Animal Alphabet by Dominique Claire

Animal Alphabet by Dom Claire.

Dominique Claire is a Tasmanian Artist and photographer

"Animal alphabet is a mixed-media Tradigital art project, in which I have combined both traditional and digital artistic techniquesto created a unique montage for each letter of the alphabet using zoological and botanical imagery, choosing animals who’s titles correspond with specific letters. 


I wanted to create an artwork which captures the intrinsic sense of awe, curiosity and wonder of childhood. I drew inspiration from various children’s books that I loved growing up - most notably the ‘I-Spy’ series by Jean Marzollo & Walter Wick, and Animalia by Graeme Base; books which gave me endless hours of joy and entertainment.

I challenged myself to use only creatures who had names with initials which corresponded with the letter I was working on, and from there I was inspired to take on the challenge of creating artwork for each letter of the alphabet in turn. An undertaking which took me almost two years of research, work and a fierce dedication. 


Each letter of the Alphabet is given definition by virtue of these convoluted amalgamations of botanical, zoological, and entomological imagery. I’m endlessly inspired by the relationship between symmetry, repetition, and beauty in nature and I feel my visual language is indicative of this, emphasising the interconnectedness underlying different life forms.

 

Looking back, I can’t even begin to estimate the amount of hours I’ve spent in libraries pouring over natural history books, atlases, botanical and zoological compendiums searching for imagery.. not to mention the subsequent time spent photographing, scanning, uploading and downloading said imagery. 


I have built up a personal image trove containing well over a hundred folders of images I’ve collected and categorised for possible use, this alone is representative of thousands of hours of indefatigable research and work.  Each of the images I use has to be individually cut out and tailored to stylistically resemble one another in order to create the semblance of congruence in the final montage. This is a process that involves discerning and dexterous photoshop retouching skills combined with digital illustration.


Each completed letter of the Alphabet contains in between the vicinity of 150 and 300 individual layers, all of which have been meticulously arranged, and then re-arranged into the final image composition."

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