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.
It’s Saturday night and I’m learning to crochet with Crocheting for Dummies. I’m designing more Queerfish, and I’m going to be integrating some crochet techniques- perfect for tendrils, tentacles and other dangly bits!
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.
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?).
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.
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.
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.