Monday, 7 February 2011

Locking Cots and Early to Bed

Hi Chaps

I have been in contact again with my digital illustrator chum in the 'States (remember I spent quite a time telling you all about the ideas hovering out of sight behind an illustrated version of the new book and this guy – Snooze – and his input). Anyway, as well as producing illustrations for a possible pictorial version of my upcoming book he accepts commissions from others and was recently commissioned to produce a series of images interpreting some ideas sent to him that, while now unlikely for various reasons to see the light of day, nonetheless make for a nice showcase of his talents.

As the artist himself says: “The main subject of the picture [to the artist's way of thinking] was the gruesome looking, [quite] terrifying cots. Not the girl. So thick and sturdy that [one immediately recognizes their] terrible purpose and that once [a girl was placed in one] there would be absolutely no escape from its cold confines until who ever it was put [her in ] there decided [she] be released.”

The rubber mattress and pillow “subtly implies that [she] will not be let out for the [purposes of visiting the bathroom].”

The girl on the far side is only noticed as an afterthought. You only notice her later. [Only then] does one discern the rubber suit she is dressed in; which once again implies the lack of bathroom breaks. She is diapered and waterproofed because she is not coming out until release time.”

The illustrator believes – and I agree – that “the image works [not so much due to] what is emphasized [but rather due to] what is understated; because as you look at it you see more and more.”

He sees the scene as “a special dorm for bed wetters in an institutional setting; an asylum? school or prison, perhaps. The first image is set just before 7:00 pm as it is beginning to go dark. Two inmates have been placed in their rubber nightwear and made to lie in their cots. A Dorm Matron has placed a rubber sheet/blanket over her first charge, has lifted the side rail of her cot and already secured one padlock in place and is in the process for locking the second padlock.”

He goes on to point out that:

“The dormitory Matron's second charge is already in position in her cot and is passively lying there while her [compatriot or fellow miscreant] is being [secured]. She could get up, out of the cot - she is not restrained. However, the image tries to show that such an action would be foolish. The locked bars over the window suggest that the room is in any case secure. She would not get far if she attempted to escape. Also positioned strategically in the foreground of the image is Matron's desk with a heavy punishment cane prominently on display along with a leather spanking paddle.

Less prominent, but still ominously visible on the far wall, is a board displaying three additional canes, two tawses and a pair of handcuffs and leg irons. The implication made is that the facility is well able to handle an inmate who tries to create a disturbance.

There are additional furnishings that also suggest resistance is fraught with peril: In the far corner of the room is a wardrobe containing what appear to be straitjackets. It is unclear whether [a straitjacket might be pressed into service to punish a] girl by placing her in it on top of her rubber suit, so that she would be uncomfortably restrained throughout the night] or whether perhaps [these girls] have been [routinely] incarcerated in them during the day and they have now been removed while they are locked in their cots for sleeping.

Another potential jeopardy is the half seen cage on the far left of the image. Presumably if the girls try to create a fuss, instead of being left for the night in their comfy, if very secure cots, they might be confined to the cage, which is too small for them to relax comfortably and has a bare metal floor. The implications of both the cage and straitjackets is that no matter how awful life is, it can always get much worse. And so the second girl realizes that resistance is futile and merely waits patiently for the nurse to cover her with the rubber blanket which is strategically lying on the cot, raise the rail and secure it with the two padlocks that are waiting for her.

To enhance the overall atmosphere, these girls are adults and yet the clock on the wall says it isn't quite seven o'clock. It is light outside still, yet they are doomed to go to bed so early and spend the night in very secure confinement. The lighting isn't bright but, together with the depth of field of the camera, the idea is to focus the [observer's eye] on the girl in the cot, waiting to be put to bed for the night.

The second image of the two lower is meant to capture the scene just over a half an hour later. It is now almost dark outside. The second girl has had her blanket placed on her and the side of her cot raised and secured. The lights have been turned down to allow them to sleep but it is not completely dark. The focus is now shifted on to the Dorm Matron. Her shift isn't up till 8:00 pm, when she will be relieved by a junior night nurse who will keep watch over the girls throughout the night. No talking is allowed of course, which is why the heavy cane on the desk, now well lit up, is prominently on display so that the girls know what will happen if they break the rules.

The [inclusion of the] bed pans [is intended to be] suggestive of the incontinence theme.”

There you have it! Though nothing to do with my storyline, I find the images that have resulted to be most evocative, as I think you'll find too if you look carefully! The idea of the girls just waiting without need of restraint, the no-talking rule – all this I love. But, If I were to be asked to put forward one proviso or criticism, I think it would be that I would dispense with the rubber suits. I guess another would be that I am not so keen on the depicted scenario taking place within “a special unit for 'bed wetters'”... unless it turns out that this is a unit devised to create bed wetters or enforce the behavior in some way – then all of a sudden it becomes delicious! But – hey - that's my taste; what do you think?


Anonymous said...

I really like your idea and I am looking forward to a ward for bedwetters.

Toyntanen said...

Hi Anonymous!

I have to point out that these illustrations do not relate in anyway to the story threads running through my work but rather were commissioned from Snooze - who has been designing illustrations for a possible pictorial version of my stuff – but for someone else entirely. I featured these particular illustrations here to stimulate inspiration for new story directions but also to showcase his work.

confinedtodiapers said...

I like the idea of thick diapers and forced incontinence for any girl at the institute