, colour sheme and imagery chosen and placed of these posters before beginning to design our own.


Responding to the images of Cardiff

As a group we decided to allocate certain roles to each member of the group – in our group are two Graphics Design students and two Fine Art students, as a Fine Art student we agreed that I could go about creating some images that could be included in the Poster design. Whilst the Graphics students’ focused on the logo design, colour schemes, and propose some layout ideas. Here are some of the drawings that I came up with.

I also explored how these images, combined with things that I have observed about advertising and propaganda, could be used to create posters/adverts within their own right. I don’t expect these to be used as final pieces but I was just experimenting with the crossovers between imagery found in a capitalist society and the style and messaging associated with propaganda. Although, the advertising slogans that I had come across during my brief researching into advertising around Cardiff – actually demonstrated some similarities, at least in the subliminal messaging, with the propaganda.

The bottom row of images were points of reference for the top row. The Russian propaganda poster in the centre of bottom row translates as ‘In order to have more you have to produce more. In order to produce more you have to know more’.

To be honest, I don’t feel that this exploration of imagery has been thorough in the slightest. Our limited time was something that I feel definitely was restrictive in the amount that I could explore. This way of working is not the way I usually approach projects, and with more time I would have felt a lot happier if I were able to expand on this quite small group of images. Although, in themselves I feel that as drawings they are fairly successful, they definitely are not a result of thorough research which I would normally challenge myself to do in other projects. As a result of this I am somewhat disappointed. However – it is not these drawings that are the final pieces, these are to be a contribution to the end piece of the poster. Our next step therefore will be to combine our individual areas of research and work together to create the end piece.

A trip to the City Centre

As part of my research into the capitalist and communism crossovers, I thought it important to go into Cardiff city centre and begin to highlight elements that I saw that I felt reflected the control of capitalism over the city, capturing this through photography.


Although I don’t think these are particularly strong photographs in their own right, they do offer a snapshot of capitalist, consumer influence within a contemporary city such as Cardiff.