'to make, mend or join (something) with stitches'.
Stitching in Textiles
Stitching in textiles reminded me of sowing in mismatching pieces of fabrics (chequered, floral patterns, corduroy) onto some old pair of denim jeans or jacket. The process also reminded me of transforming and altering something into something different inside and outside fashion and textiles. This idea lead me to discover Watanabe's 'boyfriend' styled jeans with patchwork details along the length. After I had seen the jeans, ideas such as the following had came into my mind.
I liked the way individualistic patterns were able to merge together and mend the clothing.
As stitching involves mending, making or joining two or more pieces of material together, this reminded me of Viktor Frankenstein creating the iconic 'grotesque but sentient creature' in the novel Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley. Assembling non-identical components together forming a figure interested me as ideas of sculptures and installations of contrasting elements came into mind. Jack Pierce's iconic make-up adaptation towards Shelley's Frankenstein made the idea of merging had also inspired this idea
Alongside Frankenstein, the 'Needlework in America' showed a coverlet with elaborate details and stitches joining different prints and colours together to form a unified piece. Although this particular research is a literal representation of stitching, I wanted to research different styles of stitching outside the thread and needle.
Idea: Merge and blend different colours, textures or symbols to form a huge mess which addresses a current environmental or social issue.
I began to become drawn in reconstruction outside of fashion and textiles. Reconstruction in architecture and identity began to interest me. The Dressmaker, a film about an expert dressmaker who was falsely accused of murdering a young boy in the 50's. Myrtle 'Tilly' Dunnage returns home after being educated from Madeleine Vionnet to transform the locals through her refined couture and dress making skills thus changing their characteristics and thinking. The construction noticed here showed an emotional and physical change and an alteration resulting to empowerment and confidence.
The abandoned Bangkok shopping mall first built in 1980 was forced to shut down in 1997. two years later, the building had been set on fire killing some people and in 2004 someone had been killed by falling debris due to the demolition of the extra top floors. Once the floors were removed, light was able to penetrate into the building in addition to rain water be able to accumulate overtime. Locals apparently added koi into this isolated area which eventually reproduced rapidly. The transition from a commercially based building into a natural ecosystem seemed romantic and poetic.
Both Favelas and Slums are illegal settlements of migrants who have usually travelled from the rural areas into the urban city looking for work (rural to urban migration).These settlements are constructed out of materials such as corrugated iron which have been scavenged and collected. From the birds eye a large fortress made up of little settlements are noticed thus creating and establishing a community and a unit. The sense of unity and community through the clusters of houses reminded me of 'The Dance' painted by Henri Mattisse.
Needlework of America
In addition to 'unite' I became interested in groups of people joining together forming a community. This lead to researching uniforms and clothes that presented this idea. The books that I have chosen to photograph include Issey Miyake and the Needlework of America. I liked the way the clothes and the colours reflected the the group dynamic and social class. Furthermore, the garments seems to also show strength and cooperative nature of the group.
Melting ice caps
Deep water Horizon Oil Rig Disaster
environmental science and global concern
Garden of Earthly Goods
Bridget Riley, Hokusai, Tschang-Yeul Kim
Alexander Mcqueen: Savage Beauty
Platos Atlantis, AW 2010
Alexander Mcqueen: Savage Beauty
Exploitation and Global Warming
I decided to research severe cases of exploitation and global warming affecting the earth's waters and different countries.
Deepwater Horizon oil spill:
The major oil rig disaster began on the 20th of April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico affecting all 5 coastlines of the Gulf states until the 15th of July 2010. Approximately 40,000 barrels of oil was released a day and was known to be the world's largest accidental oil spill. Fragile ecosystems such as oyster beds, mangrove trees, fragile coral reefs and marine life were all affected. As a result, 80% of the Gulf's jobs were in danger alongside coastlines being covered in thick black sludge.
'Global warming is the warming up of the planet above the temperature it is expected to be from recent experience'. Due to global warming, glaciers and ice caps are melting resulting to the sea levels to rise which causes a large plethora of issues for human beings, fragile ecosystems and wildlife.
As the globes temperatures increases cases of droughts also increase such as in the western US. Countries such as Ethiopia suffer from more frequent droughts due to the large scaled evaporation resulting to famine, malnutrition and the spread of diseases.
Idea: Address the current issue of global warming and its effects through different forms of water maybe.
Water is an essential component in all living things, up to 60% of an adult human is water. Many believe that water is important as like religion, money, identity, fame and survival. The film 127 hours which portrays the real life event of Aron Ralston's story of survival shows the extremes a human being will undergo in order to hydrate and satisfy themselves.
Idea: Emphasise the importance of water maybe through colours such as gold, purple, navy
Ice and Power
Water turns to ice when temperatures reach below 0 degrees celsius. Its sturdy and harsh qualities are juxtaposed by its limited attribute when brought out of its natural habitat. This feature about ice inspires me in creating contrasting ideas ofstrength and fragility present in humans, history, luxury and nature. Human beings are known to be the dominating species on this earth yet we are weak towards pleasure, greed and jealousy as like demonstrated in the 'Garden of Earthly Delights' painted by Hieronymous Bosch. Empires and extravagant places of worship documented in history were known to be supreme and superior but as time passed they were overtaken by another and another thus melting away. I had also researched the poem 'Ozymandius' a sonnet written by Percy Byssche Shelley which reflects how authority and power will experience an inevitable decline similarly to how ice disappears overtime. Similarly to the titanic known to have been the 'floating city' with passengers of millionaires, teachers and emigrants in 'search for a better life' had faced its tragic end.
Ideas: Show the weakness and strength of human beings and authority through melting ice sculptures
Current, Bridget Riley
Under the Wave, off
1 to 10, Tschang-Yeul Kim
Yoshimoto Nara exhibition in the Diary Art Centre
Yoshimoto Nara is a Japanese artist whose body of work consists of cartoon like drawings, sculptures and sketches of innocent youths with large anime inspired eyes contrasting with 'adult expressions, provocative positions and salty vocabularies.' Although his creations are considered as cute, the essence of the characters especially through their direct stares towards the viewer such as 'After the Acid Rain' challenges and raises questions about the psychology of children's minds.
As I was initially inspired by McCarthy's sculptures, I began to research Nara's sculptures also. The difference between the appearance of his three dimensional work and his paintings and sketches is that the sculptures (such as the one shown on the left) which presents a perspective of childhood memories in a nightmarish and an unexpected way. This had stimulated an idea of presenting a piece in an unappealing and gross style similarly to McCarthy's own pieces.
Idea: Create something that is aesthetically challenging however conceptually realistic.
African Tribal Images, William Fagg
As the previous researches were based on contemporary artists and sculptures, I began to become interested in ancient or traditional forms of sculpture with different characteristics which reflects culture and history. With the use of the csm library, I began searching and discovering books relating to African and South American tribal sculptures.
The large variety of figures I had discovered were interesting as the sculptures had an almost mythical and fictionalform through their mismatching limbs, unbalanced proportions and comical facial expressions. This made me realise how both the tribal sculptures alongside the contemporary artists presents humour whilst sliding information about the artist or history.
Paul Mccarthy, Chronicles of the Olympics
Throughout my session in the library, I had discovered a book reflecting Paul McCarthy's previous body of work in the formats of performance, paintings and sculpture. The photos within the book written by Phaidon were gruesome and unappealing, however I was able to photograph his specific work which twisted family friendly characters into perverse and strange hybrids. Being able to transform and distort a well known universal image such as Donald Duck into something noticeable yet disturbing had inspired and allowed further ideas to develop.
As I became interested in universal and recognisable images, I began to research athletes. Their symbolism of strength, resilience and as a representative of their nation or county had inspired me. Thus I discovered the book 'Chronicles of the Olympics' where iconic moments of the Olympics were documented and photographed such as those athletes who have broken records or achieved gold medals. Subsequently, the Olympic logo became interesting to me through the merging colours reflecting unity.
After I had researched the Olympics and iconic athletes, I began to become interested in companies and logos which were related to water and drinks such as Evian, coca cola, Fiji, etc as these logos are globally well know and recognised.
Paul McCarthy is a radical American sculpture, performance and video artist who modifies conventional and naive characters into distorted and perverse beings engaging in taboo sexual acts. McCarthy's body of work is known to be 'fucking with the viewer's sensibility' whilst the underlying messages confronts aesthetics, politics and philosophical impetus which has allowed him to achieve broad mainstream appeal.
Aside from McCarthy's perverse imagery I found the use of recognisable characters and figures to reflect the message regarding society, politics, etc in his sculptures to be an interesting idea to advance and research.
- identity (political figure, Disney princess, recognisable, etc)
- humour (disturbing, dramatic, sexual)
- importance of colour
Jeff Koons is an American artist well know for his balloon banal animal sculptures produced in stainless steel with a mirror finish. His body of iconic works 'plays with the idea of taste, pleasure, celebrity and commerce.'
I decided to consider Koons alongside McCarthy as both artists utilises recognisable images and characters as a symbol and motif to reflect the underlying messages. Additionally, I also was inspired by the significance of the colours the artists had selected for each of their scupltures.