Seems like I have started this blog post so many times over the last month, only to be interrupted by a vast array of more pressing/urgent/demanding matters. It's been a very go-go-go month, with a trip to Brisbane at one end, a soon-to-be trip to Melbourne at the other end, and three very hectic market days in between (including a stall at the ever-amazing Finders Keepers). On top of all the usual work + life demands, of course.
So FINALLY, I am of full intent to complete this post today!
The 'Red Doors and Robots' project is one I've been working on for a seriously long time. Although it's only been the last few months when I've really started to see it all coming together, thanks to a wonderful and timely collaboration with a talented young writer, Sonya Gee (of Matchbox Project fame). Together we have been working on a zine series collectively titled 'Urban Quirky', of which 'Red Doors & Robots' is to be the first issue.
For years I have been mentally collecting, photographing and obsessing over a myriad of quirky urban details: the bright-red fire hydrant boosters and doors spotted throughout cities that look remarkably like robots; ikebana-like plantlife growing in unlikely urban locations; love-heart shapes appearing in odd places; messages scribbled or stencilled by strangers; urban typography altered in amusing ways; and dozens of other quirks. And these are all ready and waiting to form the lineup of topics for our Urban Quirks series.
Beginning with a very definite vision for 'Red Doors & Robots' and plenty of photographs to draw upon, I created a cardboard-based ambience board of imagery that I handed over to Sonya to help inspire her writings:
Thankfully, Sonya completely understood all about my red robots/doors, and she went forth and crafted a beautiful little story that perfectly captured the exact right idea: a friend of the protagonist alerts her to the presence of the city's conspicuous red robots (and later the doors) and the girl quickly begins to seek them out for herself, and soon learns to distinguish their individual characters and personalities. In doing so, she discovers a whole new layer to her everyday experience of the city.
So now my task is to graphically translate my original imagery and Sonya's story into a book design that at present is looking something like this:
Each of the pages is being created as an individual square panel, a 3-dimensional collaged artwork, that when finished will be photographed and digitally assembled into a small, square, book format. The 12 pages of the book are in various states of completion, and currently spread out across my studio floor:
Slowly, slowly the RD&R project is coming together, one collaged page at a time. This is always the hitch with self-initiated projects - without the demands of clients and the urgencies of deadlines, they are destined to take so much longer to complete...
But soon, RD&R will be done and ready to make its way out into the world. Shall keep you posted :)
P.S. Check out the sweet handmade original art I recently purchased from the talented Dudley Redhead, a set of red robots that will make a lovely door-hanging for a little boy's room one day, but for now look just as lovely on my studio shelf. Thanks Tara - I love them!