Wednesday, 31 October 2012

'Jewellery is an extention of our identity' - Naomi Filmer

Naomi Filmer
Filmer is a jewellery designer that has taken accessories to the next level, working with natural materials such as ice and chocolate to develop innovate and inspiring jewellery. I was reading the V&A exhibition collection of Out of The Ordinary : Spectacular craft and I came across the work of Filmer. I was captivated by the movement in the jewellery each piece has been created to work with the body, I would like to use this as inspiration for the styling of my final images. Taking into consideration that the body working around the clothes and accessories rather than the styling taking command of the image.

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The shape of the jewellery makes the hand appear carved into silver, it also creates a patterns within the movement of the hand which I would never have thought about before . In my previous research I was looking into the cutting designs out of materials to create stencils,then using the shadows which were cast as patterns for my tattooing and hair designs. This technique could be created by the positioning of the hand in the image and the casting of the shadows on the back ground would create further tribal references and physical transformations in my work . Although this will difficult with casting the correct light on the model I would like to experiment with this idea, it is exciting to think about the entire image rather than just the model.

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The design of this piece of jewellery instantly makes me think of a skull of a wild animal, reinforcing the tribal theme in the brief this would be an amazing concept for jewellery designs. Taking into consideration the  shapes of animal skeletons  that would be used by certain tribes to survive off, then creating jewellery to emphasise their exsistance within that tribe.

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This is an intimate piece of jewellery, its is a strong piece that has been carved from ice , it is an unusual place to wear jewellery in our culture. However, in tribal cultures this would be a place that would be adorned with jewellery, usually wood carving or clay. the shape is beautiful and would look amazing in the editorial image.
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An image from Filmer's Breathing Volumes Project , the designs were created from a series of facial imprints that Filmer recorded when inhaling and exhaling. This is an intriguing concept and the final objects are much more than jewellery, I really like how Filmer has created fantastic objects on the body using the natural actions of a human .
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Another form of ice jewellery, at first sight I immediately wanted to touch the surface of the ice, the texture will change within seconds from the heat of the hand and the lights in the studio. Its astonishing to think that within minutes this jewellery will be only existing as a puddle of water on the floor , however the beauty that has been captured during its reign is undeniable. I like the translucently in the ice , the lines of the other fingers are visible but hazy.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


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I began looking Enkeling work when I was asked to draw on magazine images and I completely forgot about these beautiful images . I know these will be useful in further drawings as I was only using a black pen on previous drawing, it will be refreshing to take Enkeling as inspiration to my next drawings on magazines and face charts . I believe this will be a huge help in my in developing my drawing skills and the contouring the face to gain the most from my models features.

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Liam Gallagher portrait by Enkeling which has been described as the 'Wood carving' effect , this is an engaging concept of creating drawings , thinking of the paper as a different material . This research and the research in Damyeong has made me realise that I need to start experimenting with my designs on paper creating textures through my designs . Once I have the texture in my face charts, I can then accentuate that with fabrics and other materials.

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The use of colours on this drawing makes the skin look like scarification, it is stimulating to look at other drawings that will influence my final images . Although these are not tribal images they have elements in them which will help with creating techniques of textures on the skin.

Horniman Museum , London - Haiti

The second museum I visited on my trip to London was the Horniman in Forest Hill . It is such a fun museum , I can't wait visit is again and spend a full day exploring the entire museum unfortunately I only has time to have a brief visit . 
The African world

Haiti Altar 
Vodouists believe  God is a distant person in their belief , consequently worshipping spirits who are call Iwa, these spirits can be worshipped for different reasons such as health, wealth , family and so on . Vodou people believe that they can choose a spirit or the spirit choose them, if so then they must worship that spirit. They worship by offering the spirit gifts, each spirit has different gifts that they must offer up on the altars .the combination of the bright colour and jewels with the classic painting of religious characters is beautiful, I would like to look into classic paintings in religion and look into the styling . As these figures have influenced the tribes by religion and there images, I would like to see if there is a connection between the clothing styles.

Libation bottles - never to be placed on an alter empty and decorated with jewels .
the sequins on the forehead could be used in a hair design as the nape of the bottle could be recreated with a stiff pony tail .

Usually more than one skull will appear on an altar , this will be a family members that has been placed there to be watched by the spirits .

Baron Samedi is the spirit of death, offering to Baron consist or alcohol,cigarettes, grilled peanuts and other objects similar to those above. It is interesting to note that some of these offerings must have change over time because many texts of research on the Baron Samedi  said he likes Pall Mall cigarettes !!!

Damyeong Yoo-Hartlaub

La nuit blanche l'aube noire

 Dameyeong used paper to create 3-D patterns , this captured my attention as the patterns could be recreated as tribal and would be an interesting concept for styling. I like the idea of the patterns produce in the material and also the shadow that is cast .
( Apologies for the borders on the images ) 

The holes that have been made in the person appear to be scarification , using the technique of cutting out patterns on paper is interesting , instead of drawing it on paper actually making the design in the paper to see the effect.

A selection of work named Mother and Daughter
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The hair connects the two people together like a chain , although the pattern that has been created looks like a tribal marking either a tattoo or scarification .
Two women again connected by the  hair, it is visible on the top female has some form of necklace on from behind the shape looks amazing. I also like the shape the hair on the lower female , it appears to be an exaggerated headscarf shape.

The patterns in this hair designs could be recreated on the hair using cornrows and then curling the hair to create the waves. It is captivating how the texture in the hair by using two tones of paper.

This is another beautiful image which could easily be recreated in the hair , however I like the pattern that has been form, i am curious to find out how to create different patterns in plaiting techniques.

Horniman Museum , London

The African World continued ....

The detail that has been carved into this mask is incredible, at first sight it appears to be a mask with people carved above it . However, when you look closer more faces appear in the wood, this could be recreated in the hair, adding small objects that may only be noticed when someone is really looking hard excites me . This gives the viewer a treat but also allows me to know they have understood my concept and truly looked at the image. 

Ejumba Mask - used in male initiation cermonies in Casamance region of Senegal, these woven masks are rarley seen in the western world . Ejumba masks are kept extremley secret as the people of Casamance believe them to be very powerful . This could be recreated using crepe hair or even different materials shredded down, I feel it would be correct to only recreate this on a man as the history of the mask is male orintated 

Lady Gaga ???!! No its a traditional Abrus mask made from poisonous abrus seeds, created to give movement to mask instead of them being carved and rigid  . An amazing fashion statement in todays western world , even though it has been used for centuries in Africa. 

Another type of Abrus mask . A variation on the tradiontional posionous seeds, but this show how it has influenced tribal styles . scary to think that one seed could kill a person.
I instantly thought of Alexander Mcquuen when I saw the Abrus and decided to look into his masks as most of them have been created for catwalk shows . 

The simple make up works perfectly with the mask, although I know this would be too simple for my brief. I am going to take inspiration from these mask and draw some designs that could be quickly replicated using a stencil or an airbrush. 

BWA Plank Masks -BWA are a farming community from Mali and Faso in Africa , they create these mask to promote the growth of fields and at funerals. The mask contain geometric patterns which they believe echos a rythm to the spirtual world, they also use black and white to symbolise night from day, good form evil , male and female.The masks also always contain an owl and a hornbill which are also thought to posess powers . The scale of these mask was immense to think that people wear these was unbelieveable it would be amazing to recreate something on this scale as a headpiece . I would also like to look at the work of cubists, as these patterns and shapes remind me of their work. 

This headpiece was a combination of so many different fabrics, and different types of wood , I could envisge this as part of my final images. To attempt to replicate this I would gather a selection of different fabrics with a varied amount of textures and begin attaching to a hat . 

Tswana Dolls , they appear to be in traditonal dress which have been created using coloured beads this would be an interesting acessory to the styling. These are made within the communities and are used as toys for young children, I like how the body has been wraped in string and the colour has been added in patterns not just one solid colour. The one on the far left appears to have a replicate Abrus headpiece, I find it so enlightening that these communities are inspired by there own ancestors and not influenced by the commercial western world .

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Sacred Ink

After researching on the Internet and in books I had reached a wall in my research, although my findings had inspired and interested me I felt there was so much else out there . Realising that I needed to see works of art and photographs in person, I headed up to the bright lights of London . Before my few days in the city I hunted for diverse exhibitions in gallery's and museums , I want my research to be unique to the others in my group in order to create innovative designs. My luck came in, with too many exhibitions to choose from I am currently organising another trip in the coming weeks.

The first gallery I visited was The Brunei Gallery in  Soas University , it must be wonderful to be a student and have to opportunity to see cultural exhibitions in the university.

                                  The exhibition  was the Sacred ink - The Tattoo Master
                                                 Photography : Cedric Arnold

 Cedric Arnold has captured an in depth vision of the culture and the mythology behind the Tattooing in Thailand. The monochrome images took my breath away at first sight , the emotion, culture and passion behind each photograph was present in the room, each photograph captured a story . In Thailand tattooing is still associated with prisoners and the lower classes , however its is becoming more acceptable in society, passed down by monks and laymen, Thai tattoos are used to protect the person from harm.  Yantra tattoos are to empower the person with sacred ink , images of gods and other objects of their religion are inked on the skin,to create a story of belief that is imprinted on their bodies.
The tattoo's are delicate , they make you want to follow them round the body , a visible journey through the spirituality has been portrayed in this image. I believe if this image was placed as an editorial shoot in a magazine it would look spectacular . The accessories are beautiful, the man appears to be carrying a symbol around his neck that has been hand carved, this automatically creates questions in my mind .... What is the symbol ? what does it mean ? who carved it ? why is it around his neck ? I would like to create some further research into the different beliefs and mythology behind these Thai tattoos and symbols . It excites me to think that everything on that body has been inked for a reason and carries a strong link to the beliefs of that person , inscribing this on the body certainly makes the skin appear blessed . 

Applying the final lines of the tattoo using ancient techniques and tools . 

Ceremonies are held annually for monks who often have their tattoo's done before becoming a monk. The patterns in the fabric, tattoo and gold mask are amazing , I will detail the reason for the gold mask below . 

The pain !!!! This must have hurt ! 
That was my initial thought when I gasped at this image , after catching my breath i began to notice the beauty of the design and the contrast between the circular shape on the skull and the lines on the shoulders . It almost appears to be fabric , the ink has raised off the skin slightly and created a great texture in the skin.  I would like to recreate a similar design using a bald cap , I feel the only way to achieve a precise design would be to use a small brush or even a cocktail stick for the intricate designs . 

This instantly makes me think of the sleeves and full body tattoo's in western cultures it would be interesting to compare the two as often tattoo's can represent a gang or symbolise a belief in western culture . This image has also made me think of the inside of the hand, the design look amazing and reminds me of henna tattoo's used in the Muslim culture.

In my previous research I was looking at skulls and the different forms they took on after death whether that be the preservation or the colourful designs that the Mexican artist created. This human skull has been inscribed with prayer , and gold leaf has been applied , this human died violently, however the prayer has now made it a sacred , spiritually powerful object. 

Ruessi mask 
The wearer of the mask becomes part of the anicent Thai legend that is Ruessi Ta Fai , one story about Ruessi Ta Fai is that he was the first incarnation of the Lord . The wearer will become in a state of trance , his voice will shake and the appearance of his hands will change into that of an old man . After his body has been taken by the spirit of Ruessii Ta Fai he will then chew on beetle nuts making his mouth appear to be bleeding. 

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Very quick sketch

I wanted to sketch a quick freehand drawing which I know is not in proportion, it was just about getting the inspiration from my research down on paper quickly . I wanted to create a monochrome and colour version of the sketch to compare the different routes the make up could go . I would like to experiment with colour blocking and pattern clashing .

Birds of Paradise

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In Papua New Guinea 100's of tribes meet at a national festival called 'Sing sings ' where the pride, honor and reputation of the tribe is upheld with the quality of their feathers. These feathers are from birds of paradise, the beautiful colours and movements are replicated by the tribes at the festival. Often the tribes will copy the birds mating dance, acknowledging a parallel between humans and animals . The headdress' are passed down through generations as a family heirloom , but must be maintained to attract attention from others at the festivals.
The colours and patterns displayed on the bodies in the image above are inspiring , most of the research and work I have experimented with has been monochrome, however things are about to change. I would like to encourage colour into my new designs , I am interested in the contrast of colours and also the painted facial hair. Although one of the models I have chosen is female I would like to make a headdress and incorporate feathers , but also curl the hair and paint it resembling the tribe above.

Examples of birds of paradise that have influenced the body paint and been killed for their feathers:
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Paradisaea rubra 

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Astrapia mayeri

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Cicinnurus magnificus

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Cicinnurus respublica
This bird of paradise reminds me of the artwork of Mondrian, the colour theme is very similiar , as well as how the black feathers perfectly separate each colour. 

Matis Indians

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The Matis small tribe of around 300 people who live in two villages in Brazil, they are one of the last remaining tribes to hunt in the way in which their ancestors did. The Matis use 4 metres long blow guns, which are decorated with patterns to hunt , these blow guns are almost silent which helps the members of the tribe to fire their poisoned darts without the animals knowing . Before the Matis can hunt a ritual using the liquid from a poisoned frog and human saliva is placed in small circular burns in the skin, this is to give the hunter strength to overcome any obstacles whilst on the hunt . As well as this liquid from a leaf is placed into the eyes to ensure the hunter is focused on the hunt and bringing back food for the tribe.
Matis are an unclothed tribe, only seen with bodily accessories from plants, piercing and tattoo's which are influenced by the Jaguar . As see in the picture above the male has spikes in his nose which are imitating whiskers, this is an interesting accessory to the nose which could be replicated by attaching small pieces of wood to the nose with liquid latex.
The tattoos on the males face can be found on every Matis, these are produced during the Musha rituals on the adolescent, using burnt leafs to form a paste and the spine of a peach palm to create the markings .

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Woman making food for the Musha ritual , the tattoos and nose piercing are noticeable, they all have square cut hair lines, almost like a uniform of the Matis making them identifiable. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


This design has made me think about the rest of the body other than just the face . I would like to use this as an influence to the catwalk image , as I feel with stencils it would be quick and easy to replicate on many models and visible to the audience . The make up on the face could be very natural with detailed hair including accessories .

Experimenting with freehand tattooing on the face

Using aqua colour palette I have created a design which I produced in one of my previous drawings . I like the effect of covering the chin and lips to enhance the length of the face , it appears slightly more masculine. However , I can see imperfections in the symmetry of the designs , I will retry this design but use masking tape to ensure the symmetry .