Some studies for fabric applique ideas


Zimmermann & de Perrot

I went to see this last night


The Constructed Body: Part 2

In the second session at the Hockney Gallery, Royal College of Art, we began playing on a bigger scale.
The reference for this was costume for theatre; Bauhaus, Dada, Leger etc and Ballet Russes

To kick off, I asked the pupils to select some paper at random that we had worked with in the previous session. They then had to quickly form some kind of body using only these papers. 'Where is the head?' 'Are there legs?' etc. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, this was something I thought about doing at the last minute, but they really enjoyed the limitations of the task.

We then made some drawings of patterns directed by instructions given by me. It was really interesting to see their interpretation of what was being asked. 'Draw lines', 'draw stripes'. 'A line is a rectangle'. 'A spot is a circle'. We created lots of patterned papers to play around with. These weren't utilised in the way I had predicted but it was a nice exercise in itself.

The final exercise involved creating surprising body shapes and working into these silhouettes with their pre-drawn papers and various mixed media.

Ideally at some stage I wanted to build on the body, but time was an issue as well as being conscious of not switching ideas too much. I decided to let them get on with the large scale drawings which made for a cracking exhibition. The little ones were so clever and cute and talented and receptive in equal measure. The whole thing was an absolute treat to be part of.

Paper, Scissors, Draw was shown at the Hockney Gallery, formed by the results of my workshop and those led by the brilliant Sarah Bridgland and Silas Money.


The Constructed Body: Part 1 continued cont.

We spent time developing similar ideas in small 3D forms, working from a very basic kit of plastercine, rubber bands, lollipop sticks, tape etc and photocopied bodies once again. It was a bit of a stretch to see the connection between the earlier exercises and this one, which in hindsight I would re-think. They did well to resist the obvious inclination to make faces and heads with hair, and produced some great stuff again. Love the use of plastercine as a fixing device.

The Constructed Body: Part 1 continued

Bad photography apart, this was such good fun. Working on top of photocopies of each other, the pupils created collaged body shapes. They really took on board the idea of using shapes within their found imagery to be applied to the body in quick, absurd ways.

It was pushed further with a longer exercise of the same nature.
Working on top of their own bodies it was interesting to see little personalities or alter-egos being realised.

The Constructed Body: Part 1

Ok, I feel a few epic posts coming up.
On the subject of costume, a short while ago I was invited by ReachOutRCA to work with amazing primary school pupils as part of a series of workshops and subsequent exhibition Paper, Scissors, Draw.
There were two days of making, each split into various tasks.

Firstly, in the school gym hall,
I spoke a little about my practice and showed some inspiration.
We discussed the idea of abstracting body forms or the disguising of the body entirely, body parts rearranged to cause distortion or flattened to create a hybrid of shape and image.

The ubiquitous blog-stars Sonia Delaunay, Alexander Girard, Picasso, Phyllis Galembo.

The pupils then picked some reference images and set about identifying and isolating shapes and colours to work with.

Gunta Stölzl, Ruth Hollós-Consemüller, Weiner Werkstätte, Bamileke elephant mask, Ettore Sottsass, Peter Shire, Kente and Ewe fabric.

A major part of the premise for this whole project was to be allowed and encouraged to investigate my own working methods and see how they could be translated into some kind of teaching excercise. Something about re-interpreting a designed object/image that already exists, using your eyes to be selective and extract areas of interest, making decisions quickly and forcing your own hand without too much questioning.


Costume Build

Been teaching for the last two weeks in London. Was back at my old stomping ground Camberwell and had the pleasure of working with Riitta Ikonen on a costume workshop with the BA Illustration students. A small selection of work in progress...