Type at least 1 character to search
Back to top

An Exercise In Tension

The Cyberpunk Condor

A few months ago (February 2020) I was asked to create balance through tension as a design course homework task. And given a sheet of A4 paper with some black squares and circles and triangles printed on it. That was the brief. And the constraint. Around the same time I had been getting into Chris Ashworth’s typographic experiments and also his manual manipulation of paper. So I fused everything together. And came up with this.

I came up with a series or them. But this one I really liked. It looked like some futuristic predatory bird sizing up a little quivering and vulnerable triangle. I called it ‘The Cyberpunk Condor’ just for kicks. It had become an art and design project. One of the other pieces I came up with was an attempt at balance through symmetry. And that one, to me, looked like a gas mask. I shared that one along with a few others as a post on the process. I loved the process behind it. Super manual. Messy. And I found it tough being limited to a certain type and number of shapes. But right there lies the power of constraint.

I wasn’t fully amped up on the gas mask one. Primarily because it looked too much like an actual something. Far too literal. It had no real mystery in it. No unknown. No question. No real edge. But if it was a mask it became pretty relevant a month or so later. As the world went in apocalyptic lockdown as a result of a gnarly virus. Which at the time of writing (April 2020) was still out there. And I hop[e everyone is ok.

This piece was used a part of Shillington College of Graphic Design’s ‘2020 Graduate Showcase’.


Note: Months and months after doing all this (and even months and months after pulling together, writing and publishing this portfolio post) I was looking at the piece and wondered if it was more relevant and more literal than the one that looked like a gas mask. Maybe the condor was the virus. And the triangle was us.

And I was also reading this article in Dumbo Feather magazine at the same time titled, ‘Bayo Akomolafe Seeks Bewilderment’ which added another layer (many layers) to that idea and possibility. In particular that “this virus [was] attacking not just human bodies but the very paradigm of the human”.

Our centrality to the plot had been questioned. And we need to make space for this other presence. A presence that is perhaps, far greater than us. This is a catalyst for us, to revisit …



Shillington College Of Graphic Design (homework task)


Shillington set the brief Ashworth inspired technique


210mm x 297mm (A4 portrait)


Mixed media: Paper / Charcoal / Liquid Paper / Joiners Tape / Masking Tape / Duct Tape / Sticky Tape / Pencils / Fine-Liners / Pocket Knife


February 27th 2020