Monday, 11 November 2013

Brief 3 : Native Haze Library Trip

Jessie Leong notes from our trip to the Library

Aim: To do some research at Leeds Central Library

Process: We met up and walked down to the library.

Having had a look in the folklore section, we made notes on proverbs that linked with country sayings, although they were a little irrelevant.

Salt of the Earth

Book Looked at: Unknown Author ( 2011) Salt of the Earth, National Trust books, London

‘Salt of the Earth’ (p66)

‘Grasping the nettle.’ (p55)

‘Help me to salt, help me to sorrow.’ (P128)

‘Mackerel sky, mackerel sky

Never long wet, never long dry’

Eve made a note of looking at water proverbs as the setting of our location is on the River Wharfe.

We then visited the art section of the library and undertook some research on the Pre-Raphaelites. We decide that this would be the most appropriate form of visual reference and had a strong contemporary look.We were particularly drawn to the strong narrative found in John Everett Millas’s Ophelia, (1851)

The Pre-Raphaelites

Book Looked at: Rose, Andrea (1992) The Pre-Raphaelites, Phaidon Press Ltd, London p54

The book describes in Hamlet Act IV Queen Gertrude describing Ophelia’s death. The painting looks in minute detail at the flowers and there are some photographic like in the painting.

There is a quote from the painter when he was making studies of the scene:

‘I sit tailor fashion… [I] am in danger of being blown into the water and becoming intimate with the feelings of Ophelia when the lady sank to muddy death.’

(Ruskin 1851)

We then went up to the second floor and asked about some local poetry and references to Yorkshire through poetry. We came across a couple of books which were of inspiration.

I came across the poem Hardraw Force by Wagstaff, J (1993) in Linidsfarne and other Dales Poems: An anthology of Dales Verse. Wensleydale Press, Hawes


Hardraw Force

Transforms into diminutive ripples in the crystallised pool
A smell of purity is carried on the evening breeze
The robes of a ghostly queen
Fall speedily to the resting place of velvet.
The green moss is her jewellery and stones are her feet.
The shadowed rock is her mutant form.
And the gallant trees are in her hair.

I thought this would be a highly appropriate poem for referencing as it was written by a local person in Yorkshire, and would be great for summing up the dramatic feel of the shoot.

Eve looked at Lead Dust by Barrett M and The Dales Year by Daniels, C (1993) Limestone landscape and other Dales poems: An anthology of Dales verse, Wensleydale Press, Hawes


We came up with a set of ideas about the narrative- to reference the Pre-Raphaelites use of colour and natural, visual landscape but appropriate Yorkshire poetry in the publication.

I looked at Ophelia and found there was an artist response to the Painting, Ophelia Has A Dream,’ Mihara Yasuhiro

Grande, G, 160 Grams on 12.1.13 ( (Date accessed: 11.11.13)

In ‘Ophelia has a dream,’ Mihara depicts Ophelia as a constant; she is dressed in a Kimono and languid in her eternal slumber whilst butterflies and cherry blossom, traditional symbols of renewal, dance around her body.

It is here Mihara teaches us that in death is dignity, human life may be short in the face of enduring nature, yet can outlast corporality in the lessons given to the new generation. ‘Ophelia has a dream’ was presented as an interactive installation for one night only as a sister piece to Millais’ Ophelia at the height of the ‘Pre-Raphaelite: Victorian Avant-garde exhibition. Motion graphics allowed the audience to weave through the gallery space.

Visual and sound effects also enabled visitors to meander through the scenery of Ophelia, where the shadows of butterflies and petals of flowers falling to the floor were being blown away on a journey into the forest. A journey that will perpetuate Mihara’s lament, wherever the wind blows there is death but also hope.Millais’ Ophelia is a part of the permanent collection at Tate Britain and Mihara’s film is available to watch on YouTube:


Post a Comment