Two months have elapsed since we did this exhibition now, but I thought it’d be good to write a little something about this exhibition anyway. MA work is pretty much what my year has been (and will be) focusing on, as I’ve been wading through the murky clouds that have cluttered my view for sometime. However, before I start delving into that, let’s rewind to June: Us MA Fashion Futures lot put on a work-in-progress show at Machines Room in Hackney. Because you know, it’s easier to explain the hard-to-explain in exhibition format, with a few glasses of free wine thrown into the mix.
It’s a little know fact that the Au Lazuli project stemmed partially from a dream. A dream filled with awe, the likes of which I’ve only fleetingly experienced before. This night, was much like any October night in late 2012. A little chilly, and terribly lethargic after a day spent at university, fretting (a lot) over what to make.
I went to bed earlier, around 10pm. Snuggled deep into my quilts and cocooned myself into the enveloping warmth. Sleep came quickly; atypical for me compared to most nights, where it can sometimes be a struggle to fall into a slumber. Yet this night, sleep came easily and before long, a dream state arose. I’ve no doubt that I dreamt a good many dreams that night, yet most evade me except this:
Over-thinking. It’s what I do apparently. Especially when it comes to creative ideas over the last year. They just twist and turn, contorting within the small space between my skull, yet never truly resolving because the doing is essential for that.
One such idea, is a piece deriving from the fashion as a social phenomena theory that circulates. I’ve been a little dubious as to what extent dress can reflect society, and in thinking about past influences, I began to remember the story of Echo & Narcissus. Which made me think of mirrors, as the perfect embodiment of both characters in the tale – vanity and reflection. The question whistling from the corner of my lips was:
My original plan for this post, was to publish it alongside a video of the No Boundary Between piece installed at the Loft. It was a promise I'd made to several people who weren't able to make it to Birmingham for the actual exhibition – and one I was looking forward to keeping, mostly to try video editing again.
Last week however, my hard drive decided to throw a little hissy fit and being the fool of a person I can be, I'd not backed up the data. So, a year of photos and all documentation has been lost. I somehow managed to recover almost everything prior to that, but late 2013 - 2014 is a complete blank.
In a weird way, I actually didn't mind when I thought I'd lost everything. It felt quite freeing and a good jolt to remind me it's time to make new work, take new photos, have new experiences. I'd rather not have lost the documentation of my work, but my life – pah, that is happening now, right?!
Anyway, rather than let these process shots linger in the drafts, I thought let them loose. The last vestiges of this project. You can see my smiling face above which is, I have to admit, a rarity when I actually make work. Mostly it's grimaces, contemplation and quiet swearing until about a week after the end. This of course, only reflects my part of No Boundary Between – which involved folding two sheets of paper in the tessellation pattern, sandwiching the canvas fabric between, refolding (yes, using clothes pegs to help) and pressing. Chris had a distorted scanning & glitching process which sounded fascinating when he explained it to me in March. You'll have to ask him about that though.
All in all, it was a very interesting project to complete. It got me making stuff after a year of freaking out about making stuff (okay, I'm still slightly freaking out about making stuff, but less so) and it got me into thinking that maybe, I can actually channel over-ambition to other artwork and not necessarily always concede defeat to the conventions of fashion. Perhaps it's conflated ego talking, but that was quite exciting on a creative level.
Our days at The Loft are numbered. After a six month stint at the Priory Walk space, we’ve little under two weeks left and one final exhibition to go.
It’s a bitter sweet symphony; I’ll miss my days surrounded by talented Loft friends, yet it’s also high time to put my own wheels into action. Of course, not without a detour first: clothes may not have been made in the last six months, but following the multi-disciplinary ethos of the Loft, I did partake in a little collaborative art project back in April, No Boundary Between.
Since the project transpired because of the Loft, it seems only fitting that it’s shown again at We Are The Loft Birmingham – which means some remaking, testing and refining on my part. Still, cross discipline arts practice is becoming dearer to my heart by the day, and the idea behind this project is still interesting, though I’ll explain it another day.
Anyway, since I’ll be deep in the woodlands of making over the next couple of days, I’ll leave you with a few process shots to whet your appetites. Don’t say I don’t share some insights!
An oldie, but ambiguous enough to still work. Written as the prelude to the Hypochondria of the Heart project.