Freezing Time: A police car in action


Freezing Time: A police car in action is predicated upon the moment in time when a police car speeds past on an emergency call. I paid particular attention to the reflective surfaces and graphics displayed on the side of police vehicles and the blue flashing beacon used to warn pedestrians and other road users. I produced a range of exploratory samples that explore the police car colour scheme taking into consideration how the colours of the reflectives and the blue flashing light will change according to the time of day and whether the police car is static or in motion.

My inspiration came from my own photographs of police cars, reflective tapes and a fake police blue flashing beacon showing how the signature blue and yellow colours can differ from one car to another and how light and movement can have an effect on the colours. I also became inspired by optical illusions and ‘Op Art’ such as Bridget Riley’s work which often creates the illusion of movement and 3-D.

I experimented with weft ikat dyeing which gave me the chequered blue and yellow but with a jagged line which related to the idea of movement. The black background emphasises the luminosity of the reflectives on a police car at night and the small flickers of blue portray the blue flashing light on a police car.

My final work was a series of three ‘installation’ pieces that told the story of a speeding police car on an emergency call at night. The intention of the panels is to be hung in the order of events. When a police car is on call at night the first thing that becomes apparent is the blue flashing lights, therefore the first panel representing this would be hung further forward than the other two, like a warning for what is to come. Behind this the other two panels would be hung side by side showing the police car in motion. Although I intended for the panels to be displayed together as a series, each piece could be displayed separately.