Protest Project – Creating the Artefact

To start creating the artefact, it was my part to make the cardboard box structure. Using recycled cardboard boxes I made 30x30cm square frames, then using hot glue gun glued them together to create the box. As a team we also discussed having a top of the box shaped like a roof, so using cardboard triangles I created the pyramid type structure to go on the top. This would further resonate with the idea of people connecting the box with objects in domestic life. Creating the structure was a very important part of this outcome as it had to be perfect in order for all the elements to come together.

As there were going to be 4 different sections to the box we each thought we’d each take a section to create a background for. I was allocated the house section to create a background for, so I started by thinking about how a living room would look if a tiger was confined inside it. I then took my sketchbook and roughly sketched out some ideas for what could be included in the illustration. This was something that pushed me out of my comfort zone as I am used to working using words not only illustrations. However, I think that I have learnt that the softer illustration style could be used in my further projects.

To create the illustration I used Adobe Illustrator as I felt that this was going to be the best way forward. The illustrations were 38x30cm in order to fit onto the panels inside the box. Using the pen tool I started to draw the design. I was unsure at this point how best to achieve the best overall look when the background was in the box so I decided to do two illustrations one at a larger and one in a box on a smaller scale. To try and work out which would be best suited I experimented using hand draw sketches on A3 paper to see which would look better through the window. We had decided as a group to keep the backgrounds black, white and grey then adding hints of red using red marker. I kept everything in the illustrator black, white and grey the only elements that were red were the claw marks on the sofa. I thought that this would be subtle hit of the colour but still work effectively within the design. I also illustrated the bricks that were on the side and on window in the front, again I used illustrator to create these.

Once we all had all completed our separate elements for the artefact we decided to get together in the studio to put together the final artefact. We started by adding in the different backgrounds to the sections we printed them on A3 before trimming them down to size and sticking them to the cardboard section. Below are images of how the background that I illustrated fitted within the box. The use of window draws your attention and makes you want to look closer into the box and find out more which is what we were trying to achieve.

Next we added the animals into the box some of these were glued to the floor while others were hung from the top, this was based on the different scenes, for example the garden scene they were on the floor but the chain scene the monkey itself was hung with mini paper chains. Using hot glue we were able to secure the window panels and the pyramid roof to the top. This was a particularly intricate part of the process as the artefact was delicate and we didn’t want it to break.

Once the final artefact was complete, it was easier to see that the oxymoron had been visualise in a very different way to others but in a way that could be used in the protest further. To see this in context we each experimented around with placing the image in context, I used Adobe Photoshop to try and create the sense of the artefact being scaled up and being used within a physical protest. I changed the colour of the box to black as this allows the artefact to become more realistic as if this was made on a larger scale it would obviously be made using another material.

Image in Context 

I feel that this brief pushed me out of my comfort zone and I learnt a new skill of trying to convey a message simply through images without using text to support the outcome. After seeing the artefact complete I can visualise this being used on a larger scale to actually protest against the exotic pet trade. The oxymoron of ‘tame beast’ really connects with our topic and I think that using this a basis for the future briefs within this module would give us the freedom to be more creative to grab peoples attention.

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