Monday, 21 December 2009

CSM Textile BA Degree Show

I was just having a look at what Central St Martins BA Textile Design lot produced in their 2009 degree show, and was pleasantly surprised at how they had managed to encompass two great loves of mine; cats and mushrooms.

Alexandra Maggs' Cat design is lovely and quirky, I love the scale she has used to create a weird novelty yet intriguing design for interior.
And Felicity Taylor, I applaud you for your mushroom fabric design, I would certainly be one of your first customers.

Now, how did you both get inside my mind?

And then I found this... the CSM Degree show for Jewellery Design.
I don't know who designed this but I like what's going on here.

Mark Borthwick


I have fallen in love with his beautiful photography.
I love the sun drenched images with a feel that brings back the innocence of childhood summers that now seem a distant memory. Playing in streams and rivers and feeling the icy water of skin.
Every photograph he takes feels like a perfectly natural moment that would otherwise have been forgotten in the past, but kept forever in a raw, sun-like beauty.
All his models seem to be his friend in a relaxed and drifting setting.
The saturated effects make you feel like you've been lying in the sun with your eyes closed and as you open them for the first time, it takes a while for you to adjust to the blazing world around you.

I want to be his friend so all those beautiful moments in life would never be forgotten and over shadowed with the spiralling day to day lull of life.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Love for the Labyrinth

Whilst round at my friends house the other night, we ended up watching this old classic over hot chocolate and cookies. Now, I think this film may well be one of those things that you could only really appreciate it if you were brought up with it. An only-a-face-that-a-mother-could-love kind of relationship. So I understand if you feel the need to shy away from its inspiring and looming brilliance.

David Bowie app ear's in Labyrinth, Jim Henson's 1986 cult film as Jareth, the king of the goblins. Jareth is a powerful, mysterious creature who has an antagonistic yet strangely flirtatious relationship with Jennifer Connelly who plays the teenage heroine, Sarah. Appearing in heavy make-up and a mane-like wig, Bowie sang a variety of new songs specially composed for the film's soundtrack, which I am sure you will agree are somewhat magnificent if you base them on the example embedded above. And I must say, Mr Bowie, that is a wonderful cod piece you are sporting!

Ok, so I am a huge fan of Mr Bowies music of the 70's era and his reinvention of music, image and visual performance. But this is something else, at the time I though this and Gremlins, Time Bandits and the like were the bizz, in retrospect I love them for their bizarre excellence.

Maybe old Ziggy Stardust always had the King of the Goblins inside him...

Deep, deep inside.
Mr Bowie, carry on Sir.

And if you were wondering who the friend with whom I shared this bizarre retrospective moment was...

Ches Jackson, where have you been all my life?

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Arcade Fire. In a lift.

A beautiful, solemn, whimsical band with an imagination that could never be traced or mimicked.
'Neon Bible' performed in a lift.
I particularly like the ripping of a magazine as a substitute for percussion.

Their songs are brilliant, as are their lyrics and each of their videos has a eerie magnificence that reflects their unique musical presence.

'Black Mirror' is another song from their second album. I found this interactive version done by Vincent Morisset, a French Canadian web-friendly director...

It takes a while to load but is well worth it to see the end effects or simply the original video from the band which looks at film noir, surrealism and cinematography.

A Spot of Crimbo Advertising...

Everyone loves a bit of slapstick. No Excuses.

Follow these directions...

All you end up with this...

A genius look at advertising by Fentimans, any excuse to get a bum pun into an ad campaign.
And a wildly successful one at that.

House of Words


A wonderful book maker. She was commisioned to produce a project to celebrate the work of Samuel Johnson's English Dictionary, and this was her truly magnificent outcome.
I have always been fascinated by the art of the book and typography itself, especially when books are brought to life by means of cascading 3D work. The laser cut images here compliment the simplicity and beauty of Johnson's achievements.

Her work was featured alongside 6 other artists in the house where it took Johnson 9 years to compile the dictionary, which was one of the first of it's kind.

Prophet's work captures the shorthand of Englishness.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

The future is bright

Hussein Chalayan is amazing. I have been a big fan of his work for a long time, and is a fashion designer I will draw on for inspiration time after time.

His 2007 A/W collection used light to convey a message through the fashion world. Chalayan used LED lights to communicate "the idea of changing seasons, their association with each other and their life and death cycles".
Despite his tecnological and architectural approach to fashion design, Chalayan manages to humanise his work to create soft, feminine garments, that reveal his love for the female form. His work is strangley on trend, despite the fact that his thought process comes from a completely original source.

Ok, so now for my point. Since the 1990's Phillips Design have been looking for a way to communicate emotion though fashion. Everybody remembers mood rings, yeah? Well think of that recreated... in clothes. This 'SKIN' project uses LED lights, like Chalayans AW 2007 collection, although scientists are claiming that this research can somehow predict the future.

Ok, so LED lights are always pretty, but surely in this day and age we are more than capable of communicating our own emotions.
If this is the future, I'm not coming.

Also, you would'nt buy one, because it would look totaly differnt in day light. Fools.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

There's one in all of us...

I went to see 'Where The Wild Things Are' today. At 9:50 in the morning, after an 'Abducted' charity event I was supposed to be involved in was called off when they lost the keys to the van.

I’ve been desperately wanting to see it so I suppose things worked out for the best really, as lack of sleep + being thrown out the back of a van 150miles away from home in the cold + hitchhiking back to Leeds probably doesn’t equal the perfect day. But hey-ho, anything for a good cause.

So yeah, WTWTA certainly didn’t disappoint! It was potent, beautiful, sad, witty, happy, peculiar, artistic, lonely, random, innocent and all those other bits of jargon you would expect to be secreted through reviews of the work of the director Spike Jonze.

So, anyway, I think this video sums up the film, better than I ever could do...

Spike Jonze is well known for his work in adverts and music videos, often capturing the raw and innocent imagination of children in his work in dream like beauty and originality.

Im sure you can do nothing but agree that Spike Jonze is a cinematography GENIUS. I am truly in awe of his creative talents, am will forever appreciate his work.


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Restless Hands

"Art in the 20th century asserted itself through a process of destruction and decay."
-Serge Lemoine

Knit Project. Semester One of Second Year. So this is where it gets serious.

It's the penultimate week of term and I am trying to collate all the design work I have done so far, as well as finish off final pieces and present everything to 'professional standard'. I thought it was about time I put some of my own work up on this thing so you can all see where all of these influences actually channel themselves.
So basically I started off looking at the art period Vienna 1900, particularly the work of Schiele, Kokoschka and Klimt. I soon became focused upon Schiele's work and the way he expresses emotion though imagery of hands.

"I shall go so far that people will be seized with terror at the sight f each of my works of 'living' art."
-Egon Schiele

Everything just kind of took off from there and I started looking deeper into the areas of literature (Rimbaud's french poetry) and advances in psychology and medicine that inspired Schiele and his strange .

I was working with un traditional materials such as mod roc, latex and tea and coffee dying techniques inspired by Shelly Fox and her unusual fashion fabrics implications.

I went to Leeds City Art Gallery and saw the Sculpture in Painting exhibition. It was realllllly good. I started looking at how 3D forms could be communicated on a 2D page through students work from The South Kensington System in the 1970s. I went on to look at the exhibition work of Eva Hesse through my own study.

After visiting the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate last month I became more focused upon what I wanted to achieve and looked specifically at the work of Roanna Wells for transparency and Rozanne Hawksley.

Through my extensive experimentation with latex I started to experiment with using latex gloves as a base for yarn in knitting.

Believe me. This feels oddly nice.
This was to be put into an gallery installation context.

The machine knit work I was doing alongside this used the same colour palette as Schiele's paintings and incorporated some of the new techniques Ive learnt on the dubier V-beds. I then used these samples to mill in a tie-die fashion to create little mushroomy shapes (yes, I managed to fit them in somewhere) which I then home dyed with coffee and applied latex to the little bumps.

I think this collection fits in better with textiles for fashion. You know you'll all be wearing it a few months down the road.