The making of Decay of Culture and Identity in the Western World and Africa (work in progress)

The making of Decay of Culture and Identity in the Western World and Africa (work in progress)

The above photo is made by me this summer at the Holy Cross Church in Hattula.

The past weeks I have been working on a new series of five artworks. Four of the works are based on four iPhone photos taken by Maurits and one by myself – see here more about this photo. Later on, after these are printed onto A0 paper, Solomon paints a frame – context. The photo sizes I started with range from about 2000 x 1500px to 6000 x 4000 pixels. Later in the process they are scaled up to 11 000 pixels.

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After this selection, I went through a couple of steps such as correction of the perspective if needed and possible. The photo “Normannstein” needed some serious editing to make it more useful and in line with the atmosphere of the other photos. But first I had to collect plenty of Kenyan animals to add to the photos. For this, I had to source public domain, copyright free and license-restriction free photos (Public Domain Work). At I could reliably (I hope) find these photos. Below is the selection that I isolated from the background. For this, I initially used ProCreate on my iPad but later I found the workflow to be easier with Affinity Photo. The reason is that I have Affinity Photo on both my iPad and on my Mac. Now I can switch back and forth between the two, especially needed as I could not find easily the needed functionality at first on my iPad version.

The Normannstein photo needed to have the car removed. This was quite a job but I managed. I did a few trials on which steps I should take first. Should I:
edit on a small scale → then enlarge → then perspective correction → then colour conversion → …
Or any other order?

The result was good enough, so I began to experiment with the perspective and then turning them into black and white versions in DXOs Silver Effects. Oh, I also used Pixelmator and Affinity Photo to test black and white conversions but in Silver Effects I could easily store my modifications as a present, and in the other software I didn’t know exactly how to do that. I am sure it is possible but due to time restrictions I needed to move forward

Normannstein, the car removed
Normannstein Castle, perspective corrected and a dark BW conversion applied
Normannstein Castle and the rhino is added – no shadows yet
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After some time a broad variety op images emerged. Below is a small selection, some very dark as you can see and some more workable. I went for the latter.

Next are the mock ups to illustrate the final idea. I need to work on the shadows and levels still, but this was at a good enough stage to communicate the final artwork. I used some of Solomon’s existing frames but in the final works he is going to make for each artwork, a separate frame. These are all unique pieces of art that add to the story that is told with the photo collages.

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More blog posts over at End of Darkness…


In the art collective End of Darkness, Solomon Wamisigo from Kenya, Maurits v. Falkenreck from The Netherlands and I collaborate on various mixed media art works.