THE SLEEPING GYPSY, HENRI ROUSSEAU

Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau inspiration for a window display, college project for Visual Merchandising course in DIT, Dublin.

PAINTING AS A MERCHANDISING INSPIRATION

The objective of the summer window display was to reproduce a large painting and display it with a suitable merchandising product. I have chosen The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau a French post-impressionist.

The Sleeping Gypsy (French: La Bohémienne endormie) is an 1897 oil painting by French Naïve artist Henri Rousseau (1844–1910).
The Sleeping Gypsy (French: La Bohémienne endormie) is an 1897 oil painting by French Naïve artist Henri Rousseau (1844–1910).

 

For 26 years the painting was lying in somebody’s attic unappreciated. Today it is considered to be one of the XX century masterpieces displayed in Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Henri Rousseau described his painting:

A wandering Negress, a mandolin player, lies with her jar beside her, overcome by fatigue in a deep sleep. A lion chances to pass by, picks up her scent yet does not devour her. There is a moonlight effect, very poetic.

Rousseau mixed different cultures, the gypsy is wearing an oriental costume, bedside her there is a mandolin, an Italian instrument. The lion hair is growing in an opposite direction, the face is more of a sheep face than a lion. It looks like a desert, yet there’s water behind them. No foot print of the gypsy. The mysterious painting arises a lot question to the viewer.

To me the painting of the Sleeping Gypsy is about dreaming, about the peaceful moments during our sleep when we feel very safe and cosy … in between the two worlds of wakefulness and sleep. I chose the bed linen as the product to emphasise the idea of shelter and protection. A place where nothing wrong will happen to us.


YIN&YANG ELEMENTS

The composition of the painting is horizontal (triangle shape, the rule of 1/3 applied), what makes it very peaceful with the horizontal lines of the mountains and the water in the background. The stripes on the gipsy go horizontally, yet on the pillow, the same pattern is used vertically. There is a contrast between the danger (lion) and the peace (sleeping gipsy). 


THE MAKING OFF

To reproduce the painting I had to follow a technique called grid drawing, which allows anyone to come up with a good scale drawing. The painting was created on the mdf board, which had to be covered with layers of PVA glue, otherwise, the board would absorb too much paint. The whole process of recreating the painting took me ten long days. I also made the mandolin out of a hardboard and the bed linen from the scratch, using college sawing machine. I recreated H.Rousseau signature on the red vase. More on the making off.

 


THE WINDOW DISPLAY WITH BED LINEN

The painting is suspended on the nylon thread. I used a blue filter on the lights to create the moonlight effect. I tried to recreate the layout and the composition of the painting using my merchandising products and props. The painting should be a little bit lower in order to create a unity with the rest of the display. Unfortunately, I was told to put it higher up …

It was one of the most time-consuming projects but very enjoyable to work on 🙂

Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau inspiration for a window display, college project for Visual Merchandising course in DIT, Dublin.
The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau inspiration for a window display, college project for Visual Merchandising course in DIT, Dublin.

Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau inspiration for a window display, college project for Visual Merchandising course in DIT, Dublin.

 

 

 

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VISUAL MERCHANDISING, GRADUATE EXHIBITION, 2017

Savida, Visual Merchandising, Graduate Exhibition, DIT, Dublin

VISUAL MERCHANDISING, DIT

I was meant to write about The Graduate Exhibition Show of Visual Merchandising course in DIT, Dublin … probably two months ago, shortly after it happened … nevertheless, it is here now.  My apology for such a delay.

I must say there are probably only two maximum three displays I found interesting or well finished. There is no story behind most of them, there is no link between the hand made accessories and the merchandising products.

I hate to say it but there is not much intelligence behind them, those are just displays, basic marketing, not much creativity behind them. It seems the students had to rush to put the show together.

My favourite one is the one with the bathroom and the sea weeds splashed all around. There is a bit of a story in it but I am not sure where does it lead to …

I wish the student were allowed to think more like Brian Lambert the Visual Communication student further down in my post.

 

 

CLOSE-KNIT BY BRIAN LAMBERT

Well observed everyday life by Brian Lambert turned into a humorous documentary with a story to follow.

This concept could easily make an interesting window display as there are few intriging characters in it. The viewers could easly build up the rest of the story in their heads … if they wanted to. It is engaging and that is why it works so well.

I have the feeling Brian Lambert may have been one of those students that interpreted the brief his own way. By keeping detached from it he allowed himself to keep an open mind, therefore, the inspiration found him in the Starbucks Coffee and not the other way around.

I wish that students of Visual Merchandising had a chance to come up with a similar concept.

 

Brian Lambert, Visual Communication, DIT, Dublin
Brian Lambert, Visual Communication, DIT, Dublin

 

 


VISUAL COMMUNICATION, PHOTOGRAPHY & FINE ART

 

Visual Communication, DIT, Dublin
Visual Communication, DIT, Dublin
Fine art, Graduate Exhibition, DIT, Dublin
Photography, Graduate Exhibition, DIT, Dublin
Fine art, Graduate Exhibition, DIT, Dublin
Photography, Graduate Exhibition, DIT, Dublin
Fine art, Graduate Exhibition, DIT, Dublin
Fine art, Graduate Exhibition, DIT, Dublin

 

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CHEN MAN CHINESE PHOTOGRAPHER

Three origami rabbits

CHEN MAN WAS BORN IN 1980 BEIJING, CHINA

She grew up after Cultural Revolution as a part of the one-child policy. Today she produces covers and advertising campaigns for fashion magazines including Marie Claire, i-D, Elle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and collaborates with major brands worldwide. She started studying painting when she was only two years old. Later on in life moved to various kinds of paintings including Western, Chinese also studied architecture and graphic design. The need for change made her want to try photography. Today she mainly photographs people.

 

‘We should utilise the way people view fashion to repackage issues such as animal protection, classic philosophies and traditional things because people’s eyes are spoiled by materialism.’

 

Chen Man fashion covers
Victoria Beckham photographed by Chen Man

Chen Man fashion covers

Chen Man fashion covers

Long live the Motherland by Chen Man

Dior “Miss Lady” by Chen Man

CAREER STAGES

For a long time, she was not recognised among other Chinese photographers as an artist. Her career has gone through three stages; the first stage was the Vision series for Vision Magazine. Then entered a fashion scene, that’s when her second stage began. Chen Man started doing a lot of fashion and commercial shoots. Her third stage is fusing Chinese artistic roots with a Western approach. She combines photographic techniques and posts work technologies.

Chen Man is the first to photograph China’s contemporary fashion scene, capturing the traditional culture and philosophies in visual settings. Her work expresses the relation between East and West, present and the future, earth and humans and the universe and humans.

 

‘To change the world you need more than one person’s strength. It’s not like before with the hero doctrine. To change the world you need the strength of the collective. So I photograph groups of people.’

 

Photographed by Chen Man

Photographed by Chen Man

Photographed by Chen Man

CHEN MAN THE VISUAL ARTIST

 

 

All images are linked to the original sources, click to find out more.

 

P.S

Featured image Origami Rabbits my own creation. I decided to put origami images for those posts where I feature Chinese artists.

 

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THE UNDERGROWTH STUDIO HANDMADE JEWELLERY

Undergrowth Studio earrings

I AM A BIG FAN OF THE UNDERGROWTH STUDIO UNIQUE JEWELLERY DESIGN

The artist says she often finds an inspiration for her design during her walks in nature. She collects plants, sticks and any other unusual organic pieces that could, later on, turn into a jewellery.

It reminds me of prehistoric jewellery, found during archaeological excavations on an old settlement somewhere in the world … The combination of ancient tradition combined with today’s trends concerning anything that’s organic just works wonderfully! The Undergrowth Studio jewellery pieces also make me think of mythological societies, old and new civilisations. In the future, I believe we will understand how precious and inspiring nature is.

So far I have purchased two pairs of earrings that I am very happy with, to touch and to look at every so often, I return to the Undergrowth Studio for more another time!

 

 

Undergrowth Studio sells their jewellery on Etsy, click on the link to find out more.