The Wizard Of Oz Project

I’ve finally started back to uni in earnest (sorry Abertay) and I’ve gotten most of my current briefs to work on. It’s a different method of working, I’ll admit, as projects tend to run for 4 or 5 week stints as opposed to being semester-long. This makes me panic just a tad more, but panic is good. So here goes the first blog entry of many.
Firstly we have a packaging module. It has quite an unusual theme to it, as decided by lucky dip. Every member of the class drew out a famous creative person’s name, someone who was not directly linked with the visual arts (design, illustration, fine arts). When I picked a name out of the hat I got this lovely lady as my subject matter.

This is Judy Garland, a singer and actress most famed for her leading role in the 1939 classic “The Wizard Of Oz”. So what do we have to do with this name? How do we package it? Well, basically we have to decide upon a product that can be linked to this creative personality and their influence on creative culture. It’s also important to not choose the most obvious product to link to your creative, which for me would be a pair of ruby shoes.

Instead I’ve looked into Garland’s life and the themes of her most famous work. For one The Wizard Of Oz is a film famed for it’s use of colour, a pioneering technological accomplishment of the time, and one that changed the course of cinema forever. Such a momentous event in artistic culture as the introduction of colour to cinema makes Garland a very influential and prominent figure in her field, so to play with colour will be essential in this project.

Garland was also often plagued by her studios, regarded as ‘the ugly one’ or ‘the fat one’, compared to other stars of the time. This took its toll on both her career and her self-esteem, eventually driving her to alcoholism and drug abuse. This casts the MGM movie executives of the time in light of being almost villainous figures, villains that if presented in the world of Oz would be as easy to extinguish as spilling water on them. This is another potential idea for a product, a bottle of water perhaps, or some liquid to relate to Garland’s turbulent life through the movie industry.

It also reveals an interesting link between her life and the film, in the way she struggled with her appearance, which became altered and warped by the studio in numerous productions, until the image of her on screen was probably barely real, similar to the Wizard being no more than illusions, smoke and mirrors. I’m sure there’s an object to embody this illusory link but I’ve yet to find it.

Anyone want to buy my emerald bottle of water then…?

Listening to: Replica by Oneohtrix Point Never


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