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Alex Jay Brady p6

Artist Alex Jay Brady talks about her atmospheric picture Winter in Central Park and cites the novel that influenced it...

READERSVOICE.COM: Do you always look for a mood or emotion to be created as well as technical skill, like the sombre feeling in Driving Range, or the feeling of Winter in Central Park, and the grey sinister shadows with the Drop Mech Gliders, or the reckless fun ofDesert Beast?

AJB: Yes I am often inspired by a mood, maybe a flash of a feeling and image. Maybe a combination of the book I’m reading, the light I’m sitting in and the music I’m listening to, will align and congeal into an idea.
Winter in Central Park was directly influenced by A Canticle for Leibowtiz and The Road [by Cormac McCarthy], which could easily form part of the same timeline. It had become obvious in early 2016 Trump was going to ride his movement into the White House and control of the nuclear arsenal, which scared me a lot, and this picture was a sort of sarcastic response.
Driving Range was just a goofy idea for a giant mass driver, but I really love the movie Heat and enjoy how it finds beautiful compositions in the industrial night scape of LA, so I tried to catch some of that. Maybe this is a location for a brutal chase, like the one across the galaxy of airport lights at the finale of the movie.

RV: What sort of programs did you use to create the photographic quality of the Populous Ship for Is This Heaven? a science fiction movie by Bastiaan Koch.

AJB: I make a big shape for the hull, and when it’s looking good I paint a flat plane and project it onto the side of the ship. I don’t understand texture unwrapping so this is a way to fudge it! It means I can simply paint on a lot of small details; textures, ports and windows, wear and tear, and see it reflected on the model. This is great fun. With a 3d model, you don’t need to be limited to a single explanatory image; you can fly around it like a tourist, taking man images.
The feeling that the objects extend beyond the frame of the image always captured my imagination in the paintings and films I love, so I wanted to replicate that. I often store different states of an object in the form of animation. For example, I can have a plane whose landing gear is animated to extend or retract. Then I can move the camera to one point of view and show it flying, or another and have it landing, simply by moving the time slider. You can store lots of scenes this way, exactly like how a theatre stores scenes just off stage and bring them on when needed.
It’s crude but it works for me!

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-copyright Simon Sandall