Thursday, 6 January 2011

Alice in fashionland

In my initial research on Dolly Kei fashion i found out that, sterotypically, these girls take inspiration from fantasy books and films one of which is Alice in Wonderland. I decided that in that case i too should take inspiration from this and decide to take a look at the costumes in the latest film by Tim Burton.

Here we see Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, immidialtly i noticed the use of cream lace ( in the cuffs) against brown which is something i have already decided to use. The main aspect of his outfit i like is his tophat; the large size of it with abscure and unusual embelishment makes it appear vintage and almost alienesce! A top hat is an accesory i may think about adding to my garnment.

To me this picture to me is full of inspiration; the classic pocket watch of the rabbit, the weird branches coming off the spiraling trees, the creepy lurgy of the spreading moss creating unusual patterns and most of all the colourful but subdued colour scheme creating a magical but still dark and eerie scene. I hope to use this type of colour scheme in my components for my garnment; lots of exciting colours but subdued colours wich look faded, perhaps even antique to go with the visual kei/dolly kei theme.

Samples- Japanese street style

To start practically designing my pieces for the Japanese Street Style project i developed some designs and played around with compontents for embelishment as this is a very important aspect of the style i have decided to base my garnment on.

I then was able to do some samples using the materials and compontents i wished to use for my design, luckily i was pleasently suprised by these and just to make sure i was happy with them i also did a larger sample where i produced a draw string bag to ensure i liked all the elements on a larger scale and not just a small square.

My favourite part of these samples was most definatly the small swarovski bicone beads. These are had to see properly on the photo but in person they create a glimmering dazzle which i think shows real quality and adds that bit of elegance to the samples and bag. The downside is that these were quite expencive and i will have to use them wisely if i include them in my final piece, which i this point i intend to do!

When making the bag i came across some cream white lace i had lying around, i decided to use this as the drawstring. I very much like the contrast between the cream and brown lace and think that i may also use this in my final piece.

Ghost Stories

To get ideas for my ghost story on Mary Gregg i deided to combine research on Platt Hall, Mary Gregg herself and other ghost stories and ghost tours..

One ghost tour i came across was this one called Flecky Bennetts walk in Manchester, i was hopeng to beable to experience one first hand and hear his stories but there was not a tour available soon enough because of the deadline.

Flecky is a charactor created to give the tours an interesing twist with a slightly crazy, unnerving tour guide. He takes people on a walk round part of Manchester giving them stories about mysterious accounts of ghostly happenings. I hope to use my story rather like a ghost tour to give accounts of supernatural happenings wich took place in the rooms of Platt Hall.

Another place in Manchester i discovered to have reported ghostly happenings is Brannigans nightclub.
According to the paranormal dateabase online, an 'invisable phantom' gets
up to mischief behind the bar and is even believed to have tried to push people down the stairs!

To try and find out more i emailed Brannigans asking if they had any stories or myths about this ghost that they could tell me however they have still not yet repiled.

Dadaism / Surrealism

The Dada movement was an anti-war art movement wich developed in the early 1900s; this was a very rebellious and inovative movement wich made a statement with each piece about polotics, war or society.

In this art movement, artists used a technique called photomontage where they cut out images and then stuck them down in a different way to create a new meaning to the image. Above is a piece by Hannah Hoch called Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany. This collage is a piece about life in Weimar Germany in 1919. 

I believe it was this photomontage technique where different images are combined to create new meanings which the surrealists were inspired by to create their paintings. The surrealist technique is fairly similar, they use images from real life and take them out of context to create new images and also combine this with elements from the imagination to create a piece which is often both realistic and yet impossible. I am facinated by surrealism and love how it can be used in photography today, i hope to include more surrealist aspects in one of my future projects.

Modern surrealist photographers have the great advantange of modern technology; the invention of the digial camera and photo editing softwear like photoshop has enabled artists to create shockingly realistic surrealist images. I am really captured by the way it is possible to create an image which in real life is completely impossible and yet appears completely real in the image!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The first surrealist...

Many people believe that Dali was the beggining of surrealism, however, this is not the case. When researching artists for my essay i came across information on an artist from the early 1500s who was a religious surrealist painter; his name was Heironymus Bosch..

Bosches paintings depict religous beliefs and tales in an unorthodox way. He followed the beliefs of the 'Brotherhood Of Our Lady' who has their own strong beliefs about christianity. Bosch paintings included surrealist aspects such as morphed, demonic faces, alien like creatures and animals and unproportional objects and animals.

Above is the centre piece of his painting of 'the Garden of Earthly Delights'; this painting depicts man on earth and how emersed they are in a world of sin. A few examples of the surrealism which can be found are the giant fruits and animals scattered across the painting, fantasy birds or creatures flying in the sky and strange, unrealistic buildings by the lake. All this was done hundreds of years before the actual surrealist movement!

Grimoire Shibuya

This is a shop in Tokyo wich according to some is ' pioneering store behind the Dolly-kei fashion scene'. This store is named after an old book of magic, the idea behind the store is that in each visit you will discover something new and exciting, rather like when you open different pages of the magic book and discover new tricks.

Some might think of the store as cluttered and chaotic but i think that not only does this match the heavily embelished style of dolly kei with its busy prints and many decorative adornments, but it creates an excitement of discovery in the store; you may come back time and time again and discover things you did not notice before, like finding hidden treasures.

The  shop contains used clothes, shoes and all sorts of unusual orniments such as stuffed animals, old fashioned clocks and even old second hand dolls. The eclictic mix of antique and worn items creates a dream-like, fantasy element to the store.To add to this they play music that Dolly Kei girls generally like such as french music, celtic and movie soundtracks.

I would love to visit the store and find out more about how it was set up, what influenced the owner to bring in such items and what can be found in the store. However, with it being all the way in Tokyo, this isnt something likely to happen any time soon, if ever.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Liverpool Biennial

This visit to liverpool during the Contempary Art festival included visits to the walker art gallery, fact and the A foundation. Inbetween these places other smaller pieces and galleries were found, it made a very interesting and exciting day.

The modern art section of the Walker Art gallery was quite intreguing, below are a few of the pieces i found most absorbing.

I am facinated by the use of visualisations usually used as photographic tecniques in this painting. Blurring showing movement and ghostly, transparrent figures can be seen making this image appear as a photograph and yet is had been painted.

Steve Proudfoot
The Party, 2010.

Futher on in the walk between galleries, at 52 renshaw Street, the basement contain some very striking and strange, modern art videos.

This is a 40 min video by Ryan Trecartin and contains some extremeley eyecatching material, i like how although this is not a horror or traditionally scary video, there is an element to it wich is so strange that it becomes scary!

We then went on to the FACT gallery, here i found another video of particular interest;

This video is a series of photographs, one taken each hour in each day in a year of the life of the same man in the same place. This series shows the changes in hair and facial features as time goes on.

I love the commitment show to his work, having to be in the same place each hour for a year is a difficult and restraining task. It shows just how much determination he had to create this piece.

Tehching (sam) Hsieh
One Year Piece 1980 - 1981

Finally we ended up at the A Foundation where i found sevral pieces which intersted me;

Patrick Coyle
Goods recieved in Good Condition

Although i am not a great fan of modern art which is just a simple object like this, it reminded me of an experience i had a while ago where my friend had broken their flatscreen TV, similar to this. We then discovered that when you press on the broken screen a beautiful show of liquid like colours appear and spurted across the screen. This is something i wish i had photographed at the time.

Theodoros Samatogiannis

I like the quirkyness of his piece, the giant door is very in-your-face and blatently does not fit the doorway. However, it is not easily noticable upon first entry because it is so big it first appears as a wall untill you see the handle!

Trying something new

It was my Mums 50th coming up and i wanted to make her something wich she could use and would appriciate more than something i has just baught. I decided that a necklace would be the best way to do this however i had never made any jewlrey before!

I started off by taking note of necklaces she pointed out whilst shopping, i realised she particularly liked necklaces made with fabric and also took a shine to charm bracelots. below is two examples of necklaces she liked and i took inspiration from..

Making the necklace was quite simple once i had decided on all the components. This is something i would deffinatley consider doing again ; although this was about expencive as buying an average highstreet neclace, you endup with an individual product made to suit the person it is for.

Below is an image of the neckace i made, to present it to my mum i also made a cream box with a cushion inside to make it appear more special and professional.

The comment my Mum made were that she likes the way it is asymetrical, she also likes the use of heavy beading and metal agains the delecate ribbon.