Originally I had the idea in my head that because of the decidedly "dry" texture/look of Beate Kuhn's work, that my city would have be situated in the bed of a dried up salt lake / ocean floor. However, with the way I work I always have to figure out the logic behind things, I have to know why things are how they are, otherwise I cant envision what I am creating. This is usually a good thing, as it means I have a very clear idea in my head of what exactly I want/need and what I need to do with it, but for this project I was having real difficulty figuring out the reason behind my city, and how it would function. I had a half completed travelogue, and barely any long shot thumbnails, none of which I found very inspiring or helpful.
First landscape thumbnails:
Standing high on the dunes, looking down from a distance at the city of - you see a chalky pastel smudge, the varying shapes blending together under the bright sun, the quick, scurrying movements of the inhabitants trying to avoid the burning glare, dipping in and out of the shadows, creating illusions of the fish long gone as they would have dipped in and out of the reef searching for food and avoiding the unimaginably huge predators that once scoured what is now the sky.
You descend into the city of coral husks, the buildings getting larger and more close knit the further you go. Buildings stacked one on top of another on top of another, flaring out and fighting for space. The streets on are thin and winding, on the ground shadows are thankfully cast in most places, even in the height of the day, from the great splays of the balconies and roofs of many buildings. However once you venture into the higher levels of the city this is not always the case, long bridges reach and criss cross between the structures, assembled by the inhabitants with aged wood found further out of the city on the nearby dunes. Once it would have been called driftwood, washed ashore, fallen from huge trees that once lined the edges of the ancient sea, now only evidence this place once used to flourish with vegetation and life, both out the sea and in.
used to be a great sea, the city's buildings are the only memory of the life that once flourished here
dulled and muted colours of a once vibrant and bustling huge expansive coral reef
In the centre of the city the colours are brighter, enhanced falsely by stains and paints. You see some structures have great glass orbs attached filled with salt-water pumped up from deep underground- the wealthy of the city attempting to enhance their homes beyond the crumbling chalky tones. bring back some vibrancy and life to the city. The great parks of grasses and dry brush scattered amongst the long dead coral trees the first inhabitants planned to turn to recreational space, as untouched as the first day the coral wasteland was discovered. There has been no time for relaxation in -, all efforts go towards sustaining the people. Carving into the hollow husks, creating further shade and shelter from the ever beating sun. The city never truly grows, but grows in the sense it becomes more and more compact, coral and stone and wood carved away and used to build up other places. And of course, the never ending work on the pipes, the inhabitants constantly working on reaching further and further out, searching for whatever water is left.
On particularly bright days, standing atop the tallest coral tower, many men have claimed to see the far receded shoreline, glistening in the distance,
As you can see, its mainly in note form, not yet organised as my thoughts had not yet organised themselves. I had the basic outline, but not many actual details worked out and was feeling very uninspired with the project, (and was quickly falling behind).
I realised something needed to change, and was searching for further inspiration for my thumbnails for as to how my city would function and be put together. I came across this image
and it immediately hit me I could still create my coral city, but not completely dried up, it could be where parts have been pushed out of the sea by more growing below, and become inhabited this way. Ideas quickly started growing and I feel much more confident with this project now, and will be playing catch up.