A remarkable, introspective project from the Manchester School of Art Graphic Design student
It’s always nice for us here at Intern to get sent a submission which really stands out from the pack and Harriet Sleigh’s Fractures project, does just that.
A conceptually profound and brilliantly communicated piece of work, it introspectively assesses Harriet’s idiosyncrasies and realises each as a symbol. One of the indicators of great design is taking a complex, nuanced subject and giving it clarity, Fractures does this beautifully. Having been entered into the Make your Mark brief of this year’s D&AD New Blood Awards, we would not be surprised to see the project earn one of those coveted pencils.
“For this project I wanted to explore all the little pieces that make me, me” says Harriet. Having admittedly gone through a few very difficult months and feeling like she had fallen apart somewhat, Harriet took the opportunity to engage in some introspection.
“Because I’m quite a neurotic person I thought I’d look at my personality traits starting with perfectionism, the starting point for a lot of my neurosis and habits. I looked into all the different causes and effects emotionally, socially and physically. Once I had listed my most profound traits I decided to make them into symbols.”
Brainstorming the memories, back stories, relationships and situations that she felt were causal to each trait, 430 thumbnails later Harriet felt like she had her complete collection of symbols. As a significant portion of Harriet’s research had focussed on distorted narratives and multidimensional characteristics, she decided to call the symbols her fractures – the broken pieces that make the full person.
Once the symbols had been designed, they were laser cut into black and orange perspex filling out the negative spaces left in each with the contrasting colour. The intention of the final pieces are as impressive as the concept itself, when exposed to natural light, the reflection that results is a metaphor for Harriet shedding light on herself and the balance of positives and negatives that each personality trait brings.
The Manchester School of Art student has a very impressive portfolio already and we’re confident that something as brave and brilliantly executed as Fractures will capture the attention of many as she continues to develop as a designer.