Visual Arts 11

Since September Emma has noticed some significant improvements in her Makeup and Artwork. She is noticing her SFX makeup to be more realistic, her photo’s to be cleaner and more descriptive, and her concepts to have more consistency and depth.

She has been working steadily to develop her skills with the goal of ‘creeping people out’. She knew she had achieved this when her work was removed from the exhibition walls of the quiet space… because it was just ‘too creepy’…

As Emma and I discussed the context of her work, outside her niche, we realized that she is asking similar questions in her Makeup and Artwork as she is in her academic writing and research.

We identified the some of the key questions informing her inquiry to be:

How crime affects our society
How and why it happens
How do people perceive it
Who are the ‘criminals’

I want to encourage Emma to intentionally bring more of her academic questions to her Art practice.

This manner of questioning is powerful. It is powerful in every medium, it is not exclusive to reading and writing.  Critical thinking and questioning in the Visual Arts as the method leads to comprehensive detailed work that distinguishes mature and accomplished artists from the rest.

I am committed to working with Emma next year, to witness this intentional  her work transform

What the Canadian Liberal government has done so far – Essay

What the Canadian Liberal government has done so far – Essay

This essay briefly touches on the highlights of Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party’s progress throughout the past 500 or so days of them leading Canada. It touches on what progress they have made on issues such as the environment, immigration, health, biased discrimination, and Indigenous people.

The essay also touches on a few things which they have done wrong/that have been scrutinized so far, and why people are so unhappy with them.

I have mostly researched and been interested in American politics so far, so learning a bit about Canadian politics and the government was a very interesting and enlightening experience. Although Justin Trudeau is nowhere near as entertaining and goofy as Donald Trump, I personally do share many personal values with him and will be paying a bit more attention towards the government in my country.

Rights while under arrest and in jail – Essay

Rights while under arrest and in jail – an Essay

Here is my finished essay on Canadian and American rights while being arrested and in prison. I learned very much about what rights I have (which I mostly had no idea about!) and found it very fascinating.

An infographic version of this essay will be done soon as well. I really enjoy creating infographics based on my essays as they really transform my new found information and make it much more fun to learn!

Book Discussion: Unfair

Synopsis: Good.  Succinct.

Things learned:

  1. Learned that the US justice system is unfair and biased.
  2. Police have been know to skip over evidence.
  3. Corruption is a problem.
  4. Basic training for police officers is not high and they need more training to deal with societies problems.
  5. There is still a tendency  to judge people by their appearances.  There are still a lot of assumptions by people in power.  More testing needed.
  6. Gained a different perspective on how the US treats people.  There are still many biases.
  7. This book has opened her eyes and made her think more critically about justice and laws.
  8. Gained a perspective on how important rights are.  Everyone deserves to know what their rights are.
  9. Understands the importance of the need to fix the system.
  10. The US is not cohesive in its laws.  It varies from state to state.  It needs a more unified vision.

Makeup tutorial video for film credit

Here is my very low quality, slightly awkward avant-garde makeup tutorial to complete my film credit!

I have never really filmed myself doing my makeup so this was very new to me. I do not have any “good” filming equipment whatsoever, and my phone didn’t have enough space (and wouldn’t sit up) so I had to use my laptop’s camera, which is better than nothing despite its questionable quality. My goal was to create a simple tutorial

My goal was to create a simple video tutorial explaining what my process was, and I think I achieved said goal. Without further ado, enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frcYgEcvVPI

Death Penalty Defence Thesis

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

– Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

 

We live in a world that for a long time, has killed human beings for a crime they were appointed guilty for. When you think about it, it’s a strange concept. We do something unspeakably inhumane to someone who originally did something unspeakably inhumane themselves. Believe it or not, there is an overwhelming amount of countries, states and continents on our Earth, which still uphold the capital punishment today. The top 10 (in order) are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United States, Pakistan, Yemen, North Korea, Vietnam, and Libya. Although some places do appoint the death penalty more than others. For example, a study done in 2012 shows that through 2007 – 2012, China had over 2000 executions while Libya had 39. The thought of a government purposely killing over 2000 people within the span of five years is quite shocking, criminal or not. Killing a human being, in general, is not a very humane thing, no matter what they’ve done or who they are. It has been proven that throughout centuries, the death penalty has done nothing but harm us as a society. It contains much too many flaws which make the procedures of execution much too unsafe, unfair, very costly and absolutely barbaric. There is no doubt that in 2017, the death penalty should be abolished worldwide.

Executions have been a way of criminal justice used in our society for a very long time. According to researchers, the beginning of the death penalty laws go as far back as the Eighteenth Century B.C, and the death penalty was an option for 25 different crimes. They used methods such as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement. The death penalty also has a large chunk of its history in England. In the Sixteenth Century, under the reign of Henry VIII, an approximate 72,000 people were executed. They would use boiling, burning at the stake, hanging and beheading, put their criminals at justice. Most of the people who were being executed had committed crimes such as marrying a jew, treason and lying, which at the time were despicable felonies. Today, the death penalty is given to a wide array of felons which vary from each country. Most countries who practice capital punishment use it to punish acts of murder, sexual offences, treason, and espionage. Countries who are ruled by religion use it against religious crimes such as leaving an Islamic nation, an offence against the state religion, blasphemy, Islamic crimes and even witchcraft. In China, the death penalty is given to many people involved in human trafficking as it is currently a huge issue in their country, as is drug trafficking in Southeast Asia.

Today we now use slightly more “humane” methods, if executing someone can even be classified as humane, as someone being burnt alive or crucified is just taking it WAY too far. So instead, we inject them with a cocktail of fatal drugs, lock them in a gas chamber, and electrocute them as well as a few other “safer” procedures. In the United States, most executions are done by unqualified civilians who volunteer to do the process and sometimes even get paid a small amount. This is obviously completely unsafe and unfair to the inmate. A study done by a professor in the United States shows that through 1890 – 2010 8,776 people were executed in the U.S. and 276 of those executions (3.15%) were botched. Lethal injection had the most failed executions (85, with 1,054 total executions in this timeframe) and the firing squad had the least (0, with 34 executions). It is no secret that while being the simplest, lethal injection is the riskiest and unpredictable method of execution available. So my question is, why is it the most used method of execution in the 21st century? With the amount of progress and knowledge we have gained, it really confuses me that we still continue to use a highly dangerous procedure that has been proven over time to be unfit for use on any living thing. This on its own is a huge reason why we should not continue to do executions.

The worst thing about the death penalty is that the process of choosing who receives it and who doesn’t can be very biased. Research done in 2011 shows that in Louisiana, the odds of a death sentence were 97% higher for those whose victim was white than those whose were black. Another one found that in California, those who murdered a white person were more than 3 times as likely to be sentenced to death as those who murdered a black person, and more than 4 times more likely as those who murdered a Latino. Racism, xenophobia and prejudgment play an unfortunate role in our world and unfortunately, many people in positions of power are biased by their personal views while making life or death decisions about others. A study done in 2014 shows that jurors in Washington state are three times as more likely to recommend a death sentence for a black defendant than for a white defendant in a similar case. It’s just how most people are, and what makes our society the way it is, that everyone’s opinions and views differ. We all see what we want to see, and that’s okay. But, if that’s the case, then a decision such as whether someone should be put to death or not shouldn’t be allowed to be made by anyone. It seems incredibly unfair to let people’s opinions and views dictate whether someone deserves to live or not. Everyone should absolutely have the right to control their life, no matter where you live or what you’ve done.

Surprise! Killing someone for committing a crime does not reduce the amount of crime being committed. A good example of this is how the Southern states in the U.S. seem to have the highest amount of executions, 80%, and still somehow has the highest murder rates. There is a strong misconception here, that criminals actually will stop committing crimes because they fear being executed. Past U.S. President George W. Bush was and still is a strong advocate for the death penalty. During his five years through 1995 – 2000 while governing the state of Texas (which upholds the nation’s majority of executions) he presided over 131 executions, more than any governor had ever done as it is quite rare for most governors to approve executions. He believes heavily that “The death penalty, when properly administered, saves lives” and relied well on that statement during his presidential campaign to win. While Bush spent 2001 – 2009 as president, America’s crime rates stayed very stagnant. According to the FBI annual crime reports, the highest number of crime during Bush’s time in the office was in 2002, with 11,878,954 crimes and the lowest being in 2009, the year he lost his presidency to Barack Obama, with 10,762,956 crimes. Since Obama’s inauguration date was on January 20, 2009, he was essentially that year’s president, making Bush’s full last year 2008. That year had a crime number of 11,160,543, which was still the lowest during the Bush administration. It’s interesting because 2009 was the lowest crime had been since 1974 in the United States. And throughout President Barack Obama’s 9 years as president through 2009 – 2016, the numbers went lower and lower each year, the lowest they’d been for over 30 years. It’s also important to note that Obama did not support the death penalty, and 5 states stopped using capital punishment during his time. In 2015 (the most recent year which U.S. crime data has been released) the number of crime committed went the lowest it was during the Obama administration, being 9,225,197 which went down 1.935.346 from Bush’s lowest in 2008. If the crime statistics lowered dramatically in the U.S while under the administration of a president who did not support nor participate in the activity of capital punishment, after having a president whose campaign was built off how the death penalty saves lives and stops crime, is it really working?

And finally, not only is the death penalty dangerous, immoral and unfair, but it also costs A LOT. There are so many facts to back this statement up. In Texas, a death penalty case costs approximately $2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security level for 40 years. Legal costs for death penalty trials in Kansas average about $400,000 per case, compared to $100,000 per case without the death penalty. A new study in California revealed that the cost of the death penalty in the state has been over $4 billion since 1978. Can you imagine that a country in billions of dollars of debt is forcing their taxpayers to dish out millions of unnecessary dollars to murder people? In Colorado, a death penalty trial can cost taxpayers up to $3.5 million, versus $150,000 for life in parole. These outrageous costs could save their population a lot of money that could be used to pay other things that are much more urgent than an execution of a criminal. An infographic shows that in Colorado, the money not used for the death penalty could be used for things such as paying 77 firefighter’s salaries, to buy more than 40,000 high school algebra textbooks, to provide one month of essential services to 10,000 elderly people, to give approximately 500 children access to the early start program and so much more. These are all such important things that the state of Colorado and many other locations are missing out on because all the money is being focused on one thing – executions.

It is without a doubt a pressing issue for the death penalty to be abolished worldwide. It has been a part of our history for thousands of years and is truly outdated in 2017. Executions are a cruel and unsafe practice, they can be biased and completely unfair, they do not prevent crime from happening and cost taxpayers everywhere a disgusting amount of money that is clearly being spent wrong. Our world is sadly filled with colossal amounts of crime, which will never be resolved. But I truly do believe that with proper reinforcement and practices we can diminish it. I think that it’s time for people to wake up, and realise that murdering a murderer is the most hypocritical thing we can possibly do. As Victor Hugo once said, “What says the law? You will not kill. How does it say it? By killing.”

References –

Death penalty statistics, country by country

Introduction to the Death Penalty

Capital Punishment in China

Botched Executions

Capital Punishment

Crime Levels: Countries Compared

Country vs. Country: Canada and United States compared

Bush and the Death Penalty

George W. Bush’s Death Penalty Catch-22

States with and without Death Penalty

The United States Crime Rates 1960 – 2015

Misplaced Priorities: An Infographic on the Cost of Death Penalty Trials

Death row infographic

I have transferred my learnings from my previous death row post and put them into an infographic! I love making infographics, and they make it much more fun to look at.

Link – https://magic.piktochart.com/output/21974736-death-row

Dripping face inspired SFX makeup

I recently found an artist, Chet Zar, who has completely inspired me with my own artistry! He does a mix of painting, film animation, sculpture and special effects like I do. His work is very dark and makes you think, which is what my goal is while doing my art.

One of my favourite’s that I found was this crazy one, so I decided to recreate it in my own way –

This took me about 2 1/2 hours to do, which was noticeably longer than my makeup looks usually take. I figure it’s because I really took my time to build up a different facial structure and used more than one medium.

I started with moulding layers of rolled out cotton balls with liquid latex to create the alien-esque face shape I wanted. My goal was to have the bloody mouth melting straight down from the nose.

Once many layers of cotton upon latex were applied, I pulled the cheeks upwards to give the face a lifting illusion and made a few gaps and holes in the face.

I then adhered about 4 pieces of long rolled out cotton to my chin and upper neck (dipped in liquid latex) to give the dripping mouth a thicker base. For the lovely mouth, I made a mix of gelatin, glycerin and water and dripped it down my neck using those pieces of cotton as a foundation for the cotton. I layered and layered the gelatin mixture until I had the amount of desired drips. I also added some gelatin to the browbone, to make it look like it’s slightly dripping over the eye.

To paint I used a mixture of water and alcohol activated paints, and lightly stippled browns, greens and reds in the parts which I wanted to sink in more, and used a very sheer coat of white on the high points of the face. I painted the hollows of the eyes black and took it down to make it look like something dark had seeped from the eye down the face. For the mouth area, I used brown and red paints as well as coagulated blood.

I was pleasantly surprised as to how this came out! I think it would’ve been really cool to use a bald cap and cover the entire head like in the original Chet Zar painting, so maybe I’ll try that someday. 

What I’ve learn so far about death row

Throughout my recent studies on death row and executions in the U.S., I have learnt most of the basic information there is to learn about being sentenced the death penalty.

Today, there are five methods of execution used in the United States. They are;

  1. Hanging

Since 1776, the largest number of executions have been hangings. The most recent one was in Delaware in 1996, done to a convicted criminal Billy Bailey. Before the execution, the rope is boiled and stretched and is measured compared to the weight of the inmate to make sure the procedure is successful. Inmates in Washington State have hanging as an option if they prefer it over lethal injection.

  1. Firing Squad

The “Firing Squad” typically consists of five voluntary trained riflemen who hold Winchester rifles. Four of the rifles are loaded with 40 calibre ammunition, and one is blank. This is done so that no one knows who shot the inmate. The five of them shoot at the same time through holes on a wall between them and the inmate, and there is sometimes a “target” pinned over the inmate’s heart where they are supposed to aim. The most recent use of the firing squad was in 2010 to a convicted murderer in Utah named Ronnie Lee Gardner. He spent 25 years on death row, and chose the firing squad as “He lived by a gun so he chose to die by a gun”. Firing squad is available to all inmates in Utah who were convicted in the state before 2004.

  1. Electric Chair

The electric chair was a very popular method of execution in the 20th century. It is currently an option for Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia. Before any execution, the electric chair is tested by a person assigned that job to make sure it is working and intact. It is also required for the death row inmate to have their head shaved, for better connection to the head as well as preventing the hair from catching on fire. The chair, which has barely changed since the late 1800’s when it was first used, is constructed of wood. The electricity flows through a head and leg piece which immediately kills the inmate.  

  1. Lethal Gas

The lethal gas chamber is unanimously the most dangerous method of execution as gas has no remorse for whom it kills. The chamber is checked multiple times before execution to make sure there are no defaults that could make the situation worse. The “gas” used is hydrogen cyanide, which is an extremely powerful and deadly chemical. The last lethal gas execution was done in Arizona in 1999, and still remains a choice for death row inmates in California and Missouri.

  1. Lethal Injection

First used in 1982, lethal injection is the current most used technique of execution in the U.S. and has been for the past two decades. The usual three drugs used in the injection are Sodium thiopental which is an anaesthetic that puts the inmate to sleep, pancuronium bromide which causes the muscles to stop moving and breathing, as well as potassium chloride which stops the heart. Lethal injection is an option for all 33 states which have the death penalty.

A few interesting facts –

  • The average time someone will spend on death row is 15 years
  • From 1967 to 1976 there were no executions in the U.S, which resumed in 1977 to murderer Gary Gilman, who received the firing squad in Utah
  • The drive from the prison to the “death house” is the last chance for the inmate to be outdoors. No one in Texas has ever escaped the death house
  • The inmate’s final meal is usually their choice but is very limited. Florida’s max budget is $40 for the meal, while Oklahoma’s is a maximum of $15. In 2011, Texas stopped giving their death row inmates a choice for their last meal and now give them whatever is being served in the prison
  • A reverend spends the day with the inmate before the execution to help prepare them
  • There tends to be much more privilege for inmates in the “death house” versus the prison, as they can shower, sleep and take phone calls whenever they desire
  • During the execution, the inmate is allowed to have their family and loved ones attend
  • The press and certain “volunteers” also are witnesses to each execution
  • The executioner is usually kept anonymous
  • In Florida, the executioner is a volunteered civilian who is paid $150 to do the job
  • If the inmate does not go to the execution room on their own, they are carried by guards

Resources –

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/5-questions-answered-how-do-firing-squads-work/ar-AA9VcKI#page=1

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/5-questions-answered-how-do-firing-squads-work/ar-AA9VcKI#page=1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lethal_injection

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkbI4EcOs9U

 

Inspired avant-garde face chart makeup look

This is my first attempt at recreating a face chart created by another artist, this one being by @milk1422 on Instagram.

I have been stuck in a creative rut for a while now, and I find these face charts make it a lot easier to create something unique and creative quickly!

I am quite pleased as to how this turned out. It doesn’t look identical to the original chart, as I did my own similar interpretation with the lines and colour story used in the original one. I think this looks really cool and I would definitely like to do more of these inspired looks in the future.