Thursday, 3 December 2009

Assignment 4 Essay: Auto Theft and Criminal Decision Making

Methods Used To Record Findings & Research:
I began by reading my source texts chosen from my previously completed bibliography. Due to my previous design ideas based on solving the problem of auto theft I chose to read an article which is specifically based around research found on the criminal act itself. For a much more general view of a connected area I looked at criminal’s decision making. I decided to use post-it notes to record my thoughts and the information I found most useful from each text. I felt this technique would allow me to link information and show my original thought process regarding my chosen subject matter.

Auto Theft and Criminal Decision Making:
Within this essay I will discuss auto thieves decision making processes and strategies used before and during the criminal act. I hope to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of my two chosen sources and explain how they benefit my understanding of the issue of auto theft.

The first source I have chosen to look at for this assignment is a journal article written by Michael Cherbonneau and Heith Copes entitled ‘Drive It Like You Stole It’, Auto Theft and The Illusion of Normalcy’. The main intensions of this paper are to examine the strategic decisions auto thieves make throughout the course of a crime and how they create the illusion of a normal driver. The methods commonly used by thieves to avoid police suspicion are explained as well as the differing decisions made by distinct groups. As primary research, 54 auto thieves were paid to be interviewed in a semi-structured format. The aim of these interviews was to discover how the mind of an auto thief works in relation to the decisions they make which ensure that no negative repercussions entail as a result of their crime. Due to the well constructed primary research and extensive secondary sources, I feel that this paper is a reliable and informative piece of writing explaining the previous misconceptions criminologists have made regarding offenders and how recent research has proven otherwise.
In the past, it has seemed logical to brand criminals as mindless opportunists who gain pleasure by fulfilling their trivial needs by taking from others. Their total disregard of the law, make them seem unintelligent with no thought to the consequences which may follow their actions. Criminologists, Gottfredson and Hurschi (1990: xv) believe that ‘[crime] requires no planning or skill’ and ‘are mundane, simple, trivial easy acts’. Although, with the information gathered from the interviews conducted, Cherbonneau and Copes argue that auto thieves use well constructed strategies and keep their emotions under control to avoid police attention. They explain this through the exploration of the criminal’s deliberate alteration of appearance and behaviour during the presence of police. In creating this ‘illusion of normalcy’, the offender is able to drive around in the stolen vehicle without being associated with the criminal offence. Throughout the interviews, the auto thieves explain how understanding police operations can allow them to remain undetected using a system of strategies. Extremely confident “auto thieves believe that interacting with police helps maintain the illusion of normalcy’ such as ‘brief eye contact, head nodding...waving and other acts of friendliness’ (Cherbonneau and Copes 2006: 205). These criminals understand the way in which their opponent’s mind works so they can use this to their advantage as they make each crucial decision. Another example of the detail auto thieves will address whilst carrying out a crime is the replacing of ignition switches and covering of damaged steering panels to further normalise outward appearance. Having control over your own emotions whilst committing a crime is extremely important for auto thieves as police officers are trained to detect any fear or suspicious non-verbal clues in drivers which may indicate they are uneasy.
In recent years, incidents of auto theft have been declining throughout the United Kingdom as shown in the statistical tables from 1981-2009. In order to further prevent car theft we must focus on understanding Cherbonneau and Copes findings by being aware of the intricacies of these crimes and more specifically how auto thieves make decisions. Their research has led them to the conclusion that ‘arrest avoidance techniques are key in understanding how criminals make decisions’.
The second text I have chosen is ‘The Reasoning Criminal: Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending’, edited by Derek Cornish and Ronald Clarke. It is less specific to my chosen subject although as stated in the title it looks generally at the decisions made by criminals before and during an offence. Cornish and Clarke have collected and commented on a wide range of research within the topic of criminal decision making. Chapter’s which have been written by a range of individuals are the outcome of a conference sponsored by the Home Office. Collectively they explain the processes which criminals use in order to make decisions. The editors have used secondary sources as their main material so are relying heavily on other researchers finding’s. Throughout the text, the editors comment on the findings of sociologists, criminologists, scientologists and economists. These writer’s texts are highly reliable sources due to their academic background. They believe that criminals make many rational decisions during a crime however amateur they are. Criminals must take into account restraints such as time and their own abilities when making decisions. During impulse crimes which take place when chance opportunities arise, the criminal still must make these decisions even if there is little time for thought. Cornish and Clarke believe that in order to understand the criminal mind you must take into account that individual crimes involve separate decision making processes. Both motivations and methods vary considerably between specific crimes. They understand that focus has previously been on the act itself instead of the offender and what has triggered their decision to commit the crime. They believe, “we must distinguish between criminal involvement and criminal events” (Cornish and Clarke, 1986, pg 6). Criminal involvement refers to the build up over time of a combination of factors which influence a criminal to commit an offence. They naturally occur before the crime is committed and are usually not directly linked to the criminal act itself. Examples of these include psychological, social, demographic background factors (Tonry and Morris, 1985, Initial Involvement model). During criminal events, situations arise which cause the offender to make decisions. These are the factors which must also be included in criminal research so the rational decision making process is understood. Cornish and Clark’s idea that we must be crime specific, and refrain from generalising all criminals illustrates that we should take into account the fact that the decision process made by each criminal is individual and influenced by the situational factors at the time. In this text by analysing a broad range of factors they will then have covered all areas in order to explore each criminal’s thought process. In doing so they clearly show the reasons why crimes are committed which in turn could lead to a better understanding to prevent crime. I found chapter ten, ‘The Theory of The Reasoned Action: A Decision Theory of Crime’ by Mary Tuck and David Riley, interesting as it explores a specific part of my previous research; how crime can be prevented. They begin with the debate, should we be helping those who are most likely to enter a life of crime, by giving them opportunities so they feel they have choices or should we be creating better deterrents such as harder punishment for offenders. Results have shown ‘that criminal behaviour varies more with the certainty than the severity of punishment’, (Tuck and Riley, 1986, p165). The strategic decisions criminals are making throughout the crime are lessening their chances of being caught, making punishment less certain. Tuck and Riley, investigate the individuals most at risk of resorting to crime, the environments they live and their social backgrounds. Their findings are expected, showing that those growing up in deprived areas are most at risk. This research may not hold hard answers yet but it can be built upon to form a better understanding of the criminal mind. Due to this broad collection of research, Cornish and Clarke have managed to create a convincing theory of the rational decisions criminals make in order to prevent suffering the consequences of their actions. Their conclusion that strategic decisions are crime specific implies that we must resort to broadening our research into individual crimes whilst also researching them in depth. Each criminal reacts differently depending on factors which have occurred previous to the criminal act and during.

Comparing the two texts, I believe Cherbonneau and Copes’ findings within their article to be more useful in regard to my chosen subject. The main reason for this is that they have used their own primary sources through conducting interviews first hand; therefore they are more aware of the interviewee’s methods and ideas. By interviewing criminals who have participated in many different types of crime, their findings will be broad enough to cover the idea that all criminals frequently make decisions in this manner. The specific focus is on auto thieves; therefore information found will be in depth in certain interviews. By quoting the auto thieves throughout the text they are backing up any findings which they believe to be relevant. To prove the idea that criminals manipulate their appearance as well as behaviour successfully one offender is quoted stating: “riding around, I’m a completely different person. You’ll never think that I was in a stolen car”, (pg 198). One possible flaw in their research is the fact that the offenders were paid to take part in the interviews. Paying the interviewee is viewed by some as unethical as answers may be influenced by this factor causing a biased view and production of inaccurate information. Also, it could be argued that criminals are clearly not the most truthful individuals and therefore the information they share may be unreliable. Contrasting methods of research, in Cornish and Clarke’s text, show mainly secondary sources. These separate points of view provide a broader knowledge of the reasoning criminal, which can in theory only be a positive. The fact that they are all academics therefore implies that their studies and results will be accurate and reliable. Although, in using only secondary information and assuming that it is correct without conducting any primary research of their own, the information will not be as sufficiently proven as the ideas from Cherbonneau and Copes article. Another weakness within this text in comparison to the previous is that as the book was published in 1986 all research will have been carried out previously therefore these older sources will surely be less relevant than studies conducted in 2006, in the case of ‘Drive It Like You Stole It’. Cherbonneau and Copes on the other hand make fewer assumptions as they rely on their own findings.
As a result of the findings in ‘Drive it Like You Stole It’ Auto Theft and the Illusion of Normalcy’ we learn that it is important that we take into consideration the complexities of the criminal mind. We must work on creating deterrents based on the results shown that criminals are being influenced by current deterrents throughout decision making processes, although they are not strong enough to prevent the crimes from primarily taking place. The consequences of being caught committing a crime seem to be making criminals smarter in there thinking, and we must prevent this going further. Cornish and Clarkes result’s from, ‘The Reasoning Criminal: Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending’, have created the idea that we must ensure we do not generalise at any point during our research. Every aspect and type of crime must be researched individually, and only after can be begin to understand how to help solve these problems. They have even stated themselves that they have not reached a final conclusion by the conclusion of the text. If we take these findings seriously we can begin to develop the methods of deterrence which are already in use. Although both texts imply that the criminal mind is complex, the progression which has occurred in the time between each publication has been vast, proving that our understanding is in fact growing.

Further Research:
If I were to research this further I would begin by collecting my own primary research. Conducting interviews with criminals would be essential in personally gaining a better understanding of how offenders construct their crimes. It would allow me to ask questions which have not been asked in the texts I have previously read. I feel there I haven’t researched much information regarding the backgrounds of those participating in auto theft. I also feel reading a broader range of books and journal articles explaining the psychology of crime would be extremely beneficial as I would be exposed to an increasing number of individual and differing views. I believe watching surveillance footage of car thefts taking place would possibly trigger new thoughts into how this problem could be solved further. I could arrange this by contacting the local council and police. It may also be beneficial to get first hand information from police officers as they deal with these offenders on a daily basis and will understand how the criminal’s minds work.


Cherbonneau, M, Copes, H, (2006), ‘DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT’Auto Theft and the Illusion of Normalcy,
British Journal Of Criminology Vol 46, No.2, University of Missouri, Advance Access

Cornish, DB, Clarke, RV,(1986) The Reasoning Criminal:Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending,
New York, Springer-Verlag, New York Inc,

Gottfredson, M. and Hirschi, T. (1990), A General Theory of Crime. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. (accessed 26.11.09)

Tonryn, N, Morris, N (eds.), (1985), Crime and Justice, vol.6, Chicago, University of Chicago Press

Monday, 16 November 2009

Assignment 3 - Bibliography and Top Websites

For our third assignment we were asked to create a bibliography of sources which we feel would benefit our research into our chosen subject. I began my research by using Crosssearch and the online library catalogue, searching key words such as: car, theft, street, crime, etc until I felt I had a substantial number of possible sources. I then went to the main library and browsed the sections where the books I had found online were. I was hoping to find a few extra books that may have been useful although they were all pretty out dated. I still didn't feel my sources were specific enough so I searched again online and discovered a couple of papers in the Law Library matched my subject. I searched the surrounding shelves again to see if there were any other relevant books/ papers. Some of my sources I believe will be much more useful than others although each source gave me a better insight into car theft and the way in which the criminal mind works. These are the journal articles and books which I believe have broadened my understanding:

Cherbonneau, M, Copes, H, (2006), ‘DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT’ Auto Theft and the Illusion of Normalcy, British Journal Of Criminology Vol 46, No.2, University of Missouri, Advance Access

I discovered this journal on the Library Journal archive and found it related well to my chosen subject of car theft. It explains how research has been carried out to explain how car thieves think and the manner in which they behave to avoid attention from the police when driving a stolen vehicle. I feel this article would be useful in my research as it gives an insight into how criminals think and the decisions they make, which is extremely important if designing a solution to the problem they cause. Criminals are not deterred by the consequences and punishment of their actions. They are although aware of them and so therefore they are much more cautious during each stage of vehicle theft. Understanding the car thief’s intelligence would be vital in my search for a design solution.

Cornish, DB, Clarke, RB, (1986), The Reasoning Criminal, Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending, New York, Springer-Verlag

After looking through research in a journal article on the way a criminal thinks, I found this book. It focuses on the decision making of the offender as they commit a crime, such as car theft. I feel this research by criminologists; psychologists and economic researchers would be relevant as it would give me an insight into how their minds work. Hopefully I could gain some understanding of the individual decisions they make. As this book was published in 1986 the information may not be completely up to date, although it acts as a good base line for my understanding of the thought processes of committing a crime. The book also explains how crucial the situations criminals find themselves in are in helping to prevent crime and looks into coming up with deterrents and prevention policies. It will help me understand how different situational factors (i.e. criminal event) can change a criminal’s strategic thinking. Another possible problem with this book is that although it researches “A Decision theory of Crime and Robbery” it does not specify direct car theft research.

Jeffery, CR, (1971), ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design’, California, Sage Publications INC

This book is primarily looking into prevention of crime mainly in urban areas. It explains how crucial planning in built up areas is in lowering crime rate. To prevent car theft, the environment/ situation in which a vehicle is in is very important. This book may highlight the kinds of areas where cars should be left to prevent theft, such as on main streets with lots of passing traffic so thieves feel they are being watched or alternately locked away in garages. This book could possibly be out of touch with the culture of today as it was written in the 70’s so some of the issues may have already been addressed.

Lu, Y, (2003), Getting Away with the Stolen Vehicle: An Investigation of Journey-after-Crime, The Professional Geographer Vol 55, Issue 4, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing

In this article I found some more information on areas of car theft I had previously explored. These included, understanding the routes thieves take after the initial vehicle theft, the most likely places the stolen vehicles will be found and the ‘journey-after-crime’ (patterns of thieves routes) . Chop shops, where cars are dismantled and the parts are sold on separately are ‘hot spots’ for stolen vehicles as this is a common way for the criminals to make the vehicles difficult to recover. In order to come up with a solution I must be aware of the problems already facing the police trying to recover these vehicles. Therefore I would be able to work on creating a way to prevent the car thieves primarily reaching these chop shops.

Sallybanks, J,(January 2001), ‘Assessing the Police Use of Decoy Vehicles’, Police Research Series, Paper 137, London, Crown Publishing

I think this series of papers from the Law Library may be the best example of useful source information I have found so far. This section of research papers is focused specifically on combating car theft. It includes information on the use of police decoy vehicles which act as traps in areas with high vehicle theft. These decoy vehicles are usually the same car models that are most likely to be targeted. They can be fitted with devices which trap the criminals inside and prevent the thief from leaving the scene. They are only one method in a large scale crackdown on vehicle theft. I feel information on this type of solution to vehicle theft would be greatly beneficial in my research. Understanding successful methods and products which are already out there will give me an idea of what already works so I could built on them.

Sallybanks, J, Brown, R, (1999), ‘Vehicle Crime Reduction: Turning the Corner’, Police Research Series, Paper 119, London, Crown Publishing

My final source also focuses on car theft and contains information on which cars are likely to be stolen, where the best and worst places to leave your car are and the type of people most at risk of having their car stolen. This will be beneficial as the information is highly reliable due to the writers being members of the Home Office Policing and Reducing Crime Unit. This source contains an overview of vehicle crime and ways in which the problem is being assessed. I found reading even small sections of this extremely helpful as I feel I understand which methods of prevention have worked in the past. I feel reading the full paper would help my understanding even more.

To finish I have included 5 design related websites and 5 general websites which I find inspirational:

Inspirational Websites

Design Websites:

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Cultures Project Continued ...

I've not really posted much of my sketchbook content so far, so I thought I would give you a peek at how my 'Cultures' project is going. I visited Holy Trinity Church in St Andrews and took some photos of its beautiful stained glass windows. I completed a few sketches whilst I was there too, which were mainly based around shape and colour. I have developed these drawings further and I'm currently incorporating my ideas into fabric samples. I will post a few pages of my sketchbook later in the week.
I have already spent a week printing, which I found slighlty frustrating as I didn't feel I acomplished what I set out to do as the colours in my samples aren't as I would have liked and my prints in general not controlled enough. Although, I definately found the week helpful as I have learnt the different overall effects each type of printing can have.
I've just finished a weeks block of mixed media which I really enjoyed. I have tried to incorporate as much of my sketchbook into my design samples as possible. Here are some of my samples I have created over the past few days:

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Catherine Hammerton's Work

I've been aware of Catherine Hammerton's work for a while now and last weeks mixed media block reminded me of her beautifully constructed wallpapers and soft furnishings. She uses a range of techniques in her floral and vintage inspired work. I would love to own one of her pieces, but I'm pretty sure that won't happen anytime soon. Check out her website:

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Design Solutions Through Thought Process

For the final part of the second Design Studies task, we were asked to create a poster of our research on a specific problem/issue and clearly illustrate our thought process, showing possible solutions. I chose to look into the issue of Car Theft, by researching methods and products which could possibly reduce the majority of cases. I also looked at what is already out there and the main reasons behind car theft to gain a better understanding of the issue as a whole. This is my finished poster:

I began by looking into which vehicles are most at risk, and I wasn't surprised by my findings. It's pretty obvious that cars with belongings visible to passers by were a target, along with older, less security intelligent vehicles and vehicles left in derelict areas. I then went on to gain a better understanding of how the situation of the car is very important: home, street, car park, showroom/garage. Car thieves these days are intelligent and have new techniques as they understand that in order to have the best chance of a clean getaway they must insure that they don't set off an alarm. They use a long pole with a hook attached to the end to reach through your letter box and grab your keys. In doing this they can just drive away without causing any disturbance ensuring that the missing car is not reported for longer. Cars can be shipped off-shore within the hour. Car keys stolen during burglaries is common:

The public clearly need to be made more aware of this issue to ensure they are not making themselves an easy target. A simple way of doing this would be through leaflets to every door or posters clearly visible. Getting neighbourhoods involved in informing their community of the problem. But would this really work? do we need shock tactics for people to take notice or is getting them involved in some way to directly combat the issue in problem areas a stronger idea? Electronic immobilisers although an anti-theft deterrent, are useless in this case as the thief has the keys so no unauthorised starting of the engine is taking place. Alarms are also useless although in reality they are pretty useless anyway. How often do you think when you hear a car alarm sounding, "A car is being stolen!"? The majority of the time you just think how annoying someone turn it off ! This is due to too many false alarms and car alarms unreliability. This is another issue needing addressed in the fight to prevent car theft.

Continuing to think about situation and security lead me to remember experiencing parking in Britain's safest car park, Bold Lane in Derby. At the time I was shocked at the technology involved in keeping the publics car's safe for 20p extra per hour. Unlike the majority of car parks Bold Lane is equipped with panic buttons, locked entry doors, a huge CCTV network and intelligent sensors. These sensors detect if the car moves whilst it is still stored on the system database. If the individual card has been activated by adding a unique number to the system but has not been deactivated at the entrance door, it results in a system lock down which is impossible to escape. Surely people would pay the extra money if a car park in a problem area had this technology to ensure the safety of their car. Would it be possible one day for all car parks to be this safe?

I feel like I'm asking too many questions here, so finally I have come up with some methods of prevention. Already out there are steering wheel locking devices and, engine turn off devices, kill switches and GPS vehicle tracking. So I thought about making each car uniquely coded to it's owner. This could be done through storing the individuals finger print or eye(iris) into a database in the car. The fingerprint detector could be located in the side paneling of the car door and the eye identifier could be located in the windscreen or in the above paneling. It would be made impossible to start the engine of the car unless the owner was present and impossible to enter the vehicle unless force was used. To accommodate for cars with multiple owners/drivers their details could be entered to only on request. If a car was sold on then the previous owner would also have to be present to agree to the changing of the database content and for their details to be wiped or transferred to another vehicle.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Brainstorming and Design Solutions

Whilst brainstorming ideas from the 'Tipping Point' and linking it's content to the design world, we focused on three chapters: 'The Stickiness Factor", "The Law of the Few" and "The Power of Context". After brainstorming ideas and reviewing we began adding and expanding to our first thoughts.

We then explored possible design solutions to social issues in a spider diagram. We split our ideas into the three chapters and came up with issues we believe are not yet fully solved.

Our further brainstorming on "The Stickiness Factor" focused on how to help combat smoking and drink driving. We came up with some solutions which included a cigarette with internal dye which caused your skin to gradually change colour the more frequently you smoke. For the drink driving issue we began exploring the possibilities of built-in eye scanners to check for dilated pupils and a breathalyser which was essential for starting the car engine. We also discussed the idea of a super vaccine or mask which could combat all diseases and shield the wearer from all threats.

For "The Law of the Few" chapter after previously discovering that the internet although being a huge benefit is also the root cause of many of society's problems. With this in mind we explored ways in which social networking sites could be monitored and limited to help prevent people becoming contained within this 'virtual bubble' and bring them back to reality. Limiting login time and and specific counselling could help reduce time spent online and deter online predators.

Finally our ideas for "The Power of Context" included integration of reflective devices into all outdoor clothing to help help keep pedestrians safe at night. Another more textile orientated idea was hidden protection for security guards such as night club bouncers which could put them at ease and limit the amount of violence used in self defence. Another problem raised was theft and in particular car theft. The idea of finger print recognition or another eye scanner which was essential to gain access to the vehicle was discussed.

We then assigned each member of our group discussion an idea we believed had potential to be researched further. I have decided to look into car theft under the crime section of "The Power of Context". I decided to explore car theft as my dad runs a car sales and repairs business and I am aware of how security has a huge impact on the running of his business, and the measures he has to take to prevent theft. I am currently exploring the issue further and researching into possible solutions and contemporary security designs.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Good Design / Bad Design Lecture

Yesterday, I attended the 'Good Design/ Bad Design' lecture and found it very thought provoking. The lecture highlighted for me how people interpret what they see and how influential visuals can be on the viewer, shaping our ideas of what is "the norm". It made me realise that when designing I should be thinking about how my designs could affect others and trying to create designs which have a positive outcome. Thinking about visual literacy made me realise that I must think of my designs in context and how they will be portrayed by others and how they can be used to better peoples situations. I must understand who I am designing for and whether my designs are relevant. I feel it is important to design for the present whilst also thinking about how my designs will fair in the future. There is no point in wasting time trying to do what others have done before: I should be thinking innovatively. Design must be put into perspective and all elements considered otherwise the outcome will inevitably be irrelevant. Understanding the world around us as designers is extremely important if we are to create useful designs.

Well, I hope what I've just blogged about does link back to the message intended in the lecture and I've not just rambled on about something entirely off topic. I feel like these lectures make me think about so many different things which I never usually pay attention to, which can really only be a good thing !

Design for Life

Recently I have been watching the 'Design for Life' series on BBC2. I've really enjoyed watching the designers progress with their designs (or not so much on certain occasions). Whilst tuning in I feel I have learnt some interesting facts about previous design (such as where inspiration for certain designs originated from) and have had a good insight into the design world. Seeing how design presentations to clients should be constructed has given me a better idea of how I should plan out my work and thought processes in a coherent way. It has helped me to understand which aspects are important to consider whilst designing and how simple designs can on many occaisions be just as successful or even more so than intricate designs.

Watching the hopefuls has made me very jealous of the opportunities they've had and made me even more driven to continue pursuing a career in design. Even though Phillipe Starck is a highly regarded designer, I have to admit sometimes I can't help but disagree with some of his comments. For example when he labels some of the hopefuls design's as useless, when clearly they do have the potential to help those in certain situations. Anyway, I'm not sure I'm really in any position to judge any of his opinions, so I'll move on quickly. I defininately recommend catching up with 'Design for Life' if you're not already watching !

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Digital Develoment of Mark Making

Today, I finshed a project I have been working on for the past few days. We were told to complete a set of three A4 compositions by developing some of our previous pieces of work on Photoshop. Using our mark making drawings we were told to digitally manipulate them to create further designs. These are my three final compositions:

Sunday, 11 October 2009

'The Tipping Point' - My Mind Map

I have summarised each chapter of Malcolm Gladwell's 'The Tipping Point' in a mind map. I decided to go into more detail on the first Power of Context Chapter as i found this chapter one of the most interesting. I enjoyed discovering how people's surrounding enviroment can have an affect on how they behave. Completing this mind map gave me a better understanding of the book as a whole and the world around me that I hope to design for.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

'Cultures' Project Brief...

Well, I think i’ve put off writing on this for long enough now, so I suppose I better get started. I’m going to start off by writing a bit about the first Textiles brief of the year. Our first brief is called ‘Cultures’ , and although I struggled to decide how exactly I was going to approach the topic, I think I’m finally getting somewhere.
I am interested in why people have certain beliefs whether it be religious or personal. With this idea in mind I began by researching into religion and the way being part of a religion or a set of beliefs can provide a sense of belonging. This idea quickly led on to me thinking about people’s belief in a god and their perceptions of a “heaven”. I really struggled to find imagery for my first idea, so i have decided to focus on Roman Catholic religious art and more specifically shrines and the embellishment, iconography and rich textures found within churches. Here is some of my visual research so far from my sketchbook :