STYX gif

styx-editted-.gifThis is the animation I made for the part of the story where Dante and Virgil travel across the River Styx, and into hell.

I’ve tried again to subtly incorporate the shape of neutrons, hopefully along with the water, it looks a bit like he’s travelling through a brain. I didn’t include Dante in this scene, even though he is present in the boat. I wanted the viewer to feel like they were Dante. Dante very much takes on the role of spectator and judge in the poem, and I want the viewer to feel the same.

The lantern is also present because it hopefully it helps to paint the picture of the superego as a kind of moral force, trying to control the less moral urges of the subconscious.

This part of the story is really about delving into a journey.



This gif is to represent the FRAUD level of hell in Dante’s Inferno. I think I might redo it. I do like the set, and how the feet are moving, but I also think that it could be a little better. If I get time to re do it, I would change the lighting, how Bertrand is holding the head, the mud around the feet, and the stance of the body.

The man holding his own head is called Bertran de Born in the poem. Bertran is singled out by Dante as having a punishment that particularly mirrors the sin. He caused a rift between the King and his son, and as that relationship was divided, so now is he. This goes back to the cautionary tales that I looked at in the first and second term, and also speaks of how the subconscious is also split.

Again, feet, hands, and head are key to this image, but also cut off. They seem to be swallowed by the scenery. Submerged, fighting against the id.

Gifs for HERETICS and LUST


I’ve finally gotten started making things to go into the boxes. I’m going to make the gifs first, because I’m worried about them the most time-wise. Here I’ve got the gifs for HERETICS and LUST.

For the HERETICS level of hell, Dante and Virgil come across fiery graves that the heretics emerge from and tell them their stories. When I looked up past depictions of this scene they seemed more like crypts that graves, and I decided to show them how I imagine classic gothic graves. I’ve also just included hands because I wanted to have the feeling of hidden things emerging through all of the images. Also the white hands reaching upwards out of the dirt are meant to symbolise the Superego reaching to overcome the Id. For me, hands, feet, and heads are of the superego, and the body is of the Id, because hands and feet and mind are a kind of symbol of our intelligence and separation from animal, whereas the rest of us holds the heart and stomach and reproductive organs that operate on the level of the subconscious.

You wouldn’t think that the second one would symbolise LUST, but I thought about how I wanted to portray it, and I decided on this. I hate that lust is always represented by a seductive woman all in red, why not a lecherous old man? And I didn’t want to represent the act of lust anyway, I wanted to represent the punishment that would fit it according to Dante. Dante describes for this level of hell, a hurricane of souls, and that is what I’ve tried to show. I think a hurricane of souls well represents the feeling of lust, as consciousness is swept aside for the desire of the Id.


New Plan

So apparently the most iPads I can realistically have is 4. So I figured that I needed to have a variety of things in the other boxes. I’ve decided to have 4 gifs, 3 simple models, and 2 with layered photos of 3D sets. That way they will hopefully all be cohesive, but still interesting. I’ve made little models of all the boxes, and whats going in them.

However, because some of them will have iPads in, they will therefor be a lot smaller than the one’s I’ve been making. This might mean that I have to rethink how they are laid out.

I also need to think about how the iPads are going to fit in the back, with a way for it to be charged through the day. Ugh.

This is the plan for how each of them would look. I’ve tried to make it clear which ones would be animations, which would be models, and which old be photos. It’s been hard to get going recently, because I broke my laptop screen and had to send it off. Then I couldn’t find my memory card. Anyway, hopefully I can get going now.


Built boxes

These are the boxes midway through completion. I was only focused on 3, and tried to make them as thought out as possible.


I spent a long time making the boxes themselves, modelling and firing the porcelain feet and hands, figuring out how to do the water (it’s clear silicone) and soldering lights into the scenes.


I did my Viva presentation, and the tutors were less than impressed with the boxes. They said that the models weren’t good enough quality to exhibit on their own, and that them being physically there meant that people would scrutinise the craftsmanship. They also said that I should include animations, because it’s my strongest work.

I definitely get where they’re coming from, but at the same time, it’s going to mean a lot of extra work, and completely starting again, rethinking everything.

I am also unsure at the moment, how to show 9 gifs in a way that reflects the message of the narrative, and also is do-able with the materials and technology I have.


So this week has been pretty dedicated to doing the porcelain and paper mache, I’ve also made a little boat for dante and virgil to stand in. It all seems like it’s going well so far, however, for some reason my porcelain didn’t get fired on Monday, so they’ll all just have to be in the same one next Monday. I’m struggling with ideas about how to make the backgrounds see through.

This is the boat, all painted up with watercolours, and also a box of lights and wires that my parents sent me. They’ve been explaining how I should wire all my LEDs and all about resisters and batteries and soldering.

Screenshot 2016-02-19 16.52.37

They also made me this handy diagram!

Here we gooooo…

So this week the process has started. I had 9 weeks as of today to build 9 boxes with working lights. I’ve spent the morning planning out exactly what I’m going to do each day (then Amelia came in immediately afterwards and told us about several all day workshops we have).


It shouldn’t be too much of problem, because I’m left a whole week for catching up on anything I’ve missed. And I’ve realised I’ve left a lot of time for paper macheing when I only have two boxes that really need it.

But then again, some things might take ages when I think they might only need a day (I’m looking at you lights and wiring). I don’t think it’ll be a disaster if I don’t get it all done in the time I’ve planned. I’ve only given myself 3 weeks to do 4 boxes. Then I want the next week to be making the next 5 wooden boxes. And then I’ll have 5 weeks to make the last 5 interiors. I’m pretty confident in my time scale at the moment. I’ll figure out the schedule and deadlines for the next five boxes when I’m little less bogged down with these. I think they’ll be fine too though, because I am going to be doing the time consuming things, like the porcelain and the wood at the same time I’m doing the things for the current boxes.

FYI, I’m making boxes 2, 4, 6, and 8 now and 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 later. Chosen to do it this way round, because at least then I’ll have a range of scenes rather than a chunk.


This is the first layer of paper mache on Box 6. I’m doing it in paper mache rather than my usual expanding foam because I think it’ll be easier to cut out sections to fit wires into and under. I’m happy with how it’s looking at the moment, although I think it will look a lot better with a few more layers! Hopefully will do that later this afternoon and tomorrow.

Plans for boxes and Material Ideas

So I have taken Amelia’s advice and done plans for all the boxes that I want to create. The colours in all of them should flow a little better than they do (the idea was to show they were connected and a journey) but I think I can tweek them a bit as I’m doing them. I have also considered how I’m going to light them and what materials everything should be made out of. I want to draw attention to the difference between the “id” or residence of hell, like charon, and the three beasts at the beginning, and contrast it with those being punished, or struggling through; what I’m calling the “superego”. The id will be animalistic with matted fur and gunk, where as the superego will be all in porcelain. Hopefully.

I’m going to try and make some porcelain models first, because they’ll take a while to make, and get fired.

A Visit to Grayson Perry’s The Vanity of Small Differences

We had a trip yesterday to Bath to see Grayson Perry’s tapestries at the Victoria Art Gallery. They were really very impressive, and actually very funny. Me and Ross discovered they all had a little symbol of an anchor with W above it, hidden within them, which we had a lot of fun finding.


I think this trip happened at just the right time for me. I was really struggling with how I wanted my work to look, and how I wanted to speak, and just by seeing  an actual exhibition, it gave me a little more confidence.

I also found a painting in the main gallery that was really relevant


Psyche Crossing the Styx (1925) John Armstrong 

This has given me a little confidence boost as well, that there is a little backing up my project!