Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Arrival

About a month ago, I was lucky enough to see Mutation Theatre's 'The Arrival' which won the Fringe Festival's 2010 People's Choice Award. Top notch work guys. It was based on Sean Tan's graphic novel of the same title, one of my all time favorites. What I found most impressive, however, was the set. It was literally an old shed on the Docklands where immigrants first docked back in the 40's.

From that, I wanted to create a homage to both the book, show and Turkish Cypriot Immigrants by means of type. This is also a means of getting back to the roots like I did with the Cyprus Issue. I looked to Wooden Toy's Lyrics and Type exhibition where artists illustrate their favorite lyrics from a song. This one by I Love Dust was my favourite.


"Girl, if you're a seascape, i'm a listing boat, for the thing carries every hope"

by The Shins
It was also relevant becuase I'm dealing with the theme of people leaving their homes. I did a bit of research and found that Australia was handing out Visas like hotcakes back in the 40's so it was pretty easy to get in. So I chose the lyrics 'Start Spreading the News, I'm Leaving Today' from Frank Sinatra's New York, New York.  Those simple lyrics captured the anticipation of breaking out of a daily routine and going to a far off land, not knowing when they would come back home. I decided to translate the lyrics into Turkish to not only add authenticity but place more emphasis on the language of music rather than the language of conversation. This translates to 'Herkesin Haberi Olsun, ben Bugun Gidiyorum'.

Below are some type experiments and developments.

I was thinking of the music from the show as I did this. There was some brilliant stuff from Beirut, West Side Story, possibly Cat Empire (it definately had that feel); I loved how they were all distinctly culturally different. After getting that eclectic, clumsy, happy look, I dragged all the elements into photoshop and created this composition.

My original idea was to print this onto a scrap of wood from the actual dock the show was performed on. Being folio time and living over an hour away from the docks, I felt Mitre 10 was a more suitable option. I've never printed on wood before this but it was a really interesting experience, absolutely nothing like printing on paper. The ink keeps moving around after its on the surface becuase the wood is sealed, creating a tie die look if there's too much; a pretty cool effect but now what I was after for this project. After four runs we got it right though, all I needed to do was sand it down and make it look like a piece of trash picked up from the docks. Definitely one of the folio.

Good Evening,


P.S. If you haven't heard yet, I have a proper website now, Don't panic, the blog will be updated even more now than ever with my processes and inspiration.


  1. WOW! Your work is absoluetly fantastic!!! I love the antique look!! Thank you for sharing! Ill be stalking your work from now on im afraid. :)

  2. Arrival FTW

    Excellent work as always Mete.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I've never had a stalker, though I'm open to new experiences. And thanks Kieran, loving your video posts :P