The experiment involved a box of paperclips and a dark backdrop in order to create the outline of the skull. I positioned the camera on a very low angle on 60mm with flash. The 60 mm did cause blurriness with some of the other shots and perhaps the photo requires a 35 or a 50 mm. Although the paperclips do not create a realistic or accurate portrayal of a skull, the composition does create a similar representation / apprehension.
Inspiration for this particular experiment originated from Noah Scalin who has created a blog as known as “Skull A Day”. The blog features different forms, compositions and styles, which are used to create different representations of the skull. Scalin also creates a skull on a daily basis and posts the results on the blog. There are 365 skulls, which are made from different materials or objects that features different aesthetic and principles.
There is a book, which demonstrates Scalin’s experimentations, observations and creations. Scalin illustrates his objectives, methodologies and preliminary research through his own observations or visualisations. Scalin also explains that the Day of the Dead Festival and Renaissance Art has deeply inspired his work, which questions the representation of death within the 21st century. These observations may reflect society’s obsession with death and the constant reappearance of the skull within the contemporary culture.
Sclain also argues that the skull has become a frightening, confronting subject, although I would like to contend that the culture and the environment has a significant impact upon the image of the skull. One could argue that the skull is subjective and each person, culture or belief have their own interpretations of death.
Scalin, Noah. Skulls. New York: Sterling Publishing Co, 2008 p.7-9
Noah Scalin, http://skulladay.blogspot.com.au/p/about.html (accessed 30/4/12)