Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Ciaran Gormley 

BA [Hons] 3D Design Modelmaking + Digital Art

My time studying modelmaking has given me a tangible way to learn a varied creative skillset. In my final year I have focused mainly on 3D digital work and 3D printing. My interest in gaming made me want to explore the process behind creating games, as it is an industry that continues to grow and become more impressive as new technology emerges. Although the past year outside of college has been slow and difficult at times, I really look forward to a return to some kind of normality and to catch up with everyone I haven’t seen!

Project Description

Golden Tide Island is a game level set on a sci-fi tropical island. I wanted to explore the juxtaposition of this peaceful natural landscape against the backdrop of towering ruins of manmade architecture. It is set in a near future where biological warfare has forced the remainder of the human race to live in remote colonies. The player wakes up after a coma to find the living facility empty. They explore the island, walking down to the beach. Suddenly, a large combat robot emerges from the sea. Although the situation seems dangerous, the robot extends a hand for the player to climb onto…

I wanted to convey this world using a vibrant colour palette and cel-shaded art style. I took inspiration from the natural, flowing shapes of seashells when designing some of my buildings. The main programs I used were 3DS Max, Substance Painter and Unreal Engine.

Thesis - The Influence of Dadaism and Surrealism on the Animation of Monty Python

My thesis investigated the influence of the Surrealist and Dadaist movements in art history on the work of British comedy ensemble, Monty Python. This is particularly evident in American animator, Terry Gilliam’s distinctive cut-out style of animation. This depicts surreal landscapes featuring peculiar characters; contributing a sense of variety to the group’s work through a purely visual style of comedy.

Many commonalities can be uncovered when comparing Gilliam’s animations with Dada and Surrealist artworks. His inclination to defy conventions surrounding the medium of animation is intrinsically linked to the founders of the Dada movement. Gilliam’s sourcing of imagery illustrates his eclectic knowledge of art history. His animations emulate the style of a given period, while re-contextualising imagery to serve a contemporary comedic function. This repurposing of famous classical works; juxtaposing ‘high art’ and ‘low art’ imagery bears a striking resemblance to Dada ‘readymade’ artworks.

Gilliam contributes an important additional layer to his artwork through the element of motion, while retaining common Surrealist qualities such as metamorphosis, absurd dreamlike landscapes and the manipulation of scale. Common themes evident between Gilliam’s works and these movements include imagery surrounding gender, sexuality, authority and power.

Gilliam’s diverse career with and outside of the Pythons illustrates the development of his unique visual style. Gilliam’s style of art itself continues to influence the creation of countless television and film works today. Although he has deviated from his background in animation, Gilliam’s identifying style has only become more pronounced, with Surrealist and Dadaist influences becoming increasingly evident.