Friday, 31 October 2014

Japanese Urban Legend - Toire No Hanko San

I was having a dig around on my computer and found this old uni work - perfect for a Halloween giggle. Enjoy:


So here it is, script and photos from the Japanese children's urban legend :

Toire No Hanko San


A group of Japanese school girls have crept back into their school at night to do a Wiji board in hope of talking with the ghost of Hanako-San. Hanako-San is the spirit of a girl who committed suicide in the 4th stall of the loo after years of torment at the hands of bullies.
The girls find a caretakers cupboard which they all crowd into and light some candles.




The Wiji board is pushed into the middle of the circle and a glass put onto it. All the girls join hands. After a few moments the glass begins to move and begins to spell out a name. As the glass moves from letter to letter one of the girls makes a note of the letters. The name Hanako-San is revealed all the girls look frightened. Next they ask the Wiji board to whom she wants. The glass begins to spell out a second name: Mai.


All the girls turn and look at the girl the board has signalled and they give her the piece of paper. Mai slowly gets up, shaking, and makes her way out of the cupboard down the long, dark school corridor,


down a dark set of stairs, to the toilet and tentatively opens the door.



The loo is dark and so, so quiet. Mai knows what she has to do and worried that her friends may be listening at the door she feels she has no choice but to go through with it. In fear Mai is gripped by a sudden urge to use the loo but puts it out of her mind and approaches the 4th stall in the row and stands in front of it.



The stall bares the sign out of order. After plucking up the courage to speak Mai knocks 4 times and then chants aloud, “Hanako-San”, she waits a moment and then repeats, “Hanako-San”, after a short pause she again, with a dry mouth, repeats, “Hanako-San”. Finally in almost a whisper Mai chants, “Hanako-San”. And jumps back from the door.


Nothing has changed. Mai waits a little longer but nothing. In a sigh of relief she smiles to herself thinking how silly she is. With Mai’s relief also returns her urge to use the loo and she moves into the 3rd stall and closes the door.



As she feels for the toilet paper, suddenly, all the lights go out....


In a split second Mai is filled with fear and regret....



The dark slowly changes to dimness and Mai feels like she is not alone, in the corner of her eye she sees something behind her, a ghostly figure and as she looks up she is choked with terror as the unearthly form of the being known as Hanako - San crawls down the wall, coming to get her....


Mai screams and nearly falls over herself, scrambling to open the door, she runs from the stall and heads towards the bathroom doors but she can’t get them open


She can hear a noise, a gut wrenching, other worldly noise and she knows she must run. She wrestles with the door but it won’t open and noise is getting closer. From the corner of her eye she sees the terrible white figure of Hanako-San approaching but still she cannot get the door open.


Then all at once is blackness again. Mai stops, it is too late. Icy cold fingers grab her head and pull her back into eternal darkness.



END

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Fertile World

Here are (a recap for those who have followed this blog for a while) some of my favourite conceptually motivated university projects. I blogged about most of these projects when they were in the early working stages and if you would like to see those early experiments please feel free to look back through the posts here.

www.sammisparke.com

Fertile World


The series focuses on female vulnerability in the months of pregnancy. 

Helen’s pregnant self is mirrored in the backdrop of the cornfield, which is ripe and nearing fruition in its last weeks before harvesting.  This abundant and happy image actually hides a darker side. 
Helen's pregnancy has been complicated. The stormy sky alludes to the stormy ride
that has been, and continues to be, her pregnancy; an ominous threat with an unpredictable outcome.





Surrealist Work


Here are (a recap for those who have followed this blog for a while) some of my favourite conceptually motivated university projects. I blogged about most of these projects when they were in the early working stages and if you would like to see those early experiments please feel free to look back through the posts here.

www.sammisparke.com

Surrealist Work


In the final year of my degree my work began to move in a Surrealist direction. This was partly influenced by the research I conducted while writing my dissertation, 'How did Surrealism help cultivate some of the most important female artists/photographers of the early twentieth century?' 

However, this Surrealist aesthetic continues still to influence and inspire my work. It is a style I am very interested in borrowing from in future projects.

The work here was produced at the beginning of the Object to Subject series which was a key 3rd year project. You can see this work is surrealist in style yet the project Object to Subject was not. This is because as the Object to Subject work progressed the surrealist aesthetic i'd been working with no longer seemed suited to the concept and actually interfered with a clear reading of the works in which I was trying to convey emotion and illicit feelings of ‘empathy’ in the viewer.


So here are the first works from that lengthy project which I still adore and am actually quite proud of.








No Man's Land


Here are (a recap for those who have followed this blog for a while) some of my favourite conceptually motivated university projects. I blogged about most of these projects when they were in the early working stages and if you would like to see those early experiments please feel free to look back through the posts here.

www.sammisparke.com

No Man’s Land


No Man’s Land is a conceptual project that attempts to capture some of the isolation and confusion unique to the teenage years, which many people will have experienced and can relate to.

In the series I hoped to touch upon the confusion and loneliness associated with being neither a child nor adult and how this existence is a kin to a transient state with no real point of reference. The subject of the series is Natalia, a 13 year old teenager from Poland, living in the UK. She was a perfect subject due to her age and social circumstance. The difficult changes all teenagers go through can be seen as magnified in Natalia who is not only coping with emotional and physical changes of the teenage years but with the added confusion of identity; being a Polish girl in the UK.



The changeable and transient nature of teenage-hood, and Natalia’s personal experience, is emphasised by the use of visual devices including lighting and camera angle. The choice of backdrop or landscape was also very important to the series. Natalia’s playfulness, awkwardness and sometimes loneliness was reflected in these changeable backdrops, which included the sea and tides as well as the seasons and nature.











Object to Subject


Here are (a recap for those who have followed this blog for a while) some of my favourite conceptually motivated university projects. I blogged about most of these projects when they were in the early working stages and if you would like to see those early experiments please feel free to look back through the posts here.

www.sammisparke.com

Object to Subject is rooted in theories of the ‘the gaze’.


I began by exploring mechanisms that act to disrupt a straightforward sexual reading of the female nude. After much research and experimentation I came upon the idea of emotion (the nude expressing strong and recognisable emotions) as a means of subverting a sexual reading of my model. The theory plays out that when the viewer sees an emotion in a stranger, an emotion they recognise, empathy takes place. In this case, after empathy is elicited, viewers who were once inclined to view the nude as a sexual object are much more inclined to view her as a subject or personality. The relationship between viewer and nude is fundamentally changed as the nude morphs in the mind of the viewer from object to subject.

The images use the backdrop of the home as a stage to position this narrative of emotion. Each of the images portrays a different emotion, however certain emotions may be interpreted differently by individual viewers as sometimes happens in life. The images are loosely sequential and if read as they are numbered will hopefully convey a story of emotion. In addition to this camera angles were used deliberately to enhance the impact of the emotions conveyed.









Monday, 20 August 2012

Taylor Wessing fail

I just found that dreaded email in my inbox telling me my portrait hadn't made it into the Taylor Wessing portrait prize this year. Arse.

Well this is the 3rd year I've tried and if I'm here and well I will try again next year I am sure.

May as well just show you the image now.

If anyone has any crit it would be welcomed but only if you're familiar with the Taylor Wessing portrait prize.

Caroline and Sarah



Concept:

Perspective points of view. 

The series aims to simultaneously investigate the relationship between twins, identical and non identical, and the way the world we live in views and engages with them. It attempts to look at the fascination our culture has with twins, particularly our obsession with 'difference' and 'similarity', which seems to be our favoured way of understanding and engaging with twins as subject.

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2012

Test images for the TWPP.




Well, I have entered the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize yet again this year. In earnest winning is a million miles from my primary objective for entering, which happens to be the desire of just getting my work in the gallery as a commended photo.

This is also highly unlikely to happen, but this year I am happy with the final image I submitted and I will post it later on.

This year I considered several subjects but it was a while until I realised I had the perfect one, one that has interested me for a long time, sitting right under my nose. My good friend Caroline is one half of a pair of identical twins.

What particularly interested me here is that Caroline and her sister Sarah, although considered identical twins, look quite different.....and this is where the context was born for this new project:




Perspective points of view. 

This series aims to simultaneously investigate the relationship between twins, identical and non identical, and the way the world we live in views and engages with them. It attempts to look at the fascination our culture has with twins, particularly our obsession with 'difference' and 'similarity', which seems to be our favoured way of understanding and engaging with twins as subject. For the purposes of my series I wish to assert 'difference' as foremost and essential in the viewing experience of twins I put forward.


Cont..............