Over the past few days I have been tracking the news reports and updated crash information on the MD83 crash in Nigeria. I am (trying) to keep up with text and images used in internet news reports, newspaper headlines, t.v news reports and also radio reports. I am looking at UK national news and also international news where I can. Alongside this I am also keeping track of official updates from the crash investigation being carried out by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) assisted by the U.S. National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB).
By keeping up to date with this information I aim to see how certain types of images and texts are mediated in similar and contrasting ways and how they are presented to ‘bring’ information to the general public. I plan to conduct some experiments with spliced text from both media and official reports and also study images of the plane debris and the crash site. As I am focusing on the media spectacle and mediation of air disasters I hope this experimentation will allow me to make artwork as a comment and exploration of these issues.
I wil continue looking back at past crashes with complete reports as case studies, however I feel continually following this crash will let me show the pace of investigation and reporting. On crashes on this scale a completed report can vary in length but usually take a couple of years to finish.
This artwork is a larger piece that developed from my two smaller pieces on the 1993 Poland crash (previous post). After producing the work A cargo of flowers to Miami I decided to not further outline the plane form with ink. The outline is added digitally and so is transferred with along with the text from the paper, at times it feint or incomplete. I felt this fitted with the overall aesthetic of the work itself.
The summary report text is, again, available here
This work shows both the fuselage and the cockpit of the plane and the fragmented form after the fire, using this crash for inspiration I was able to illustrate fragmentation of both image and text in this artwork. I used an ink and water method to create an abstract background for work and tried to combine the printed text and the background far more than the other works where I was trying to remove context from the actual scene of the crash.
This is the last work I produced for this semester’s assessment, I definitely feel that this piece is an accumulation of my experimentation and studies and allows me to see where my work will develop in my final semester.
The artwork is ink, acrylic paint and printed text on paper and is 196 x150 cm.
Just a small update of two small works that I also produced for this semester’s assessment. I don’t have any photographs of their stages of progress (they were in the batch that my camera deleted) but you can see how they were displayed in the studio on the wall.
Click thumbnails for larger images.
These two works were in response to the Airbus A320 crash in Poland in 1993. The plane crashed on landing at Warszawa-Okecie Airport due to the crew’s reactions to windshear information given on approach. The aircraft caught fire that spread to the passenger cabin and destroyed the top of the fuselage.
The textual report summary and information can be found here.
The images are ink, acrylic paint and printed text on paper and are approximately 84 x 58 cm
Another new artwork for the end of this semester. This work is also from my studies of the Kalitta Air cargo B747 in Columbia 2008 however this is larger than the other artwork I produced. I also decided to focus on smaller part of the wreckage, a section of the sheared engine.
I decided to structure this work more like a landscape as the majority of the plane wreckage was piles of black debris with larger recognisable parts of the aircraft visible. In this ‘landscape’ the engine form and the text contained within it lies within the unstructured debris on the surrounding ground.
Click the thumbnails for larger images.
There are not as many images of the painting’s stages for this post, my camera seems to have deleted them unfortunately. I’ve included the last image to show demonstrate the scale of the work and how it has been displayed. In my opinion I don’t feel that the ink outline works particularly well in this image visually however I do like the contrast of the white text form emerging from the dark, unusually shaped ground. In my artwork after this series I am thinking of playing on the landscape idea more, possibly using the broken plane form to build up some sort of landscape.
The artwork’s title is A cargo of flowers to Miami as this is what the aircraft was carrying when it crashed, there were fatalities on the ground when the plane smashed through a farm in the area. I felt that using this phrase from the report text added a small bit of context for the viewer when considering the artwork. The text, again, is from the report summary available here.
The painting is ink, acrylic paint and printed text on paper and is approx 196 x 150cm.
This work accompanies the artwork in my previous post- Bouncing to a halt in the lake. This a smaller work from my study of the same crash, I used the smaller scale to experiment with text transferring methods used in the larger work but it is also a work in its own right. The work is at this time untitled but I will choose a phrase from the text report for titling.
The images show the stages of the artwork, unfortunately the first image is blurred and but is the only image I have of the ink on its own. The test that is transferred is summary report text that I digitally applied to the defined outline of the plane.
Click the thumbnails for larger images.
The plane has the same form as the previously posted work but from viewed from a different (rear) viewpoint.
I used ink and water to create an abstract colour background for the plane to exist in, the colours used are drawn from the crash scene itself. I have included some close up images of the background to try and demonstrate the texture created with the ink and water.
After the image transfer of the text I painted over with white acrylic to build back up the plane form and originally intended to leave it like this to complete the work. After leaving the work and then coming back to it however, I decided to outline the form with black acrylic ink. In my research I have been looking at the idea of the spectacle and how that is reinforced in both the mass media and artwork. One of the elements of the spectacle is the changed or the forced context and the removal of the event/ scene from the viewer, I felt that the addition of the black outline both slightly removed the plane from it’s background ‘scene’ and the real instance of the crash itself.
(Due to this I used the outline in the next few artworks I made, however including an outline in two larger artworks I decided that it works better on the smaller works.)
The work is ink, acrylic paint and printed text on paper, it is approximately 59.4 x 42.0 cm.
Another update of a piece done for Semester B at University, my first large piece done with text image transfer.
The first image shows the undercoat of ink and then other stages after this. The last two images show the completed image and then a photograph to demonstrate the size of the work. I will also make a post of the other work in the last image later on.
This work is a result of my research into the crash of cargo flight 310 in Tanzania. The plane was a Boeing 707-351C and was operating under Trans Arabian Air Transport on its way to Mwanza to pick up its cargo set for Europe. The aircraft came down to rest in the middle of a lake.
The report summary and some more crash information is available here.
I identified the form and outline of the plane and applied the report narrative text to it’s shape, using an image transfer method to get the text onto the primed paper.
I then added layers of ink and acrylic paint to finish the image.
The final title I settled on in this image is Bouncing to a Halt in the Lake. For this series of artworks, I chose suitable sentences or phrases from the report text itself to title the images. The aim of the titles are to add extra context to the crash for the viewer.
More artwork posts to come…
I’m behind with posts but here is the finished artwork from the last post. Been very busy with actually doing written work along with the practical work for the end of the semester so I’m only just updating the blog now.
The text on the nose of the plane is text from the crash report. This text is cut to fit the shape of the nose and I added it to the painting upside down to fit the orientation of the plane.
I also added a discarded engine in the background of the scene, the engine in the crash was ripped off and beaten pretty badly by the impact, shearing off some metal from the engine casing . There is also added text to the engine form outlined with black ink.
Image size: Approx 841 x 594 mm, ink, acrylic paint on paper
This is the latest artwork I have started working on. For the next few pieces (since I work in series of artworks) I will be looking at the 2008 crash of a cargo 747 operating under Centurion Air Cargo in Columbia.
This is a link to aviationsafety.net where a summary report of the crash can be found, along with images. Short narrative of the crash:
Boeing 747 N714CK, operated by Kalitta Airlines as a wet lease to Centurion Airlines, took off from Bogota (BOG), carrying a cargo of flowers to Miami (MIA).
Reports say the crew radioed that they had an engine fire. The airplane impacted a farm field, broke up and caught fire. A farm was demolished in the crash, killing two people inside.
Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed during the accident, with a reported cloud ceiling of 1,700 above the ground and calm winds.
Stages of artwork so far:
Added first outline of tonal detail
Windows and text darkened and obscured with black acrylic
Report text used in the cockpit windows
Landscape background done and blocked in white form of the separated cockpit
I may want to add some more fragmented text of the report into the image although I’m not sure where it would be effective. I think I’ll need to carry on with acrylic and work into the image of the cockpit more. I’m also thinking of adding a hint of the broken off engine in the background.
I’m not back in the studio until the 16th April so I’ll be working on smaller plane studies, sketches and sketchbook work to plan for larger works when I get back.
This post will be a large artwork update since I haven’t posted on for a long time. I’ve recently been working through where I was stuck and didn’t know where to take the artwork and develop it. A tutorial definitely helped me think through my thoughts and identify where I want to develop and what exactly I am trying to convey with my pieces.
These images of my artwork are in order of creation, some of them are stages, some are finished works.
In my Discourse and Reflection module I have specifically been researching and writing on the spectacle of the disaster. This has made me consider levels of mediation in disaster representation. I want to develop my work along with this and will be using layers of ink, acrylic and text reports of plane crashes to allude to the fragmentation of imagery and information given to the public through mediated sources.
From now I will also try to update on each piece of work allowing me to write out my thoughts and ideas for individual work development rather than a large update with lots of images but little text.
Interview with photographer Richard Mosse on his Air Disaster series. The photographs capture various airports’ plane crash simulators in use, disembodied fuselages and fiery engines allow emergency crews to be ever ready for a real incident.
Very interesting photo series.
Link to Richard Mosse website– this series is under the category Airside.