First Tutorial and Research Material

Throughout the remainder of the Easter break I continued with the drawing process and textile developments. This was to enable my research to be visualised as well as internally absorbed and to allow for a development of successful imagery for a wide audience. Other points of research were found through Alzheimer’s Society’s research projects which offered new drug testing to cure the disease. This research projects were incredibly scientific in approach, but on did offer an exploration into insulin-like drugs on the disease. The study didn’t fully extend my knowledge, but did allow for new terminology to be characterised through Indian ink drawings and provide with a more extensive coverage of the issue. For example, one of the most interesting phrases was, “Amyloid plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s Disease and are thought to play a large role in the development of the disease”. This then set my imagination running through ideas of visualising hall marks and metal plaques and relating the complex language through playful imagery. My experimentation also moved away from A3 Indian Ink drawing, back to smaller 3-minute pen drawings which gave me a chance to become more spontaneous with ideas. I started to imitate the sounds of such scientific vocabulary to invent new shapes for each cell, and for smaller details to be described. Furthermore, I also expanded the felt drawings to create another pillow with a different concept and colour pallet. Within the new object I place on one side the “tsunami of neurodegeneration” (which is the most stand out phrases of my whole initial research) opposing with the idea of suffers “being away with the fairies” which is a saying commonly associated with the symptoms. This was successful as both designs were strong in communication, and portrayed both scientific and non-scientific approaches. Additionally, I realised that a pillow is significant in concept as the user will either rest their head (brain) or cuddle the object close to their stomach (the pancreas). This can be symbolic of love and thoughtfulness of their internal health.

This preliminary research was crucial for the first tutorial as it allowed for more specific guidance to be given from my tutor. Leigh was excited and connected to the subject, with the only problem being that I haven’t discovered a specific message that I want to communicate to my audience. Furthermore, at the core of my work is an ability to turn difficult subjects into positive solutions- so this must be a major part of this project. To enhance this, I was advised to look into advertising and selling ideas in order to change people’s lives (in my case for the better). I am currently studying The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard, in which advertisers are systematically investigating our hidden weaknesses in order to change our behaviour to relate to a product.

Another point of further research in order to find a purpose to my investigation is the book, How Not to Die by Gene Stone and Michael Greger. The book examines the top fifteen causes of death in America and explores how altered nutritional habits could cure the diseases, sometimes better than prescribed medication. Within the book, there are chapters dedicated to “How Not to Die from Brain Diseases” and “How Not to Die from Diabetes”. Although the chapters do not intertwine in the same way as type three diabetes suggest, the prevention of both health issues are accelerated by lifestyle choices and can be prevented through plant based diets. The general issue is the trans fats found in meat and dairy products which cause life shortening diseases, and in some cases the symptoms can be reversed through natural plant food sources. The text has also allowed for more insight into how diet has affected the internal workings of the body and given more scenarios to visualise.

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