Well our first project of the year was a FASHION PROJECT and I have LOVED it! Lots of people in the class have seemed to be a bit uncertain about it but I have had a great time researching and making my sketchbook!
We were to look at a particular culture or period in history and I chose to study China. I went on to look at Chinese textiles, writing, patterns and architecture. I became particuarly interesed in Chinese Buddhism and the beautiful temples and shrines. I then went on to research the Phuket Vegetarian Festival which is a celebration led by Chinese Buddhists. During the festival they invite the Gods to descend down on them and enter the bodies of a selected group who are known as th Ma Song. The Ma Song perform self torture tasks such as extreme body piercing, walking up bladed ladders and over hot coals in order to cleanse thier spirit and bring good luck to their community. During the festival they wear all white and are only permitted to eat vegetarian food. The Ma Song pierce themselves with anything from swords to bicycles to arrows usually through the cheeks and face. They seem to be in a trance and feel no pain whilst performing these rituals as they believe the Gods have entered their bodies thus preventing this.
For my final piece I wanted to make some form of piercing. I looked into body piercing and the unusual places people can be pierced. Some of the pics I found gave me the heebie jeebies! They were the kind of pictures you didn't want to look at but you just had to! I took inspiration from the Chinese patterns and shapes of the temples and made a few sketches of pieces made for piercings such as belly buttons, eyebrows and noses. I then went on to look at connecting different piercings together and came up with some almost full body outfits all connected by piercings. The design I went for at first was connected through the face, nipple and belly button, I wanted to make the structure out of wire and possibly fabric with a pattern flocked on to it. (We did flocking in one of our workshops and it was sooo much fun!) I then thought about a wire pattern with bits flocked to bring in the vibrant colours of the Chinese culture. However when I started making my design I realised the wire I had was not thick enough to hold the structure up and altered my design slightly to make two seperate body pieces. I also had to change the way it fastened as it was not strong enough to hold. In the end I ended up with quite a different final design to when I started out but I find this is the way I work... changing constantly as I go along. I never start out to make something and it ends up exactly as it was on my page to begin with!
just a few piercing pics
I wanted to introduce something other then metal to my piece so have decided to do alot of beading. I did some over the summer and some of the things I made reminded me of the intricate Chinese patterns plus with the beads I can bring in the bright colours widely used in traditional Chinese textiles and architecture.
Seems I have alot of work to do if it's to be finished by Friday! More pics of sketchbook work, samples and designs to come.