Female Knights and Similar Stories…

I have dusted off my sewing machine, dragged out the trimmings box, and thrown on my seamstress persona for the re-emergence of the Bedroom Secrets collection

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I originally produced this collection in 2011, I was very sick at the time and making it pulled me through some dark days. Strangely enough it is one of the most complicated patterning achievements of my time, which was pretty impressive considering what I was going through. Medicating hard, and suffering from severe Herxiemer reactions daily, I desperately needed a project to help me cope. The collection is a culmination of years of visionary ideas inspired by female warriors. Images of Joan of Arc in her armor gave way to developing and subverting the typical female iconography. I wanted to see a woman in a helmet that was wearable and warrior.

joanofarchelmet
A steel helmet (allegedly) dating to the time of Jeanne d’Arc in the 1400s. Originally in the Church of St-Pierre-le-Moutier in France
Joan of Arc in Winchester Cathedral
Statue of Joanna Of Arc Winchester Cathedral.
joanofarcstatue
Joan of Arc Statue in Reims Cathedral, France.

 

I loved the imagery associated with women in armor, it had been the basis of my design drive since I studied fashion back in the 1990’s. Everything I had designed was in some way inspired by my first image of Joan of Arc, what an amazing woman, fierce though she was.

I watched my early design ideas appear to turn into a movement which could be loosely termed ‘Steampunk’, which still enjoys a healthy following internationally, and decided it was about time I followed suit, it never paid to be ahead of my time. It was time for me to merge instead of pioneer, something I never found easy to do.

The collection developed into a delightful compilation of masks, helmets and decoupage adornments, trimmed with the luxurious tassels and satin trimmings I had collated over the years, and mostly constructed from exquisite parchment silk which I had purchased in bulk many years ago and held onto as my most prized possession. This silk I have never seen anywhere else since, it cost me everything I had back when I took a Princes Trust loan out in my late 20’s. It looks like fine leather, and wears like leather too, quickly revealing a rich scratchy patina due to its black finish on brown weave. I am glad I held onto it, it is one of the most valuable things I own. It was high time I turned these treasures into a wearable art form. Now it is time to start building up some stock, developing the collection even further (as is the way with a creative like myself, we cant stop).

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The two side of the parchment silk fashioned into feathers.
masks2-5
Currently a blindfold, contrasting black and white paper silk owl feather eyes.
masks3
Seductive; you can see them, but they cannot see you.

This collection will be revealed for the first time at the Art Bizarre Pop-up Shoppe in Boscombe, Bournemouth in Dorset. The shoppe is a co-production between myself, and Ben Irwin artbizarreflyerin association with Claire Belmont from The Great Exhibition

Grand opening 4th December.

Featuring local artists and artisans with unique gifts……

 

‘come escape the banal and retire to our cavern of curiosities and be seduced by our hospitality, mince pies and mulled wine tombola.’

10am till 6pm,
Unit 5, Boscombe Royal Arcade, Boscombe BH1 4BT.

YES….mulled wine tombola!

I will be there with my sewing machine, finishing my creations before your very eyes…there will be live art workshops and curiosities from a plethora of local craftsmen and woman.

Drop in, your most welcome.

 

 

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