Posts tagged Media
ZOTW Exhibition
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Last Thursday was the private view for the Zines of the World (ZOTW) exhibition at The Truman Brewery. The curation enabled the viewer to be completely emersed in the work due to the way it was hung. You weaved yourself amongst the hanging Zines and when one caught your eye you could enjoy its content. 

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There were so many it would be impossible to look at every one of them. But the variety was great both in size and content. Some of the Zines were purely image based whilst others had written content like mine. 

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It is always interesting to see other people’s creative take on the zine format, some were A5, some were newspapers, others were like a mini book. But the beauty is there are no rules or boundaries.

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The content of my zine was to mimic an actual magazine. The title Front Cover, was named so as I believe all women of all ethnicities, sizes, gender identifying etc should grace the covers of all magazines not just the typical model with a certain beauty aesthetic.

Women are tired of being dictated too and told time and time again you should be like this and that. But as time has shown women cannot win no matter what they do... you’re too thin, eat more of this, exercise like that, be more natural looking, wear this makeup, get that plumped - the endless cycle of being bullied mentally about how you do or do not fit into the expected norm, whatever the flavour of the month or year is, is such a snore fest. Here’s a thought, how about celebrating women for what they are, individual beauties in their own right. But that would not fit the capitalist ideal now would it? 

But on the other hand, there is a shift happening.  People, particularly women are becoming tired of that old rhetoric and are creating their own magazines or Zines to share a platform for women to gather either in person or on media forums to share how they feel and become part of a collective. That is what movements are all about, tipping the balance, questioning the perceived norm and challenging it. 

So in a way, my little zine is the start of that. Questioning the representation of women of colour in the fashion world - where are they? Why aren’t there more? Which obviously coincides with my brand and the aesthetic of having women of colour out there more visually. Now to think about what next??? 

I think I want to focus more on Indian (South Asian) women as there is a distinct lack of them in the general media world. And how do you start to raise awareness? By drawing attention to it. So thinking cap on for how to make his happen and in what way.....   

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So back to the Zines from the exhibition, I am not even sure what is going to happen to them after the show, I probably should find out ha ha! Either way it was another great experience to be a part of the exhibition and for my work to have another platform. It has made me think about making another one especially as I have the professional photographs now. But really I need to focus on the lookbook, which in turn could be extended to become a new magazine, let’s see as there are only so many hours in the day.  

So there is a break in my calendar. No more events pencilled in but it has given me the thirst for being part of a collective group. Reaching out more. I am already looking out for more opportunities and have a few I need to contact. It is fun I have to say being part of various events or exhibitions. Let’s hope there will be many more. 

Exhibition Time - Exciting Weeks Ahead

The following weeks are going to be busy, but good busy.

Whilst waiting for the photographer to finalise touching up the photos from the shoot I have been playing about with a digital lookbook, which I will send to specific fashion / arty magazines and stylists who I hope will feature my garments in their shoots.

When I created my first magazine, Front Cover, it was fun and somewhat easy as it was a creative space for me to explore and have fun whilst learning how to use indesign at the same time.

But this lookbook is on another level, literally. One where I need to consider many aspects. Not only placing images into the template but also the composition, collage, textures and the overall narrative. But moreover, the commercial aspect, making it look professional but also being true to me as an artist designer. So balance is key. 

As a result I have been researching other brands lookbooks to see how they lay out the images, text and if there are any artistic touches. What I have found interesting Is the brands aesthetics and how clear it is. When you see it you know which brand it is, there is a strong visual message being communicated. 

I am always drawn to specific designers for their artistic exploration and individuality like Vivienne Westwood. I like the combination of the locations the models have been shot in along with the post production artistic elements that have been added, such as text, scribbles etc.  Along with Maison Margiela who has a very playful aesthetic that is in keeping with my own. 

Vivienne Westwood lookbook  

Vivienne Westwood lookbook  

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Maison Margiela

Maison Margiela

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So I will draw inspiration from them and play around with mark making, which for me is key as I like to express myself creatively whilst constructing a strong visual image. I generally know when I am happy with something as it just strikes a chord, an instinct of sorts. So here is the start, the cover, it may change a lot, it may have a tweak here or there. Who knows?  But thats the joy for me. All I know at this point is that my logo needs to be on it and the tag line with a strong image. Some elements have been ticked here. 

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So what else this week? Thursday my friends and I are going to the Barbican to see the Basquiat exhibition. Words cannot express how excited I am about this.  It would seem Banksy is too and utilising the opportunity to make a political statement. Very apt. I am looking forward to seeing this in real life. 

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Although this is something exciting especially as I have drawn inspiration from Basquiat since A levels. It is not as exciting as the up and coming exhibition that my painting is going to be in at Stour Space Gallery in Hackney Wick. It is a great event to be a part of due to all proceeds going towards charity - End Violence Against Women, hosted by Nasty Women. I am really looking forward to seeing all of the other art works and meeting the other artists too. 

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The following Friday is the launch of the annual print magazine gal-dem where there will be a party. So again another opportunity to mingle, meet people within the industry, other creatives. Need to get my chat hat ready and decide which t-shirt I am going to wear. Shameless self promotion I know!!!

There are hopefully tickets left, which are £10 and you get a copy of the magazine, drinks and food. You can purchase them at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gal-dem-print-issue-2-launch-home-tickets-37533547852

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And last but not least, Zines of the World, have released the dates for the exhibition at the Truman Brewery. So another date for your diary

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The exhibition is free but you need to RSVP at this link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/zines-of-the-world-tickets-37817063856

So all in all exciting times ahead. It is the start of the journey but I feel very positive about the new platforms that are opening up.  Let's hope they lead to something.  

Where Are All the Indian Models?

There has been a major hurdle in the road due to me being hospitalised. Nothing serious but the knock on effect has pushed everything back i.e.  the photoshoot and everything there after. 

Not to worry. New dates to be proposed and hopefully third times the charm, as the saying goes. Again more time to plan and finalise the finer details to make the shoot more efficient. Got to be positive. Otherwise I will just quit and that is not an option I am willing to embrace. I am a natural fighter and I will find a way to make this work. Time is money and patience is a virtue, add any other appropriate sayings if you will.  

Aside from the photoshoot I have been thinking about other aspects of the business. Visual appearance, statements for the website, creating more drawings. Which led me to dig my old Vogue magazines out and pull out pages featuring women of colour. Aside from the obvious lack of equality of different ethnicities being represented in comparison to white models another issue struck me, where are the Indian models?  

This struck an obvious cord with me as part of my ethnic mix is of Indian heritage. The whole point of the brand and the art work created is to celebrate women of colour on a canvas - the t-shirt. However as the creator, who is seeking inspiration from said publication is not finding a similar face in which to draw from literally, then there is a problem. This led me to flick through my other magazines, of which I have hoards, that are more 'arty' and would expect much more diversity but still none or limited. Why are Indian women not being included in any these magazines? Maybe I need to buy some newer copies? 

There are huge Asian communities dotted all over the UK, where is the representation? Yes, there are huge industries such as Bollywood that surpass Hollywood but this is not the same as walking down the road and looking up at a billboard or casually flicking through a magazine from western mainstream media. Now some of you might be thinking what about Neelam Gill? Sure she's definitely out there in terms of exposure but aside from Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai, how many other prolific Indian models are being included on various platforms and how often? Is tokenism rearing its ugly head again?

This will be the same for other ethnic groups too. Women of Arabic decent, Native American, Maouri to name but a few. Where is there representation, their role models? 

So the brain is ticking, thinking of reasons as to why this maybe the case...is it a colonial issue? Is Indian culture not seen as cool, although it does get appropriated by the fashion industry, so maybe not? But then that is only at its own convenience. Maybe the culture is not mainstream enough? 

Who knows? But I have decided to investigate . 

I am going to pen a letter to various magazines asking what their take on it is, which may be the catalyst for a new set of work in various forms; we will see as the idea is in its infancy. But I am genuinely interested to know why there is such a lack of representation. And if history has taught us anything, no change comes about from being silent but by standing up and questioning when something is wrong. Not that I am on a one woman mission to change the face of the fashion world, I mean, look how long it has taken for other ethnic minorities to be showcased, but the point is to highlight it. Even if it is for my own personal journey and creative output. 

Let's see what the outcome is... 

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