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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WARNING BY JENNY JOSEPH

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph

ILLUSTRATIONS FOR A POEM

 

During my Visual Communication course, I had to create a handmade book with illustrations for a chosen poem. It had to be an interactive book. I worked with a poem Warning by Jenny Joseph, an English poet. To me, the poem is about the passing of time, reflection on life, regrets and promises. There is a mystery of the narrator age. Is it an old lady looking back at her life? or is it a very mature young person making decisions about her life?

I built the book like an accordion, so the illustrations could fall from one to another creating a story. Covered it with Financial Times, which is printed on pink paper, the colour has faded away now …

I put seeds and leaves of a linden tree in the background of the illustrations with an idea of creating an impression of a circle of life in nature. From the seeds at the start of the poem towards the falling down leaves at the end of it. The narrator talks about wearing purple, I tried to place purple or pink in most of the pages, also used pink ribbon to wrap the book,  as pink is considered very girly and youthful colour.

 

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph
cover
Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph
accordion fold

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph

Illustrations for the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph

 

WARNING

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.

 

 

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GALERIES LAFAYETTE PAPER CHRISTMAS DISPLAY

Les Galeries Lafayette sustainable arctic window display

Galeries Lafayette store in Paris was opened to the public in 1912. Long tradition, long history, Art Nouveau decorations made the store the second tourist attraction after Eiffel Tower. It is a family business for the last five generations. The business survived through some very troubled times over the last century, from wars to financial crises.

French actress Audrey Tautou opened the Christmas window display in the flagship store Galeries Lafayette on Nov 9th, 2016. The theme was directed by Luc Jacquet is best known for March of the Penguins, Oscar-winning nature documentary in 2006.

***

Galeries Lafayette paper Christmas display tell a story of a polar bear family. The entire display including bears is made out of paper the most sustainable material on the planet, created by multidisciplinary artist Lorenzo Papace.

Due to climate change and melting icebergs, a family of polar bears has to leave their native homeland in search of a new place. They are forced to migrate. After traveling for miles across the world, leaving behind the North Pole, they finally find a new place covered in ice and snow, a place they are very safe and comfortable in. The snow land is made especially for them by Galeries Lafayette where the family of vulnerable bears finds a shelter. The magical adventure begins! The bears and the public viewers can enjoy the breathtaking paper display through the Christmas season. The bears are playing, dancing, jumping into the ice inside the store and in the arctic windows. Before they head back to the Arctica.
What kind of environmental damage awaits them there?

A child would ask an infantile question:
– Could they not stay longer or maybe even forever?
– Unfortunately, it is not their natural environment. They can only survive in the Arctic if we take care of the climate, if we stop polluting the world if we stop the emission of carbon dioxide if we stop using plastic and other toxic materials.

All generations of humans are responsible for the family of polar bears, as well as any other species, including ourselves. This is the hidden message of the remarkable Christmas display, created in co-operation with Wild-Touch NGO organization which aims to bring more attention to the world on the environment in order to protect our planet.

Unfortunately, our new world leaders are trying to ignore the climate change issue, calling it Chinese hoax. Hopefully, those negative words will only have the very opposite reaction on the public view. More stores and brands should follow the path of Galeries Lafayette in Paris and their involvement in environmental changes where the aim is to raise an awareness on the final consumer.

Making of GALERIES LAFAYETTE Christmas 2016 from Lorenzo Papace on Vimeo.

Galeries Lafayette logo

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