A visit to Bath!

My day out in Bath consisted of visiting the Fashion Museum where they had two exhibitions. ‘A History Of Fashion In 100 Objects’ and ‘Lace In Fashion’. Both of the exhibitions were worth going to and I loved every minute. They were both beneficial to my studies in inspirational. There was also a quick visit to the Victoria Art Gallery to see John Eaves: Eachoes of Place exhibition. Plus, it was my first visit to Bath and it was really nice!


A History Of Fashion In 100 Objects.

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img_5270-1For the house of Dior. 

Above is a Pink and blue embroidered ‘cut off ball gown’ with black trousers, Raf Simons. Chosen as ‘Dress of the Year’ 2012, by Vanessa Friedman.

This embroidered cut off gown was towards the end of the Exhibition. At the end we started to notice the change of fabrics used, and how they were represented on the body. They were becoming modern in contrast to the start of the exhibition where the dresses were from the 1700’s. You can imagine the difference between a really old fashioned thick gown compared to this ‘cut off’ contemporary gown. I enjoyed the modern part more than the start, only because of my personal preference. I do like the futuristic ideations of fashions and how far it’s come since the very start. However it is important not to forget that fashion started out because of hand stitchery and embroidery.

The beading on this garment was eye-catching and it shimmered behind the protective glass. I couldn’t help but think how long the beads must have took if this dress was made 100 years previous. Now, due to technology we are lucky we have certain machinery that is able to do this for us. The floral design looks 3D which I believe is a deliberate outcome on the designers behalf, interacting with the model who wears it and the people who view it.

Cherry red ‘Hypercherries’ head-piece, Piers Atkinson, 2015

I love cherries as they remind me of the vintage era and also punk as a clothing brand called ‘Hell Bunny‘ who cater for alternative fashion often work with cherry patterned clothing. So when seeing this head piece I was amazed and just wanted to wear it myself! It’s very quirky and an outgoing piece of fashion. It was worn by the music artist Rhianna at one point and the pop artist Lady Gaga.

Before visiting this exhibition I didn’t know Piers Atkinson designed wild and outrageous head pieces of famous music artists.

“That’s not a hat! It’s a PIECE!!” — Anon. Overheard at London Fashion Week

Reading his article I found out a lot of interesting facts about Atkinson. His ‘hats’ are a piece of art work and he doesn’t associate them with anything less. He is an event-organiser and artist, Piers Atkinson launched his first collection of luxury, handmade headpieces in 2008, the nine-piece collection contained elements of his roots; from fashion and theatre to sculpture and the wild, energetic excesses of the London club scene. He has also worked on several projects. It was interesting to know he worked on a piece for Marina & The Diamonds in concert.


Lace In Fashion.

This exhibition appealed to me more than the other as I do love lace, it is one of my favourite fabrics. 80% of my wardrobe has lace in it so I was eager to find out facts on how lace is used in fashion and explore the making of lace and how it’s developed over 100 years. An interesting fact: In the early 20th century one dress was hand stitched completely of lace and took a year to make. It was so interesting to see this dress and how much time was taken to make a lace garment back then. It was for a womens wedding. The patience to sew and complete the dress is really impressive. In today’s world, lace is sold in a collection in fashion outlets, this wouldn’t be the case if we didn’t have any laser cutting machines which is how lace and fishnet is often made today.

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As soon as you walked through to the Lace exhibition, there were three beautiful lace dresses (in the image above) right in front for everyone to see so of course these caught my eye as I love the colour orange and pink together. The background colour was navy, so the floral lace colours contrasted well and stood out the most. These dresses were made by a previous student who studied at Bath Spa University.  This is definitely inspirational as you can see what others have designed and their possible thoughts when making something in the textile industry.

The first part of the exhibition was very much the start of lace and how it’s evolved over the years. Each section was dated and you could see the change in lace and how it was made. Hand made lace was the first section of the exhibition. It dated back to the late 1500’s. Lace was very expensive and seen as such a luxury to begin with as it was hand made and cost a lot because of all of the labor. I was interested in such fine details of the lace and how much time was taken to perfect each piece. There were many techniques such as, Network lace, needle lace and bobbin lace. Each of the techniques were very time consuming and again thats why one of the dresses took so long to make.

Throughout the middle of the exhibition in the 19th century we started to see machine made pieces of fashion with lace embroidered onto them. This meant lace could be mass produced and lace became more available to middle class consumers and less expensive as there was less time taken to create the garment.

The dresses were insane and the details were so fine and the lace definitely looked delicate. I had a few favourites as I find black lace very enhancing on the body. I started to notice as well, darker lace had started to become popular and manufactured rather than white. White lace is now often used for weddings or important events. I enjoyed the style of the dresses with subtle lace designs as they were most eye catching.

When I go back to university it would be interesting to attempt making my own lace. I am eager to experiment with a simplistic pattern of my own using these as inspiration to then put on the laser cutter.

I found this exhibition to be one of my favourites and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in fashion in any sort of aspect. The fashion industry is great as there are plenty of things to explore and multiple design outcomes. I am hoping to gain more knowledge in this practice as I want to be a successful designer myself.


To end a very interesting day… have some touristy posts from Bath! The famous umbrellas and the mini waterfall to replicate Roman Baths.

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Craft in the bay

After visiting Gillian Ayres exhibition, I took a walk to Cardiff Bay. It’s always such a peaceful walk to the Bay with the pretty landscape just down the road from the city. I love visiting Craft in the bay as it shows the endless possibilities from local artists and designers that have their work featured frequently in this fantastic building. It’s a great way to gather research and you become familiar with certain artists work which is a great thing for making connections.

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The image above was the current exhibition on at Craft in the bay. It is a paper installation created by Danielle Sullivan. It is her interpretation of a wild garden. At first I couldn’t make out what the paper cuttings were but as you get closer you can see the delicate cuts in the paper and the pretty folds of the roses and petals. I love this piece, if I had to choose a favourite flower it would have to be a rose. It makes me think of the outdoors and a secret garden. The paper cuttings by Sullivan were inspired by an old folk tale. In my opinion it is a lovely installation piece with a mysterious feel to it. I loved the way the paper overlapped and there were multiple layers to give a 3D affect.

Anne Woods, Textile Designer. 

Throughout the gallery I couldn’t help but notice these little pieces of textile art. Very intricate designs by Anne Woods, using woven techniques, stitch to gain texture and various colour ways. Anne Woods began her training as a designer of printed textiles. Her passion lies with an ingrained feeling for pattern, colour, texture and composition. This has benefited her career as a textile artist and designer.

She has experimented within her work using fabrics, papers and stitchery but her focus is to convey the scenery of Wales. The land and sea in a simplified form with details of sand, sea, rocks, in a more abstract way than others. Each of her pieces are based on a drawing made on the spot. To produce the background shapes and colour effects she uses fabrics and papers that are previously painted and worked in various ways. Sometimes the layers are transparent fabric to add tone and contrast. She definitely upcycles her materials. The paper has been torn, crumpled, creased, embellished with hand stitchery to add texture to replicate the beautiful landscapes of Wales caught by eye. Within her pieces I think that she conveys the beauty of the country and shares it with her viewers. I was definitely amazed by her work and all of the stitchery and texture within a tiny piece of textile work.

Unknown Artist

This beautiful work of art caught my eye just before leaving Craft in the Bay. The vibrant red against the metal and grey tones were fascinating. I love laser cutting and from what I saw, the metal and acrylic were all laser cut to get a fine cut out pattern. The reflection from the metal was also a nice effect. I really enjoyed looking at this sculpted piece. It would definitely be more effective if it was on a much larger scale. I think I will take this piece into consideration when starting second year field. If we get a chance to use the laser cutter again, I will think of this artist who has made their art work look amazing.

Gillian Ayres Exhibition

This exhibition was in the Cardiff museum, so close to home I thought it would be silly of me not to take a look at this artists work. I hasn’t heard of this artist before until this exhibition visit, and I am glad to say I fell in love with their work. It was very striking to see all of the paintings in one room. Although they weren’t particularly of anything, just a canvas built up from oil paints, layer upon layer, no painting looked the same which was something I found most fascinating. I am interested in mark making within my own work so this was beneficial to me for some ideas and to gain inspiration. After visiting I found out from the flyers that Ayres is a British abstract artist, and all of her paintings featured in Cardiff Museum were some of her most famous and larger scale paintings within her career as an artist.

The vibrant and heavily coloured canvases were just so eye-catching and the fact the scale was large, it was hard to take your eyes off of her work. The colours used within each piece contrast together with multiple techniques used to create those unique and individual marks. Using a knife to scrape the paint, dripping it down the canvas and splattering it across to create that 3D layer affect. If you got close to the painting you could see the thick layers of oil which was really nice to see. I love texture as well, and within textiles texture is the most important thing. So for me that stood out the most. I also loved the smell of the oil paint too. I am a huge fan of Ayres expressive way of painting and techniques that show off her unique skill.

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The image above was on the top floor of the exhibition. This was hidden away compared to the downstairs area, nevertheless it was fascinating and I was in awe of her work. I stood next to her paintings and I looked tiny compared to them! She certainly does work on a much larger scale than normal. The second painting in from the right was definitely one of the most contrasting paintings I had seen. The thick layer of purples and and black at the top, then contrasting orange splattered across. I found myself taking a liking to a certain area on the canvas. I absolutely loved the yellows, oranges and reds together. Some marks on her paintings were simply beautiful and I have asked myself, if they are purposely put there or if it is totally random.

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These two paintings were showing more of a geometric outlook to her paintings. I do love the way she expresses and stresses the importance of texture within her pieces. I would like to try and achieve this technique within my own mark making as it would be so important to me as colour and texture are my favourite things within textiles. Overall this was a very interesting afternoon at the Cardiff Museum, and I will definitely use Ayres as part of my research in second year.

Scream for ice cream

It’s been a year since I’ve upcycled my no-longer-wanted heels that I’ve had for quite some time. As I’ve become older my tastes have changed slightly, so, I thought, what could I do to prevent me giving them away? As this is usually the case with my unwanted items.

I decided to upcycle them and totally transform them into something that is my style. I made ICE CREAM SHOES! they’re completely different to whats out there in the high street stores at the moment, however, they’re similar to brands such as Irregular choice and shoes that are often sold in Blue Banana give off that unique vibe. They scream individuality which is what I’m about! Sadly, I’ve not worn out yet, but theres still time! As I’m sure I won’t be throwing these out anytime soon.

The process of this didn’t actually take long. Maybe a few days, but I wasn’t really counting. The longest part for me was waiting for the paint and varnish to actually dry completely before I could start the next stage. I am so pleased with how these turned out, I  can’t wait to wear them out to see if they attract any attention, and I’l be pleased as I made them myself! and I do take any requests if anyone wants their shoes upcycled in an ice cream sort of way?!

 

Bag & Purse museum, Amsterdam

This museum showed you the history of bags, and how they’ve evolved from each era. It told you the materials that started to become popular and why, also the use of contemporary style bags, you can see in the images there is a coca cola bag which I found really cool as it was made of diamontes. The museum also told us the use of bags as well, and for men, how men used to have a bag for each activity, such as hunting and other sport. I was fascinated by the bag in the last image, as it is made out of chains and fabric. This is more to my style, as it’s quite punk. I like the look of these bags as they are interesting. The perspex bag had also become so popular over the years, and these bags are now some of my favourites along with mesh. It was interesting to see the changes from the 1900’s to present day.

NDSM-Werf, Amsterdam

The day before my last in Amsterdam, in the evening we decided to take the ferry to NDSM which at first I didn’t know what to expect when visiting. It was an empty dock and the ferry took you to the other side. The views on the way over were amazing and me and my friend were just amazed. It was euphoric and so peaceful, I didn’t want to leave.

NDSM went bankrupt in the 1980’s which meant the wharf had become abandoned for some time, but life was brought back to the docks with the indulgence of graffiti on every inch of the walls and abandoned buses and tramcars. Everything was rusting but beautifully enhanced with the graffiti. There is also a submarine submerged in the river, covering much of it is colourful street art. It looked fascinating and I was so intrigued as to how the street art had got there?! It is looked at now as art culture for the Amsterdam art community, which has taken over it.

I loved this area, and from my images above, I aim to do an Amsterdam project about this as it was just so colourful and lively for an abandoned place. There was also a club and ice cream parlor there with very few people around. However, there was a village beyond this point, if I had gone during the day I would’ve wanted to explore more. I still had an amazing time and it is definitely an eyeopener to what is out there and how art is so beautifully celebrated and explored across the world.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

The second day in Amsterdam was probably one of my favourite memories. I visited the Van Gogh Museum. I was with my friend Lauren, and luckily we had the iAmsterdam City card which allowed us free entry to the museum. When it comes to visiting different places, I aim to see as many sites as I can, and when I was planning this holiday I was very much so looking forward to seeing the work of Van Gogh himself, as when you see a painting online it doesn’t have the same affect for me personally, as to what it does in person.

Van Gogh is an artist I’ve been inspired by and studied throughout my art and design journey. In my A-Level year, I had a project based on emotions. It was how colour portrays a particular feeling, mood, and atmosphere, whether it be a painting, screen print, photograph. Colour has a huge impact in the art industry, especially textiles. So this lead me to look at ‘Sunflowers’, an amazing painting with so much meaning by Gogh. When studying this painting it opened my eyes to what Gogh went through and how he tried to overcome mental health issues through his painting of sunflowers, using the colour yellow to portray joy and happiness, something Gogh had always wanted to feel during his time dealing with mental health. Sadly, after ‘Sunflowers’ was painted beautifully, with so much meaning, Gogh had died the following year.

I walked into the museum, and it’s just a fascinating building anyway, which made me in awe. I couldn’t stop looking up and around at the building. Mainly based on glass windows, so much light was shining through into the museum. Going through the journey of Gogh’s work, we saw his diary of unpublished work that was nowhere near finished, just some thoughts and ideas. We also saw his early work of those who were working in fields and also of maids. I was inspired and so happy to see the Dutch painters work, who has been an inspiration to me for so long.

Below, are images of ‘Sunflower’. My favourite painting of all time. After studying and looking into the meaning of this, it has had an impact on me. Although pictures weren’t allowed. I took this one photo, it was hard to get to the front to see it, as there were so many people around it. However, I managed to get a photo at least that will stay with me for a very long time. I remember not wanting to take up space, but gladly standing there just looking at this painting. Making sure I didn’t miss any detail.

The last image was shown in the museum shop, where of course, I bought a sunflower painting magnet and a Van Gogh bag that I can now show off as I’m sadly back In Wales. It was amazing to see the use of textiles, the Sunflower was featured on wallapaper, wall hangings, a bag, scarves as you can see on the mannequin. It was fascinating, I just wanted to buy it all! But sadly that would have been all of my euros gone. I do aim to visit again some time soon, so who knows…

We went into another room of Van Gogh’s work, and it was paintings that had been painted over, as you could spot some various brush strokes that didn’t add up into the final painting. This was definitely so pleasant for me and I also saw other work, such as ‘Almond Blossoms’, another favourite, I also saw a series of his self portraits and ‘Skull of skeleton with burning cigarette’. I was tempted to buy a phone case with this design on it! After seeing all of these amazing paintings, unfortunately I didn’t get to see Starry Night, which is another personal favourite. I love the mark making within this piece and all of the brush strokes, oil on canvas is definitely a great way to see the aggression of brush marks that are built up.

I hope to visit again, as I don’t think that going once is enough. I enjoyed my time seeing Gogh’s work as he is definitely influential, despite his mental illness, he still loved the life he had. To keep his memory alive I hope to do a project based on his techniques and colour schemes.