Part 2

Research

FRUIT MACHINE

CSM The White Show

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The white show was very inspiring as it showed me how structural and experimental garment design can be. After seeing this show I came to the realization that within my own work I need to be pushing my designs further, especially in terms of scale. Working on a larger scale can produce dramatic results that have more of a captivating effect on the catwalk.

I was inspired by this particular garment and noticed aspects that related to the workshops we have done recently e.g. the use of deconstructed shirts, and the incorporation of box pleats. Seeing these techniques being used in a garment in such a creative and innovative way, showed me how by repeating a simple manipulation technique it can result in a complex, impressive outcome. I like the sculptural form of the garment and how it almost appears to trap the model by concealing the whole of her upper body and face, it makes the garment seem in control of the model, hence giving it a life of its own. Working with a single colour encourages careful consideration of form, texture, scale and manipulation techniques, and I would like to challenge myself to work with a more limited colour scheme in future projects.

The styling of the models also inspired me; I think the successful designs were styled in a captivating way e.g. one model wore fireplace bellows as shoes. I also was drawn to the more interactive garments e.g. for one of the garments as the model walked down he hit on his chest and white paint came off in a sort of smoke cloud, one garment was complemented by a wheeled bag that played sound of a dog barking as it moved, these interactive elements acted to add a further layer to the design whilst also creating a strong sense of narrative. In my next project I would like to explore this idea of a garment having an interactive element.

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(Fruit Machine): Viktor&Rolf, Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2016

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"The designs blur the boundaries between garment and sculpture, and question the relationship between wearer and clothing, sometimes overtaking the body and obscuring the face of the wearer,"

-Viktor & Rolf speaking about the collection

The starting point for this collection was the simple white polo shirt, which the designers fused with the work of Pablo Picasso. I am interested in this idea of blurring the line between fashion and wearable art, and have explored this idea within the outcome of my project by painting an abstract image of a drag queen on a pair of dungarees. The starting point of a white polo shirt relates to the garment manipulation workshop I did where I was given the same starting point, however I find it interesting to see this idea being applied to a haute-couture collection. This collection features a range of sculptural white garments made from Cubist mismatched facial features and body parts stuck onto, or cut out from the fabric to create abstract portraits. Each of the garments was made entirely from a white technical pique. The all-white garments are juxtaposed with black boots which I feel act to add an androgynous element to the collection. Also the fact that some of the garments mask the face of the models, acts as a way to mask their identity and furthermore conceal their gender. The idea of blurred gender is something I have been exploring within my project, specifically through my research into drag culture. 

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(Fruit Machine): Joan Miro, Paysage, 1974

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  • Dadaism and surrealism
  • Lines remind me of hanging threads
  • Dripping= lack of control/chance- organic process
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(Fruit Machine): Joan Miro, The Smile of the Flamboyant Wings, 1953

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I like how colour has been used to block in certain shapes within the linear drawing. The piece is abstract and so there is an element of ambiguity to the work, which I feel arguably adds intrigue and curiosity, as the viewer is encouraged to imagine what the subject of the image is.

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(Fruit Machine): Vitamin 3 New perspective on painting- Elizabeth Neel, Black's pond (Eating Languages) 2014, Acrylic on canvas

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(Fruit Machine): Vitamin 3 New perspective in painting book, Elizabeth Neel, Acrylic on canvas

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(Fruit Machine): Vitamin 3 New perspective on painting- Elizabeth Neel, Black's pond (Eating Languages) 2014, Acrylic on canvas

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(Fruit Machine): Vitamin P3 new perspective in painting book- Sarah Cain, Love seat 2015, Acrylic, beads, gouache and gold leaf on canvas and sofa

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(Fruit Machine): Dungarees

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When I think about dungarees I tend to associate them with ideas of masculinity. The functionality and hardwearing characteristics of dungarees make them good a workwear garment; I have seen them worn by builders etc. these high labour jobs tend to be seen as very masculine and so the clothes the workers wear inevitably have connotations with masculinity. Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis invented dungarees in the 1890s, but dungarees were not widely accepted on women until the late 1960s. Initially only used for protective clothing in work settings, they have become a garment of high fashion worn by all social classes. I like the idea of juxtaposing feminine with masculine to create an outcome, which is more fluid in terms of gender. Drag queens are examples of people who possess both masculine and feminine characteristics; I like the idea of a garment similarly conveying this combination. In this photograph I experimented with positioning a box pleat on the body, I folded it in half to create a softer, more feminine shape, and explored scale by simply moving the sample backwards and forwards. I liked when the sample was larger as I feel this created an exaggerated silhouette. I like the contrast of the masculine dungarees with the more feminine ‘frill’; there is also a contrast with the dungarees being functional and the frill being decorative.

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(Fruit Machine): Comme des Garcons, Ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2016- Gathering & Pleating workshop

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  • Repetition of gathers adds fullness and creates a dramatic layered effect
  • PVC fabric has been used to create gathers with structure
  • Amount of gathers equal on both sides
  • This particular image revealed to me the importance of considering repetition and scale when using fabric manipulations techniques within a garment design
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(Fruit Machine): Giambattista Valli, Paris fashion week, Fall 2007- Box pleats

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I dislike how the box pleats have been attached to the underneath dress, it would look more successful to incorporate the peats physically into the garment as oppose to having them just on the surface. I think the fabric and colour choice makes the pleats seem detached from the dress, therefore making the overall design look off. I also think the pleat positioning and scale is uninteresting; if the scale of the pleats was more varied it would create more visual interest, also if the pleats were positioned in a more unusual place e.g. into the side seam of the dress, it would make add a more unique element to the design.

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(Fruit Machine); Notes from Pleating & Gathering workshop

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(Fruit Machine): Sandra Cinto Untitled #1, from the series Chance and Necessity

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(Fruit Machine): Sandra Cinto Untitled #2, 3, 4 & 5, from the series Chance and Necessity

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The title of Chance and Necessity references a concept taken from Zen Buddhist thought. Rather than depicting water, she has used it as an element, letting water tinted with ink run freely over sheets of mylar, which were used to produce this series. Her technique produces unexpected, organic results, this links to my project brief which similarly references the idea of chance and the unpredictable as a way to produce work. From seeing Cinto’s work I decided to experiment with watercolour and tilting the paper to let the watercolours run down the page. I liked not having control as I found it freeing, I also found the outcome of my experiment had an energy that I would not have been able to create with a paintbrush. I used this technique to explore the texture of moss which I had seen growing on the roof tiles of my house, I think the drips reference the dampness of moss but also the drips are smooth and therefore don’t successfully capture the moss’s raised, fibrous texture. To solve this problem and illustrate the raised mossy texture, I collaged pieces of felt onto the page.

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(Fruit Machine): Own photographs exploring (close-up) the architectural elements of my house

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I wanted to explore the Chanel quote in more depth, particularly the reference to architecture. I thought it would be interesting to explore a piece of architecture that I have a personal connection to; I feel this links to my photograph and experience which centre around one specific person. I decided that my house would be a good location to photograph as it is part of my identity. I wanted the photographs to be abstract and focus on textural qualities, so I used the macro setting on my camera to zoom in and capture shapes and textures that I found interesting e.g. the speckled, random blue pattern on the bathroom floor tiles.

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(Fruit Machine): Alexander Wang, 2018 Resort collection, Look 4- deconstructed bomber

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I felt this Alexander Wang deconstructed bomber relates to the work we did today during the garment manipulation workshop with Chris. I think this garment is a perfect example of where an existing product has been manipulated so that it transforms the garment yet also retains its original identity. One specific aspect of this garment that I like is on the front of the skirt, left hand side, where the zips of the bomber jacket have been manipulated to create two parallel lines going across the skirt; this manipulation has acted to take a functional component and transform it into a decorative design feature. The bomber, which I tend to view as being relatively masculine, has been transformed into a top and skirt, which acts to make it appear more feminine, hence creating an outcome that has both feminine and masculine attributes.

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(Fruit Machine): Garment manipulation workshop

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(Fruit Machine): Fabric manipulation techniques

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(Fruit Machine): Macrame workshop

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(Fruit Machine): Macrame workshop instructions for Half knot

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I was introduced to macramé within a workshop with Alice. Macramé is produced using knotting; I like the bulky yet intricate effect of this technique.

Half knot

  1. Left to the right- over 2 and under right
  2. Right to the left- under 2 and over left

Effect= a natural spiral

 Square knot

  1. Same as half knot by you do the reverse
  2. Reverse= bring the right knotting cord to the left over the 2 other strands and under the left
  3. Then bring the left strand to the right under 2 and over right

Vertical Half Hitch

  1. Right/left goes over all 3 strands
  2. Alternative vertical half hitch
  3. Same as vertical half hitch but alternateà right goes over 3 then left goes over 3

Names of other macramé methods:

  • Alternative square knots
  • Diagonal/horizontal half hitch
  • 3D forms

I was particularly drawn to the Half knot method as I like the natural spiral that it creates, I think the shape has a fluid, organic feel to it which I think would be interesting if repeated multiple times and attached together. Although I don’t think I will use this within my current project, it could come be useful for future projects.

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(Fruit Machine): Embroidery stitches

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(Fruit Machine): French Knots

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(Fruit Machine): Embroidery workshop

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Names of embroidery stitches learnt in workshop:

  • Running stitch
  • Whipped running stitch
  • Backstitch
  • Whipped backstitch
  • Split stitch
  • Chain stitch
  • Blanket stitch

After the workshop I did some further research into embroidery and liked the effect of French knots- embroidery tends to come across, as quite fragile and pretty but French knots are different as they are quite bulky and bold. I like the idea of mark marking through stitching, whether that is through free hand stitching or through the use of specific embroidery stitches.

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(Fruit Machine): Club Kids

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The Club Kids' aesthetic emphasized outrageousness, "fabulousness", and sex. Gender was fluid, and everything was DIY. The Club Kids were a youth subculture that emerged in New York’s club scene led by Michael Alig and James St. James. The group was notable for its members' flamboyant behavior and outrageous costumes. The group was also recognized as an artistic and fashion-conscious youth culture. Club Kids have significantly influenced the world of Drag today and therefore for my project I feel it’s important to understand their aesthetic and history. I find the makeup captivating in this particular image due to the bright colours and bold red lip. This image shows how makeup can transform makeup and mask someone’s gender. The makeup exaggerates features of the face e.g. the cheekbones, and lips. Within my own work I think it’s important to consider my use of colour, along with the idea of exaggerating proportions similar to how club kids exaggerated their features.

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(Fruit Machine): Drag Queen 'Milk'

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Difference between Drag & Transgender

Speaking on The Real, RuPaul said:

“Drag is really making fun of identity. We are shapeshifters. We’re like ‘okay, today I’m this’. Transgender people take identity very seriously – their identity is who they are.”

I think this distinction between drag and transgender is important to known and consider, I am more interested in exploring drag and how drag queens combine feminine and masculine attributes in a way that acts to challenge gender stereotypes. Drag queens gender bend- this idea interests me as I think gender in today’s society is constantly adapting and transforming, and so as a designer its important to be aware of these changes so that my designs can be modern and relevant within today’s society.

Drag

  • Drag is not a new phenomenon; from Shakespeare himself penning the phrase back in the 1700’s (DRAG being used as a stage direction for dressed as a girl), to Thatcher throwing on a skirt suit and bravely becoming the first cross-dressing Prime Minister of Great Britain.
  • When a drag queen performs the audience is made aware that the drag performer is ‘performing femininity and being a woman,’ but at the same time exist as men, not woman, outside the walls of the performance space. Essentially, drag performers achieve what they are not by being overtly female and covertly male, subsequently this acts to challenge what it means to be masculine and feminine and to be male and female. One’s femininity or masculinity only exists to the extent that it is conveyed through clothing, grooming, posture, and movement. Gender identity is not a fixed characteristic, and drag queens perform in ways that underscore the social construction of gender and sexuality allowing the audience to see just how flexible that identity is. I think in today’s society gender is becoming more blurred and subsequently masculinity and femininity are melding together and becoming symbiotic.
  • Drag queens don’t try and completely conceal their masculinity, and can often use this within their performance for comical effect e.g. the contrast of a drag queen wearing hyper feminine clothes, makeup etc. but then speaking in a very deep voice creates an element of contrast which is received by audiences as comical.
  • Exaggeration is one of the most significant aspects of a drag performance.
  • I want my project outcome to have both feminine and masculine attributes, therefore conveying ideas of gender bending.
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(Fruit Machine): Drag Queen Sasha Velour

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Sasha Velour is a Drag persona who has a very unique approach to Drag. I like how Sasha chooses to not wear a wig and to also have a unibrow; both these aspects add masculine attributes to her drag persona, which I think acts to convey the message that drag queens don’t need to try and completely suppress their masculinity.

“To me, what's most interesting about drag is that addition to changing the body, it changes the space. When a drag queen walks into a room, suddenly the whole environment changes."

- Quote from Sasha Velour interview with Creators.vice.com

What interests me about this particular quote is the idea of drag changing the environment. It contradicts the idea of drag being purely aesthetic, but rather suggests the power this aesthetic can have.

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(Fruit Machine): Experience: Musical 'Everybody's talking about Jamie'

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I went to Shaftesbury Avenue's Apollo theatre to see the musical Everybody’s talking about Jamie which is based on a true story about 16yr old Jamie Campbell. Jamie always knew he was different and from a young age he liked to dress in girls’ clothes. Jamie had an ambition to be a drag queen and wanted to attend the school prom in a dress when he and his classmates graduated in 2011. The musical explored Jamie’s journey into becoming a drag queen along with his relationship with his mother and father. I ensured to do some observational drawing during parts of the performance so as to document this experience. I was inspired by the story of this musical, specifically the idea of freedom of self-expression. I am interested in drag and think it is a high art form that some people are ignorant towards. I think the world of drag is becoming more appreciated with series like RuPaul’s drag race revealing the intense and intricate ‘behind the scenes’ of drag. I think by making people more aware of this e.g. through art, fashion etc. it will allow society to accept and understand drag. Drag pushes against conservative ideas, over and over again: about gender, success, family. Drag queens are known for their avant-garde style, which I think links to Iris Apfel and her flamboyant dress sense. One drag queen in particular that I think embodies the creativity and power of drag culture is Sasha Velour, and I plan on researching into her drag style further. The architecture of the Apollo theatre itself is intricate and grand, which I felt heightened the visual impact of the performance. Going to the theatre is always an exciting and enjoyable experience. At the start of a performance I tend to feel anticipation, and at the end there is this feeling of reflection during which I am able to apply the context, themes and ideas of the play to my modern day life. The narrative of the musical was for me the most significant part of this experience, as it allowed me to see into a world that I am less familiar with yet extremely curious about.

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(Fruit Machine): Given quote

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From this quote I am interested in the idea of proportions and distorting this in a sculptural, architectural way.

CHANEL

  • Made women’s clothes free from the unnecessary burden of decoration and discomfort. Credited with transforming women’s fashion from the flouncy dresses of the Victoria and Edwardian eras into the clothing we recognize today
  • Hated tight and uncomfortable clothing, items such as the hobble skirt and corset
  • Wanted her clothes to have a natural shape & be easy to wear
  • Also wanted her designs to be worn by everybody not just the privileged
  • Current artistic director-Karl Lagerfeld

Simplicity and comfort

  • She favored plain skirts, sweaters, and jackets, decorated only with a scarf or a little jewelry. Chanel disliked too much splendor and decoration in women’s clothes
  • She was inspired mainly by menswear
  • As a sporty young woman she wanted a comfortable outfit. Instead of the typical riding outfit, which consisted of a full, long, skirt and dark, tightly waisted blouse with a jabot or a neckband, Chanel often wore tightfitting riding breeches and a shirt- an outfit that was never worn by women before WW1
  • 1920s, the simple-line designs of Chanel couture made popular the ‘flat-chested’ fashions that were the opposite of the hourglass-figure achieved by the fashions of the Belle Époque and the Edwardian era

Fabrics

When fabric became scarce during WW1, Chanel used jersey to make her chemise dresses and jackets, which was popular with clients. Jersey had previously only been used as underwear material. This fabric made it possible for women to move about freely. Her designs featured quilted fabric and leather trimmings; the quilted construction reinforces the fabric, the design and the finish, producing a garment that maintains its form and function while being worn

Colours

Chanel used colours traditionally associated with masculinity, such as grey and navy blue, to denote feminine boldness of character

Iconic designs

  • Little black dress
  • Beige slingback with black toecap
  • Tweed suit
  • Jersey dress
  • Quilted bag
  • Chain bag
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(Fruit Machine): Iris, 2014, Documentary

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From watching this documentary about the life of Iris Apfel I came to better understand her playful, fun-loving personality. Her house décor was described as ‘the dream house for any child’ mainly because there is so much colour, movement and energy that I think is perfectly reflected in her sense of style. The textures and colours within both Iris’s clothes and home interested me, and I would like to explore translating some of these textures into samples. In one part of the documentary she was deciding what clothes and home décor she should get rid of, she said that its difficult because she feels that she has a connection to everything she buys, there is a narrative behind each item and through this she has given personal meaning to everything she owns. I think today everything seems very impersonal and therefore we become quite detached from our clothes, home décor etc. that I think makes us lack a sense of individuality, which Iris has. I want to include traditional, hand crafts e.g. embroidery within my project as I feel this will act to convey a sense of individuality and uniqueness which mass produced products lack. I like how Iris transforms everything she owns through giving it a narrative or through styling it with another accessory, garment etc. I am drawn to this idea of transformation, and feel that it is a communal theme apparent within all three parts of my research (quote, image, experience).

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  • Large scale chain worn around neck- unusual piece of jewellery (these type of chains are typically found in hardware stores) however this acts to suggest that accessories can be found in unconventional places
  • Colour scheme of navy, black and beige- hard, cold colours that have connotations with masculinity
  • Trench coat- another masculine aspect to the look- Iris challenges gender stereotypes through the clothes she wears
  • Chunky, geometric bracelets covering the arms-creates a bold, powerful look that contradicts the stereotypical view of older people being weak and vulnerable
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  • Bright, bold, clashing colours e.g. turquoise wall and red picture frame
  • Geometric pattern on dress, socks, carpet and wall hanging
  • Layering of bracelets and necklaces
  • Large, exaggerated jewellery
  • Abstract shapes on dress
  • Repetition of circles in necklace
  • Quirky, playful environment
  • Large round glasses (iconic to her look)- playing around with proportion
  • Iconic red lipstick (another iconic aspect to her look)
  • Soft, animal toys (cat & bear) and soldier figurines create a childlike, playful interior
  • Changes her silhouette with oversized dress and layers of jewellery- making her appear less petite, this styling also creates an androgyous silhouette
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(Fruit Machine): Given photograph: Iris Aprel

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Iris Apfel is a 96yr old style icon who has worked as an interior design and textiles designer. Apfel, an advocate for embracing your own personal style, has always been known for her signature look: oversized glasses, layers of statement-making jewellery and red lipstick. She is known for her bold colours and flamboyant dress style. The above image was given to me as a starting point for the project; I’m particularly drawn to the colour combination and textures of the clothes Apfel is wearing, both these elements are integral to her style and so I plan on exploring this through mark making and sample making. I also am inspired by her encouragement of self-expression; I think in the modern day it can be easy to loose sight of your own personal style, social media platforms like Instagram constantly advertise ideas of what’s beautiful and fashionable, which people feel inclined to follow. I want my project to inspire others to embrace their individual style as oppose to trying to blend in with the masses. Apfel doesn’t take herself seriously and likes to have fun, which is conveyed through her dress sense. This fun, playful aesthetic is something I would like to incorporate within my own work particularly through my use of colour. I have noticed that I tend to use safe colour within my work; this projects presents the perfect opportunity for me to challenge myself and use colours that I perhaps tend to shy away from e.g. neon colours. I think Apfel’s style makes those who see her feel more positive and happy, which is something that I feel the world needs more of.

‘I don’t have any rules, I dress the way I please and I do what I please and I do everything for my good. I don’t intellectualize it or make up rules and regulations’- Iris Apfel
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CULTURE SWAP

(Culture Swap): Viktor & Rolf, Fall/Winter 2016-2017

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The top hat used to accessories this outfit  conveys an idea of British culture, however the fact that it is bent creates a disheveled look which could be acting to reference its relevance to past/old Britain.  I am drawn to the full texture created by the use of multiple flounces, coupled with the theatrical, rounded silhouette, which I think is emphasised though the limited, muted colour scheme of white, black, light blue and dark blue. 

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(Culture Swap): Image 1 Greek eye

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All my extended family lives in Greece and throughout my life they have given me jewellery with this eye symbol on (as seen above in this image), and so I instantly associate this with Greek culture. I feel the symbolism of the eye relates to Greek culture, and the colour of the eye (blue) eye is something that relates to me personally.

Symbolism of the eye

Evil eye is believed to be a curse that is given by a glare that has negative intensions. Any negative emotion can cause the evil eye curse, such as anger or even jealousy. It is believe that the curse itself causes bad things to happen to the person who has received the curse, such as headaches and even a string of bad luck. Wearing a special evil eye charm, also called a mati, is said to help prevent the curse from happening. The use of the eye as a symbol is directly related to the idea of a simple stare possessing destructive powers. Those who display an eye as a talisman hope that its power will counteract or ward off the evil eye, whenever it should fall on them. The colour blue is significant as it references the ocean and this idea of calamity. Within the Mediterranean region, light-coloured eyes are considered rare, so those with blue eyes are thought to be lucky and ward off evil; I am the only one out of my sisters with blue eyes and my Greek relatives tell me that because of this I bring luck to my family.

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(Culture Swap): Image 2 Greek pavement

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This image is of the pavement commonly seen on Greek islands. The white paint conceals the cracks, yet also acts to highlight them at the same time. I think this will be an interesting pattern to incorporate within my designs as its simplistic and repetitive. I go to the Greek island of Paros every year, and so this image not only reminds me of Greece and its culture but it also has a nostalgic feel that makes it personal to me.

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(Culture Swap): Image 3 Greek fishing net

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I see these types of fishing nets all the time in the Greek ports and on the shores of the beach. I am drawn to the colour scheme of red, yellow and blue, along with the rope textures within this image, I plan on exploring ways to mimic this texture through the use of unconventional materials such as rubber bands.

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(Culture Swap): Image 4 Romeo & Juliet {Still from movie}

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Shakespeare is an iconic British playwright that I feel has significantly impacted British culture’s past and present. I studied Shakespeare extensively through my school life in both the subjects of English and Drama, therefore this image has personal relevance to me. Romeo and Juliet is my favourite Shakespeare play, and I think a big part of my identity is being a romanticist, and so I wanted to use an image that conveyed this. I do however feel that the image itself is quite mundane and won’t be inspiring to create collages with.

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(Culture Swap): Image 5 Shoreditch

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Shoreditch is one of my favourite places in London, mainly because of the people within this area who tend to fashion-conscious and non-judgmental, both things that I identify with. This particularly image shows the creativity of Shoreditch through its graffiti, graffiti is depicted as vandalism yet here I think it is an art form that is transforming its location into one of energy and excitement, both things that I associate with London. 

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(Culture Swap): Image 6 Only in England, Tony Ray-Jones

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I saw this image of people drinking tea in Tony Ray-Jones photography book Only in England, I feel it is a stereotypical depiction of British culture which I am able to identify with. Tea is a stereotypical British drink that I drink on a daily basis and is something I think is an iconic British staple. The subjects in the photograph exert this idea of the British being well-mannered, which I think is closely tethered to the action of drinking tea. I think the use of black and white is successful as it allows the viewer to focus on the context of the photograph as oppose to the colours within it.

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(Culture Swap): Only in England, photographs by Tony Ray-Jones (contributions from Martin Parr & others), published 2013

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Throughout the 19th century, the top hat was a mainstay of Victorian life: a man in a topper was well-to-do, respectable, a man of industry. But now the top hat is only a caricature of the upper class privilege it once represented. 

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(Culture Swap): Korean Style, by Marcia Iwatate & Kim Unsoo

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When looking through the book with Jade she recognized this object called ‘A bamboo wife’ which is used in summer for ventilation. It’s a hollow bamboo holster roughly the size of the human body embraced by a person while sleeping during hot weather because its open structure exposes the body to cooling air flow. Jade said that in summer the ‘bamboo wife’ is important as it helps her sleep, if I was working alone I don’t think I would have noticed this object and it’s purpose, hence showing me how working with a partner can help you learn/notice new things.

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(Culture Swap): The Sari, by Mukulika Banerjee & Daniel Miller, published 2003

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I was drawn to this image as it reminded me of a photograph I took in Lewisham of a red wall with chipped, distressed, white paint. I find the juxtaposition of bright red and white visually striking, and so inspired by this I plan on exploring the use of this colour combination within my own work.

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This image from The Sari book shows the flower Gajra being worn in the hair (relates to my trip to Lewisham where I saw this being hand-made), I think the flowers act to complement the hair braid  whilst also giving the wearer a sense of natural feminine beauty. 

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‘Other clothing is on you, but it is not with you. But the sari is with me. I have to constantly handle it. I can’t just let it lie. The whole thing creates movement and one is moving with it all the time. That is why the *pallu is not stitched. And that is the grace of the sari’

-Deena Pathak, Actress

*Pallu (end of the sari usually draped over the shoulder, and is commonly marked by distinct and heavier decoration from the rest of the sari) 

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(Culture Swap): Culture conversation with Jade

Jade is from Busam in South Korea, which is a large port city known for its beaches, mountains and temples. She is Christian, her uncle is British but the rest of her family is South Korean. Interestingly she feels detached from Korean culture, as she feels the traditions are constantly changing to suit the current generation.

TRADITIONS SHE FOLLOWS

  • Chuseok, Korean thanksgiving day( August 15th), where the younger generation wear traditional Korean clothes called Hanok which they usually stop wearing when they are 15/16
  • The Hanok is worn with Norigae which is a traditional Korean ornament worn in a similar way to the Mani (at the hip). A Korean lucky bag hangs with the Norigae which is for money from relatives

WEDDING TRADITIONS

  • Palanquin, Sedar chair
  • Bride’s dress 5 colours; blue, pink, yellow, red, green

TRADITIONAL FOOD

  • Bibimbap, which consists of rice with vegetables

 Were there any cultural shocks when you came to London?

  • The surroundings, for example in Korea there are not in the street like dogs
  • Jade told about how she saw these people near Finsbury park wearing black suits, large hats with their hair in curls either side, I researched this and found it is associated with Jewish culture, specifically Hasidic Judaism. She said she had never seen the style of dress before and this therefore came as a culture shock

Thoughts on British culture?

  • I was interested to know Jade’s thoughts about British culture; being British myself I am always curious to know whether people truly believe the stereotypes associated with Brits e.g. they all have a British accent, they love the Queen, they are rude, they are emotionally stunted, they drink tea frequently
  • She said that she thinks of tea and getting married in a church. She also thinks British people are calm yet emotionally unavailable and don’t say what they really think, instead they skirt around the subject and made excuses. But she said they are nice which contradicts the stereotype of British people being rude
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(Culture Swap): London Shiva Koli (Hindu temple in Lewisham dedicated to the Lord Shiva)

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(Culture Swap): Own photograph of woman making flower Gajra in Lewisham

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I noticed in the window of a supermarket a woman was tying flowers together in a single line, my curiosity lead me to go inside the shop and ask her about the making process and relevance of the flowers. She told us they are worn in the hair and are a part of Hindu culture. They can be worn both around a bun and in braids, with women usually wearing them to accompany a Sari. Some flowers correspond to specific gods and should only be used for certain days or rituals. Special ceremonies, such as weddings and funerals often feature garlands of flowers, especially jasmine. The name of these flower garlands is ‘Gajra’. When a woman wears the flower in her hair, it is believed that it will bring happiness to her household. I feel the world is dominated by mass produced products that lack a personal touch, and so seeing this relatively intricate process done by hand I found inspiring and refreshing. What separates handmade from factory made or mass-produced is the distinctive feel of the hand; the imperfections, which are celebrated. The woman gave us some of the garland for free, which I think shows the generosity within the Indian culture. I felt touched by this kind gesture as I think giving something handmade is very personal.

Every flower has its own set of qualities attached to it;

Jasmine- This flower is a symbol of good luck.  In India, almost all festivals are celebrated with the use of Jasmine as it is one of the favourite flowers of Lord Vishnu. The sweet smell is believed to calm your nerves and will help you to relax. 

Rose- Symbol of love and passion. Women wear this in their hair when they love someone or when they pray for love to spread in their family.

Daisy- This flower represents happiness. Women wear these flowers on hair to spread happiness in their family.

Hibiscus- This flower is the symbol of power.

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(Culture Swap): Lewisham- Peeling, cracked paint

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I like the juxtaposition of the stark red wall with the cracking and peeling white paint. I would like to experiment with ways to create a similar texture; I think a material like torn cardboard and the media of spray paint could help me achieve a similar distressed look, and therefore I plan on exploring combining both these elements in a low relief sample.

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(Culture Swap): Own photograph of Mani in Lewisham

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(Culture Swap): Mani hand-made by the Shopkeeper's sister

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Mani

Whilst in Lewisham I went into a shop selling Saris where I was drawn to these ornate, colourful, hanging decorations. Both my partner and I were unaware of what they were used for and so we asked the shopkeeper. She told us they were called ‘Mani’ and they are a decoration attached to the Sari. The younger generations tend to wear the bigger, more elaborate ones, as they make more of a statement and also make a distinctive sound as you walk. They are attached on the hip or at the back of the Sari, and the shopkeeper actually demonstrated how to attach Mani, from this I noticed how it acted to emphasise the way she moved and almost made it appear more dance-like. She also showed us some decorative Mani that her sister hand makes, she generously gave them to us for free. I think this for me showed the generosity within Indian culture; for Hindus, dana (giving) is an important part of one’s dharma (religious duty). The ornate style of the Mani I feel reflects the decorative aesthetic associated with Indian culture.

What is a Sari

A Sari has been considered one of Indian oldest forms of art and are wore all over India. There are geographical differences in the way it is worn according to wear you live in India e.g. Bengali style, traditional style, Gujarati Style, Maharashtrian. There are different types of Saris e.g. Sunday Saris, wedding Saris etc. I am interested in researching the Sari in more depth, however I will specifically focus on its symbolism within Indian culture as oppose to the aesthetics.

A folktale explains the origin of the Sari as follows:

‘The Sari, it is said, was born on the loom of a fanciful weaver. He dreamt of Woman. The shimmer of her tears. The drape of her tumbling hair. The colours of her many moods. The softness of her touch. All these he wove together. He couldn’t stop. He wove for many yards. And when he was done, the story goes, he sat back and smiled and smiled and smiled.’

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(Culture Swap): Lewisham

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To document my trip to Lewisham I took a range of photographs. I was particularly drawn to the textures and bright colours I saw, I especially liked the more distressed areas e.g. places with graffiti. I am interested in graffiti and how it can be illegible furthermore appearing like a foreign language, which relates to how different cultures tend to speak in a specific way/language. I was particularly drawn to a piece of graffiti that said ‘LOST’ in black block letters; I would like to incorporate this within my work somehow as I think it communicates how British culture is slightly lost in the sense that there seems to be a lack of it.  

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COLOUR IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT

(Colour in your environment): Charles Jeffrey

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Charles Jeffrey's designs present a fusion of art and fashion, and this combination presents an escape from reality.

(Colour in your environment): Prison jumpsuit

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A prison uniform is the unified outward appearance of detainees in a situation of imprisonment. It is typically adapted under constraint. Usually a prison uniform consists of a visually distinct garment. In most cases it is purposefully designed to establish a visual contrast to the outward appearance of prison officers and set up a clear distinction from civil clothing. A prison uniform serves the purpose to make prisoners instantly identifiable, to limit attempts of escape as prison uniforms typically use a design and colour scheme that is easily noticed even at a greater distance. The state of wearing a prison uniform in many cases provokes a distressful psychological response from the prisoner, as unlike civilian clothes it is worn involuntarily, typically reluctant and is often perceived as stigmatizing. The loss of individuality and self-expression caused by having to wear a prison uniform can have a detrimental effect to a person's self-perception and self-esteem. The orange jumpsuit is the most stereotypically recognized prison uniform. I would like to source an orange prison jumpsuit and transform it through spray painting directly onto the surface. The spray paint will give self-expression to this self-expressionless garment.

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(Colour in your environment): Still from More Hate Than Fear (2016) Molly Manning Walker

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Unjust sentencing of graffiti artists

On the same day that known graffiti writer Vamp was sentenced to 3 years for vandalism, a BBC presenter, Stuart Hall, was given 15 months for the sexual assault of 13 young girls (between the ages of 9 and 17). The contrast here is worrying evidence that in the event of two guilty verdicts, the courts seem to place more value on the inconvenience of spray paint on wall than they do on the lives of underage assault victims.

Disturbed by our justice system Molly Manning Walker found inspiration to write this short film, More Hate Than Fear. She explains: “Graffiti is freedom of speech, it’s a statement of unhappiness with the status quo. But it’s not graffiti that drove me to make this film – it’s the disproportionate prison sentences.” Walker tells Dazed, “what has become apparent is that we have a judicial system that values money and property over human life.”

Graffiti writers are being sentenced to years in prison and placed in high-risk facilities alongside violent offenders. The film tails a young graffiti artist struggling to navigate prison at the beginning of his sentence. It's a hard-hitting glimpse into the dark reality young adults are facing in high security prisons, for crimes as small as graffiti in an underground tunnel.

A blind trust is being put in structures that are routinely failing to prioritize citizens’ wellbeing over public property. And in doing so, the punishment for costing the government money in damages, is costing the government even more in over-filled prisons as well as generating a vicious cycle of offending.

Prison sentences for graffiti artists –  placing them in close proximity to higher risk criminals –  actually introduces them to a wider ring of criminal activity. Artistic expression has always been a way to reject the status quo, while graffiti art is one of the longest standing avenues for this. When the system considers damage to private property more harmful to society than violence against underage victims, we have to ask whose interest that could even be in.

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(Colour in your environment): Nug Dudge

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  • Nug’s video and performance work is committed to the graffiti culture
  • What is most important to him is to push his sense of aesthetic and personal freedom to the absolute maximum
  • Interrailing and hitchhiking around Europe, trains were Nug’s medium of choice, which meant that stylistic purity, speed and inventiveness were crucial
  • With trains, painting became purely ‘physical’- a bodily act, through which he was forced to work quickly and without thinking, a method of disassociating himself from the everyday, released briefly from social and material constraints
  • He represents the pure energy and explosive vivacity of the graffiti act, not in images but through performances
  • Nug’s work is not about vandalism or destruction but about instinct and feeling

I was drawn to the spontaneity and energy of Nug’s work. His approach to graffiti presents it as an act of self-expression and an art form, as oppose to a violent act of vandalism, furthermore challenging the public’s preconceptions regarding graffiti. I similarly want to challenge the stereotypical assumption of graffiti being a violent, criminal act. From this research I was inspired to experiment with the media of spray paint and film, as they are both media’s I have am relatively unfamiliar with.

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(Colour in your environment): BBC documentary on Wandsworth prison

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I watched the BBC documentary which explores the inside life of Wandsworth prison. I wanted to see the prison environment in order to gain a better understanding as to what the graffiti artists can experience whilst in prison. The severity and chaos inside the prison was a shock for me and made me realize how toxic this environment can be on a person’s mental and physical health. The violence, drugs and lack of freedom, with some prisoners only being allowed to leave their cell for 1 hour everyday is inhumane, it undoubtedly leads to long term effects on the prisoners mental health. The fact graffiti artists have to endure an environment like this surrounded by people who are highly dangerous and violent seems completely unfair. The fact all the criminals are grouped together without regards for what crime they have committed I think indicates a failed and corrupted justice system.

"I got sliced down the side of my face, I've had my arm broke, I've got three broken bones in my hand, I've had murders left, right and centre.”-Inmate’s response regarding the violence that occurs within the prison

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(Colour in your environment): Graffiti as a criminal act: the experience of G.Money (Quotes from his interview with Vice)

Graffiti as a criminal act

  • The maximum penalty for 12 -to 17-year-olds is 24 months of detention
  • Adults can be sentenced to up to ten years in prison

The experience of Graffiti artist G. Money

Served two years on bail, and was sentenced to two years in prison.

"None of the other inmates believed our sentences when we went inside. They thought I was talking shit when I said I'd got two years for graffiti"

“My flat was raided and they took my computer, phone, books, and CDs. I wasn't allowed to stay anywhere but my own address. I wasn't allowed to talk to friends that were involved in the case, or leave the country, or carry pens or paint on me."

“You're just painting with your pals [one minute], and all of a sudden you're an organized crime syndicate."

“I was even asked to paint a graffiti mural in the prison, the same thing I would've done on a train. There's no other crime that they'd make you do inside," adding that he believes these double standards are deeply engrained in societal attitudes towards graffiti: "For example, around the time we were sentenced, the Tate Modern flew in writers from around the world for a graffiti exhibition. These artists made their name doing the same thing we did—illegal graffiti."

Once he was released from prison,  he struggled to adapt to life on the outside. "When you get out, it takes a long time to adjust, to get back into the world and out of the system, and to feel relaxed and to make amends in your personal life. Plus, when people know you've done time, they do treat you differently; people are wary of you."

Unfortunately, the disproportionate sentencing that G. Money and many other writers receive has glamorized prison for younger generations. "They think it's a badge of honor, they think to be a prolific graffiti writer you have to have done time. But you're supposed to be known for being prolific at what you do, not because the police have made you prolific."

I was mixed with murderers, rapists and serial killers. How am I rubbing shoulders with a high-profile armed robber who's killed people when all I've done is graffiti?"

So what impact has hefty sentencing had on the graffiti community itself?

Noticeably, it's caused many talented graffiti artists including G.Money to stop their art.

"I personally, in my own experience, do think [graffiti] leads to antisocial behavior, other types of more serious crime and urban decay."- DC Saysell during a lecture at the Southbank centre. In G.Money’s case, it was spending a year in prison that really exposed him to crime, not painting some walls. I think DC Saysell has unfairly stereotyped all graffiti artists.

I was oblivious as to how severe sentences for graffiti can be. I think it’s shocking that someone can go to prison for such a harmless crime. Graffiti in my eyes is something individuals do for themselves as a form of self-expression, escapism and the illegal element does act to create an aspect of thrill. I found G. Money’s experience allowed me to see how damaging a prison sentence can be in terms of damaging their reputation and mental state. Before this research I didn’t think graffiti would get someone sent to jail, and I’m personally disgusted that it does, it just doesn’t seem fair. I decided to use some of these quotes within my project, specifically within a print idea, as I think the issue of graffiti as a criminal act is something that needs to be addressed in order to evoke a change within our society.   

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(Colour in your environment): Akay

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(Colour in your environment): Is graffiti a crime or art form? Public's opinion

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Attitudes towards Graffiti

Graffiti is a controversial issue, the question ‘is this art or crime?’ is often debated. Hundreds of graffiti artists choose to exhibit their work on city walls rather than galleries or museums, freeing their art from rule or regulation e.g. Tamara Alves, Banksy. Graffiti is regarded as criminal damage and a prosecution maybe brought under section 1 of the criminal act 1971. There are double standards in the way graffiti is perceived, and the law creates pockets of permission for some artists while penalizing others.

In December 2013, for instance, a magistrate used the phrase “the next Banksy” to describe a Manchester graffiti artist who ultimately avoided jail. But when sentencing London tagger Daniel ‘Tox’ Halpin to a 27-month jail sentence in 2011, the prosecutor told the jury: “He is no Banksy. He doesn’t have the artistic skills”. But this authoritative distinction between “good” and “bad” graffiti does not have a place in the rulebooks.

There is a stereotypical assumption that graffiti leads to drug deals and robberies, however this is not the case. I think graffiti is a form of self-expression and should be seen as an art form regardless of whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Within my project I would like to question people’s perception of graffiti by presenting in a painterly way, hence challenging the presumption that graffiti is not art.

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(Colour in your environment): Asger Jorn, Rodt Lys (red light) 1960, Oil on canvas

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(Colour in your environment): Asger Jorn, La Joie d'être (the joys of being), 1969

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(Colour in your environment): Untitled from One Cent life, 1964, Lithograph in colours on folded paper

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(Colour in your environment): Untitled from One Cent life, 1964

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(Colour in your environment): Asger Jorn

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I came across the artist Asger Jorn through watching Charles Jeffrey’s Instagram story during which he referenced him by showing a picture of Jorn's work. Asger Jorn’s work reminded me of graffiti, but has more of a fine art approach. There is a great sense of movement and energy with the paintings illustrated by the expressive marks, bold lines and bright colour scheme. I’m inspired by the playful, childlike mood conveyed through within his work, and I would like to develop my own print ideas in response to this.

(Colour in your environment): Jeroen Jongeleen aka. Influenza

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  • Jongeleen is always searching for different ways to interact with the urban landscape Jongeleen’s Plastic Bag as a Jolly Roger reshaped the city as a ‘vertical playground’: he took found plastic shopping bags and recreated them as a proud, coloured garlands-flags celebrating what was the ostensible trash of the city
  • Having repainted the bags with his insignia, Jongeleen then climbed parts of the city; selecting architectural sites he perceived as in need of an uplift and raised his flap upon them
  • His work combines the traditions of abstraction, performance and vandalism

I am drawn to the idea of transforming trash and how people perceive it, as littering is a problem that affects us daily. I like how Jongeleen has used graffiti as a means of transforming trash into something more artistic, therefore suggesting the idea of graffiti being an art form as oppose to an act of vandalism. 

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(Colour in your environment): Evan Roth

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(Colour in your environment): Six Sergio Hidalgo Paredes

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(Colour in your environment): Point

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(Colour in your environment): Filippo Minelli

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(Colour in your environment): David Renault & Mathieu Tremblin

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  • Human Hall of Fame 2010 focused on the materiality of graffiti as oppose to its illegality, its status as writing rather than vandalism
  • Acting as a ‘sandwich board men’ Renault and Trembling did a walking performance
  • The walking performance the brothers undertook not only resulted in an entirely legal manifestation of graffiti, however: it also furtively critiqued the nature of its illegality

From this research I became interested in the idea of graffiti being wearable. Unlike in this image where the graffiti is being worn ontop of a garment on square whiteboards, I would like to explore graffiti as part of the garment as oppose to being detached from it e.g. through print.

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(Colour in your environment): Krink Craig Costello

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(Colour in your environment); Geso, San Francisco, USA, 2011

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(Colouring your environment): The world atlas of street art and graffiti by Rafael Schacter, p65 Jurne

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(Colour in your environment): Shoreditch

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I wanted to explore a second graffiti location in order to see how this graffiti style contrasts with that in the Waterloo graffiti tunnel. I decided to visit Shoreditch as it is famously known for its graffiti. Upon seeing the graffiti I came to realize that there wasn’t a significant difference with the Waterloo tunnel graffiti style; both include bright bold coloured graffiti along with classic tagging. I would however like to use the Shoreditch photographs I took to create a print idea for the body.

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(Colour in your environment): Superimposing images of graffiti tunnel and park

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  • Park image is overpowered by the graffiti image
  • Graffiti only limited to the center of the image
  • The black in this particular piece of graffiti makes the colours dull and lack lustre therefore defying the point of the superimposing
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  • Most successful image; I like the way both images blend together, and how neither overpowers the other, making them complementary
  • The blue and green in the graffiti acts to reference the natural environment but in a more abstract and bright way
  • The black writing in the graffiti draws parallels to the tree branches, therefore creating a stronger connection between both images
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(Colour in your environment): Park near my house

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Having been to a very colourful location (this being the Waterloo graffiti tunnel) I decided to explore a more mundane location. The colours within Wandsworth park are muted and earthy hence contrasting with the bright and bold colours seen within graffiti. I had the idea of combining the two contrasting locations by superimposing the images together. I superimposed the graffiti image on top of the park image and adjusted the opacity to ensure that both locations were distinguishable. What interested me about this particular experiment was the idea of transformation; Graffiti is stereotypically associated with the urban environment, and so by incorporating it with a location associated with nature it creates a hybrid location that is both natural and urban.

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(Colour in your environment): Graffiti tunnel, Waterloo Leake St.

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  • This graffiti tunnel was brought to fame by street artist Banksy. It is one of the few walls in the UK that artists can legally spray paint on
  • There is a strong smell of spray paint fumes as you enter the tunnel, which I felt enhanced the atmosphere by engaging all my senses
  • I like how the tunnel is constantly evolving; this lack of permanence makes this form of art modern and relevant to its time
  • The colour combinations and bold patterns, coupled with the large scale acts to draw in the viewers attention
  • I think graffiti is not as appreciated as it should be, there are stereotypical negative connotations surrounding graffiti and I would like to challenge this taboo within my project
  • I like how the bright colours of graffiti act to transform an environment, and can often be a source of humour
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  • Speckled
  • Bumpy texture
  • Specks are lighter than base colour, hence creating a layered effect
  • When I see these marks I am able to visualize the artist’s spraying process; the specks are created by holding the spray paint can’s button down quite lightly so that the paint come out as clumps as oppose to a fluid line
  • I think the specks convey a sense of energy, as they capture the movement of the spray paint through the air
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(Colour in your environment): Basquiat, Untitled 1980, Enamel, spray paint and oil stick on enamelled metal

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(Colour in your environment): Basquiat, Jimmy Best 1981, Spray paint and oil stick on metal panel

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(Colour in your environment): SAMO

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SAMO

"What we were doing was more like Greco-Roman graffiti, making commentaries on the world around us and that set us aside. We thought we were a little bit ahead of the game” – Al Diaz
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SAMO- 2016 Al Diaz

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Basquiat teamed up with Al Diaz to invent the character SAMO. SAMO was witty, confusing, confronting- it got people’s attention. There has been a reluctance to refer to SAMO as graffiti. SAMO is distinctive but by no means beyond the scope of graffiti and was influenced, for instance, by the phrase of the pioneering writer FLINT (and his imperative to ‘THINK’) and shares the poetic impulse of the legendary Lee: ‘Graffiti is a art/and if art is a/ crime, let/ God forgive/all’. I am strong believer of graffiti being an art form as oppose to an act of vandalism, I think just because graffiti isn’t restricted within the confines of a gallery doesn’t mean it isn’t art; I want to explore this idea further within my project.

The language of SAMO was playful and could be interpreted in multiple ways. The distinctive ‘E’ stylized as the triple bar offers multiple meanings; in folklore, for example, this symbol represents passive intellect, whereas it also invokes the mathematical symbol for equivalency, the uppercase of the Greek letter Xi and the Chinese character for san (three). I think graffiti can be seen as a language in itself, one that is reliant on the viewer to interpret and translate.

“We can’t stand on the sidewalk all day screaming at people to clean up their acts, so we write on walls”- Basquiat

What interest me about SAMO is how the work made commentaries on the world at the time, this made it relevant and allowed the work to speak directly to the viewer. Like Dadaism SAMO integrates criticism, politics and play, and echoes Dada’s affective qualities of disgust, disillusionment and belligerence. Also SAMO existed on a wall in a location as oppose to on a canvas in a gallery; by putting it in a location it allows for a better sense of narrative and also permits for a wider range of people to see the work.

SAMO© was seemingly done with – until Trump was elected. “About two hours after the (US) election, the first SAMO© I wrote was, “SAMO©,,, FOR NASTY WOMEN AND BAD HOMBRES…I was half-mocking and half-dreading the idea of having Trump as our president".- Diaz

I have always been interested in commenting on society within my own work, and therefore would like to somehow incorporate a modern reference within this project e.g. by experimenting with the idea of creating my own graffiti relevant to the modern day.

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(Colour in your environment): Basquiat 'Boom for real' Barbican book, Henry Flynt The Samo Graffiti Portfolio, 1979-91

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(Colour in your environment): Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican

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Going to the Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican was very inspiring for me, especially in terms of colour combinations. There is a playfulness about his work which I find inspiring, and is something I aspire to have within my own work.

“I want to make paintings that look as if they were made by a child.”- Basquiat

A defining element of Basquiat’s work is his love for childhood cartoons and the frantic nature of being a kid: an energy that is consistently reflected in his paintings. A rough handling of materials, expressive brushwork and intense colour. Basquiat’s technique shows itself in his brutal, raw depiction of subjects and themes, and an unforgiving commitment to using this technique to overthrow art world standards.

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(Colour in your environment): Bansky tribute mural to Basquiat

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(Colour in your environment): Banksy tribute mural to Basquiat no.2

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Banksy is an anonymous England-based graffiti artist. His anonymous identity draw paralells to SAMO. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humor with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. Banksy's works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. I am drawn to the clever and explicit way Banksy uses his graffiti to comment on the world around us. I think the humour in the work acts as a way to highlight how we often ignore how corruptive society/politics is and has become.

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(Colour in your environment): John Akomfrah: Purple, at the Curve, Barbican centre

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For his new commission John Akomfrah mediates on the effects of the Anthropocene- the era in which humans’ impact on earth is the dominant influence on the changing environment. Composed across six screens with an immersive soundscape, the film charts the incremental shifts in climate change across the planet and its effects of human communities, bio-diversity and the wilderness. I was drawn to this particular section in the film where colourful garments have been immersed in a shallow river stream. The water acts to give the garments fluidity and movements, hence making them appear as part of the stream. However, the colour of the clothes acts to separate them from the natural environment and retain their ‘man-made’ identity.

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(Colour in your environment): Tate Modern, Superflex

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(Colour in your environment): V&A specific jewellery pieces I found interesting

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(Colour in your environment): V&A bathroom

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(Colour in your environment): Own photograph

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(Colour in your environment): Bracelet

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(Colour in your environment): Own photograph of Falling snow

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  • I wanted to capture the movement of snow
  • I like the movement within the photograph and how this has been blurred to create lines that I can be seen to draw parallels with painted brush strokes
  • There is a contrast of cool and warm colours, and this juxtaposition creates a more striking colour combination and overall effect
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(Colour in your environment): Own photograph of Snow

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As snow falls it creates a white environment, and acts to conceal and mask colour. Snow is like a natural ‘paint’, and I’m interested in how snow makes everything become one colour. However because this colour is white it is actually an example of colour being removed from the environment, and I am more interested in exploring how colour can be added to/created within an environment.

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(Colour in your Environment): Colour Theory

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COLOUR THEORY

With colours you can set a mood, attract attention, or make a statement. Each colour is made up of a hue, saturation and value.

  • Hue=the base pigment of a colour, (hue minus saturation=lighter colour, whereas hue minus value= darker colour)
  • Saturation=the purity of a colour. High saturation colors look rich and full, low saturation colours look dull and greyish
  • Value=the lightness or darkness of a colour

Primary colours-red, blue, yellow

Secondary colours created by mixing primary colours- purple, green, orange

Tertiary colours are a mix of primary and secondary colours

Warm colours= red, orange, yellow

Cool colours= purple, blue, green

Warm colours are generally associated with energy, brightness, and action, whereas cool colours are often identified with calm, peace, and serenity.

Tints, shade and tones

  • Tint=colour made lighter by adding white e.g. red+white=pink
  • Shade=black is added, darker version is called a shade e.g. red+black=burgundy
  • Tone=grey is added

Colour schemes

  • Complementary=2 colours opposite each other on the colour wheel e.g. red and green
  • Analogous=next to one another on the colour wheel e.g. red, orange and yellow
  • Triadic=equally spaced around the wheel, tend to be very bright and dynamic
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CORDUROY

Bibliography

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(Corduroy): Location spot

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I spotted this wall in Wandsworth and felt it would be an interesting backdrop for photographing my final outcome. The white paint drips create a grunge, disheveled feel and also suggest this idea of deterioration, relating to the context behind my garment. The neutral colours of white, grey and beige will allow my garment to stand out; furthermore making the photographs have a stronger impact upon the viewer.

(Corduroy): Issey Miyake- Instagram story

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IKKO TANAKA ISSEY MIYAKE collection featuring motifs from the works of Ikko Tanaka. Vibrant clothing full or energy to intensify the appeal of Tanaka’s works when worn in a three-dimensional format.

I am drawn to print and experimenting with ways of directly applying print onto a garment, therefore I found this work exciting and relevant. However, I think it would look more successful if the print wasn’t so separate and acted to complement/ inform the silhouette, the print is also very flat and would look more dramatic with added elements of texture.

(Corduroy): Ruth Issett

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  • Visible and intentional fraying around the hole; fraying= lack of permanence, the fabric will deteriorate over time, ageing
  • Coloured layer within the hole, almost like a wound 
  • Interesting idea of patching up/filling the hole with a different fabric of a different colour

(Corduroy): A Passion for Colour by Ruth Issett, 2013

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Ruth Issett is a print textile artist who uses dyeing, printing, painting, collage and stitch within her work. I’m interested in the  embossed type surface in this particular image; I would like to experiment with creating my own embossed surface using hand stitching/embroidery. The raised straight lines also act to create a grid across the fabric; I think it could be interesting to similarly create raised lines however explore using curves to create abstract shapes on a fabric’s surface.

(Corduroy) Pauline Verrinder

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Pauline Verrinder is a Textiles artist that I came across on Pinterest. She frequently uses water-soluble fabric within her work, which is a technique I have been exploring within my project. I was drawn to this particular image specifically because of the intentional holes that have been created. These holes along with the use of khaki green thread convey ideas of rotting, however the holes I feel also suggest the idea of fragility. Inspired by this I sewed circles shapes on water-soluble fabric, but ensured to leave intentional holes within the shape. The effect of this technique is quite beautiful, and I plan on incorporating this within my final garment. I like how it is abstract and artificial way of adding mould to my garment’s surface.

(Corduroy): Dye & embroidery by Sabatini Leccia

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The way the dye has bleed across the fabric reminds me of the back view of one of my petri dishes where the colours within the mould cultures look blended and spread across the agar jelly in an uncontrolled way. In this image I like the contrast of the controlled embroidery against the spread out and uncontrolled dye.

(Corduroy): McQueen SS10

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  • Raised surface
  • Thread tufts
  • Beading adding another layer of texture to the embroidery
  • Threads look as though they are sprouting out- making the embroidery have a sense of movement and growth to it

(Corduroy): Learning how to do a Lino Print

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I wanted to experiment with lino printing mainly because it's a technique I am unfamiliar with. When researching the lino printing process I came across this helpful blog:

http://www.maddenillustration.co.uk/blog/2015/9/4/lino-printing-process

Basic method

  1. Carve the design into the lino block, place on a bench hook to make it easier to cut into, remember that different blades create a different width of line
  2. Put some block printing ink into a tray and use a roller to roll it out until there is a nice even layer of ink
  3. Roll ink over the surface of the lino
  4. Place lino face down and, with a dry roller, roll over the back of the carved lino block a few time to ensure the ink is evenly distributed, then lift it off

(Corduroy): Growing mould update

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The first week proved unsuccessful in terms of mould growth, however this image taken on the 26th of Jan (roughly 3rd week) shows the start of mould cultures growing on the agar jelly. Interestingly the petri dish where I had transferred the mould from the cream started growing these sporadic mould dots, which create an interesting pattern that could be transferred on the body as a potential print idea.

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  • Sporadic mould dots- reminds me of French knot embroidery
  • Unusual shapes, could be translated onto the body and explored as silhouette ideas
  • Fluffy/raised texture
  • Distinctive smell- similar to the smell of dirt/mud
  • Powdery residue found on the petri dish lid
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Petri dish contaminated with bacteria from my hands

  • Raised, fluffy texture- could be artificially translated onto final garment using felting

John Booth

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In preparation for John Booth’s illustration class tomorrow I researched his work to get a better sense of his signature style as an illustrator. I admire his use of bold, bright colours and feel that this is similarly an aspect I enjoy incorporating within my own work. His composition of figures on the page is unusual, but it creates a sense of energy and prevents his figures from appearing lonely on the page. I like his use of thick lines; this is something I tend to avoid within my work, however tomorrow I aim to challenge myself and try out as many new, unfamiliar drawing techniques as possible.

Back of petri dish

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  • Top mould culture has an interesting pattern that I feel draws allusions to the technique of marbling with ink
  • Colours blending together seamlessly
  • I prefer the front view of the petri dish as there is a better indication of texture and colour
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(Corduroy): Transferring mould from cream onto agar jelly

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I’ve been getting frustrated with how slow the growth of mould on the agar jelly is. After finding the mould on the cream I had the idea to transfer this mould onto one of the petri dishes, and see whether the mould attaches itself and continues to grow.

(Corduroy): Own photographs of mouldy cream

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When clearing out my fridge I noticed a pot of cream that had moulded. Inspired by the photography works of Nikita Kakowsi and Max Slobodda I decided to take close-up photographs of this mould. The zoomed in images appears beautiful and soft, therefore challenging the common associations of mould being repulsive and ugly. I like how the mould had grown in this sort of cave created inside the cream, I plan on using these photographs to inform print ideas.

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  • Speckled
  • Soft, inviting- you want to touch it 
  • Mould similar to a felted texture
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  • I am drawn to the circular red spot in the centre; this colour contrasts with the muted yellow and green
  • Curves within the cream
  • Smoothness of cream juxtaposed with the raised, fuzzy texture of the mould

(Corduroy): Growing own mould in petri dish (bacteria from hands)

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(Corduroy): Growing own mould in petri dish (bacteria from keyboard of laptop)

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After two weeks the growth of mould on the agar jelly has been slow and underwhelming, currently the only mould visible is on two of the petri dishes and this mould is honestly quite pathetic. One thing that is interesting though is the texture, particularly of the mould spot on the petri dish with bacteria from my hands. I am interested in exploring how to replicate this fluffy, mould texture in an artificial and manmade way e.g. through the process of felting.

(Corduroy): Drawcords + channel workshop own sample

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(Corduroy): drawcords + channels workshop

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(Corduroy): Craig Green SS18, drawcords + channel workshop

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(Corduroy): Drawcords + channel workshop own sample

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The drawcords + channel workshop introduced me to a new fabric manipulation technique. I was particularly drawn to the idea of creating shapes within a fabric by firstly sewing a channel and then adding a cord through this. I like how this technique allows me to have control over how much fabric is gathered, whether the cord drapes down or is cut etc.

(Corduroy): Growing own mould in petri dishes

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Inspired by Martin Margiela’s 1997 exhibition, I decided to experiment with growing my own mould. I remembered an experiment I did at school in Biology where we grew mould on agar jelly, and so I decided to replicate this experiment and see what results I get.

Experiment method:

  1. Stir half a teaspoon of agar powder into 60ml of hot water (multiply these quantities for however many petri dishes will be used)
  2. Place this in microwave for 1 min, agar powder should completely dissolve and the liquid should be clear in colour
  3. Allow to cool for several mins
  4. Pour the solution into the bottom half of the petri dish and quickly replace top half to prevent any airborne bacteria from contaminating the experiment
  5. Once hardened, introduce the bacteria through either direct contact or through sample collection (I did this through touching the jelly directly and also through using cotton swabs to collect bacteria from a range of sources e.g. my phone, laptop keyboard, hands, and dog)
  6. Seal petri dish with tape and place in a warm, dark place

(Corduroy); Martin Margiela 1997 exhibition

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Bacteria plays roles as both life supporter and disease carrier. In this example however, that downside of bacteria is plugged out and instead, aesthetic means are injected. In 1997 Margiela held his first exhibition in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam. He exhibited 18 clothes in whites, creams, and greys from his previous collections (1989 until 1997) and collaborated with a Dutch microbiologist to grow various bacteria, yeast, and mould on each piece of clothing. All were then isolated during the exhibition until the process is done, and resulted in clothes transformation. I like the idea of using mould as a form of surface decoration, because of it contradicts our stereotypical depictions in regards to surface decoration being pretty and also being purely static. Mould is living and so using this within a garment makes the clothes literally ‘come alive’. Interesting how bacteria and mould are typically something we ignore and so using it as a form of decoration acts to emphasize it instead of hide it. I would like to explore growing my own mould, however due to the limited time frame I will explore growing mould on agar jelly in petri dishes.

(Corduroy): Food wastage

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(Corduroy): Food scraps pile

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(Corduroy): Documentary- Global waste: the scandal of food waste

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Mould and food are closely connected, and so I thought this relationship could be a possible route I could investigate within my project.

Watching this documentary allowed me to become better aware of such a pressing issue within our society. Food waste I feel is an issue which many people are aware of but are unaware in regards to the severity and impact this issue truly has upon the world around us.

One billion people around the globe are chronically malnourished, yet one-third of the planet’s food production is going to waste. Every year, the United States wastes twice the amount of food needed to feed its population. In Western countries, farmers, agro-industrialists, supermarkets and consumers throw out enough food to feed the world’s undernourished inhabitants seven times over. The production of food that will never be eaten is responsible for nearly one-tenth of the greenhouse gases emitted in the West. While wealthy countries negligently waste food, developing countries are watching their crops spoil because farmers don’t have the tools to treat, conserve or get them to market.

Surprisingly simple solutions could resolve what has become one of the most pressing environmental and social dilemmas facing the world today. The documentary explored fruit, vegetables, bread, meats, fish, grains and ready-made meals, traveling from Europe to Ecuador, with stops in India, the United States and Japan. As a viewers you are introduced to the key players in this infernal food system: producers, industrialists, distributors and consumers. What surprised me most was the importance of a grown food’s aesthetic, for example bananas with any blemish, wrong curve or wrong size would be disregarded despite the inside fruit being completely fine and unaffected. I was shocked at how tight and restrictive the regulations in regards to aesthetics are for producers, and how this consequently results in large quantities of unnecessary waste. Then there are the notorious 'eat-by’ dates, most food is absolutely fine for days if not weeks afterwards, and all eat-by dates do is produce grotesque amounts of waste. Food is most commonly wasted when we buy more than we need, store it incorrectly, throw away leftovers and cook too much. Buying in excessive means food is wasted as it goes mouldy before the buyer has time to eat it.

Although this documentary was informative, I don’t really feel very inspired to explore the correlation between mould and food wastage, I would much rather explore the aesthetics and attitude towards mould itself.

(Corduroy): Experimenting with multiple exposure (orange)

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(Corduroy): Experimenting with multiple exposure (bread)

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  • I explored creating mould digitally using photoshop to superimpose an image I took of mould onto an image of fresh bread, hence making the resulting image presenting the bread as inedible 
  • I think this image can be seen to represent the way people view their food once it has past the sell-by-date, even though the food may be fine and still relatively fresh

(Corduroy): Own photograph of rotting banana

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After noticing a rotting banana in my kitchen I experiment with taking a close-up photograph of it. I quite like the contrast of the dark brown spots against the bright yellow banana skin, however I think mould would be a more interesting subject to photograph, mainly because it is more textural.

(Corduroy): C.L.Frost, untitled photograph of cream cheese mould

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This photograph of cream cheese mould is compositionally similar to those taken by Nikita Kakowsi and Max Slobodda, similarly in this image the close-up image captures the beauty and stillness of mould. I am particularly drawn to the colour scheme of green/khaki, light pink, yellow, white and black seen within this image.

(Corduroy): Photography of Nikita Kakowsi and Max Slobodda

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Nikita and Max are two photograph students who decided to document the fuzz and slime that bloomed when they forgot to throw food away. The close-up shots create abstract images of the food within the photographs. I find that the choice to have the images close-up makes them appear more romantic as oppose to grotesque. There is a sense of movement and growth within the images, which captivates me as a viewer. The mould appears fluffy and inviting, which is different from the ugly and repulsive way it is normally perceived and presented.

(Corduroy): Lizan Freijsen

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In the project ‘Decay on demand’ photos of leakages were transformed into wallpaper and installed primarily in new houses in order to give them a history. Changing something ugly into products of value is Freijsenʼs way of recycling what is already present. Using pictures and drawings from mildew stains, fungus and water leaks formed on the wall, she turns moulds, meant to be repulsive into something decorative. Embracing imperfection is in fact a response to the over controlled society in which we live.

(Corduroy): Elin Thomas

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Artist Elin Thomas makes mouldy petri dishes look decorative and soft. Using a combination of embroidery thread, crochet, and needle felting, she creates unique textile pieces. The fuzzy felt produces the effect of tiny hairs sprouting from the yarn spores. I’m interested in the techniques she has used to produce a relatively realistic mould texture, from this I’m inspired to explore the technique of felting and how it can be used to create a texture alike to that created by mould. 

(Corduroy): Mold in a petri dish

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(Corduroy): Bacteria and other Micro Organisms by Pepin van Roojen

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(Corduroy): Microcosmos by Brandon Broll (pictures supplied by The Science Photo Library)

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(Corduroy): Microcosmos by Brandon Broll (pictures supplied by The Science Photo Library)

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(Corduroy): Microcosmos by Brandon Broll (pictures supplied by The Science Photo Library)

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(Corduroy): How to Crochet by Alison McNicol, 2013

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(Corduroy): Knit & crochet wokshop

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(Corduroy): Crochet instructions from workshop

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(Corduroy) Techno Textiles by Sarah E. Braddock Clarke & Marie O'Mahony

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  • Eugene Van Veldhoven, Textiles finish, 2003
  • Metallic foil transfer print on a cotton jacquard weave with effect yarn in long floats, the untrapped yarns appear to float on a liquid metal surface
  • Ridged surface created by trapping & restriction

(Corduroy) Techno Textiles by Sarah E. Braddock Clarke & Marie O'Mahony

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  • Laser-treated polyamide 2004
  • Images taken using a scanning electron microscope
  • Top image shows the fabric laser-marked with text (it spells part of the word ‘raster’-the pattern of lines formed by an electron beam)
  • Bottom image shows the fabric decomposing due to heightened temperatures and poor heat conduction by the polymer fibres
  • Decomposing and the aesthetic impact it can create is an idea I would like to delve into within my work

(Corduroy): Bruce Riley

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Chicago-based artist Bruce Riley creates hypnotic, abstract paintings using experimental techniques complemented by his spontaneous flow of creativity. He drips rich layers of resin and paint in various colors onto the canvas to create a mesmerizing, psychedelic artwork. Riley drips, blows, brushes and smears his paints onto a flat surface while they are still wet, which means that once a painting begins, the process cannot be stopped. The end result is as organic and flowing as the making process itself, with multiple layers of paint encapsulated in clear resin, creating depth and an almost sculptural effect. For me these pieces look like abstract paintings of mould cultures. I’m drawn to the use of repetitive, imperfect circles, and the use of bright bold colours that act to complement the shapes in the paintings.

  • Repetitive motions
  • Large scale, so the whole body is involved in the process
  • Not about an end result
  • It’s an experimental process with unexpected results

“You can’t have any other intent but moving. You can’t worry about it, you can’t stop, you can’t choke. It’s obvious when it works. It’s obvious when it fails. The paintings aren’t about specific things, they’re all about kind of the same thing. And I’m not really trying to define any ideas, I just let it flow.”

- Bruce Riley

(Corduroy): Lichen

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  • Lichen is associated with fungus and algae and/or cyanobacteria, and like all fungi, lichen fungi require carbon as a food source
  • Lichen grow very slowly
  • Add amazing colour and texture to their surroundings
  • Also provide a home to insects and nesting material for birds
  • The raised texture relates to the tufts found within Corduroy
  • Developing on from this research I would like to look at other natural, living things that are able to transform a surface e.g. mould

(Corduroy): Woodcut by Bryan Nash Gill

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Title: Heartwood, 2007

The heartwood is the centre, nonliving part of the trunk with the densest and hardest wood

(Corduroy): Woodcut by Bryan Nash Gill

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(Corduroy): Woodcut by Bryan Nash Gill

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(Corduroy): Woodcut by Bryan Nash Gill

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These woodcuts are relief prints; they are impressions of the raised grain of the wood. Each cut reveals a unique story through shape, pattern, colour and various irregularities. The rings seen on the cross section of a tree trunk are known as growth rings, each ring represents one year; the outside rings, near the bark, are the youngest, these rings therefore are a visual proof of the passing of time.

(Corduroy): Minimalism book, edited by James Meyer

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  • Work from a series made between 1962 and 1964 using rope either attached to or piercing a wooden frame
  • Morris juxtaposes a pliable material-rope-with the rigid wooden structure
  • Ends of the rope are knotted together yet each of the five strands is fixed separate from one another in their own boxed section
  • The start of the sculpture is controlled, organized and gradually it becomes exactly the opposite
  • I am drawn to this idea of combining control and chaos to create one symbiotic form

(Corduroy): Wrinkles

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Text

I personally associate Corduroy with the past and the old, its quite an outdated fabric and so I associate it with the older generations

(Corduroy): Gucci resort spring-summer 2018

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(Corduroy): Prada autumn 2017

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The feathers  used in both the Gucci resort SS18 collection along with the Prada AW17 collection reminded me of the word tufts. In terms of Corduroy ‘s structure its tufts are small and not really visible, therefore these garments I feel act to show tufts on a large scale, and in a way that and make them appear as a dramatic design feature.    

(Corduroy): What's the point of it? by Martin Creed

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The straight lines reminded me of the ridged surface of Corduroy. Interestingly although each line is straight each is a different colour, the colours act to separate the lines from one another; connected yet detached.

  • Expressive brush strokes-paint as a means of creating texture, paint similarly to Corduroy has a distinctive textural quality

(Corduroy): Electrical cords

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  • Repetition of lines, alike to the ridged surface of Corduroy
  • Pipes are rusting- relates to corduroy because I personally associate this fabric with ageing, the passing of time, the past, and the old

(Corduroy): Hardware store, cord

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(Corduroy): Bronze pipes

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Visited a hardware store in Battersea as a second, less obvious source of inspiration for this project. I was drawn to these bronze metal pipes and starting joining them together, this made me think corduroy’s rigid structure.

(Corduroy): Fabric samples

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Samples collected from Fabrics Galore in Battersea to use as a starting point for the project. Corduroy has such a distinctive ribbed texture; texture is definitely a key area I want to address within my project

(Corduroy): Corduroy road

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A corduroy road  is a type of road made by placing logs, perpendicular to the direction of the road over a low or swampy area. I like the repetition of this process and how a natural material (logs) are being used to mimic the ribbed qualities of corduroy fabric, and this is directly addressed through the name 'corduroy road'. 

(Corduroy): Exploration of Corduroy

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Definitions

Corduroy: a ribbed cut weft pile fabric that is brushed. The pile runs parallel to the selvedge and the cords may be medium or broad. Needle cord is made in the same way but the cords are fine

Wale: a ridge on a textured woven fabric

Tufts: a bunch or collection of threads, grass, hair, etc., held or growing together at the base

Ridge: (of a surface) form into or rise up as a ridge. A ridged surface has raised lines on it

Sometimes called the "poor man's velvet" corduroy is a soft, durable fabric that has been popular among people of all classes for almost two centuries. Corduroy first became popular in France and England in the 1700s, where it was named corde du roi, or "cord of the king." Though it was first woven of silk and was used to make clothing for royal servants, many think that the name corde du roi was actually made up by a British manufacturer who wished to glamorize his fabric with celebrity appeal. By the late 1800s corduroy was being woven of cotton and mass-produced in factories in both Europe and the United States. Durable yet inexpensive, cotton corduroy clothing became very popular with the working class.

When I think of Corduroy I firstly think of my school English teacher who was known for wearing a distinctive beige Corduroy suit, I find it interesting how a fabric can be nostalgic and have a different personal meaning for each person. When discussing Corduroy with my group we all seemed to associate it with our childhood, and therefore view it as an outdated fabric.

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