So I’ve literally just got back from the studios and I’m exhausted! I wanted to get the main bit done. See I find that doing the hardest tasks first allows me to coast and enjoy the rest of the painting process. I’m so happy the worst is now behind me, now it’s just a case of putting the finishing touches. The student in me was ready to order a pizza but Dominos is shut -_- just when I needed them, and I’m the type of person that only has stuff that needs cooking for more than 30 minutes. Oh well, late night cooking, it’s not like I haven’t done it before 😛 So as you can see the base painting was actually a template for my Chitenge design, I was going to stencil the whole design but the time to find spray paint was not even worth stressing about. It looks like I have kept to some sort of rule, I’ve actually painted the whole of this part of the composition without relying on masking. Yup I went old school, ruler and a steady hand. The rest will be masked, as I really don’t see myself finishing on time if I don’t. Call it cheating? I really don’t care I’m claiming artistic license.
So it’s nearing the end of my second semester, MY FIRST YEAR IN UNI!!!!! and we have a project due in May. Now you know me, my creative process involves dabbling with some crafts here and there (and not the voodoo kind though I could throw in some sugar and spice). To kick start my creative mindset, I thought it would be cool to up-cycle a bag I had from last year. It amazes me because all of a sudden there’s a mad rush for draw-string bags (THE GEIST NEVER LIES). So me and and my bargain ways got this bag DEAD CHEAP, but as usual you get what you pay for. This bag has torn in so many places, I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve had to repair it. But I can’t leave my objects alone; so I asked my Bezzy mate Marcy D the 411 on the alREADY-MADE ways of doing things (the crowd around him laughs in confusion to try and act as if they know what he’s talking about). And here is the outcome, with love from Africa once again (so I did have to use my voodoo after all). The problem I faced was the buckles that fell off, either side of the front pockets (that I couldn’t be bothered to fix -_-) and the light shone bright towards the THUMBTACKS! Oh my mind does have it’s moments of brilliance. AND I only bled once! There is hope for me yet.
I’ve always been a fan of Yinka Shonibare, Looking back at my Foundation journal I noticed that I read an article on his artwork, I cannot remember where but I remember catching a glimpse of his costumes made up entirely of African textiles and was amazed at the sheer volume and and detail of his work. A part of me always wanted a Chitenge jacket, but I still don’t know where to get one (mostly due to my picky attitude towards clothing). I’ve only ever made tiny garments and that was only during my fashion pathway week during my foundation year. SO I’M DETERMINED TO MAKE MYSELF ONE. Of course I’m lazy; so short cuts have to be made. So I raided my wardrobe and found two suit jackets I used to wear back in A-level (3 years ago O_O oh time) coupled with my boredom I thought why not practice first? So for some reason I want to hand stitch it all on….. to say the least I did the collar and gave up -_- I’m going to have to find some form of motivation to kick start the next project as the collar alone took me 3 hours! Somehow I’m liking the collar on it’s own so I’m thinking of leaving the Jacket as it is 😀
Well I thought I would have a go at producing something completely different from the frame of work I was doing last year. I took inspiration from my trip to Amsterdam. Looking at Rembrandt’s painting of printed fabric, I wondered how he was able to achieve such an effect. I noted that he must have painted in layers. Chitenge material is an african material that showcases an array of prints and colours. I painted the fabric in three stages. I don’t try to have the subject of identity in my work but it always shows, so fighting it won’t help, I simply embrace it.
As part of my univesity course I had to start a blog; just as well i started this one :D…. I first started with fine art continuing my environment project. For each project we had 1 week to complete a task set with a final piece at the end. The topic was “Wonderland,” though we didn’t have to take the Lewis Carroll route, the general idea was to create an environment that was an escape from reality. My play on wonderland was set in Elizabethan times. My twist was to have somenone of ethnic skin dressed up in Elizabethan clothing; not typical of that period as slaves were treated less than even house pets. It was an interesting idea as the whole appeal of wonderland was being in a place not familiar to your up-bringing; something that all immagrants have to do day to day. I never considered how different my life is until i had a good conversation with my mum, who told me about her background and our culture.
Knower days we change ourselves to adapted to our environments yet somehow we still have our very own cultural influences that never leave us; for this reason my final piece was painted on African (Zambian) Chitenge material, to relfect the ever present influence of culture in our lives.
This was how the Final piece was presented, i did initially have the triplet decsending but Ian wanted it this way :/. I added the silhouettes to add some contrast to the composition to help draw the viewers eyes to the piece, it also went well with the wonderland piece as the Lewis Carroll impression of his wonderland is often portrayed in a victorian setting.
Close up of the face
Full Close up of the central image.