Beach Beauties: Postcards and Photographs, 1890-1940 (2001): Beth Dunlop
Reflecting on my previous research into the heavy garments, learning about the liberating Bloomers, it may be that, because the noodle floats are already rather cumbersome, I could just work with more to reduce negative space, but then maybe introduce some ballooning fabric, potentially able to be inflated, to some of this voids to emphasise the freedom of this revolutionary invention with a juxtaposition of tautness.
Dipping Sauce: Maisie Cousins (2018) and Exploring Tonal Range in Flesh Pink as Food
Evaluating my intentions of my continuation of bolder pink hues, I wanted to still keep exploring the tonal range within that bracket, looking again to nature to inform this, inspired by how colour composition is integral to Maisie Cousins' work, to convey a sense of nostalgia to the pleasure of past meal-times, taking from food items herself. I'm really drawn to the organic feel of this method, as the interaction of hue seems cohesive, due to her capitalisation of nature's successfully effortless concoction of tonal range and gradients, and how the images feel very indulgent in terms of dimension. As a result, I will consider how I can create depth by varying tone in nuances.
Flesh Pink as Body: Saturation Exploration
Having already explored deeper, bolder pinks and their playful connotations, its meaning consolidated with secondary research, I wanted to broaden my exploration of its hues, so considered the opposing flesh side of its spectrum, using photographs of my own body. Exploring the flesh element, I felt as though it wasn't as strongly related to the optimism of my concept, so decided to play with saturation simultaneously to develop my understanding of colour and how it can change with natural means, such as through light hitting the body stronger or softer, and digitally, through artificial augmentation.
Pantone Guide To Communicating With Colour (2000): Leatrice Eiseman
Researching into pink, my assigned colour, complimentary colours and its meaning, I was reassured that my original considerations for it to convey optimism were solidified in the books that I read, especially with the phrase "rose-tinted spectacles". I did learn a lot about combinations of colour though, such as my selection of a tweaked triad (pink, yellow and turquoise) being an interesting addition of dimension to a naive primary palette, something which I must have been subliminally channelling, following the research into my childhood theme park, to inject this innocence into my developing work. Despite my assured colour knowledge, I would like to still explore the tonal range of pink further, to see if an alternate hue than a bold may work more efficiently at conveying playful optimism.
Dalston Anatomy: Lorenzo Vitturi (2014)
Common nuances of colour / texture unite the market's being and his own embodiment of its wares and frequenters, something which has inspired me to focus on intricate elements of observations to physically develop my own conceptual ideas, something which I flirted with in response to Twinlakes Park, using small sections of rope forms and hues to push forward first drawings, then collage and samples. I found this to be rather successful in capturing the whimsical air surrounding my childhood theme park (but was worried that maybe the link was too tenuous), so observing Vitturi's publication and really seeing the visual connection is strong with observation so near, has encouraged me to evaluate the rewards of my own practice, and stick with it.
Marques' Almeida x 7 For All Mankind: MC Motors
The venue for the event itself sumptuously paralleled my new perspective of dirt, its original use of a garage meaning its walls are peppered with oil and decay, glowing with hard engineering that must have taken place years ago, heightening its character. Even cigarette-adorned ash trays and their floating embers carried excitable exchanges of party-goers.
Ridley Road Market
The inclusivity of Ridley Road Market was something I adored, with Jews, Turks, Africans, Caribbeans all embraced with open arms, evidenced through cultural symbols championed through wares, such as weaves here, as well as lining the paths, like the Star of David fashioned from fence. The throng of colours as a result of the multiculturalism provoked a divine sensory experience, with none excluded, the harmony of bold contradicting hues something I would like to explore; we should all be inspired by the thriving of a borough inhabited by a plethora of such diverse residents.
My overly-analytical mind still pondered over the residuous grime as discovered at Twinlakes Park, yet, this time, observing the stall-holders that had created such, it haltered neither my awe nor my respect as before; the long hours, the in-ebbing bartering, this dirt and rubbish is simply a by-product of really living in a space, not just leaving it for aesthetics, whether that be searching for fulfilment through working here and in the Black Country, or playing at Twinlakes Park. As a result, I would really like to reflect this dirt with beauty within my own work, possibly through colours, or stereotypically beautiful components such as pearls, maybe spilling from rips in "bin bags" however I feel I need to research further so as to come to a conclusion on how to move forward with this in the most visually clear way.
I adored the delicate manner in which Chloe gave me an insight into her culture: beautifully composed collage mirrored her fascination for intricate Malaysian ceramics, as well as the romanticism of her favourite nostalgic films. I loved how she also touched on her move to another environment (Wales) and how that influenced her, the sense of her multicultural background something which I really admired, making me excited to explore the ethnic melting pot of Dalston with her.
Melton Mowbray Cattle Market
An integral component to my home town's heritage, yet something that I condemn to the most extreme degree is the Cattle Market, with animals beaten during auction to cis white, jeering farmers, struck violently more, further away from public vision, contained in cages, with puss-filled cysts forming from maltreatment, all of which prompted my veganism. This partial disconnect to my culture is something that I wish to express within these initial stages, with rage-filled mark-making, as well as morose embodiment of the suffering of the animals, the main focus here.
An Ode to Twinlakes Park
Revisiting my local childhood theme park, I predominantly was enraptured by naive texture, hue and form, all swathed in rigid net and soft sponge for protection. My appreciation of Twinlakes for igniting my curiosity and playfulness, I intend to express gratitude to such a formative place with regards to my growth by embodying a child-like approach, and maybe even manifesting some of my response into bouquet-like gifts.
Bathing-Machines & Bloomers (1932): Muriel V. Searle
The inflating element might be something really intriguing to explore actually, hence this historical context confirming that this process truly occurred in America, transforming garments as a flotation device (interesting to me conceptually, as it is meta-morphing movement-restrictive, weighted "swimwear", into a freeing allowance of swimming) paralleling the noodle floats I was working with. I'm going to research further into this bizarre contraption to inform the development of my silhouette, whilst considering the leg of mutton technique in case it is unachievable.
The Swimsuit (2007): Sarah Kennedy, & Beachwear and Bathing Costume (1995): Doretta Davanzo Poli
Intrigued by the containment of the first bathing suits, inspired by the noodle float experimentation conducted, I found that the it was more abhorrent than I thought; the enforced risk of death for the sake of "decency", met with the strength of the women for refusing repression with simple acts of defiance, is rather compelling. Maintaining the optimism of a playful colour palette, I could explore the introduction of weights trapped in some sort of material to the noodle floats, to see how the silhouette may change, however this is something I wish to reflect on further.
Hackney City Farm
A continuation of my earlier observations of Dalston, rather than being mildly repulsed at lack of cleanliness and organisation, I saw the plastic-bag covered saddles as a means of enabling further use, and rubbish-riddled basket an insight into a night of alcohol-fuelled fun, almost as though these indicated the lifestyle of the owner, something which may be interesting to play with in response, although I did not want to interrupt the traces of person by collecting their objects to utilise myself. I'm unclear as to how to incorporate this into my own work as yet,
I observed further nuances of the united community of Dalston with a basketball hoop amongst a rather residential area, encouraging ball games, which are sadly shunned typically, to give young people something to do, as well as a solid proportion of the area's dogs lovingly embarking on a walk with just two people, a seeming favour.
Hackney City Farm itself had a completely opposing approach to animals as back home in Melton Mowbray, with different animals existing together, treated ethically in vast pens, with each individual species markingly understood with thorough informative signs on the fences. Food and water seems plentiful, as does the care provided by volunteers. This almost seems to be a direct encapsulation of the Dalston community itself, the fair treatment most definitely stemming from its multiculturalism widening the understanding of the necessity for equality, as opposed to the wrinkly cis white male farmers of Melton Mowbray Cattle Market, there to buy, sell, abuse and solidify their corrupt position in the hierarchy as alpha-male. In this way, I identify more with Dalston, due to my mindset with regards to others, hence my veganism, so I intend for this celebration of multiculturalism to dominate my responses, maybe through diverse colour as suggested when observing Ridley Road Market.
Hackney Peace Carnival Mural: Mick Jones, Ray Walker (1985) Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
This huge visual symbol of community embodies everything I admire most about Dalston: the coming-together of those from opposing backgrounds to stand up for what they believe in, which in this case was to unite against the vile regime of the USSR, the vibrancy and spirit of the residents quashing their antithesis, the political stance something I am massively inspired by. Living under a gross Tory rule where the "scum" (poor people) in their eyes are impoverished further and hidden in the backstreets from the rest of society, particularly relevant in the gentrification of Dalston, is something I intend to convey in my work, by bringing this "dirt" to the forefront, allowing its beauty to dominate the piece.
Finding parallels to Twinlakes Park, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden have created a sumptuous playground for its little people, satisfying their curiosity in a space not necessarily designed for their age group (again, that inclusivity is compelling). It has pushed me to rethink the dirt that I observed at Twinlakes Park, as physical evidence of laughs, screeches of fun, rather than morosely standing, unused.
Researching into my grandparents' home, I found that heavy industry covered the area in smoke yet also shame, due to the rest of the country's disgust at the dirt. My grandparents' outlook on life, true of their fellow citizens too, as shown with the helpful resourcefulness of the 'Black Country Women', is the antithesis of this; I really admire their optimism despite hardship, and intend to convey this through vibrancy amongst bleak colour, with its investment in the weave industry pushing my process.
'I'm Home': Ronan McKenzie and '14,12,13': Ronan McKenzie (2018)
Learning about Ronan McKenzie and her exhibitors' connections with home, it paralleled my own considerations on it being a safe space, hence my strong focus on my native town. The exhibition also led me to Ronan's publication, in which she detailed her complex relationship with her hair. As a intersectional feminist, I could empathise with societal pressures as a woman, in which we feel compelled to conform; I want to explore how norms have influenced my own hair's change.
Discovering the stress on Suffragettes looking their best to present their cause in the best light, as well as my regard of them as Queens in their own right, has pushed me to consider dressing them with majesty in mind, possibly thinking of crown-like placements, or even materials to resemble jewels and wealth (of spirit and attitude).
With my mum being a descendant of the Suffragettes, and myself being, naturally, an intersectional feminist, I conducted some research into their dresscodes, finding purple, white and green to symbolise their activism, with hats and sashes visually strengthening their status. I intend to develop this into modern day attire, seeing where it fits in the contemporary, possibly by embodying some of their "deeds not words" practices, particularly smashing windows and graffiti.
Twinlakes Park - Dilapidation, Removing Infantile Blitheness
With my now adult over-analysis, wear, grime, dirt, bird shit and safety hazards screamed with prominence, tainting my fond memories slightly in the way that I recalled how children would greedily hoard as many balls, optimised by stuffing t-shirt hems, to carry from boxes to guns, to shoot at others with malice.