Goth Subculture

At the start I was dreading the whole essay writing as I haven’t had much experience with referencing, however, we were introduced to ‘Cath’s columns’ and I feel that this format will help me group my information and reference correctly without forgetting ‘theory’ to back my argument. This will enable me to create a better flowing essay ready for hand in which is in December. The first subculture we looked at was Goth, (one of my favourites), which began in Britain in the early 1980’s.

We analysed a particular image of Goth and used the column to describe the image, analyse and then look through the case studies to prove our thoughts. Goth subculture is interesting to me as I find myself with similar taste. I’m always in black and my wardrobe consists of the colour. I’ve always said ‘I’ll stop wearing black when they invent a darker colour…’  What subcultures do is make you realise where you’ve taken your interests from.

How to identify a Goth?

  • The use of extreme black clothing, pale white foundation, extreme black eyeliner, body piercing, unusual hair style.
  • Fascination with Victorian style.
  • Wearing symbols, such as the cross and the pentacle, and satanic pentacle.
  • Fascination with death, the undead.

The Goths changed the Victorian style, clearly identifying they weren’t from that era but chose to modify it and turn it into  ‘Victoriana’. The paleness of the makeup could closely be associated with a vampire. The goths broke a lot of rules, as makeup was known to enhance a woman’s features and make her look attractive, yet they had white faces with thick black makeup. Again, breaking the rules. Making themselves look undead, like a corpse, hence why their clothing has the use of spider webs, coffins, and crosses.  Not only that, but their clothing was ripped, demonstrating the motif of decay. Even the lace trims at the bottle of the dress were torn and various lengths. I find it fascinating how the textiles appeals to various meanings within clothing. Designers who have used gothic style – Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Thierry Mugler and Alexander McQueen.

How can this session relate to my practise?

  • Themes expressed visually
  • Taking something from the past and making it new – modification
  • Different themes
  •  Cultural context
  • Gender
  • Symbolism to convey meanings
  • Literary context – style influenced by the past.


Craft in the bay.

I went to visit craft in the bay to gain inspiration. Its the fourth time I’ve visited and I love it there! Craft in the bay is the home of the Makers Guild in Wales. Within the gallery space in Cardiff Bay, they host exhibitions of Craft and applied art from both emerging and renowned artists from Wales and other places. as well as workshops and special events. They have a changing showcase of jewellery, ceramics, textiles, metal work and furniture exclusively made in Wales.

The work of Laura Thomas..

Woven Textiles

Laura Thomas is an established woven textile artist and designer, specialising to produce striking textile art works for a number of things, such as private homes, public spaces and exhibitions.

Painterly gradations of hues and shades, or blocks of bold colours with selective contrasting highlights coverage with tactile qualities. Unusual yarns and surprising woven structures to invite the curiosity of the viewer.”

It was amazing to see Laura Thomas’ work in person. You could really get up close and see the detail and how intricate each piece of cotton is. It must have taken her such a long time to perfect it. The pieces of cotton benefit and look really effective in the acrylic box. It looks like they’re 3D and coming towards you, even though there is only one layer. At first glance I thought the cotton was paint. I was amazed by her work and love the bright colours she has used. They look energetic and remind me of waves. Her work is very modern and contemporary. She works with translucent materials which I find appealing as I love working with that myself. Her focus is ‘graphic’ and ‘organic’ when relating back to her hometown where the Landscape is prominent, especially with the coastlines, hills and forests which have controlled aesthetics.


This Tuesday we had an introductory to dyeing fabrics and looking at shiborii; an ancient Japanese ‘fold and clamp’ technique that resembles tie-dye. It allows you to get folds and textures within fabrics. Securing it before dyeing to allow various shapes on the fabric.

I used moleskin and silk one time and there were three colours available in the dye baths, which were yellow, pink and green. I used the yellow, as you can see in the second image. It was very vibrant. I used marbles and tied them with elastic to get the 3D affect. I was pleased with the outcome and tried it with the pink, without the marbles and just string to get the ‘splashed’ affect. Another time, we had red, blue and green in the dye baths. I was using the clamping technique with circular shapes to create a pattern on the calico material (see above images) I had left some in for a long time to get a really dark colour. For example, the bottom left image, I kept in over lunch so it had over an hour to absorb the dyes, I was pleased with the outcome, however the dye had evaporated and so this meant my piece of fabric had sunk to the bottom where it gained the pattern from the bath. I will still use it and keep it as a second best sample. I love the various colours on each sample, some are pastel and others are vibrant.

Trip to St Fagan’s

Since I can remember I have always visited St. Fagan’s at some point during a school trip. Sometimes it can be repetitive as I know it so well, so I wasn’t that excited about  re visiting the museum again. Having said that, we were given a brief to follow which made it more appealing as I was actually looking for things to get inspiration from to then draw.

I took some images which linked into the theme of making marks during the sessions with Helen on Monday. The wire images below really inspired me because of the lines and various marks made within the structure. I then took the idea and used masking fluid, soft pastels, and stitch to show the marks. It is also about creating a pattern and design with the marks that are on the page.  If you look at the images closely you can also see various shades and tones, I thought this was beautiful and aesthetically pleasing when taking the image as you can see the light shining through which creates the tones. The angle and positioning of the wire is also beautiful.


I took this birds eye view image to get a different sense of mark making and pattern.

I went into a stitch workshop and took inspiration from the wire images above.

img_1396I used the dissolvable fabric and used the structure of the wire in the form of stitch. I used organza on the outside and connected the stitch together that way. I was pleased with this outcome and was glad to be inspired by the wire in the Hardwore store at St. Fagans as I’m just overwhelmed with the images. I could experiment further with a bigger piece and various colours perhaps.

Another task was to focus on objects that had ‘curves’, complete 10, 10 minute sketches and a drawing within 45 minutes, so I chose a teapot in one of the vintage homes and various cups and saucers. The sphere shape clearly linked in with curves and I was able to get a good tonal range from the pot.

I used various mediums for the 10 minute sketches ranging from pastels to charcoal, which I thoroughly enjoy as you can be more free with the media. I was strict and only used pencil for the 45 minute drawing, I wanted to keep it simplistic and utilize the pencil marks to get darker shades. I am pleased with the outcome as I think I used the theme of ‘curves’ really well, I left out the detailing on the side and used the technique of continuous and blind drawing on a different page in my sketchbook.

I took a few snaps of the red building, catching the various angles of it, to then draw from. I was instructed to concentrate on perspective, depth, foreground and background, which was another 45 minutes. I shaded areas to gain certain textures and used an eraser to highlight certain areas as well. I also completed a quick sketch of the structure using line – again focussing on mark making. the image on the right is a close up, using negative space as a focal point to my drawing. Another 45 minutes.

The visit to St. Fagans was actually not that bad and it helped me gain inspiration of the multiple mark making techniques, I can now carry out in my own practise and in the drawing sessions on Monday. I have been inspired for many more pattern designs.



Collage : a collection and combination of various materials. an art work made up of many different things such as photographs, pieces of paper, fabric, etc. A piece of art that is mashed up and doesn’t make complete sense visually.

Montage: a technique of selecting and editing, and piecing together separate sections of film to combine a whole selection.

Assemblage: A combination of found or unrelated objects to make a piece of art.

Collage work by Tina Klaus

Assemblage art work

Montage art, a collaboration of photographic image with floral pattern


Smells Like Teen Spirit

Subcultures & Street style

This term I chose ‘smells like teen spirit’ for my constellation group. I was excited when finding out about this topic as I have always been interested in the various subcultures that started off in the 70’s, especially with developing certain fashion traits. Not forgetting I am a huge Nirvana fan and love the song! As well as their many other great songs. I love Kurt Cobain as I think his songs were inspiring and the lyrics mean something to me. Anyway, going back to the constellation, I find it interesting to know why certain fabrics give different meanings in each gang. I would have loved to have ben around when Punk and Goth evolved, as I am fascinated by the look and think it’s great. I love the unique style and how they stood out and didn’t care about what anyone thought as it was clearly a huge shock back in the day.

Undressed: A Brief History Of Underwear

The weather was really pleasant in London and it was a great feeling to be back and visiting the V&A again after so long. I don’t get the opportunity to go to London as much as I’d like so when I can I’m really enthusiastic!

I went around the V&A with two girls from my textiles group. I will never forget the theatrical section where the Lion King costume for Scar and Sarabi were held, I absolutely love the Lion King especially as it takes me back to when I was little, it was my favourite Disney movie!

After walking around we noticed there were a few exhibitions on at this time, the one that really caught my eye was ‘Undressed’ as it was about discovering the evolution of underwear design from the 18th century to the present day.

Walking around the exhibition was so interesting as it had hundreds of examples of the underwear that men and women used to wear. I was fascinated by some of the designs and shocked to find out that there was  a particular underwear design for women who were pregnant. Whilst walking around the exhibition I had stopped at certain points to take down some notes and make some sketches of memorable parts of the exhibition.

It was such an interesting exhibition as it had  many great sponsors such as Revlon and at the end there was a shop which had red nail varnish by Revlon which I found fitted well with the underwear theme.  The post cards below really appealed to me as I loved the colours and the image on the left shows the structure underneath a corset and dress. It completely changed the female figure to make it more ideal for people to look at, it wasn’t practical at all and was clearly made for aesthetic. The same as corsets, they pulled the waist in and created more of a bust for the female and enhance the features.

“Hold tight: the lingerie show that will take your breath away”

Anna Murphy, The Times

The quote by Murphy demonstrates how wonderful the exhibition actually was, me and my group were amazed by everything we saw. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to document any images as there were restrictions, so I sketched and took some notes down. One of my favourite things was learning more about the health issues that corsets actually cause. I already had knowledge of this as it’s common sense really that the corset, worn everyday especially, was to have some health implications. There was a diagram of a vintage x-ray which showed the hidden effects.  It was a concern for the doctors due to the corsets becoming a part of everyday attire was causing serious issues. The tight restriction on the lungs was particularly worrying as the lungs were prevented when taking a breath to expand fully. Lung conditions started to occur and this lead to tuberculosis and pneumonia. The illnesses came more prominent before the invention of vaccines in the 20th century.

Below are some of my notes and sketches, which show my favourite, and the most eye catching parts for me.

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There was an upstairs which didn’t allow any sketches as well as images, however, I had already started and finished a sketch of a chiffon dress that was in Gobbanas 2013 spring/summer collection which was absolutely stunning. There was also fetish wear at the back of the exhibition which I found interesting. This is because I’m into that style and use of materials, such as, fishnets, leather, pvc, and see through chiffon clothing, which aren’t really notified as ‘fetish clothing’ I don’t think in the 21st century as most high street shops sell them in their collections, such as New look and Primark. Back in the 20th century fetish fashion was a style and appearance which was often provocative and extreme. I love working with chiffon material and have done during my practise plenty of times.

I am so pleased that I went to see this ass everything in there was an interest to me. I enjoyed learning about the exploration and contrasts between underwear and fashion. It shows how corsets were made to portray the ideal body on a female figure and the ways that a particular cut, fit and certain type of fabric  can reveal issues of gender and sex. I  have been inspired for my own practise and have broaden my knowledge in this field.