Monday, 24 October 2011

Exploring India

Visiting the temples and the markets this weekend definitely helped me in the decision for the final major project, but for reasons I hadn't expected. I wanted to create some Hindu goddesses in the form of 3D sculpture, but this weekend proved this will be a problem – cameras are banned from places of worship. I don't know whether this is because the idol is easily damaged by light, if it is seen as disrespectful or simply because they want to make profit from postcard sales, but all I know is that it will be a problem to make Hindu Deities as my final major project.

Inside the temple of Ganesh at Laxshmi was incredible, but unfortunately there is no way I can show you. Sketchbooks are permitted, but I feel it is disrespectful to sit amongst people paying their respects and being a distraction from the ambience.
Here'a a photo from Laxshmi, it was amazing:

Seriously, how is this tree growing out of a house?

Regardless of the difficulty in finding reference, I’m still planning to replicate the goddess Kali in 3D as practice for my portfolio. Mahanirvana Tantra says: "Just as all colors disappear in black, so all names and forms disappear in her". Kali is free from the illusory covering, for she is beyond the all maya or "false consciousness." Kali's garland of fifty human heads that stands for the fifty letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, symbolizes infinite knowledge.

I feel very attracted to Kali as a goddess, her infinite power and primal nature are wonderful concepts, breaking almost all expectations of femininity. Her sword is the destroyer of false consciousness and the eight bonds that bind us, and her three eyes represent past, present, and future, the three modes of time — an attribute that lies in the very name Kali - 'Kala' in Sanskrit means time. (Excerpts from Wikipedia)

The creation of Kali will have to be only a side project for my portfolio, but perhaps I could use the sculpture as a basis for an original Dinotopia creation – perhaps I could make her into a new saurian goddess sculpture, which I could create from concept to game ready 3D. I need to stop being so vague and finalise my ideas soon though. She is such an inspiring and awesome female character, so many of the Indian goddesses are!

Due to the limitations of gathering my own references for the Hinduism project, I’ve decided to work on the Black Fish Tavern from Dinotopia. I feel in all three of the main Dinotopia books, this scene has the most atmosphere. There are not many paintings that evoke so many senses in the observer, but in this image I can almost hear the lapping of the waves, and feel the cool breeze and the warm lighting from inside the tavern.

I could use the trinkets I have collected and the overall cultural style of India to populate the interior of the tavern, for example by having bronze deities behind the counter. The interior of the tavern has never been concepted by Gurney so this can be a job for me to fulfil in the Visual Design section of my assessment. It would be very interesting to try and maintain the atmosphere and dramatic lighting of the tavern from the inside whilst creating an entirely new area.

I would ideally like to create two human characters, two to three dinosaurs and an environment. I think this will take me a long time to perfect, and I will concentrate on making it look as good as possible while maintaining a painterly style. I would like to maintain the style of James Gurney as much as I can through this project, making the textures relatively stylised but still sticking to realistic lighting and anatomical structure.

This week I will concentrate on writing up a strict schedule of deadlines, which encompasses my 8 – 6 weekly working day and (hopefully) enough time to explore India at the weekend. I feel this is a once in a lifetime experience and I have to make the most of it while I’m here.

I had such a brilliant time yesterday, we managed to get lost on the bike and ended up in a really beautiful rural area. I think most of the children had never seen a western person before, and they were all so polite and desperate to practice their English and have their photos taken!
On Saturday I went to Shivaji Nagar market so my housemates could buy some crabs – as a vegetarian it was a pretty horrible experience, but still character building I guess! It was a beautiful area with lots of interesting people. Also the species of crustacean and fish on sale were cool to look at, I just had a moment with the live crabs which wasn’t so fun.

So much colour D:

The animals that were alive were AWESOME!

Cute kittens live in Shivaji Nagar market :)

I’m having a fantastic time here, but I can’t keep slacking off like I did this weekend. I feel once I write down a fixed plan I will work harder and find any free time I get so much more enjoyable. So, on with writing up the schedule! Heres some photos:

From outside the apartment

Random cow outside work

Happy Diwali everyone, thanks for making me feel welcome in your beautiful country :)

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