The Brexit Option
At the end of this assignment I made a connection between the EU Referendum and my attempt to use political division to sell veg.
Post-Feedback, and now also post-referendum, and the majority voted for ‘Leave’. Since that vote all hell has broken loose in politics and we seem to be heading for a repeat of the Poll-tax riots as the nation’s youth take to the streets to oppose the successful majority.
One of the things I noticed was the prevalence of symbolism surrounding the EU flag:
Each star represents a member state… except that there are 28 member states and only 12 stars. The concept still holds but it ceased to be a littoral count when it became too big a number. So the concept remains that a star represents a member state, at some level.
The press have started publishing graphics and illustrations in their features and editorials that alter one star (usually near the bottom right) to represent Brexit – Britain leaving the EU.
This appeared on the Times Higher Education web page. Showing a single star fallen from its star-shaped ‘slot’ on a background suggesting leather, which perhaps gets across a suggestion of ‘establishment’ or important state buildings.
This photo effect shows a star blowing away from a tattered flag and perhaps suggests a different and negative opinion about the state of the EU… it’s a rather unhappy flag, but one star is free!
Shutterstock make this image available – a tearful eye where one star is carried away in the teardrop.
It seems common to use the lower right star!
At some point in the last few days it suddenly struck me that the two opposing factions I was representing with my Strawberry and Aubergine campaigns might be the Leave and Remain voters. It’s not really that clear cut because I was following a purely hard-line nationalist idea and the EU referendum can be approached from many different viewpoints… Federalist / Nationalist / Economic / Imperialist (if that’s still possible) / Ecological / Cultural (talking art rather than race).
However, a strong thread of the ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ compaigns has been about immigration and free movement of people between member states. This single issue falls in perfectly with my two ideas as does the ring of 12 stars… which could become a ring of 12 aubergine tops with the right slight of hand.
Working through this image to create the effects that I’ve researched earlier – the light a nd dark of the shapes of the strawberry and start of a specular highlight where the skin will ‘shine’ because of it’s slightly waxy complexion.
Filling in the rougher contrasting texture of the countryside and the table. Adding Stalks and highlights and lowlights on the pips.
I’ve added the sky to not be distracting. It’s not ‘perfect’ – there are whisps of white blended in and it fades to white on the horizon.
A little bit of shadow under the stalks to help make them lift of the surface of the fruit, a specular highlight whose edges are shapes by the presence of each pip. Also the stalks now drawn on the visible strawberries in the punnet.
Coming back to this a long time after first attempting to draw it I must have gained some experience in Photoshop that I didn’t have at the time… or maybe it’s not Photoshop… maybe it’s just a better understanding of what I want, or how to get it.
I’m working reasonably fast now but producing the result that I want without worrying about it.
Probably I’ve learnt to trust more what I see – when I look at the work as I produce it I’m more confident that it is (or isn’t) what I want… as opposed to “worrying that it might not be right”, but not being able to tell!
It’s said that art and design is about learning to see… this is it!
I’ve added textures to the punnet because I don’t like to leave these things as flat colours – it diminishes the idea that they represent something in your memory. In this case these punnet are made slightly roughly… they’re not supermarket-perfect packaging, they are more ‘real’ and I want to evoke that sincerity of product by putting those textures in.