Part 1

Research

'Build It'

Pavilion 21 MINI Opera Space

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I really like the geometric triangular sharp shapes of Coop Himmelb(l)au’s ‘Pavillion 21’ which influenced my direction for the start of creating our group structure. This structure was an instillation concert hall/opera building in Munich.

'Make it'

Support - Surround - Suspend

Violet Chachki

As a winner of Ru Paul's drag race, Violet Chachki is a cutting edge contemporary drag artist who pushes boundaries with her styling and her stunning silhouettes. Drag and its culture is something that fascinates me as it is ever changing and merges boundaries of sexuality, social constructs, masculinity and femininity. With a waist of 18 inches she utilises this in her work, incorporating ideas that interest me such as body distortion and extravagant design as seen in her corset use. Body distortion fascinates me as we can so easily shape and change the existing form, either by restricting certain aspects or forcing our body to do things where it naturally wouldn't.

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Tamzin Lillywhite

I am really inspired by her artistry and bespoke leather work, which just so happens to be one of my Tutors at CSM. Tamzin's work is focused on the craft of leather, utilizing it and making it the focal point of her pieces. I like the implied sexual appeal of her works, with subtle hints to BDSM. Her craftsmanship is next to none and leather is something that really interests me as a medium to work with. (see clip and images left and below)

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Illuminate

Kings Cross

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Visiting Kings Cross to explore the form of the light though the geometric ceiling 

Exploring how the Kings Cross ceiling casts different shadows and light on the floor
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Illuminate - looking at the diffraction of light through a medium such as glass, casting intense or magnified light with shadows
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Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones' various avant guard hat designs in many different media and materials
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Stephen Jones

Renowned for his expressive and flamboyant almost avant-garde hats, Stephen Jones creates this melted effect. Exploring the use of plastic as a medium for accessories  for my 'Illuminate' project. Another aspect of his work that is particularly admirable and something i wish to explore in this project is the use of absolutely any material, Stephen knows no bounds on materials; from high-heeled shoes, floor lamps, soles of feather and plush, to straws and many other fabrics including plastics, all have been included in the hats.

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Dale Chihuly

I was exploring the qualities of light created though a medium such as glass and water for my Illuminate project (see surrounding images). Having seen his work exhibited at Kew Gardens many years ago his work has been indelibly inked in my brain. The sheer size and beauty of his big glass forms are something I wished to channel into my final design, to me they suggest an explosion and expansion of form, I also really like the muted naturally colored glass which is of interest for me to perhaps also use.

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Francis Sollano

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'Francis Sollano is multi-disciplinary creative focused on sustainable product and fashion design. A trashion artist, he pioneered contemporary, trashion art in the Philippines and is known for his contemporary takes on up-cycling garbage into wearable art. He creates pieces and installations made from non-toxic, non-organic industrial and residential garbage. He is also an advocate on the use of indigenous fabrics and welfare of aboriginal communities. Sollano partners with commercial institutions driving programs that allow him to raise environmental awareness and design pieces which are produced by financially-depressed regions.'

I really love the sustainable aspect of his work, up-cycling and reusing mundane household waste products especially plastics, like the bottles seen in the piece above. This is something I wish to incorporate in my own work as I am trying to 'Illuminate' or shine light on a deeper subject matter, I am exploring how light can cast almost water-like qualities when shone through a medium such as plastics, more so I am hoping to create a piece that although looks beautiful is more deeply rooted in sustainability, highlighting how plastic is our biggest byproduct and pollutant of the ocean. 

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Surface and Structure

Exploring Archway

Looking around Archway for structures and surfaces of interest to us to collect primary imagery which shows a variety perforated, knitted, woven and modular forms.

Wood and Weathering

The weathered peeling paint on the wood reminds me of a skin like strucure
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Modular

Modular square structure; layered gate and bricks
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Perforated Structure

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Fish Scale Structure

Focusing on the almost skeletal structure of the fish scales as a surface
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Frances Wadsworth-Jones

She is an experimental jewelry designer who explores different ways of making jewelry playfully provocative, whilst maintaining her conceptual style. I really appreciate the combination of nature and refined jewelry in the collection 'Thieves' whereby the pieces appear to have ants stealing the stones, yet they are used to hold or clasp the precious stones or pearls. I really appreciate the use of the skeletal exoskeleton of the ants used to embellish the ring and hold the stone, as it is a playful addition to a ring. 

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CDG Instillation

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I visited the Comme des Garçons instillation at Dover Street Market where they were exhibiting their recent AW18 collection with the original prehistoric pieces. Their collaboration with Shimoda Masakatsu (See Dazed Article)  saw some amazing prehistoric 'Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops heads crafted from stuffed white cotton that was pulled across wire structures like artisanal prehistoric artefacts'. These skeletal structures almost engulf the body surrounding it in a rib cage, skull or exoskeleton. 

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Movement

Kei Kagami

A recluse Japanese designer who creates the most beautiful and eccentric footwear and garments. Using a lot of natural textures and colours but too, combining this with a man made brutalist approach resulting in wonderful distorted/ abnormal silhouettes.

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His inspiration and motivation for his work is also very interesting. In an interview with Dazed Magazine in 2011 he stated that "In order to decide what I would like to express in the collection, I always analyse myself first. I look at what I am interested in, what attracts me, what I see beauty in, what I am angry about at the moment and so on. The most impressive subject among the elements I analysed often becomes the main theme of the collection. Then I go into the material and technical research. Once I have decided on the theme, the materials, and the techniques, I just try to design as sincerely as possible for what I wish to express."

Marcelyn Bennett-Carpenter

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As muscles are constantly stretching and compressing. with Marcelyn Bennett-Carpenter's elastic structures which change or exaggerate the way two bodies move. Her woven elastic structure restricts the wearers which therefor alters the movement of two people. Perhaps explore and create woven structures on the body similar to this, (muscle movement through an agent). 

 

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Woven experimentation

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Björk

Björk Guðmundsdóttir
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Paper exploration of woven muscular style structure

A good friend of Alexander McQueen, Bjork is a famous singer, actress and visual artist. Her works are expressive and cutting edge and she often works with drag artists, which is an area of expression that really interests me. Drag blurs the social, political and gender norms of our society and thus is always so forward thinking. 

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I experimented with the form by making a smaller quick paper version of her editorial woven structure

 

Gunther von Hagen's 'Body Worlds' Exhibition 24th October 2018

 

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When visiting the exhibition my aim was to focus on the movement of blood or circulatory system in Gunther von Hagen's work. The mesh and webbing of our veins and blood vessels is something that really intrigues me as it is a constant process that happens subconsciously and we don't even realize its going on. Transporting and moving all of our nutrients, oxygen and our main body's defense system. I want to explore how this can then be used in a decorative manner. My favorite specimen was the vessel plastination of the hand, as the structure becomes so dense that it almost looks like a glove towards the fingers.  

 

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Coll-Barreu Arquitectos

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Coll-Barreu Arquitectos, Basque Health Headquarters, Spain, 2004:

I really like the irregularity of the shapes and angles, with the corresponding different reflections from the glass on this building as it shows different qualities of light at different times of the day. It reminded me of my own structure created on the project. The reflective, mirrored quality that this building has is the most interesting aspect, time of day, weather, and people walking past changes how this building is perceived. Another excellent quality of the building is how it totally juxtaposes the surrounding buildings with the mass of reflective glass.

 

 

 

 

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen is an idol and inspiration of mine. His innovation and creative talent was next to none. In his S/S collection in 1997 he explored the distortion of form and movement in the show, famously Debra Shaw wore the most restricted piece, see the runway. I especially like the way the arms are restricted in the silhouette, totally changing her movement down the catwalk.

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Kings Cross

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Cut glass and refraction of light

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Illuminate - exploring the light through a translucent coloured liquid with an almost stain glass effect (see segrada familia)
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How light can cast magnified shadows and more and less intense light trails though a medium such as plastic to give qualities that emulate water
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Olga Noronha

So much of Olga Noronha's fashion shows and accessories really inspire me, the use of light in these particular works are very clever. In the catwalk they began by walking around with the lights on and fiber optics turned off but later when the lights were off, the pieces came to life showing extravagant coloured forms. I particularly like the placement on the shoulders as almost wing-like they give an etherial feel to the pieces.

Primary Research

Illuminate - focusing on the qualities created by sparklers, their explosive form and spitting light outwards is something that interests me for my project
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Microplastics in food: Humans are eating plastic particles and it’s polluting our bodies, scientists discover

Having read an article in the Evening Standard on my way back from CSM about how we are now inadvertently consuming  plastics with possible detriment to human  heath. It stated that 'the pilot study recruited eight participants from the UK, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Austria. It showed that every participant was exposed to plastic by consuming plastic-wrapped food or drinking from plastic bottles...and up to nine different plastics were found in faeces samples'. (See Article by TOM POWELL) 

Having known briefly that it is the single biggest problem we face other than climate change, of which too the production of plastics is the largest contributing factor. This article I read specifies how 'Humans bodies are becoming polluted with tiny but dangerous particles of  plastic'. This is perhaps something I wish to highlight or 'Illuminate' more metaphorically through my project by using similar methods and principals to Francis Sollano, the use of up cycling or what he calls 'trashion' using rubbish particularly plastic bottles, to make works of art. 

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'Plastic Fantastic' by Tomaas Behance

The use of plastic bottles by artist Tomaas Behance to make a quite striking headpiece
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Geometric Structure

Geometrically hexagonal modular tiling with other clashing pattern
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Exploring surface on the body

When looking around Archway I found a grocery shop which had this surface as protection of a fruit, so I bought the fruit as the structure reminded me of my prior research at Kings Cross station.  I wanted to quickly see how a mundane surface used for a totally different purpose could be explored on the body. The Geometric shapes almost formed a lattice which reminded me of the modular hexagonal tiles at Archway art shop. The shape of the structure also reminded me of fish scales or reptile skin.

Kings Cross Ceiling

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Snake Skeleton

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Skeletal Design

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CDG NIKE

The CDG x Nike air force 1 collaboration was too inspired by prehistoric design, I really enjoy the playful placement of the silicone dinosaur embellishment on a classic shoe. Perhaps I could explore show accessories?
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Paper exploration of skeletal structure

By cutting paper to form a rough silhouette of a skeletal structure i wrapped it around the shoe to resemble the and structure of a snake
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MuyBridge

Focusing on the movement of the human form, how the muscles act in sync almost in a reflex chain of movement. Looking at the musculature of the human body through movement.
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Reflex muscle motion with string

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Muscle movement

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Gunther Von Hagen

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Exploring the exact musculature of the human body lead me to Gunther Von Hagen who by his own process of 'Plastination' preserves human form in a way where you get pure insight to the raw structure of the human body. You are really able to see the whole muscle structure and bone structure in a way like no other to imagine what makes us move on an internal scale.

His work also explores the vascular cycle / circulatory system which is the movement of blood (see pic below), this image is something most interesting for me as it shows the delicate weaved netting of our blood. I wish to collect more images from visiting Gunther Von Hagen's 'Body Worlds' exhibition.

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Olga Noronha

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Alice Anderson

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She uses fine copper wire and wraps objects to give a webbed effect which to me looks something like muscle tissue. The wire and metal is what I would most probably make my design out of as it is something I am more confident with. It also would be best as I am able to create a structure to weave into blood vessel like forms on an accessory.

Vessel accessory prototype

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