Posts in London
T-shirt - Cult Culture Subversion
Fashion and Textiles Museum, Bermondsey.  T-shirt - Cult Culture Subversion Exhibition

Fashion and Textiles Museum, Bermondsey.  T-shirt - Cult Culture Subversion Exhibition

The cult status of the T-shirt has made its impression on our cultural psychic since the 1950’s although it has been in existence for a lot longer - AD 500, who knew? 

Many an artist and designer have used the T-shirt to be subversive, to communicate a message, to act as a political tool and or raise awareness of a specific topic.  

Viewing the T-shirts especially those by Vivienne Westwood was a great reminder of both my inspiration and why I created my brand in the first place. 

IMG_2879.JPG

It reminded me of the core concepts I wanted to create with the brand:

- inspire a conversation

- act as a performative medium within art

- art as fashion

- political activism  

- raise awareness regarding inclusion, equality and ethnic representation

 

 

T-shirts being made of the material they are serve as the perfect surface in which to be creative and showcase a message both visually and in written form.  Which was the exact reason for them being my choice of garment.  They are flexible, they can be worn casually or dressed up and they can be adorned in so many ways, the outcomes are endless.  It is an exciting medium.

 

Vivienne Westwood & Malcom McClaren 

Vivienne Westwood & Malcom McClaren 

Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren knew all too well how powerful the T-shirt could be as a political tool especially during the 1980’s at the height of Thatcherism and the mobilisation of the Punk movement. It was great seeing some of them because it reminded me of the artistic outlet that could be, the creative potential that I had only just touched upon. It was very inspiring.

Vivienne Westwood 

Vivienne Westwood 

Vivienne Westwood as a designer in her right and with her beau still use T-shirts as a platform to raise awareness of various issues around the world, notably racism in the case of the 'I am not a terrorist please don's shoot me' in response to racial profiling of Muslims and the rise in hate crime. Along with climate change, which is huge on their agenda at the moment and has been for some time. I love the fact that she is still using them as a tool in which to raise awareness. People wearing them inadvertently showcase their support either silently or by being the conversation starter literally.  This is what I would love to achieve.

 

 

 

Creating that platform is key as is getting the visibility, which is the tough part at the moment. Getting in contact with the right people is stepping stone number one, stepping stone number two is getting them to take notice...

Planning the Short Film and Photo Shoot
IMG_3671.JPG

Planning is always important and crucial for the next stages in order for me to achieve what I envisage and to make substantial progress. It is somewhat of a minefield as there are so many different elements to consider for both the short film and photoshoot, such as who can participate, their schedules, location requirements, studio bookings and prices etc. Nonetheless it is exciting to have an idea to plan for, I just hope I can make it happen along with the support of my friends, whose expertise I am drawing on as they are a documentary film maker and a fashion consultant. I am a lucky girl. 

Currently I am enlisting the help of my other friends and their friends, who are women of colour who would like to participate in the film and photography shoot. I did think about contacting a model agency to cast women but aside from cost I am also conscious of other movements where we need to be mindful of body image and not perpetuating the same ideology. So hopefully those who can participate will be showcase not only a variety of ethnicities but age and body shape too.

Along side the film shoot I would like to utilise people being together and their time by doing a photo shoot as well. I need new images for the website and to create a lookbook to be sent out to stylists and magazines for fashion features etc.  Again being mindful of time I want to try and do the two together, capturing moments whilst on location and then the final emphasis being in a studio to shoot high quality images that showcase the garments individually and in a group setting that is not in and around London. Again logistics need to be considered but in my mind it makes sense. Let's hope everyone else thinks so. 

The new shots of the garments will be used in conjunction with the old ones so there is a fusion of various images. By old I mean the collaged images I created for the magazine 'Front Cover' that has a more playful element especially where I can drum home the USP of the brand and create a mini zine. I want to keep the art and fashion elements fused together as much as possible so I have that creative outlet with my own aesthetic running throughout the brand in its entirety.  

So, next on the list is contacting:

- booking a studio visit

- finding a good fashion photographer

- visiting the photography studio to check if it is what I am looking for

- finding a fashion stylist who can help style both shoots.  

If you can recommend anyone please get in touch.

Thanks  

 

Art Work Sold!!!

I am writing this post with a real sense of excitement. I have sold my first ever art piece as a grown ass woman! The sense of achievement is immense and it fuels my creative mind to 'what next?'  

It is currently being shown in the Half Moon Theatre, 43 Whitehorse Lane, London, E1 0ND, as part of a group show. All the art work will be exhibited for 2 months, so plenty of time to see a variety of pieces created by artist teachers. 

Abstract Asian #1,  2017. Mixed media collage on canvas board. 

Abstract Asian #1, 2017. Mixed media collage on canvas board. 

The feedback I have had in response to the piece was really positive. The general consensus was the linear abstract quality coupled with the collaged section was what made the piece visually intriguing and aesthetically pleasing. Simple yet complex. Although I am biased I was really happy with how it turned out. To me it looked sophisticated in its mounted frame and passed the test of being actual art that could coexist in a gallery or home.

Which sounds somewhat stupid but creating art that is commercially viable is harder than you think. Well for me it is as my work can be too graphic design like in terms of its aesthetic and not something you could just hang on a wall anywhere.

So making a conscious effort to not only create a piece of art that is my own style but has that elevation of 'gallery' art status was a triumph for me. It triggers the business bit of my brain where I need to think more like a business women as opposed to an impoverished artist eating beans in my studio. Obviously the latter is so much easier but it is a reminder that whilst I want to be creative I have a point I want to make. I want to get my message out there in various formats using various mediums; be it art, magazines or t-shirts. All surfaces are potentially viable for me to place my mark on, to discuss racial equality in the commercial world and what better place to do it!  

So...on to the business side of things. My shortcomings are being afraid of the next stages, which I have commented on frequently. I am immobilising my own progress. I know what I need to do as you all are painfully aware of.

So, I have started the process with story boarding a short film I would like to have made. A studio has been identified in my area for the photo shoot. Just need to double check the prices on specific dates. I need to get a calendar so I can actually be timely, get some deadlines on it. Thinking about the aesthetic of both the photo shoot and film has been on my mind. Do I want women who are models or women who are your usual everyday lady we can associate ourselves with? I have settled on asking my friends, who are women of colour to see if they would be interested in participating and if they have friends also. The more the merrier.

So the mission today, as a minimum, will be to contact both my friends and the studio. So hopefully by next week I will be writing about moving forwards instead of spinning on a fixed point aka procrastination and feeling overwhelmed. 

To keep myself focussed I am including two of my favourite artists who are inspiring the short film I would like to make. These women have been influencers on my art work in various ways since art college for their poignant concepts and visual discourse they create.

 

Vanessa Beecroft 

Vanessa Beecroft was always a permanent fixture of inspiration within the pages of my sketchbooks. I loved her visual aesthetic and the shift in boundaries between art and fashion. How the space changed due to the presence of the living sculptures. How they were placed, where their gaze fell. Who was looking at who? It was just a matter of time when I could draw on her influences. 

Vanessa Beecroft was always a permanent fixture of inspiration within the pages of my sketchbooks. I loved her visual aesthetic and the shift in boundaries between art and fashion. How the space changed due to the presence of the living sculptures. How they were placed, where their gaze fell. Who was looking at who? It was just a matter of time when I could draw on her influences. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

FullSizeRender.jpg

For I-D magazine  

FullSizeRender.jpg

Solange was inspired by her  

FullSizeRender.jpg

As was Kanye West for his Yeezy collections

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Very inspiring to see so many ethnicities - finally!  And how the creative worlds collide again and again. I love that aspect, so many possibilities. 

 

Gillian Wearing

Who challenged the concept of audience participation whilst questioning our perception of society and notions of photography based art. So simple yet so poignant. I still love this work and feel that it is as relevant today as it was when it was created in the early 1990's.

 

Signs that Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say  1992-3
FullSizeRender.jpg

That would be nice!  

FullSizeRender.jpg

Aren't we all?  

FullSizeRender.jpg

I hope they still are. 

 

So I will print these these out and have them on my studio wall to keep the creative consciousness fuelled with inspiration, along with my timeline and post it notes as a constant reminder to proactively move this project forward. Time to get working.