Archive | October 2011

Other ideas [30/10]

> Aura can show the real meaning /emotions of a scene / people and reveal the truth (e.g. if the people are pretending)

> Relief (aura = ‘breeze’) (The most basic and literal situation would be in a hot landscape / cityscape / scene, but it could be more complicated than that)

> Constantly changing form (could be the basis of a motion piece / interactive web application?)

> Aura is freedom (air moving freely). A literal opposite is ‘balloons’, as in this case it is trapped.


Relevant own past work _Photographic

Even though most of the projects I have worked on for briefs revolved around clean graphics, I enjoy experimenting with abstract photography in my personal time. Some of these feel related to the theme of ‘aura’. I am in favour of exploring new territory – however one (or more) of the elements used in past work may lead me to discover these new territory..

The first thoughts about Aura involve abstract styles. Before exploring these in more detail however, it is important to keep in mind that this is not necessarily right. Aura could be dynamic / explosive:

Or very dark:

Moving on to the abstract styles. The most simple method is using unfocused shots and blur. The images below are placed in an order of increasing blurriness.

Adding colour:

Another possible technique is overlaying layers.

A technique, which hasn’t matured in my work but may have interesting room for development (using interacting variations of the same layer):

Going completely abstract.

Adding elements of digital painting and ‘exposed polaroid’ light effects.

Idea: Using a semi-abstract image and then an abstract ‘closeup’ of the aura.

experimenting with paint

During a marbling workshop (25-26 October), a by-product of the process drew my attention visually. I also realized that the flow of paint could represent ‘aura’. This idea (in combination with post-processing in Photoshop) was used to create the very first samples of early experimentation.






However, ‘aura’ does not necessarily have to be as soft as the above (even though this is the first idea that comes to mind instinctively). It could be more colourful:






..Or it could even be more edgy / grungy:

definition / thesaurus / other

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

1. An invisible breath, emanation, or radiation.
2. A distinctive but intangible quality that seems to surround a person or thing; atmosphere: An aura of defeat pervaded the candidate’s headquarters.
3. Pathology A sensation, as of a cold breeze or a bright light, that precedes the onset of certain disorders, such as an epileptic seizure or an attack of migraine.
[note: no. 3 is an interesting new idea.. what precedes something bad – a feeling or an omen or the very situation before such an event  without actually suspecting what it is. Even though in pathology it is actually a physical sensation.]
Collins English Dictionary

1.a distinctive air or quality considered to be characteristic of a person or thing
any invisible emanation, such as a scent or odour
(Medicine / Pathology) Pathol strange sensations, such as noises in the ears or flashes of light, that immediately precede an attack, esp of epilepsy
(Spirituality, New Age, Astrology & Self-help / Alternative Belief Systems) (in parapsychology) an invisible emanation produced by and surrounding a person or object: alleged to be discernible by individuals of supernormal sensibility

[note:  the idea of invisibility?]
Noun 1. aura– a sensation (as of a cold breeze or bright light) that precedes the onset of certain disorders such as a migraine attack or epileptic seizure

symptom – (medicine) any sensation or change in bodily function that is experienced by a patient and is associated with a particular disease
2. aura– an indication of radiant light drawn around the head of a saint

lightness, light – the visual effect of illumination on objects or scenes as created in pictures; “he could paint the lightest light and the darkest dark”
3. aura– a distinctive but intangible quality surrounding a person or thing; “an air of mystery”; “the house had a neglected air”; “an atmosphere of defeat pervaded the candidate’s headquarters”; “the place had an aura of romance”

quality – an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; “the quality of mercy is not strained”–Shakespeare
mystique – an aura of heightened value or interest or meaning surrounding a person or thing
note – a characteristic emotional quality; “it ended on a sour note”; “there was a note of gaiety in her manner”; “he detected a note of sarcasm”
vibe, vibration – a distinctive emotional aura experienced instinctively; “that place gave me bad vibrations”; “it gave me a nostalgic vibe”


noun air, feeling, feel, quality, atmosphere, tone, suggestion, mood, scent, aroma, odour, ambience, vibes (slang), vibrations (slang), emanation She had an aura of authority.

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language

  1. The distinctive atmosphere or quality associated with someone or something.
  2. An invisible force surrounding a living creature.
  3. An inner or special power/energy mentioned of in graphic novels (manga) Ex: In the Manga/Anime series Yu Yu Hakusho, the amount of power someone has is measured by their Aura
  4. The perceptual disturbance experienced by some migraine sufferers before a migraine headache.
  5. The telltale sensation experienced by some people with epilepsy before a seizure.
a companion of Artemis who bore twins to Dionysus. Zeus changed her into a spring because, in a fit of madness, she had killed one of her children. Unabridged. Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011.

[note: I copied the parts of the text that could possibly be linked with non-religious work, even if they originate from spirituality]

“…Sometimes, however, it is said that all living things (including humans) and all objects manifest such an aura. Often it is held to be perceptible, whether spontaneously or with practice: such perception is at times linked with the third eye of Indian spirituality.[1][2] Various writers associate various personality traits with the colors of different layers of the aura.[3][4][5] It has also been described as a map of the thoughts and feelings surrounding a person. [6]

Skeptics such as Robert Todd Carroll contend that auras may be seen for reasons such as migraines, synesthesia,[7] epilepsy, a disorder within the visual system, a disorder within the brain, or due to the influence of psychedelic drugs such as LSD.[8][9] Eye fatigue can also produce an aura, sometimes referred to as eye burn.”

“According to the literature of Theosophy, Anthroposophy, and Archeosophy also, each colour of the aura has a meaning, indicating a precise emotional state. A complete description of the aura and its colours was provided by Charles Leadbeater, a theosophist of the 19th century.[17] The works of Leadbeater were later developed by Palamidessi[18] and others.”

“For holistic healers, aura reading is the art of investigating the human energy field, or the energy fields of other sentient beings. It is a basis for using techniques of holistic healing, and includes such practices as bioenergetics, energy medicine, energy spirituality, and energy psychology.”

[According to Reiki]


The aura is the electromagnetic field that surrounds the human body (Human Energy Field-HEF) and every organism and object in the Universe.

The Human Energy Field as a collection of electro – magnetic energies of varying densities that permeate through and emit or exit from the physical body of a living person. These particles of energy are suspended around the healthy human body in an oval shaped field. This “auric egg” emits out from the body approximately 2-3 feet (1 metre on average) on all sides. It extends above the head and below the feet into the ground.

To see a photo of the aura, please click here.


The aura consist of seven levels/layers/auric bodies . Each one of the subtle bodies that exist around the physical body, has its own unique frequency. They are interrelated, and affect one another and the person’s feelings, emotions, thinking, behaviour, and health as well. Therefore a state of imbalance in one of the bodies leads to a state of imbalance in the others.


RED AURA COLOR: Relates to the physical body, hart or circulation. The densest color, it creates the most friction. Friction attracts or repels; money worries or obsessions; anger or unforgiveness; anxiety or nervousness

Deep Red: Grounded, realistic, active, strong will-power, survival-oriented.

Muddied red: Anger (repelling)

Clear red: Powerful, energetic, competitive, sexual, passionate

Pink-bright and light: Loving, tender, sensitive, sensual, artistic, affection, purity, compassion; new or revieved romantic relationship. Can indicate clairaudience.

Dark and murky pink: Immature and/or dishonest nature

Orange Red: Confidence, creative power

In a good, bright and pure state, red energy can serve as a healthy ego.

ORANGE AURA COLOR: Relates to reproductive organs and emotions. The color of vitality, vigor, good health and excitement. Lots of energy and stamina, creative, productive, adventurous, courageous, outgoing social nature; currently experiencing stress related to apetites and addictions;

Orange-Yellow: Creative, intelligent, detail oriented, perfectionist, scientific.

YELLOW AURA COLOR: Relates to the spleen and life energy. It is the color of awakening, inspiration, intelligence and action shared, creative, playful, optimistic, easy-going.

Light or pale yellow: Emerging psychic and spiritual awareness; optimism and hopefulness; positive excitement about new ideas.

Bright lemon-yellow: Struggling to maintain power and control in a personal or business relationship; fear of losing control, prestige, respect, and/or power.

Clear gold metallic, shiny and bright: Spiritual energy and power activated and awakened; an inspired person.

Dark brownish yellow or gold: A student, or one who is straining at studying; overly analitical to the point of feeling fatigued or stressed; trying to make up for “lost time” by learning everything all at once.

GREEN AURA COLOR: Relates to heart and lungs. It is a very comfortable, healthy color of nature. When seen in the aura this usually represents growth and balance, and most of all, something that leads to change. Love of people, animals, nature; teacher; social

Bright emerald green: A healer, also a love-centered person

Yellow-Green: Creative with heart, communicative

Dark or muddy forest green: Jealousy, resentment, feeling like a victim of the world; blaming self or others; insecurity and low self-esteem; lack of understanding personal responsibility; sensitive to perceived criticism

Turquoise: Relates to the immune system. Sensitive, compassionate, healer, therapist.

BLU AURA COLOR: Relates to the throat, thyroid. Cool, calm, and collected. Caring, loving, love to help others, sensitive, intuitive.

Soft blue: Peacefulness, clarity and communication; truthful; intuitive

Bright royal blue: Clairvoyant; highly spiritual nature; generous; on the right path; new opportunities are coming

Dark or muddy blue: Fear of the future; fear of self-expression; fear of facing or speaking the truth

INDIGO AURA COLOR: Relates to the third eye, visual and pituitary gland. Intuitive, sensitive, deep feeling.

VIOLET AURA COLOR: Relates to crown, pineal gland and nervous system. The most sensitive and wisest of colors. This is the intuitive color in the aura, and reveals psychic power of attunement with self. Intuitive, visionary, futuristic, idealistic, artistic, magical.

LAVENDER AURA COLOR: Imagination, visionary, daydreamer, etheric.

SILVER AURA COLOR: This is the color of abundance, both spiritual and physical. Lots of bright silver can reflect to plenty of money, and/or awakening of the cosmic mind.

Bright metallic silver: Receptive to new ideas; intuitive; nurturing

Dark and muddy gray: Residue of fear is accumulating in the body, with a potential for health problems, especially if gray clusters seen in specific areas of the body

GOLD AURA COLOR: The color of enlightenment and divine protection. When seen within the aura, it says that the person is being guided by their highest good. It is divine guidance. Protection, wisdom, inner knowledge, spiritual mind, intuitive thinker.

BLACK AURA COLOR: Draws or pulls energy to it and in so doing, transforms it. It captures light and consumes it. Usually indicates long-term unforgiveness (toward others or another) collected in a specific area of the body, which can lead to health problems; also, entitities within a person’s aura, chakras, or body; past life hurts; unreleased grief from abortions if it appears in the ovaries

WHITE AURA COLOR: Reflects other energy. A pure state of light. Often represents a new, not yet designated energy in the aura. Spiritual, etheric and non-physical qualities, transcendent, higher dimensions. Purity and truth; angelic qualities.

White sparkles or flashes of white light: angels are nearby; can indicate that the person is pregnant or will be soon

EARTH AURA COLORS: Soil, wood, mineral, plant. These colors display a love of the Earth, of being grounded and is seen in those who live and work on the outdoors….construction, farming, etc. These colors are important and are a good sign.

RAINBOWS: Rainbow-colored stripes, sticking out like sunbeams from the hand, head or body: A Reiki healer, or a starperson (someone who is in the first incarnation on Earth)

PASTELS: A sensitive blend of light and color, more so than basic colors. Shows sensitivity and a need for serenity.

DIRTY BROWN OVERLAY: Holding on to energies. Insecurity.

DIRTY GRAY OVERLY: Blocking energies. Guardedness.

Researching collage artists

Samples of interesting collage work  that could be considered relevant to the topic of ‘aura’. Most of these images were seen in the book ‘Cut & Paste’ (Richard Brereton with Caroline Roberts).

Eva Eun-Sil Han (Untitled and Acbluophobia’)

Dani Sanchis – ‘Xiuxio’

Mark Lazenby – ‘Fixed to be Fixed and the Need to be ‘Broken’

A different approach, which after all this abstraction (including the research into painting) seems particularly refreshing!

Looking into painting for inspiration

Sometimes the link isn’t immediately noticeable. Paintings are a great source of inspiration, even if the final result uses completely different media.

(Most of these images originated by the excellent book ‘The Shock Of The New – Art In The Century Of Change’ by Robert Hughes)

The first painting that came to mind almost instantly is Edvard Much’s ‘Madonna’ (1894-5). The use of flow of colour around the figure is particularly striking and seems to form a kind of aura.

George Seurat – ‘Port of Gravelines Channel’ (1890). I admit to not being a fan. Even though in my opinion it succeeds in transferring an emotive quality, I find this overt ‘prettiness’ and political correctness rather annoying.

Claude Monet – ‘Two Haystacks’ (1891)

Claude Monet – ‘Waterlilies’

‘Waterlilies’ might be considered a more daring proposal, as it is more difficult to distinguish the actual forms.

Vincent Van Gogh (‘The Starry Night’ and ‘Les Alpilles’). The technique and strong emotional nature are nothing short of amazing.

Wassily Kandinsky – ‘Black Lines No. 189’ (1913)

Mark Rothko – ‘Ochre and Red on Red’ (1954)

A bit too far in terms of abstraction for most people’s liking (including me), however there are important lessons to be learned regarding the use of colour.

Arnold Brocklin – ‘The Isle of the Dead’ (1880)

An alternative proposal that does not use flow of colour/strokes to five out the ‘aura’ of the depicted scene.

Frank Auerbach – ‘Head of J.Y.M.’ (1981)

It is hard to imagine how any element from this work could be translated into other media, it is however very impressive and feels relevant to the theme in a more abstract way.

Briefing and early brainstorming

Today we were told that we would be exploring the theme of ‘Aura’. Early brainstorming took place right after the briefing.