Roger Sabin (my PhD supervisor) suggested that I watch this programme on the BBC iPlayer – ‘Bauhaus Rules with Vic Reeves’:
This was a fascinating programme for the Bauhaus’ use of limitations in the creation of art – in a similar way perhaps to the Surrealist movement. Both movements happened post-war in an attempt to forge new and better ways of thinking and being. Surrealism seems to concern itself with going beyond thinking with its use of tools to limit the interference of the linear mind (with a Freudian bent as the leader Andre Breton had studied and practiced psychiatry). Bauhaus seems to have more of a spiritual leaning with Itten’s use of breathing exercises and garlic mash (wonder if this is also part of ayurvedic/yogic tradition?). In relation to my work, I still wonder about breathing exercises for the beginning of my workshops, or perhaps just before starting tasks (like my swing teacher Jessie Brooks does when she give us a difficult dance step to try. ‘OK deep breath!’ – it seems to help too).
Wassily Kandinsky apparently had rules for shapes and their appropriate resonant colours (all of these things being of the spirit too). The participants were tested to guess the correct colours and mostly failed. Here, I’ve tried to create my comics diary entry in accordance with Kandinsky’s principles – mostly because I wanted to see if it was possible to create an image with meaning with only 3 shapes. I notice that some of the participants were using free line with the shapes, but this seems to be cheating. No cheating here! It might have been good to cheat with the colours though as it’s predominantly red to accord to Kandinsky’s colours (square = red, triangle = yellow, circle = blue). I’m not sure it’s possible to guess that it’s me watching the show…?
For future, I would like to experiment with the limitation of shapes for cartooning. This might be an excellent way in for beginners. It was relaxing and fun to create this.