3: The Bandage

I was really excited to start this piece. It had taken me a long time to design it but when I eventually got there I thoroughly enjoyed it.

With this part I really wanted to play around with metaphors. I also wanted to shift the focus away from the soldier slightly too, and remind people (and myself) that family and relationships suffer almost as much as the soldier themselves also. So how can I bring this into my own work? How can I accurately represent a family suffering, or better yet a family on their way to repair (due to the help of the charity)?

I began with the material, I always feel like this is the best starting point for me because then I know what I’m working with. I got some material from Maggie down in Textiles that I had already previously used when working on some stitch work I did for my Morocco piece (Field 2).

I compared this to your standard bandage material, then began to think about the ways in which it is used. When I thought of the idea I imagined it being wrapped around the top of and arm, around the biceps. I wasn’t keen on the idea of using a sling, so I stuck with this idea. I measured the material around my step-fathers arm so that I could cut it down accordingly to the right size. The material is quite thin and this worried me slightly; I remember when I used it last the thread didn’t sew into it too well so this is something I had to be aware of. However last time I was using the free-hand sewing machines and this time it is just by hand. I decided to stitch into the single layer of the fabric and then once I am finished I can fold over the remaining fabric to cover the stitching at the back and also thicken it. I had everything planned out.

Then when it came to deciding what I would illustrate onto this fabric, I began to struggle. I was really unsure. I began looking at other adverts the already exist and this one really stood out to me.

 what-goes-around-comes-around-rifle-pole

I really like how each edge of this advertisement becomes linked together when it wrapped around the pole. This would work well with my bandage, I just need to think of a design in which this would work.

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As you can see above I thought of two arms coming together once wrapped around the arm, giving a hug showing support, but this was far too simple for me and it didn’t interest me in the slightest. Like I mentioned before I wanted to take this piece to focus on the family. My thoughts began to turn to all the different situations families and relationships are put in and the causes of these, the main one being absence. I wasn’t sure how I could combine the absence of the loved with the connection of the two ends of the bandage, then it hit me! Unfortunately I don’t have any photo’s of the process I went through when making this, just the final product. This is a real shame.

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So here is a family; a little girl, a wife and a son together. On the opposite side we have a Royal Marine, in uniform. Between them represents the space and his destination. The mountains are there to resemble destinations such as Afghanistan, Iraq and so on. By making the surroundings between them foreign and different to what you’d expect to be next to a family (For example the standard family home setting) this makes the distance between them feel greater. Again with the colours I tried to keep to a small (ish) and simple colour scheme, yet including all of the colours that are in the Royal Marines uniform. I then used the red to stitch the bandage together to hide the threads at the back and also to give it a sort of frame, leaving out the edges so that once it’s wrapped around it all comes together well. I also left some of the material clear so that when I wrap it around there is enough space to be able to use a safety pin to attach it together. And here it is wrapped:

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I am very happy with how this has turned out. When the bandage is wrapped around the arm it comes together really well and I hope it gives out the message of the family coming back together, through the help of the charity. I’m playing with metaphor a lot here, with this idea being upon a bandage, symbolizing support and healing. Some thing that does really bother me about this illustration is the woman’s face, her eyes are too close together and this does make me feel uncomfortable. Again, like with the soldier, I have generalised the situation and made it hard all the donors to be able to relate; not every soldier is that ages with 2 children and a wife, or even a blonde wife for that matter, all these features come into eye when reviewing a product.

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