Sunday, 15 March 2009

Art & Soul and Motown too.

After a long dark winter I’m back in the studio making new work (beings) for my next solo show. This will be at Westbourne Grove Church ArtSpace 3rd September - 13th October 2009. The space is fantastic and I am really excited. For this show my beings will take to the air. To date legs have been important and seeing things from the point of view of a child crawling under furniture has been inspirational. Although, seen by some as flyaway fantasy creatures, they have until now very definitely had their feet firmly on the ground. So to really take flight; do they need legs? How will this affect how people engage and interact with them?
For someone who finds relaxing difficult and who had to make my own entertainment during a very isolated and rural childhood I did manage to watch a LOT of television. I have strong memories of costumes from musical films featuring Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire, Doris Day and Barbra Streisand.

I loved the exotica of the feathers, frills and even the swimming caps as worn in one strangely surreal (and lengthy) synchronised swimming routine that I remember from one such film.
The names of these films are mostly forgotten but memories and visual snapshots are still bubbling to the surface of my memory. Like most teenagers I went through my Science Fiction phase and not only did I become an avid reader of Sci-Fi (convincing myself that I had ESP powers and that my grandad had been reincarnated into our cat) I also managed to watch a fair few films with clunky home made props and “dodgy “looking spaceships. They may have been in colour but my memories of them are in black and white with a “voiceover” from my dad, “See you can see its all trick photography” and “Look, you can see the strings!”
So, I am drawing from memories of sputniks and spaceships of the 1950’s and 60’s I am currently making a new being called Roger.

No photos from the studio yet but it’s no surprise that my recent visit to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery to see the touring V& A exhibition, The Story of The Supremes has refreshed by taste-buds for a bit of chiffon. No feathers or beads on Roger but there will be some Twinkle chiffon fabric which I am going to make into nuno felt. This produces a fantastic tactile surface with organic suggestions.
This image from TrashBagAesthetics
So, Ski-Fi to showbiz, vintage cast aluminium to twinkle this is an interesting juxtaposition of influences and materials!
A big, “Thank You”, to Mary Wilson for keeping this fantastic collection together over the years and for now sharing them with us. As commented in this Birmingham Mail story many people first saw these costumes on black & White televisions and so now seeing them in the flesh is a wonderful explosion of colour and tactile textile surfaces.
The exhibition is well worth a visit not only showing the costumes but also charting th erise of Mowtown and the story of the American Civil Rights Movement.

The Story of The Supremes from the Mary Wilson Collection - Get more College Essays


Anonymous said...

I remember that synchronised swimming! And i too have no idea what film it was in! lol

frillip moolog: said...

I have to confess that this picture isn't actually from that film. It's from a Bollywood film I think. It was the best that I could get from Google images in the absence of the actual film title.

Island Eye said...

Definitely it deserves my attention.Absolutely perfect!

frillip moolog: said...

Hello Island Eye
I am wondering, do you know that I will be having a solo show in the Michael West Gallery at Quay Arts in the Summer 2012?

Also my most recent blog post
features a couple of photos taken while we visited Isle of Wight this Easter.

Island Eye said...

Wow, good news, thanks for letting me know.