Sunday, 22 January 2012


So, I’ve decided that my Final Major Project requires an underpinning theme and theory to tie all three aspects together; the book covers re-design the puppets and costume. In my proposal I highlighted that I would be selecting one of the Grimm’s fairy-tales after I have finished the book cover re-design for Puffin which will link the two final aspects together, however, it would be nice to see a theme running through all three evidencing that they all follow on in succession rather than having three disjointed outcomes.
After researching the fairy-tales for just over a week I have noticed that there are some key themes running through many if not all of the stories. Themes such as greed and jealousy rear their ugly heads often and provide a good base for my underpinning theme but I’m struggling with how I would portray this in my final design. Instead, I have chosen to work with temptation. Temptation, unlike some of the other themes which I have highlighted, is not one of the seven deadly sins although it many ways it can be compared to lust; the emotional force which is associated with thinking about one’s desire and as seen in Snow White when she takes the apple from her wicked step-mother in disguise, the temptation of the apple leads to the lusting after it and thus eventually caving to this desire and taking a bite despite the dwarfs multiple warnings. Although I do think that researching the seven deadly sins could have a positive impact on my overall understanding of the stories.
Temptation then, is an act which looks appealing to an individual but which often has negative connotations and usually leads to negative emotions such as guilt and regret. I have found this underpinning theme in Rapunzel; where her mother was tempted by the radishes which grew in the witch’s garden but in return for the radishes the witch wanted their first child (Rapunzel), in Snow White; where Snow White was tempted by the lace which her wicked step-mother used to lace up her bodice much too tightly and resulted in her collapsing, the comb and the apple, in Little Red Cap; where the Little Red Cap is tempted by the wolf and in the original version strips for him and climbs in bed to be by his side and in the Golden Bird; where Dummling was tempted by other obstacles than what he should have been focusing on the complete his challenge amongst many others.
In discovering my underpinning theme, my critical theory can also now be established. I will be looking at Carl Jung, Lucian Freud and other psychoanalytical founders and their thoughts on fairy-tales, in particular the temptation aspects contained within. I will be looking more broadly at fairy-tales in addition to gain a better perspective and understanding of them as the institution which they now appear to have become and at Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Into The Woods’ production. To inform me with my puppet making I will be investigating Picasso’s theatre, Klee’s puppets and Hockney’s theatre, this in turn will also impact my research for costume design. Also, it would be interesting to look at how these lessons impact children when translated through fairy-tales.
My idea for the book cover re-design entry is to compose elements from the different fairy-tales and combine them in a totem pole. I have chosen the idea of the totem as it is a representation of a family and can then be manipulated to show the idea of a family of temptation that has enticed our main characters on their travels. It will be this underpinning temptation that will mesh the different elements together, in this it will be key to show how these elements are related (in their portrayal of temptation).
I need to keep in mind the lessons that I have learned from last semester too, with colour application, typography and integration of both the image and type seamlessly. If I can keep all of this in perspective then I think my chances of having a strong winning outcome will be exceptionally higher.

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