Explore. Play. Create.

DCA Windows Inspiration and Process

I was delighted to be commissioned by the DCA to create an exciting, vibrant window design that celebrates all the activity, energy and sense of community found across all the programme areas of DCA.  Bringing the inside activity and energy to the outside of the building in the window areas.

The process involved research, development, prototyping and good communication with the DCA team and fabricator to creating the final designs on display.

Research

I got a feel for the building by visiting all the different departments, taking lots of photos that I could refer to in the studio.

I found lots of geometric shapes within the building from the angular windows, step shaped walls, winged gallery roof plus so many circles, from the vintage projectors, printing press wheels, pegboard, retail display units, circular fairy lights fittings in Jute Café Bar to products in the shop.

I am naturally drawn to seeing pattern and texture and loved the overlaid wire racks in the print studio that created modern checks and the negative space of the screen-printing racks full of irregular stripes.

I found colour references from the bright cinema seats, pots of ink in the print studio, participant artwork on display in the creative learning store, bright colours of the Riso print samples to the more subtle cladding of the building. 

Development

To process ideas, I created sketches in pencil and ink then found visual connections.  I created rough thumbnail sketches of designs in situ and mocked them up digitally to test various colour combinations and played with different juxtaposition of textures within shapes.  I played with rotation and scale of the spots to capture the energy from the activity from inside of the building.  I referred to the brief, discussed technical details with the local fabricator RobertSign and worked within design constraints so that the design would work practically.  I selected and rejected elements to create coherent concepts for presenting to the DCA team.

The final designs are inspired from the bold geometric shapes with a playful feel using my signature style that retain the hand drawn feel of my linework and confidently uses a vibrant colour palette with clashing and contrasting of patterns bringing together all the activity of the building. I wanted the circles in the top windows to have a lot of movement the capture the energy of the building and connect to the shop windows below. 

With my design work I like to capture a sense of place by creating bespoke designs that are meaningful and unique to the space and I hope these designs help people to connect to the DCA and remind past visitors to come inside and entice new visitors to see the variety of things it has to offer, from a trip to the cinema to taking part in a workshop to grabbing a bite to eat with friends or seeing the latest contemporary art exhibition.

You can find out more about my work here

Colours and pattens inspired by the River Tay for Artist Support Pledge.

During lockdown the simple things in life became even more important to me, from watching the waves in the River Tay to spending time painting for fun on the kitchen table.  During this time I created a series of watercolour collages playing with rhythms of stripes with the juxtaposition of colour and pattern inspired by my local surroundings of the River Tay. It’s great what’s on our doorstep here in Dundee.

Prices range from £15 – £25 each, if you would like one for your home or office drop me an email on hello@louisekirby.com   Each one is a one-off original piece, initialled with free delivery. Each one is numbered under the image so please quote that in your email.


26.Costal Calm Watercolour Collage B. (fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £15 – SOLD

31.Mindful Watercolour Collage B. (fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £18

35.Sandy Shore Watercolour Collage C. (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame) £18

41.Meditation Watercolour Collage D. (fits a standard 8” x 6” frame) £20

42.Meditation Watercolour Collage E. (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame) £20

43 Colour Study Watercolour Collage A. (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame) £20 – SOLD

44.Zesty Summer Watercolour Collage. (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame) £20

45.Colour Study Watercolour Collage . (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £20

46.Tranquil Tay A Watercolour Collage . (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £20

48.Seaweed Watercolour Collage. (Fits in a standard 8” x 6” frame).  £20

49.Rustic Watercolour Collage (fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £20

51.Ripple Watercolour Collage A (fits a standard 8” x 6” frame) £20

52.Ripple Watercolour Collage B. (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame) £20

53.Rhythm Watercolour Collage A. (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame) £20

54.Rhythm Watercolour Collage B. (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame) £20

55.Teal Tay Watercolour Collage . (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £20

56.Journey Watercolour Collage A. (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £20

58.Accent Watercolour Collage A. (Fits in a standard 8” x 8” frame).  £25

59.Accent Watercolour Collage B (fits a standard 8” x 8” frame). £25

60.Accent Watercolour Collage C. (Fits into a standard 8” x 8” frame) £25

62.Costal Calm Watercolour Collage F. (Fits a standard 8” x 8” frame) £25 – SOLD

64. Sand Meets Seat and Sky Watercolour Collage . (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £20 – SOLD

65. Brightness After the Rain A Watercolour Collage . (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £20

66. Brightness After the Rain B Watercolour Collage . (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £20

67. Rhythm A Watercolour Collage . (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £20

68. Rhythm B Watercolour Collage . (Fits a standard 8” x 6” frame). £20

When my sales reach £1000 I pledge to buy £200 from another artist to help support others artists through this difficult time. This initiative was set up by Mathew Burrows Studio to support artists who have lost commissions, teaching and gallery work through the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you’re interested in my design commissions or Dundee Delights products you can see more about them here

Hogmanay Scottish First Foot Tradition

Here in Scotland its tradition on Hogmanay (New Years Eve) to give a first foot gift after midnight.  Traditionally gifts would be whisky to represent financial prosperity and good cheer, a lump of coal to represent warmth and to keep the fire burning, or a black bun or shortbread to symbolise that the receiving family would not go hungry during the forthcoming year.

Or a Dundee tradition I’ve been hearing about through Lynne Campbell (local folk singer) is the Dundee tradition of dressed herring in paper bonnets and skirts, which is meant to be a good luck charm (not for eating).  Never seen it but sounds pretty unusual and cool!
A couple of alternative Scottish First Foot Gifts in Dundee would be a Dundee Cake Tea Towel from my Dundee Delights collection of illustrated gift products or some Char Coal cheese from The Cheesery (Broughty Ferry or Exchange Street), which the first all black delicious vintage cheddar cheese with charcoal.  Message me on social media or by email of what you like to be gifted as a first foot?

At the bells a Robert Burns song of Auld Lang Syne is often sung (or belted out!) or the bag pipes or some cheesy tunes.

All round Scotland on New Years Day some brave people take part in The Dook, where you go in the freezing water whatever the weather.  You’ve got no chance of me doing that but I’ll will be watching The Dook in Broughty Ferry, with all the fun costumes and brave people.  More info on it here.

What will you be doing for Hogmanay?  Tucked up cosy in bed before the bells of partying the night away.  What ever you’re doing enjoy and all the best for 2020!

 

 

 

Photo credit: David Band Photography