This is Benamon’s 21st article to his PictureBook column with us and it’s so full of creativity and imagery that it’s such a treat to not only publish here but also to read and enjoy. The concept behind the PictureBook column is not just about capturing stories but creating them, the journey behind and the image we present. PictureBook draws on Images selected from Benamon’s own story series and also looks at the work of the other story tellers within the community’. Over to you Benamon (foreword by Joanne Carter)…
‘The Art of Misrule – Loki’ – ©Benamon Tame
Governess Weep tore us deep
Took us from our never sleep
Tearless eyes and heartless beat
Clockwork voice from rusting seat
Governess Weep closed the Door
Loki’s Law said was no more
Masters and Mistresses left us all
Though we are hurt never fall
Loki stands and we play on
Round and round in tragic song
The image of Loki stood against the wall was one of the earliest in the Lost Toy Room Series, I wanted to introduce him first in exile, as the fallen god. As the series developed and the story behind each toy and the room expanded more of Loki was revealed. His personality and drive, his rise to power and the impact he had of the other toys.
He took advantage of their innocence and their need to be needed. He played on their fears and insecurities, saying what they needed to hear and creating a space where only he could save them. Loki sabotaged Automatic Eloise and silenced the only voice that would have opposed him. When Barrow House started to attack he found that it could not stand music purely by chance but he used it to prove his ‘divinity’ and consolidate his power. Kept at bay by the Music Box Wall, Barrow House remained a contact threat and Loki used it to keep the other Toys under control and justify all that he did, he presented them with no choice, him or Barrow House. Others like Babel and Syster who might have opposed him were knowingly seduced, free to indulge themselves with his support, given high status in the world he was creating.
‘The Art of Misrule – Typewriter remix’ – ©Benamon Tame
The portraits in the series are taken from various points in the history of the Lost Toy Room, this one is from the start of Loki’s rule. In the centre of the Toy Room he held court and laid his plans, his thrown raised up from the last of Automatic Eloise’s supporters and those who would not submit. Above his head is the first of what became Loki’ Law and on the left Grub can be made out, a tragic jester.
‘In Loki’s Shadow’ – ©Benamon Tame
In creating the main image I used the same process as with my other toys, the image was one of the least constructed, just requiring my wife to distract my children while I borrowed a heap of their dolls to add to mine to set up,the shot. The only use of Juxtaposer for this one was to add in Grub which I took from a ‘pregrunged’ shot of him.
‘Loki1’ – ©Benamon Tame
For In Loki’s Shadow I started out with a cropped portion of the original piece with the chalk writing. Using Blender I mixed it up with one of my stock images of a concrete wall with a crack. I saved a copy and then using the flatten to merge the two layers I added another crop of the original with Loki in it. I used the Mask function to remove all but the figure and then blended them together using the Exclusion blend mode which gave a nice dark negative of Loki. This would be the basis for his shadow.
‘Loki2’ – ©Benamon Tame
I opened the image in SnapSeed and used the Grunge option to add some more texture, vignette and work the shadow into the piece. Fine tuning was also done in Snapseed. I then put the image through ScratchCam which gave me two final versions, one in Sepia and one in Black and white.
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