Project 2. Exercise: Building a story

In this exercise we are asked to

• Choose a picture (either find or create one of your own or choose one from the website).
• Identify a series of smaller frames within the picture that you can use to create a new story.
• Place your new images in order and accompany them with notes outlining your new story. • Upload your image sequence to your blog.

———

I have selected the oil painting “Girls on 14th Street – Homage to Isabel Bishop” ( 2015 ) by John Alexander Parks,  after much deliberation and trawling. I particularly like the painting in that it conjures up such thoughts of why there are no men in the picture? Why is it so busy at this particular block? The painting is busy and portrays an intense atmosphere, somewhat highlighted by the apparent warm temperature of the time of the day in the scene. New York in the early summer,  perhaps late morning / early afternoon at the weekend.

14th Street Frame1

New York City, Saturday June 11th, 2017.
The women of the city have just attended a speech by political activist Pippa Jeffery, and the crowd are now dispersing.

1.
14th Street Frame2

Miley ( girl in jeans ) hugs Terrie goodbye, it has been a great meeting. Pippa Jeffery hit the nail(s) on the head(s). The new legislation will not be accepted lying down.
MILEY:
We must meet up again soon, y’know, I’ve missed you.
TERRIE:
Yeah, its just funerals and protests, these days!
MILEY:
You’ve got my cellphone number or message me on FB?
TERRIE:
Sure. I feel ready for this now…
MILEY:
Yeah, me too….

2.
14th Street Frame3

Held up by an incident in the subway at 5th Avenue, Laura’s mum Karen has missed most of Pippa’s speech, and she anticipates Laura will be annoyed at that. She’s gonna think I’m not committed, like she often complains that I am…
Laura spots her mum ( in the blue dress at the top right hand part of the frame ) from afar and waves out to her.
LAURA:
Mom! Mom over here. (THEY MEET UP ) She was great, Mom, did you hear any of it?
KAREN:
Someone jumped the track on Fifth. I was stuck on the train for almost an hour!
LAURA:
( wincing ) That’s awful!
KAREN:
I did hear her attack on the mayor though, that was beautiful!
LAURA:
Oh that was just the tip of the iceberg. C’mon, you buy me a coffee and I’ll tell you the rest of it….

3.
14th Street Frame4

Corrine ( Green dress ) touches her only daughter Lucy’s shoulder ( denim hot-pants ).
CORRINE:
Hey I love you sweetie. ( Lucy looks back at her ) Will you be coming to the house this weekend?
LUCY:
I don’t know Mom, I’m really busy.
CORRINE:
( Hiding back her disappointment ) Okay sweetheart, call me.
Corrine buries the hurt. She can’t possibly bring herself to tell her precious daughter that there may not be many more weekends left….

———-

Conclusion:

I found the search for the picture that may ignite a story in my head more difficult than I was expecting. I was really looking forward to this exercise, all the same. I love to people-watch. I recall spending nearly a day in Buenos Aires, Argentina, sitting on a street corner with a notepad and just filling up the pages with scenarios of what I thought the passers-by could be thinking. I must have drunk an ocean of coffee that day, and the local tea yerba mate. 
I found photographs of days gone by, early 1900s, 1920s, London in the swinging sixties, Budapest in the Soviet occupation, among others. But I wanted to focus on character as well as the images in the frame. This picture stood out above the rest, and soon the characters began to jump out.
With the initial picture being rather busy with various passers-by and characters to choose from, I tried to pick frames that would have people passing both in front of and also behind, still conjuring a hectic scene atmosphere. At first glance the image represents a gathering but noticing that seldom these characters are interacting; it is obvious that this just shows individuals just going by, in a highly populated frame. Hence a lot of action is trapped in small pockets of perhaps just two people at a time. To interlink these frames I needed to conjure a scenario that would suit. What would be happening externally that would draw only one sex to one particular street at one particular time? This lead to the idea of a small rally held for women only.

REFERENCES:
http://www.johnaparks.com
“Girls, 14th St. (Homage to Isabel Bishop)” 2013 Oil on Linen, 30″ x 40″ Collection: the Artist.
-Accessed April 20th 2016.

 

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