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Floating Islands

Serene moments in hectic lifestyle are a rarity these days. Crowded cities, loud noises and piled unfinished work are always waiting for us. But what if we could escape, just for three minutes, to beautiful isolated islands to enjoy the little joys of life of watching clouds, stars, moon and peaceful landscapes...

produced by: Arturas Bondarciukas

Why on earth (or island) would you make that?

Not too long ago, I came across a little app called 'Material Islands' on my tablet. It offered a selection of islands that float in the middle of the screen, updated every few hours so that the position of the sun and colour of the background represented the time of the day. I found myself grabbing my tablet just to see what time of the day is on those little islands, finding those little moments of calm and peace, just enjoying the visual simplicity and the mood of the images. While the app itself was nothing special, I found it to be an escape of the hectic lifestyle that most of us live. I could just sit and observe the time passing by, enjoying the silent moments in between all the work and responsibilities. The best value of this app, I found, was not the visuals or the fact that it was interactive, but the uplifiting feeling that it brought to me. With this in mind I set out to create my interpretation of these 'islands' with the ultimate goal of creating serene, uplifiting, happy and calming effect on the viewer. If one thing that art can do beautifully, it is to convey an uplifting message and contribute  beauty to the world.

Ok. And... then what?

With that in mind I set out little world of peaceful landscapes that are never the same - each time slightly different. Inspired by a book I am currently reading, 'Art as a Hidden Message, a Guide to Self-Realization' by J. Donald Walters, I wanted to create an art that is joyful and is uplifting. What better meaning can art have than to bring happiness and joy? 'My purpose is to reach beyond passing trends in art and see whether, in an overview, there may not be found a guideline to life's true purpose and meaning.' (Walters, 1997, p.17)

When creating this project I was considering cinematic and photographic practices, which I have experience in. I knew how I wanted to frame everything (I devided everything into thirds and quarters when placing objects) and made sure it works well as a still and moving image. I also put thought into organising scenes in a particular order, decided on the transitions and created an intro piece, a common practice in film making.

This project was a perfect opportunity for me to flex my rusty fingers and remember how to draw, sketch and create graphics. It was great feeling to see my different skills (that I honestly forgot about) and apply them together; creating the graphics by hand and then seeing them come to life through programming is pure joy for me. The ultimate goal of this project is to create 3 minutes of viewing joy and, hopefully, a temporary escape from reality. Perhaps we could all benefit from owning a little floating island of our own.


Walters, J. (1997). Art as a hidden message. 1st ed. Nevada City, Calif.: Crystal Clarity.

Material Islands app -

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