In investigating themes of place in the Fine Art module, I wanted, for this particular idea, to view things through previous modules as well and to make a digital collage which included aspects of Fashion and Architecture. I thought by traversing the modules I would investigate collage further as it wasn't something I was familiar with at all, or an area I had ever previously explored.
In looking at my sense of place, Curzon street station, I was struck by the fact that it had survived as the sole building of its type in a sea of development and new architecture. It's historical importance in the city and subsequent listed status helped secure its survival from the bulldozer. It sits surrounded by modernisation and I felt a sense, when there, of being crowded in by the overbearing masculine straight architectural angles everywhere, whilst the old station floated serenely in its Georgian elegance. The building had a feminine demure strength amongst the voracious modern architecture of 'progress'.
I was struck at this point by architecture as both fashion of a period and also future wish and how much of design and development is driven by desires for certain forms that aesthetically predominate in the prevailing culture at the time. The same is true of fashion itself of course. I was also interested in ideas that looked out beyond the prevailing notions of design and into imagined future perspectives. I thought that this resonated across the modules as we were not only learning skills that presently might be seen as aesthetically current but also seeking to explore new ideas and ways of thinking and to imagine new approaches. The future of course is infinite so whatever we think now might be futuristic, at some later point in time it will always be usurped by the next point of progress.
I was interested in what might be the drive in all of this alteration, design, aesthetics and progress and I thought of something that was similar to sexual desire. I wanted to explore where desire (aesthetic pusuit) started and ended and I was particularly interested in the destructive aspect of desire that does away with the perfectly good in search of satiating a never ending appetite for change. From these thoughts I derived my collage idea of desire and architecture and aspects of industrial fashion that were all fetishised. I wanted to create a post nuclear feel, as in our culture this has historically been the boundary for science fiction.
The idea of living in a post apocalyptic age where desire has destroyed what was but is also the force to recreate and start again seemed apt. I thought the clothing symbols used as protective forms and also as futuristic representation fitted with the overal idea of fetishisation. The partial nudity of the female fashion model represents the past, a different time period. It grounds the image in some sense of the individual, as every other figure in the image is fully covered by materials. In one image a figure is subjugated and in another they are boldly free and I felt this was a relevant part of the earlier discussions about change or prevailing cultural choices.
I photographed Curzon street station and then looked to incorporate other images via way of collage to represent my ideas outlined above further. I used digital masking techniques to place the figures into the space and carefully considered the lighting so that they would all form a cohesive blended whole whilst also trying to give a sense of disquiet in the overall landscape by things not being too perfect. I wanted the workmen to look as if they were on a stage, as architecture is very much a staging, and the other figures to fit but not as fully.