Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Scholarship Winner on-course to Exhibit in London

Kathryn Harris, is from Neath in South Wales, she did foundation studies at Swansea Metropolitan University prior to Fine Art at De Montfort University, where she has recently graduated and now has her sights firmly set on developing her work as an artist.

Throughout the 3 year degree she examined aspects of childhood and memory, exploring darkroom techniques and photograms along with projections, using drawing and photography to back up her practice.

Kathryn’s final work used hair as the main element, exploring her ideas surrounding memory with a broad look at such things as fairytales, which influence us from childhood. She used 'lo-fi' as a means to create her work, employing old technology and artistic techniques, and describes her inspiration as:

“The use of hair is something which has been explored due to a want of both beauty and attraction teamed with repulsion and fear within the work, bearing resemblance to the ideas behind the work of Mona Hatoum. Hair is steeped in social, historical and symbolic resonance. Here, the hair is representing a part of something that has gone, a physical memorial to the person to which it once belonged. The Victorians used hair to remember their loved ones; locks were treasured within jewellery, or woven into pictures. ‘Hair Art’ was born out of people in mourning wanting a keepsake of their loved one; it was not seen as grotesque or macabre as it would be viewed as today. It is this Victorian sensibility of wanting to hold onto something from the past through hair which interests me, teamed with a fascination with fairytales, many of which being popularised in this era, with obvious links to Rapunzel along with a more general look at the use of fairytales to teach children morals and their use of symbolism; objects, colours, characters are used for specific reasons. Their resulting impact on our memories can often shape the way we perceive the world”.

She was awarded the Clephan Scholarship in her final year of study and a triptych of works from the final degree show was selected to be kept by the fine art faculty. See more of her work on http://www.artgrad.net/

Kathryn is currently organising an exhibition in London with a group of fellow DMU graduates to take place from the 19th-29th August – watch this space for further details about the show!

Monday, 12 July 2010

First Class Hons – for a First Class Collection

Penny Newton, by her own admission, is an enthusiastic, bright and hard working individual with a passion for intimate apparel and the drive to succeed. Her thirst for knowledge and the desire to excel has resulted in a well deserved 1st class honours degree in Contour Fashion from De Montfort University.

Inspiration for her final collection, ‘AD-82- Anatomical Distortion’, was based on research about the human anatomy and plastic surgery. This led Penny to focus on the clean lines of flowing muscles which resulted in a capsule collection of lingerie, corsets and collars.

The fabric garments were all embellished with subtle red stitch detail, denoting muscle lines. The plastic corsets signify our desire for perfection and plastic surgery’s ‘quick fix’ to attain ‘the body beautiful’.

During Penny’s investigation she spent time studying alternative design labels and fetish wear. Trend research also allowed her to focus on fabrics such as denim and leather to gain texture and provide a different look at ‘alternative’ lingerie.

Her colour palette of creamy whites and blood red accompanied by chrome fastenings came from looking at Gunther Von Hagen’s Body Worlds exhibit.
Penny was also inspired to look into plastic corsets which are used to alter the spines of those who suffer with spinal deformities.

To see more of Penny’s work go to: http://www.artgrad.net/

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Contour Fashion Excellence Exhibited on artgrad.net

Focus on Samantha Leigh Tretton

By her own admission Samantha is determined, self motivated and driven – so rightly deserves to do incredibly well from her recent degree show at De Montfort University.

A final year student on the Contour Fashion course, Samantha distinguished herself with an exceptional catwalk show and an exhibition to die for. Check out her work on http://www.artgrad.net/

Her final collection was inspired by the feminine, polished style of the last debutantes of the fifties. Samantha gathered research in Paris and London, and was influenced by various exhibitions and extensive research trips.

The last London Season in 1958 marked the end of an incredibly glamorous era; the hourglass figure enhanced by the minute belted waist, full circle skirts with layers and layers of tulle, vibrant colour with stunning floral prints.

The bespoke designs celebrate the femininity of the young aristocratic girls ‘coming of age’, into a world of cocktail parties, balls and dinner dances, pearls and couture gowns.

“I designed clothes for flower-like women, with rounded shoulders, full feminine busts and hand-span waists above enormous spreading skirts." Christian Dior.

The unique collection reflects a contemporary take on this classic female silhouette with a twist of the elegant fifties style; hand-finished tailored lingerie and outerwear pieces using specially sourced vintage fabrics and antique trims combined with luxurious silks.

Samantha is a talent worth checking out – very quickly!