Amber Torrance (she/her)
A key focus in all my work is communication and how to push this to its most lateral and visual sense. I enjoy research and opening the minds of others by exploring obscure angles of well-known topics and this is seen in each of my projects. Especially in my Seeing Sound project as it is so mysterious in visuals yet direct in it’s purpose as it showcases unknown history of the BBC.
I enjoy being hands-on when I work, whether that is filming on location, exploring textured paper or utilising everyday objects in unusual ways for unexpected visuals. I think the more tactile, interactive and emotionally evocative I can be will always increase communication and engagement.
I want my work to be understood by all and tackling classism in design is a core value for me which is seen in my essay publication, Kitsch Values: A Defence. This project is one I am most proud of as it is so iconic due to embracing animal prints, bold colours and unique contrasting textures like gloss and felt. It is approachable and clear in its messaging due do its homage to Kat Moon from Eastenders as she is epitome of kitsch and someone loved for her unapologetic nature.
my MOONIE project stems from the night my grandparents met at the Astoria dance hall in Glasgow. I wanted to encapsulate the history of the old dance halls through found imagery and by utilising iconic Scottish phrases. The final design is a blend between nightlife in Glasgow then and now in an attempt to inspire club-goers today to borrow these traditional compliments.
Kitsch Values; A Defence
This publication embraces all things kitsch and debunks the many controversies surrounding it in writing. The visuals are inspired by Kat Moon from Eastenders’ fashion and home set design. This project is fun, tactile and expressive with materiality. With various references to Jeff Koons and early 2000’s aesthetics, this publication is dreamy on the outside and hard-hitting with its content.
Seeing Sound: BBC Radiophonics
The BBC Radiophonic Workshop team consisted of many talented female sound engineers who rarely got equal credit to their male peers. Maddalena Fagandini produced many successful tracks under the pseudonym Ray Cathode alongside fellow producer, George Martin. Sadly, over time Fagandini was overshadowed by Martin’s success with The Beatles despite the importance of her collaboration on ‘Time Beat’ which brought Ray Cathode to light.
This project aims to highlight this critical figure in the workshop’s history by presenting Fagandini’s creations with other-worldly visuals. I wanted to contrast the technical nature of the sounds by using natural materials. Historic experimental film makers like Marie Menken’s ‘Glimpse of the Garden’, influenced how I filmed the video regarding zoom and pacing. My research into materiality and how to portray the layers of sound in Maddalena Fagandini’s work lead me to cymatics which is using the vibrations of sound to manipulate substances like water or sand. At certain frequencies, formations and patterns occur which helped guide how obscure the visuals should be. Mould artist, Dasha Plesen is another key reference as her colourful and textured work inspired me to play more and to manipulate the natural outcomes for the most intriguing visuals.
NYOLO; An Existential Campaign
This project stemmed from a workshop with London based design company Moving Brands. The workshop required us to mesh a philosophy and an industry into a brand, I was given existentialism and football and through research the name was inspired by humble Chelsea player, N’Golo Kante. As the project progressed, I contextualised the key values of existentialism (free will and existence) into a campaign set during the first COVID-19 lockdown when football fans were banned from stadiums. I wanted to explore how this time felt for the players and fans who live for the game. The video therefore follows a structure and tone similar to the 7 stages of grief and ends with a campaign slogan that is a mindful take on existentialism, ‘Play for Purpose.’