Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Transformational Thinking and Practise Field Day

Long time no blog...... however, I'm now back!

Piece of 16th century velvet.  Photo taken at an exhibition in Spitalfields, May 2012

Last week I attended a day long event run by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion .  It was so enjoyable.  The sun shone and I even learnt to knit.  We meditated and relaxed.  The relevant academics were there and Dr Kate Fletcher sent us out into the environs of Lime Grove to forage.  We were to forage for 'stuff' that society discards, that society believes is unwanted and no longer values.  Interesting. I walked past my Dad's old house, where I lived as a little girl.  I found some rubbish in the front garden and it reminded me of when I used to sit on the front steps watching the boy a few houses down play out. I really wanted to join in but was too shy to ask. The sunny weather reminded me of the ice cream van that used to come by that sold real chocolate ice cream.  You could even buy banana ice cream which Mary (my beloved step mother always loved).  Objects and memory are very evocative which takes me on to Jan  Brockmeier's work on memory and the archive.  But before I go there I will post a short film of a teenager's bedroom.  It links in the with waste, rubbish and what society believes as acceptable.

I've been reading the work of Jan Brockmeier.  He writes with such clarity and to start with I can recommend the paper 'After the Archive:  Remapping Memory'.  I found it in the e-library through Sage. http://cap.sagepub.com/.  What interests me, in relation to the historic clothing that I am examining, is the link between re-appropriation and practises of remembrance that can be carried  out in 'processes of intergenerational transmission'.  Basically, in some instances (Nancy Pawsey's gown), what is it about the emotional connection and memory that keeps these garments in use?

My practise has taken a new turn in as much I am making shirts again.  This is nothing to do with my PhD work just a way of making some money.  They will be under the label 'Gussie Still Loved' and will be made entirely from waste stream cotton, wool mixes and silk.  I am very lucky to have access to all the waste fabric from a successful bespoke shirt makers in the West End of London.  I have made them for myself in the past and they are all much admired.  So there we have it.  Each shirt will be unique and constructed from the finest fabrics, beautifully sewn and made here in London by people paid a decent living wage.  5% of all profits will be donated to Meningitis Research.  This little project is to help me fund my PhD and hopefully raise some money for charity.

Exhibitions I have visited.
Bauhaus at the Barbican - fantastic, brilliant, a must see and I even bought the catalogue (£32!!!!!)
The Stuff that Matter - fabulous look at the textile collection of Seth Siegelaub.
What I am reading
Cotton - Beverly Lemire
New Realities, New Roles for Designers - Essay Competition Design Academy Eindhoven April 2011