I have been encouraged to let myself be more open-minded and contextual based when it comes to looking for influence in my projects opposed to responding to only visual aids. This teaching has had a serious impact on my thought processes when it comes to Art, thus my basis for influence for this project has developed from more relevant issues within the world, leading to a rich and sundry amount of possibilities in my design. This subsequently impacted my sense of involvement within these issues and opening my eyes to the problems alongside raising awareness on the issues too. This has provided me with a stronger sense of ownership of my work. The exploration of concepts and how to channel this within my work has revealed many possibilities for development consequently preparing me for my next stage as an undergraduate.
My proposition for this project I decided to look into the mankinds way of life today, the pollution and litter (Modernity) and how these subjects are essentially engulfing and suffocating nature. I had hoped to develop and extend my skills in textiles, installation and also film. I have integrated textiles and installation into this project but unfortunately not film. I have gained numerous technical skills including felting, weaving, garment construction, machine skills, printing and finally translating a two-dimensional design into a three-dimensional outcome. The proposal has encouraged me to really push myself out of my comfort zone as I decided to use a conceptual influence, and I feel I have achieved a significant amount of learning and work throughout my project. I have succeeded in experiencing new processes and techniques and have improved planning of time using a work plan to ensure I made good use of my time by planning and organising.
To gather my research I used the internet to firstly educate myself on various sorts along with the issues of pollution, in history and today- and most importantly what is being done on the matter. I felt it was important to fully explore this aspect and contain this knowledge as I knew it would enable me to pay attention to detail within my work, and really dig into the concepts behind my creations. I did, however, watch film screening about the Chernobyl Disaster, I indulged so deeply into the movie it really affected me personally and really kickstarted the ambition in my project. I also visited an exhibition where they displayed recycled plastic bottles to create beautiful light shades, this also helped with my project as it gave me hope that designers are concerned about our way of life today.
At times I was not happy with the development of my work when a process did not develop as I had anticipated or a design came out wrong, I felt disappointed however this is where I would change my ideas slightly to ensure I made use of the problems and liked the next outcome. I have developed my ideas though trying out little experiments that have been inspired by my research and took the next step from there. As my work developed I ensured my project as a whole adapted to it.
My artist research played a big part in my overall project, and even through to my final piece. None of my chosen artists was fashion based, however, I feel due to this it allowed me to be more flexible at the beginning of my project and explore different stances and areas of art including sculpture and installation type work, then transferring this into then fashion related work (however difficult) then proved to be the right decision as the work inspired by my artists was so innovative and different yet fit the concepts of my project really well.
My chosen artist also inspired me to use more innovative and obscure materials within my work such as vegetation or women’s cosmetics, once I had completed the samples of work inspired by then- I still had the urge to be experimental within my work, such as creating patterns through the use of petrol, combined with water, oils and food colourings. This I felt was really successful as the patterns generated were so on point and couldn’t get any closer to ‘water pollution’. I also experimented with different textile processes such as weaving, printing, melting, however, the one that deemed most successful was the felting, thus I used it in my final piece.
I feel though out this project my skills have really been pushed this project, in terms of learning so many new processes, ways of thinking and especially keeping track of time. In previous projects, i have really struggled to prioritise my time efficiently and this has resulted in not completed it in time due to deliberating on possible ideas for too long rather than just getting stuck in. Forcing myself to work off a work plan, however, and writing up my week every week has helped me massively.
In this project, I am sorry the practical element ended when it did. I feel my project still has considerable potential for a much larger collection that I would have loved to complete.
After the sample of felt, I created in week 7 and referring back to it when thinking about creating a final garment I knew I had re-created it again, thus I did. My final garment is made from large sheets of wool that I felted together, yet infused other samples of natural materials in such as raw greasy sheep wool, cotton, vegetation juxtaposed with litter/pollution I picked up and washed from the streets of Bolton. I used this contrasting combination, and the amorphous oversized engulfing shape and silhouette of the garment as a hope to illustrate my original proposal that mankind’s way of life today, the pollution and litter (Modernity) and how these subjects are essentially engulfing and suffocating nature. I wanted to ensure the garment covered the model’s mouth and nose, similar to the smog mask fashion as well. Looking at the photographs, and the fact my model nearly passed out when wearing the garment proves it works.
Overall I am happy with my final piece and am proud of my work and innovative ideas and concepts behind the garment. However looking at the exhibition- I don’t feel as proud as I should be- there is still room for improvement such as more garments, to make a collection? Or an interactive video alongside the garment? Maybe leaflets or a lookbook of my model wearing the garment in a location shoot.