Presentation Of My Final Pieces

These past few weeks have allowed me to experiment with old and new techniques. I have really enjoyed working with the dissolvable fabric as it was something new for me. It was challenging, and I couldn’t get my head around it at first, this is because every stitch has to join! I have also learnt that your design has a different impact on various materials. I liked re-visiting batik and transfer print technique as I thoroughly enjoyed those in my Foundation year. Shibori was new for me as well, and I was fascinated with the two shibori pieces. I used the clamping technique which makes the result of your sample random. I loved the applique technique, this was new to me and I was pleased with my result.

I have chose these 12 samples to exhibit for my final presentation as I found they were the best and  stood out to me the most. The top three worked really well and I thought of the likely possibility of using them as a collection. During the peer feedback I received lovely comments from my group. They particularly loved my jellyfish, which at first was just a transfer print. (image) Shown on the left hand side, I wasn’t pleased with it as I found it dull, however, I’m glad I kept it as I then went into the stitch workshop and was overwhelmed when looking at the hand embroidery. I added French knots on the top left to create movement and the decorative stitch going down for tentacles. Having them intertwining and going various ways also creates that movement of the sea and how they react when under water and floating.

Having done that with the jellyfish, it made me think how you can always improve your samples when adding particular things to make them stand out just that little extra bit.

You can see the left was where I started with the transfer, using the cranberry colour. I’m glad I kept this sample and didn’t chuck it away when I wasn’t happy with it as it just shows the massive improvement.




‘Acceptable in the 80’s’

Postmodernism and Post subcultural style.

In this lecture we were summarising the developments from the 90’s onwards, looking at Osgerby’s extract from 2004. We came to the realisation that in the 21st century it’s where the most borrowing takes place. Although subcultures are always borrowing, in the 21st century there is a mash up ‘super market of style’ of ideas that come from all subcultures.

In the 20th century subcultures had started on the streets, however the 21st century, goth, for example, was identified by the media industries and influenced by television, magazines and online. You can now go into Topshop and buy a whole subculture look. A quote from Steven Connor saying that ‘authentic ”originality” and commercial ”exploitation” are hard to distinguish’ (Connor,1989:185).

I personally think their aren’t any subcultures in todays world, you hardly ever see ‘punk’ or ‘goth’, even when you do there are small amounts or just one or two in a big group. I have asked a lot of my family and friends and they thought the same! That’s my experience living in Cardiff, it mat be different in other parts of the world.  People don’t stay in a certain look anymore, known as “neo-tribes” instead of subcultures. There isn’t a coherent look, taking from each style to create an individual look.

What can we learn from post modern concepts that can inform our practise?

  • Previous sessions – there are still ‘goths’ ‘punks’ etc – just less of them and more ‘supermarket of style’
  • There is no right or wrong answer as to what materials  you use
  • A mash up can inform my practise as I’ve always been interested in using materials that don’t particularly go together – my foundation year helped me realise that as my final piece was evident of post modern.

Material Matters  ADZ4777

The theme ‘material matters’ has allowed me to explore new and various techniques. I thoroughly enjoyed print and made a lot of designs that related to the mark making sessions. I loved transfer printing as I was enthusiastic about the colours and identified certain colour schemes that worked well throughout print and stitch. I kept my designs simplistic for stitch, especially when using the embroidery threads which appealed to me the most. I found stitch was a lot more time consuming than print, however I still enjoyed the process. The sessions on Monday enabled me to learn and revisit old techniques. Learning the various way to draw was new for me so I found it challenging, however I enjoyed using the various brushes to make marks and patterns. I’ve learnt this term that some of the most simplistic work can be really beautiful.

Colour schemes.

Following from the blue collage session I started to come to terms with the fact I absolutely love working with colour palettes and schemes. Above are some of my images where I kept to the same colour just in various gradations and saturation. I love the pale and pastel colours as well as the bright and vibrant. The first image, was painted on bubble wrap and then printed on top of calico, the acrylic is thick and has created a nice texture on the calico. I used turquoise and some navy blues over layering each other. The second image is two of my bubble wrap pieces, where the first I used bleach as a resist to see how much it would affect the remaining colour blue. It made it slightly more green compared to the one on the right. The last image was blues and purple. I used water colour, a flat brush and went in circular motions, whilst it was still wet I poured bleach on top of it and it soaked the colour up. I thought all of these colours and mark making went so well together that if I was to do them again, I could re-create these ideas and put them on fabric to use as a collection. I enjoy working with all of the techniques I’ve tried above as it makes the marks more interesting.

“Bring something in that’s blue…”

Scarlett decided to choose a plant from the studio, and as a group we then chose to look closely at the leaf to gain pattern from it, using various mark making techniques. Aisha wanted us to bring anything in that was blue. I really enjoyed this as blue is definitely a calming colour, and when carrying out the task it was genuinely calming.

The interesting thing about having a certain colour to work with is that there are so many gradations of colour. The blues range between light and dark and also indigos and turquoise. We used wet media and dry. Sticking on fabrics and ribbon, also inks and acrylic paint. We added tones and textures together, it was interesting to have a part of everyone’s interest and style and I found it enjoyable taking part as a group.

We then photocopied our work, I decided to get two A4 sheets to then collage on top in my own individual style. I used the flat brush to create thick strokes, and blowing ink on the page to make it ‘bleed’ and look like a vein in the leaf.

Punk Subculture

Punk is a very interesting subculture, I take an interest in the punks as they used ‘DIY design’ a lot, I find this links in with my own practise, especially with textiles as you can spend a lot of time upcycling materials and changing it’s original function. It had originated in the 70’s, and they explicitly challenge style establishment. The design rules were set for them to be followed, but not the punks, their design concept was to most definitely not fit in.

During this lecture we looked at Jamie Reeds design of the Sex Pistols album cover, ‘God Save The Queen’. It was interesting to analyse this image and describe it. We came up with the idea that the eyes and mouth and been erased, replaced with newspaper article style, like a ripped magazine and ransom notes. This automatically links to vandalisation, crime, and going against the queen. Covering her eyes means she is unable to be identified. Maybe that’s what the punks wanted? They were rebels and went against rules and the monarchy. The song was actually banned from the radio, as it was a play on the English national anthem, it was seen to have created new meaning and going against cultural traditions and national identity. The Queen was clearly being visually trashed and violence was shown against her image. The use of ‘bricolage’ (gathering different materials, putting a combination belonged elsewhere together creating a new meaning) and ‘resignification’ is present.

Characteristics of punk style – according to Hebdiges article.

  • chains
  • pins
  • cheap fabrics
  • trash aesthetic
  • cut outs of materials pinned on – safety pins
  • leopard prints
  • toilet chain necklace – changing functions & meaning of jewellery in style
  • tampons as earrings
  • colours that don’t go
  • jet black or hay yellow hair
  • fishnets ‘bondage’ belt strap chains

Vivienne Westwood
Mother of Punk

It is said that Vivienne Westwood was the creator of punk. Her formative style of work established the subcultural fashion and youth movement. Punk was a youthful reaction towards the older generation and through Westwoods work and McLaren, her paterner, their work captured the energy of the movement.

Vivienne Westwood designs.

Concepts, approaches, theories that I’ve learnt from this lecture:

  • Bricolage
  • In revolt
  • Homology
  • Breaking rules
  • Putting elements together
  • Conspicuous consumption

What are we learning about subcultures? What does this caste study have in common with previous?

Every case study has used Bricolage in different ways. Identity is shown in various ways, not just fashion, but visually, orally and behaviour expression. Visually shocking during the period at which they emerge. A sense of breaking rules as always. Exaggeration within the fashion and with their behaviour.

What can be applied in my own practise?

  • Everything can be signified
  • Choice of materials/medium you like has a meaning
  • Put it with something it shouldn’t go with
  • Exaggerate work
  • Address traditions of materials
  • Things have been selected, they aren’t just there
  • Explain creative decisions

Throughout my own career with art, I haven’t really noticed that I’ve used resignification within my own work, I’ve put things together that don’t usually go. For example, in my A-levels, I made a tutu out of material and laminate piece of paper to turn it into a dress. I also made a lino print and printed it onto organza fabric. I didn’t think this would’ve worked but it did.

‘Teenage Kicks’

So we had a key note lecture on Doc Martens, delivered by Cath. I was particularly interested in this key note that’s why I’ve decided to write about it. I felt like I was fully engaged when learning of the cultural approaches to the Doc Marten boot. I hadn’t thought about the history or meaning behind them, as I just always think they’re comfy and something fashionable to wear on your feet!

I learnt the original function of Doc Martens and it kind of made me enjoy wearing them even more. In the 21st century Doc Martens are so popular that you can buy them in a lot of other stores now and have any type of colour and design you want. They weren’t always mainstream fashion though, or even seen as fashionable. The original function was completely different and I was interested by this. They were solely made for work wear, the ‘air wear’ sole was designed for comfort, marketing the public service workers. They were made by a German  company and founded in 1947.

The boots had been a popular choice of footwear among various groups, starting in the British subcultures, turning the boots into iconic footwear. In the 1960’s skinheads started to wear them, they renamed them as “dms” which still remains in the 21st century. By the late 1980s they were popular among punks, some new wave musicians, and members of other youth subcultures.

Doc Martens being adopted by street cultures from 60’s onwards had become some sort of issue. The mods, punks, skinheads were attracted to the anti fashion – of course Doc’s weren’t seen as fashionable back then and had a specific look. The only colours available were oxblood and black. The police had wore the black as they were designed perfectly for their line of work. As a result of the skinheads wearing the Docs, they started to polish over the yellow stitching as they didn’t want to be associated with thug and crime.

To show which group you were a part of you’d do your laces in various ways. There were set rules in each group. I find this really interesting as people who purchase a pair of Doc Martens nowadays probably don’t think of this and how the lace had an impact and gave clues of who you were and what you were about. Doc Marten boots was definitely a starting point of modification, having an object and changing the style to suit your own preference. The street style and customisation of the past has now influenced the new generations as designers  are making the boots look like they’re covered in paint, whereas the punks would just completely wreck their boots and use real paint.

“Stand for something”

We had a reading of a guy who had worn his first pair of doc martens to school “detention…as I insisted on wearing them to school…” (1978) I was fascinated by this as I couldn’t imagine in the 21st century someone getting told of or detention for wearing them to school. As I think now Doc Martens actually cater for school attire. “70’s/80’s police confiscated them”. So, thanks to the skinheads and punks, the Doc Martens actually became fashionable to wear and now mainstream.

After this lecture, it made me think of how an object can have a social life and speak for itself without you even realising. I think that I could take this into my practise with me. As I do textiles, when working on a particular design or surface pattern, I need to think back to this and remember that there is always going to be a customer profile and what meanings my work conveys and who it is going to appeal to the most.