I won the ‘Tom of Finland Makeover’ Illustration Competition

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I recently won a competition to give a well known character a Tom of Finland makeover. Tom of Finland, (his nom de plume) was so influential in the gay community for drawing really beautiful men. His pencil work is outstanding.

The competition was to celebrate the release of the Tom of Finland movie.

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Saturday Queerfish making

I’ve gathered new materials and I’m making Queerfish again.

I’ve always loved this project, and I’m planning to create a new installation piece incorporating the sculptures and writing work. I visualise the Queerfish hung around the walls and ceiling, surrounded by drawings of the project and ocean sounds. I’d also love to have the short story printed on the wall, or maybe read out while people are looking at the sculptures.

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Bjork Swan Dress DIY & Pride Float Design

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My choir, Rainbow Chorus, had a float this year for Brighton Pride. We had a week to get the float designed and implemented. We chose Pop Icons as our theme. I’d recently lent a hand in re-branding the choir with a new colour scheme, so I chose a sexy new desaturated theme for our float to match.

We had a small grant from the Rainbow Fund (thank you!), and I saved a lot by choosing to use leftover household paint on leatherette fabric. I chose a simple but bold design, and spent most of my time cutting out the stencil of our Top of the Pops esque logo.
The full set of pictures are up on flickr here.

My second project that week was my Bjork dress for the float. I’ve often been told I resemble Bjork due to my round Polish features and I’ve always admired her as an artist. What a great opportunity to make and wear her infamous Swan dress! I basically built it around a nude coloured vest top with layers of recycled net curtains layered with white voile. I made the swan head like you’d make a soft toy swan, and blended it as best I could with the voile.

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Bearology Artisan Dolls

Smoke & Dulbin

Here are the new Artisan dolls I’ve created for my ongoing serialisation, Bearology.

They’re handsewn based on original character designs from the book. It was a challenge sewing them to look like the illustrations, but wonderful to see them in 3D! I think Smoke looks very handsome in his uniform, and it was a good reason to rewatch Due South to examine Mountie uniforms (Did you guess that I’m a Due South fan?).

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Sketchbook

I’m a natural sketcher and I work best fast and loose. I always feel like I lose the feeling of the piece if I trace a neater version.

Although I get a real buzz from polished finished pieces, I often feel prouder of my loose pencil scribbles.

I’ll upload what I’m currently working on in here, along with older work from the archives.

 

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Fabric & Pattern design

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Here are a selection of original patterns I’ve created. Quite often, they start as original artwork or sketching, that I then convert into a pattern.

Many of these are available as fabrics at my spoonflower store. I also use the fabrics in my own textile products.

‘Eye of The Dawn’ found footage documentary screening

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 Moving Image and Documentary.

This film is inspired by the concept of fake documentary and explores the boundaries between truth and lies. The film plays with the idea of legend and myth of a historical figure such as Mata Hari, the exotic dancer, accused of espionage by France in the first world war and executed by firing squad in 1917.

I did costume, make up and set for this short film.

Screening, Tomorrow Sunday 16 th December at 3pm @ The Old Market in Brighton, UK. Performance Sarah Saeed & shot by Nazare Soares photography.

The Wise Ones – Documentary

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The Wise Ones

dir Maria Russo

The Wise Ones is a research based on the interaction between the following ideas: Intergenerational exchange of knowledge, cultural resilience and active ageing. This research has the intention to open a space for reflection about the small stories that shape our societies an also to reflect on our perceptions towards theirs protagonists. Also to encourage people to safeguar these small stories, and to be aware of the dominant ones.
Intergenerational exchange of sewing skills concur and enhace the concepts of ageing well and cultural resilience while promoting well being in both generational groups.

 

Come and see documentary film, The Wise Ones (9mins) Dir: Maria Eva Russo. 2nd December, 3.15pm, Nightingale Theatre, Brighton ♥.
I was interviewed about my sewing practice for a documentary film. I mainly speak about my second business, Plume Storytellers.
The film is being shown as part of the 10th Cinecity Brighton Film Festival, you can read more here.

Doll making – Dublin from ‘Bearology’

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This is my first attempt at dollmaking! I decided to make Dublin, from Bearology. I didn’t use a pattern, I just drew the limbs and head by hand onto the fabric then cut the pieces out. I think she looks beautiful, imperfections and all. As a designer it’s amazing to see your character in 3D! I’d make definite changes to her in the future- I didn’t capture her lovely round face shape as well as I’d have liked, and I’m going to make her limbs much plumper.

I made her a Hudson bay blanket dress like she wears in the book. Dublin is homeless; she lives in the airport and then travels for the rest of the book. She doesn’t have any money so she just makes do with what she finds to wear. I’d like to do more outfits for her based on items left behind at the airport during her life there. She especially likes her Hudson bay blanket because it’s while and soft like polar bear fur and it makes her feel closer to her bear family.

 

Klara Bow Silk Scarves

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The first arrival to the ‘Make Hirstory’ A/W collection is the ‘Make Hirstory’ scarf; a love letter to the genderqueer communities.

Click to see the 'Make Hirstory' scarf

The second scarf that will be released this week is ‘Safe Here & Now’ scarf, a silky portable version of the comfort blankets that I make through my second business, Plume Storytellers. Come see the ‘Safe Here & Now’ scarf here.

 

Heads! Documentary Project – Animation

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I animated for Graham Williamson films documentary, ‘Heads!’. This was a very fun project to animate- just read the description!

 

Trailer for the upcoming documentary feature ‘Heads!’. An anonymous artist leaves a trail of stone heads across Yorkshire, sending the filmmaker on a journey through Britain’s Celtic history, the artistic heritage of his home county, and a bizarre forty-year-old mystery involving werewolves. Werewolves? Yes, werewolves. ‘Heads!’ is a funny, eerie and thought-provoking exploration of the mystery of art and the art of mystery.

Currently touring festivals: get your info at www.twitter.com/HeadsMovie, tumblr.com/blogs/headsmovie and facebook.com/HeadsMovie.

Written, directed and edited by Graham Deans Williamson
Camera operator: Oliver Lewis
Music: Bob Pegg
Animation: Klara Bow Piechocki 

Queerfish

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Queerfish

2010

Sculpture & Installation

 

Queerfish are lovingly hand crafted fabric sculptures. Part jellyfish, part lingerie, part sequin! Queerfish made their debut at the Kensal Flea in November 2010.

Queerfish explores common gender signifiers sewn together as jellyfish. They originated from a short story of mine in my book, ‘Teeth of a Lock’, in which several friends go swimming in the sea and their clothes become jellyfish in the water. The story and work has transgender themes, largely focussed on how our appearance and our clothes may suggest a particular gender.

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Mermaid Uterus

Kensal Green Cemetery Mugs

I recently designed some bone china mugs to raise funds to help start the restoration process of the Anglican Chapel at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
This is an official quote by the Friends Of Kensal Green;

“These special edition bone china mugs will shortly go on sale through The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery. The mugs are being sold to raise funds to help start the restoration process of the Anglican Chapel at the centre of the cemetery. The chapel needs approximately £3 million pounds spent on it to restore it to its former glory. These special mugs will be sold for a minium of £5 each, and we hope people will offer us more than that for each of them that they buy. There will also be a postage and packaging charge for those mugs sent out by mail.

More details of their availability, and how to purchase them will follow shortly. For more information on the Anglican Chapel Appeal visit www.kensalgreen.co.uk”

You can also visit their facebook group- We love Kensal Green Cemetery.

Queerfish


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What is a ‘Queerfish’, you may ask?
Well, I’ll start by giving you an extract from my new book, Teeth of a Lock;’

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You can pre-order the book here, for the special price of £7. You can also order your own lovingly handmade Queerfish along with a copy of the book, for just £39.99!

 

 

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Queerfish are lovingly hand crafted fabric sculptures. Part jellyfish, part lingerie, part sequin! They made their debut at the Kensal Flea in November 2010, and have been an ongoing project.
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