Friday, April 15, 2011

Thoughts and Impressions

  1. This week I have tried to revise my thesis and have approached possible advisors. One has accepted the task of working with me on this topic and the other I will contact again on monday. I came across a picture which reinforced the idea that everyone would like to be seen as important ( the same essence of importance which Hyacinth Rigaud captured in his portrait of King Louix XIV). The picture was part of the news and announcements page in the UVU Library website. It announced a battle of the bands and had a caption does queen still rock you, alonside a picture of queen on stage in a red robe and wearing a crown.Could this be one of the reasons why we like images of the fluer de lis because in some form or other the fleur de lis has been visible on clothing however refined or urbanized?
Follow up responses to unanswered questions

  1. I have also given some thought to the following questions:Do you think the image retains some of its royal feel of pomp-& regalia even in its mass market variations? Do you think it would be marketed without that cultural context? ( That is, do you have any reason to believe that the symbol has an inherent attraction that transcends specific context, or not?). In response I think that the fleur de lis does retain some of its royal feel of pomp-& regalia in its mass market variations and this is why there are so many variations because even though the public realizes that other people will be wearing the same shirt, jacket, hat, or pair of jeans that they purchase they still might feel that there is enough similarities and differences between the image that perhaps makes them feel like an individual. However, I think that there is some weight to the specific cultural contexts even if we are not aware of what they may be. If the consumers of these products do not know the history behind this image there is still something communicated that speaks of simplicity and refinement or something along these lines. I feel certain that the designers of the products do know some information about the image and that it sells and that is why we may continue to see patterns in the contexts in which we see the image. In a paper weight I saw the other day the words Elegance, chic, style, design and they were in a cursive script that looked old and that seems significant. I viewed this object as combining the old with new. An old symbol, the fleur de lis image, with a new connotation that redifines what the image was with the meaning we have given to it today. Rather than make an argument I would like go the route of an analysis approach and state what I have learned in studying the fleur de lis image , below is an updated attempt at a thesis provided for further scrutiny.
Thesis - a work in progress

  1. Initially, I thought that the Fleur-de-lis was a print maker’s trademark and at the time I was taking some courses on printmaking and felt part of that heritage. One afternoon while shopping I came across an elegant and refined hair stick. Thinking how strange it should be that a print maker’s trademark should be duplicated as a hair pin-- not at all what it was intended to represent -- I purchased the item. Later I took an art history class which covered the Renaissance up until the present day. In class we came across a portrait painting of Louis XIV by Hyacinthe Rigaud. Depicted on the king’s cloak was an abundance of fleur-de-lis. Because of my previous exposure to the image, I began to see it everywhere. It sprang up in the Boy Scout’s emblem and in clothing worn today. Intrigued by this image’s resurgence and the repetition of the image itself, I began to satisfy my curiosity by researching more about its origins. I wanted to find out how it started and what it really meant; but now I am lost in a maze of fleur-de-lis, and I am not attempting to discover its origins but rather how it is used. Through vigorous research and recordings made possible through a sighting journal I will address the question, what is it about this successful image that lends itself so readily to various contexts and is there a single connection between these images? Examining the contexts in which the Fleur de Lis image is seen will demonstrate the role that culture plays in how meaning is derived in each Fleur de Lis image. What may have begun as an image denoting positions of prestige has been integrated into everyday use among the not so ordinary common people. Through the use of a sightings journal, a recording of the instances in which fleur de lis appear, I will be able to let images of the Fleur de Lis fuel, and satisfy my curiosity as they lead me into different paths of research. In addition to driving my research, these images will provide a variety of contexts in which to probe and analyze for a more in-depth study of the Fleur de Lis. As well as satisfying my curiosity for this image, this research will consequently permit a more thorough understanding of how graphic arts and humanities play a significant role and work in tandem with each other as a mutual collaboration. Graphic design creates and delves into images and what they come to represent in a practical way. Humanities in this application are how images are able to be used and the meaning that we associate with each image.


  1. Good Misty,

    You're close to a completed proposal now. (I of course speak from having the benefit of also seeing the full draft of your proposal last week, in addition to your latest posts.) Once you've got your second adviser on board, I think it's time to write this up, wrap up Cap One, and move into full gear for completing the thesis itself. This is what we want--someone already fully into the project and running with it, advisers on board, by the end of Cap One. You'll find as you move into the next phase that some of your ideas keep shifting as you get more feedback from your emphasis advisers and find more interesting sources. For myself, I'm most intrigued, as you've no doubt guessed, by the graphic design aspect of this image. I would love to see any evidence that certain images or patterns or even just certain types of patterns (e.g., symmetrical, cursive, abstract, whatever) trigger responses that are partly neurologically innate and not only culturally determined. I suspect that the fleur-de-lis "feels" elegant even to people with no knowledge of the complex cultural history you've unearthed, but that's just a hunch on my part. It's your adventure. Discover what you can and keep having fun with it.

  2. amen.

    you're doing this exactly the way we've hoped for, systematically (even when you were first brainstorming you kept at it, collecting and thinking and moving along).

    and the result is a robust proposal poised to take you into capstone 2 with good momentum.