TAOP: Part 5 – Narrative and Illustration: Exercise – Juxtaposition

The aim of this exercise was to produce either a still-life, or a larger scale shot, to demonstrate juxtaposition.  I’ve chosen to do a still-life illustration for a book cover – which should use two or three relevant elements.

I selected a few books and thought of one or two ideas for each:

Douglas Coupland – Girlfriend in a Coma

  • A bouquet of wilted and dead flowers in a vase, next to a sun-bleached valentines card on a hospital-esque beside table.

Iain Banks – Complicity

  • A folder, stamped ‘classified’ beneath of of those green desk lamps; bloody fingerprints on the sides of the folder.
  • The same folder, a used needle on top, and the palm of a hand facing up – spread next to it.

Michael Marshall Smith – Spares

  • A smashed bulb, with a set of intact bulbs behind them.

Practicality meant I opted for ‘Spares’ as propers were much easier to come by!

Click to see large on Flickr

I think this works reasonably well to show a relationship between the smashed bulb and the intact bulbs.  When the title is included I think it’s clear what is meant – but I’m not sure the meaning would be fully understood without it.  I think as a book cover that’s acceptable – but as a standalone image it’s open to interpretation as to what the relationship between broken and intact is communicating.

I do like this as an overall image though – and I enjoyed the exercise of choosing appropriate symbols; that may be an area for me to work on though.  I’ve demonstrated that in the past at work when I’ve used a black cab in a presentation to illustrate ‘knowledge’; it was a reference that only a few got.  Lets see how I do on the next exercise: rain.

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