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Tue, Nov. 13th, 2012, 09:59 pm
Art Dump: Short Stories Final Project

So I took a class on short stories (reading/analysis stuff) this past quarter, in an effort to get me thinking and analyzing for the essay portion of the impending GRE. The class had an interestingly ill-defined final project; we were to do something relating to a story read during the class. And that's about all the guidance given; previous classes had done art projects, plays, criminal files on characters, and so on. Tonight for the presentation there was a short story reading, a short poem reading, a couple of speeches, a couple of powerpoints, and my artish thing.

So I decided early on (after debating between a couple of options) to do something visually with James Joyce's "Araby". I went through a few ideas, most solidly to do a dual image using either backlighting or glowing ink and UV lighting, but I couldn't find good tools for that.

So somehow I ended up doing this bottle. It looked to me like the kind of thing you might find at a bazaar, and had a nice mostly flat area where I could put the image overlay, plus a nice pattern I could paint in to shine through. The LEDs I got at first weren't strong enough, and the second batch could have been brighter, too; if I ever do something like this for sale, I'll probably spring for the LEDs at Bed Bath and Beyond, which I tested in there (but didn't use because I want them for another project).

Anyway. Enough words, here's the bottle:

Full bottle from front; grey cracked finish and image displaying a boy in front of a building, under a sign reading ARABY.

Closer view of the front of the bottle.

The side of the bottle, depicting the narrator talking to Mangan's sister on the steps of her house.

The side of the bottle, depicting the narrator's experience at the bazaar.

The entire wrapped image before being trimmed and glued in place; greyscale except for the word ARABY in yellow.

I didn't take any pictures of it without the wrap, because it wasn't as interesting that way, but I did manage some pictures of it with the lights out in the room and the LEDs inside the bottle switched on.

Front of the bottle, with the backlight stained-glass design visible.

Side of the bottle, depicting the stained-glass effect shining through the image of the sister.

Other side of the bottle, showing the stained glass design through the image of the bazaar.

I left it with the instructor, who was completely thrilled to get to keep it (and said she was going to show it off to the other teachers tomorrow). I planned on letting her keep it, since it'd take up space here and I'm not that attached to the story, but she was, so it felt like it'd be a better home for it. There's a few things I'd do differently in the future, if/when I do another project like this, but overall I'm happy enough that I would try it again sometime!