Although my interests have largely shifted from art to design in the last few years I still have a deep appreciation for art, plus I now only live a stone’s throw away from the Tate Modern so it seemed rude not to visit.
As a follow on from my confession that my head has in fact been turned by design (sorry Mrs Gately) I feel I should talk briefly about the building itself. The gallery is housed in a disused power station that, before being transformed into the Tate by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Herzog & de Meuron in 1995, was teetering on the edge of demolition. The building has since undergone many further developments but all the original industrious charm of the station was kept in tact – thankfully.
Naturally one of my great loves still remains to be photography, so a combination of photography and industrial steel work had me leaning over the rope to get a closer look.
Needless to say, I had a really amazing day walking around the Tate, almost rekindling my love for art. And on a stroke of luck, I had the best company, a fellow art lover, which meant that not only could we look at but also discuss the art together. It’s a very nice feeling when you say ‘I like that.’ and someone asks you ‘Why?’ because they’re genuinely interested in what you like about it.
It’s a very nice feeling when you say ‘I like that.’ and someone asks you ‘Why?’ because they’re genuinely interested in what you like about whatever it is you liked. I liked it. Why? Because then we really talked about art.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about my image lately, the need to be, or at least appear professional. The idea of creating a brand, or maybe even being my own brand. Especially as I’m currently looking for placement, emailing a lot of companies my portfolio and CV, along with accompanying social medial accounts which needs to adhere to level of maturity. This unfortunately means censoring myself and some of my old and more controversial work, such as my Free The Nipple project.
I worked on this project during my final year of college and am very proud of the outcome, as well as the project itself. During this time I explored a lot of avenues within the idea of feminism. The project asked questions regarding the censorship of women and tentatively pushed the boundaries of what I discovered is ‘appropriate’. I took great pleasure in asking the sniggering kids in my school exactly why they found my braless breasts so funny, while pointing out I could see all of the boys nipples who were giggling at mine. I tried to challenge the stigma of misplaced embarrassment that surrounds harmlessly revealing the female form. Ultimately, despite mine and many other feminists best efforts, I still believe that women are unfairly sexualised in all forms; the media, social stereotypes, porn, adverts, music videos, sport.
While I resent the fact I cannot parade this project I also respect that it is sensitive and controversial. I am putting this project out there for whoever it may interest, because the idea of censoring it goes against the exact reason I made it. This project was made to challenge, to ask why we women must be so modest with our bodies.
Damn being a grown up…
Below is the link to my Free The Nipple project, please be warned that there are many images of naked women and probably some misspelled words. Peruse at your leisure.
I have always loved to learn and theres no better feeling that gaining knowledge in a subject that truly interests you. So naturally, I was awake bright and breezy ready for my first lecture of second year. Bag packed the night before in excited trepidation. Now, we have all laughed at the new year 7’s with their man sized bags that are undoubtably bursting with useful as well as what they’ll soon realise is surplus school equipment. However, there comes a point where having a bag full of stationary is cool and you’re the class idiot for not having a pen. After all, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. With this in mind when I received an email from my lead tutor this year, Paul, with an attachment for us to read I printed it straight off and began to devour it.
Settling back into the library
Mind map of everything I learned from the material
Our first lecture back, like most peoples, was a formality spent covering module information. Taking a quick note of all the boring but necessary information like how many credits each module is worth, the final hand in date and the distribution of work between coursework and exams.
My next semester looks a little like this:
In Design Studio: Close Up – taught by Felipe Lanuza – we will be redesigning the foyer of the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, inspired by the innovative theory of Garden Cities.
Below are my notes from the first studio lecture. We looked at previous plans for Garden Cities, using the images as a stimulus to imagine the interior.
I was inspired by the green areas visible in the image, immediately envisaging a fresh modern square accommodation block surrounding a circular green space and fountain. Taking heed of the geometric shapes in the image, specifically the grid windows in the top left hand corner, I sketched a rough modular design. Also thinking along the lines of a minimal, yet interchangeable layout. A space you could make your own with customisable storage and kitchen units, for example, which can be updated and moved around. The premise of being able to update the design was also at the forefront of my concept.
The modern world is constantly coming up with new gadgets and clever design ideas, a space that could be upgraded to accommodate these new innovations would in itself be somewhat innovative.
As mentioned before crits are incredibly nerve wracking, but nothing prepared me for the dry throat panic of THE FINAL CRIT. The this is it, nothing more you can do, no pressure but what you say in the next 20 minutes affects your grade crit. I think I speak for the entire class when I say I was holding my pen with white knuckles as I quickly scribbled a few last-minute notes on what to say, anticipating a mental block.
Learning how to present your ideas is crucial; as someone who doesn’t relish the idea of public speaking, I thought it best to plan out my presentation. Unfortunately, what I didn’t anticipate was that in a moment of pure fear, I forgot how to read. I was left standing blankly, note pad held limply in my hand as I stared at my lecturers and peers as if they’d all just fallen from a tree.
Fortunately, as I said in the previous post, the support of your classmates can be the difference between sink or swim. One look of ‘what the fuck are you doing’ from the back of the class was enough to jump start me into life. I rambled for what felt like years about Permindar’s work and how that, in turn, influenced my design. I tripped over words, the jot stuck in my teeth and tittle rolling around in my mouth, and eventually spat out what I can only hope was a coherent sentence. I had already thought about the layout of my work and had it on the wall in what I felt was a methodical way so that the presentation flowed nicely. Or, as nicely as it could when a prickly heat is rapidly taking over your body, encouraging you to talk as quickly as possible to get out of there. Presenting is something that, although unpleasant, gets easier. And fortunately with fear comes adrenalin.
When I slumped down into my chair after the presentation I was red-faced, embarrassed, and frantically chocking back a lump in my throat, but I was pumped. Pumped because although I wanted to cry, I didn’t. And because I had presented my work- work that I was proud of. And most of all, because I was now officially done with first year.
I was recently honored with the task of designing a family friend’s wedding invitation. The brief was to create a design based around the colours and flowers in her tattoo which was something I immediately wanted to jump into. Being someone who lives their life predominantly in tones rather than colours I was excited to be pushed into a colourful project and for someone who undoubtedly deserves the perfect wedding.
Research is the basis for any project so firstly I began to explore the flowers I was going to include and roughly plan how to display them, naturally I turned to Pinterest. First gathering images on invites which featured flowers, specifically chrysanthemums, and of course taking inspiration from my own glittery wedding board. I have my textiles teacher to thank for drilling into me the importance of using a wide range of materials for research, for this reason, I also trawled through an adult colouring book, Japanese Patterns. It was from this I traced a range of flower designs to decide the arrangement.
Then, let there be colour. It took a while to mix the right colours and much media experimentation. My initial plan was to use watercolours but getting the right colours was difficult, despite how many pencils I own, so I decided to use paint instead, yet another hurdle as I generally work in pencil.
Taking on personal projects is always fun, although a little scary, especially when it’s for a friend – it makes the pressure of doing it justice much higher – however, I was pleasantly surprised that two packets of Frazzles and a few sun soaked hours later I had something vaguely resembling a wedding invitation.
The images I took in the house were extremely helpful, reverting back to them while creating my floorpans and later to decide the final details of my interior design
Collecting measurement from other groups
Collating them to create full plans with all the relevant measurements
| Ground Floor |
| Ground Floor |
Our latest Design Studio project is to take number 24 Church Street in Old Hatfield and remodel the interior the artist Permindar Kaur in mind.
After meeting with Permindar to receive our design brief the next step was to absorb this information and create a comprehensive concept from it. We then, before creating our own, had to familiarise ourselves with the floor plans of the house, we did this using basic floor plans provided on an estate agent listing. We also visited the house and carried out a survey, taking measurements and sketches so later we could apply a 1:50 scale to create our own more accurate floor plans.
We later applied our design concepts to the existing floor plans to create proposed floor plans. Later comes the design but first, comes the structure