Week 21: Unit 7 introduction
When being told unit 7 for the first time, I was unsure about what it was we had to do and the time period in which we had. At the time, I was currently preparing for my UP interview for all five option and working on my past part two project for the referral.
As as class, we met in the lecture theatre to watch a powerpoint and full insight of the project. I started by reading the play and looking at film versions to have a better understanding of the themes and motifs. I find it helpful by following up both sources as many of films interpret characters in very different ways. When I first watched the film I didn't really understand the story line, concept or main themes. I asked my parents and sister as they had a better understanding and found out they had been to a theatre performance in 2004 starring Christian Slater and Alexander Kingston. Knowing this gave me a better idea about the characters, seeing Kingston in other performances. Watching it again for the second time was a lot of help, I was able to take other things into consideration other than the acting and look at key points within the film including mannerisms, dialect, and body language. From this, I went onto looking at supporting work which followed similar themes.
I found reading the script much more helpful than watching the movie. The script allows you to physically see the words spoken, showing spelling and grammar which can change the way a sentence is spoken, taking notice of where the full stops and commas are to change the breathing rate and more importantly can change a sentence altogether. By looking at the script the mind is able to create its own image of each character and give it a personality different to how a director , actor or casting agent may see the character.
My views of Billy Bibbit changed dramatically, as I thought he was given more of a timid and young voice in the script than the movie. It helps that his stutter is clearly visible in the script "m-m-m-m-m" This was also emphasized with other character having a stronger and more empowering feel to them compared to the softer characters like Billy.
From the play, I was most drawn to Billy Bilbbit and Charles Cheswick, two supporting characters who show a lot of expression in their faces, body language and distinct concern within their voices.
I noticed they both characters have similar characteristics and story plots within the play, Cheswick expresses his childlike characteristic by asking for permission by those superior to him, he seems confused and on occasion throwing tantrums.
"May I have my cigarettes, Please Mrs Ratched"
"I ain't no little kid, I ain't no little kid"
Bibbit shows that he thinks very highly of his mother, a mommies boy, young and little experience with his sexuality. In need of comfort and closure from the ward he is a voluntary patient. He becomes anxious and concerned when Mrs Ratched threatens to tell his mother about his spontaneous night, an idea forced upon him by McMurphy and the rest of the patients. This experience allowed him to grow as a person and take actions of his own. Mrs. Ratched, a powerful woman who intimidates Billy further due to being friends with his mother, takes him to the breaking point of suicide in fear of being thought of by his mother. I thought it was interesting that both of these characters have similar issues and result in suicide, Cheswick seeks comfort from McMurphy, looking up to him for encouragement and influenced to fight against society. Responsibilities are given to him such as driving a boat gives him a reason to live. When Randy loses his confident, Cheswick becomes lost and returns to his childlike state, not having an adult figure to look up to, commits suicide.
"P-p-p-please d-d-don't tell my m-m-m-mother"
Both characters needed support and comfort from others, they need comfort from others to guide them through life. As the ward have little emotional and mental support they result to physical actions to 'help' the patients. They look to others as role models in the world as support and guidance, when both characters are ripped from their 'other' they are lost, feeling alone lost and empty. Their dependants on McMurphy or Billy's mother show how important the character is within their lives.
However it's surprising that neither of the characters was given lobotomies or much physical medical attention, they confined to the rules within the ward and didn't act out. It shows how much of the main character McMurphy was within the mental institute. A person confined to being an inpatient because of his rebellious behaviour, with no proper diagnosis of being mentally ill, he was forced to follow society, not caring about his punishment and living in the moment allowing him to act out, escaping from the institute, sleeping with prostitutes and attacking those with superior authority and power (Mrs Ratched). His character also rubs off on other patients, giving them a life and a reason for life, sadly for McMurphy because of his attitude towards society and little progress towards a mental institute, the alternative was to physical alter his mind to follow society with a lobotomy.
"Mmmmmm, Juicy Fruit."
I found it inspiring that Chief was mute in the play and how this allowed him to be a wall flower the ward. Characters within the play perceived this as him being uneducated and dim, however like the other patients, he was not hassled by staff or threatened with treatment. This presents how little educated and ignorant people were about other cultures and their attitude towards people of different colour.It shows that Chief is the smartest within the ward, his powerful figure making him intimidating, but shows to be a caring and responsible figure confining to the wards orders. When Randle Mcmurphy enters the scene, he befriends chief, including him in activities and being a part of the institute. This secures Randles position in the ward against staff, seen when Randle fights Nurse Ratched and has a team of staff around him, Chief step in and easily defense Randle from being harmed.
Nurse Ratched: Aren't you ashamed?
Billy: No, I'm not.
[Applause from friends]
Nurse Ratched: You know Billy, what worries me is how your mother is going to take this.
Billy: Um, um, well, y-y-y-you d-d-d-don't have to t-t-t-tell her, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: I don't have to tell her? Your mother and I are old friends. You know that.
Billy: P-p-p-please d-d-don't tell my m-m-m-mother.
Girl Interupted VS Cuckoo
At first glance, Girl, Interrupted (1999) appears to be something of a female-centric retelling of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest(1975). Both take place in psychiatric hospitals; both portray main characters whose mental states are not always clear (are Susanna and McMurphy truly mentally ill, or is it an act?). Several plot points overlap–for instance, characters in both films are driven to suicide at similar points in the plot, each film contains a short escape into the outside world that ends in a return to the hospital, and both involve an illegal nighttime escapade that results in punishment (Susanna and Lisa singing outside Polly’s door, McMurphy’s party). However, the two films differ radically in their treatment of madness and the institution of the asylum.By contrast, to one flew over the cuckoo's nest the staff member most prominently featured in Girl, Interrupted–Valerie–is portrayed as having Susanna’s best interests at heart, whether this is shown through tenderness or through the “tough love” that (according to the film) Susanna needs. Girl, Interrupted portrays a very different picture of mental illness and mental hospitals. The outer trappings of the two hospitals are identical. Both are white and sterile. Both have a glass-enclosed nurse’s station through which mysterious (and mandatory) medication is handed to a line of patients. Both are isolated from the rest of the world but allow little privacy, including communal bathrooms. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nestpatients are locked out of their rooms during the day, and in Girl, Interrupted the staff performs periodic, frequent “checks” to every bedroom. Both movies deal with suicide as well, but Daisy (Girl, Interrupted) and Billy (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) commit suicide for very different reasons. While Billy is driven to despair by his environment–Nurse Ratched in particular, when she uses her power to manipulate him back into conformity and asexuality–Daisy commits suicide after Lisa, the hospital’s foremost rebel, sworn enemy of the system, and in many ways a classic revenge seeker, taunts her mercilessly about her past and her father, saying that Daisy cannot escape her problems even outside the hospital. As they travel deeper into the microcosm of their respective psychiatric wards, McMurphy moves toward insanity while Susanna moves toward a functional life in the outside world.One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest blames social systems and brutal outside forces for the mental illness of many of its characters. When they are temporarily set free from the ward’s confines, whether mentally or physically, they are no different from–and certainly not inferior to–the people outside.
Week 22: Planner notes
To help me with staying on track, I bought myself a weekly planner. In the past, it has reminded me of things I need to do, hand in, and any notes I might have taken that day. I will keep this as an ongoing thing throughout my project and hopefullyI will not be behind on work. If it happens that I am off track, keeping a planner will hopefully allow me to keep a strict self-deadline and sort out any mishaps along the way, adding in extra time where it is needed.
Week 22: Science Museum
When I went to the science Museum along with Georgette and Julian, we looked at medicine through History and the contraptions they used to treat polio and lobotomies. I was interested to see the materials used in medicine were mainly to be sustainable,using wood, metal or rubber. It showed they cared little about the patients comfort (a more mental relating subject) and mostly cost and efficiency. These aspects carry on to look at the population in Asylums, efficiency such as how many time things were cleaned, reused and repurchased. This is something to take into account when creating my garment and thinking of fabric, using cheap fabric would be authentic if creating an overall or mouthguard.
I was interested to see they had a lot of examples where they had studies the brain and what they thought each area showed, i.e wisdom, creativity, humor. With the amount of research accomplished over the years, you would have thought they would have a better understanding how to treat brain problems and the most effective solution for treating.
Other exhibitions which were being shown involved interactive learning. The basement of the science museum featured an entire playroom full of fun learning activities including gravity experiment puzzles and reactive projectors as well as science shows using chemical and physics. Even though these areas of the museums were not aimed towards later teens, we still enjoyed trying out all the activities if not more than the kids.
Week 22: BBC Documentary
To get a better understanding I looked for documentaries covering the history of mental institutes. I found most of the information very shocking and graphic. I was interested to see how dealing mental health has changed over the years and the theories they had on curing diseases during the time. Their ideas made sense, however, weren't thought out properly, such as humanity, care, and long term issues.
I was also surprised to find out that numerous people were admitted for acute illnesses such as agoraphobia. One form of treatment was being injected with insulin, which forcing the body to go into coma's. "allowing for the mind to rest". However, some patients showed sign of side effects and started fitting, they showed little signs of consideration about the individual patient. Other unexpected actions were throwing water over patients for no reason followed by hitting the patient over the head. Their reasoning was "when you work with shit, you become shit". I found this shocking even though this was a minor action.
They talk about the building itself and the long corridors within the ward. Patients would pace the corridors of the asylum all day, but never have enough time to finish the entire building as one corridor turning into another one. This is an idea of how big the building was and the possibility of how many people it could hold.
Still Inspired by the BBC documentary about patients going into fits when reacting to medication and being restrained by nurses as electric currents passed through their brain as a resting mechanism, I wanted to look at movement and body language which may develop in times of stress or pain. In my research on body language, I was amazing to see the clear change in body expression, angle hold when happy vs upset and the little things people do during emotions such as boredom: resting the head on the elbow to support the head and rest, loss of eye contact and looking around the room or fidgeting.
"A common method sales people use to break a crossed-arms closed position is to give the person something to hold or otherwise ask them to use their hands, for example asking them to hand over something, turn over a page, stand up and so on.I thought about looking at artist"
I started thinking about how I could use these mannerisms within my own piece and researched artists which used movement within their pieces.
My first idea was to create a performance that showed what happened behind closed doors. The abuse the patients were given and treatment they were put through. Going to the science museum helped me understand how tough the material they used were. Choosing durability and price over comfort put into realisation how little care they had to the patient. They treated these issues similarly to physical issues, believing in treatment as bed rest and medication rather than emotional support (certain issues are still currently within our health organisation).
These points made me want to look at the physical movement and actions which occurred within the asylum, both from a doctor and patient point of view such as being physically held down to stop the body being damaged while their brain was electrocuted and more personal issues such as a change in body language and communication through movement. I started looking at artists who used mark making to document their actions, using paint, sand, pencil or foreign objection to show a change of body position and movement throughout the body.
Week 21: Starting point
To start this project off I wanted to cover all the basic ground of the play before going on to my own ideas and pathway for this assignment.
I wrote a list of things which are essential
)Character and relationships within the play
)Main story line and changes within each act
)Themes, ideas, Key points, Historic similarities
)Set design, Costume, makeup, Lighting
)Storyline: beginning, middle, end, cliff hangers, intense moments
These points will be my main focus for the first week to cover, hopefully, this will create a strong understanding and help me to develop this project further.
Women as Castrators
"Bromden, the narrator, and McMurphy, the protagonist, both tend to describe the suffering of the mental patients as a matter of emasculation or castration at the hands of Nurse Ratched and the hospital supervisor, who is also a woman. The fear of women is one of the novel’s most central features. The male characters seem to agree with Harding, who complains, “We are victims of a matriarchy here.”"
Society’s Destruction of Natural Impulses
Kesey uses mechanical imagery to represent modern society and biological imagery to represent nature. By means of mechanisms and machines, society gains control of and suppresses individuality and natural impulses. The hospital, representative of society at large, is decidedly unnatural: the aides and Nurse Ratched are described as being made of motley machine parts.
McMurphy represents unbridled individuality and free expression—both intellectual and sexual. One idea presented in this novel is that a man’s virility is equated with a state of nature, and the state of civilized society requires that he be desexualized. But McMurphy battles against letting the oppressive society make him into a machinelike drone, and he manages to maintain his individuality until his ultimate objective—bringing this individuality to the others—is complete. However, when his wildness is provoked one too many times by Nurse Ratched, he ends up being destroyed by modern society’s machines of oppression.
The Importance of Expressing Sexuality
McMurphy attempts to cure Billy Bibbit of his stutter by arranging for him to lose his virginity with Candy. Instead, Billy gets shamed into suicide by the puritanical Ratched. By the end of the novel, McMurphy has been beaten into the ground to the point that he resorts to sexual violence—which had never been a part of his persona previous to being committed, despite Nurse Pilbow’s fears—by ripping open Ratched’s uniform.
False Diagnoses of Insanity
McMurphy’s sanity, symbolized by his free laughter, open sexuality, strength, size, and confidence, stands in contrast to what Kesey implies, ironically and tragically, is an insane institution. Nurse Ratched tells another nurse that McMurphy seems to be a manipulator, just like a former patient, Maxwell Taber. Taber, Bromden explains, was a “big, griping Acute” who once asked a nurse what kind of medication he was being given. He was subjected to electroshock treatments and possibly brain work, which left him docile and unable to think. The insanity of the institution is foregrounded when a man who asks a simple question is tortured and rendered inhuman. It is a Catch-22: only a sane man would question an irrational system, but the act of questioning means his sanity will inevitably be compromised.
Many important elements in the novel are either hidden from view or invisible. For example, Bromden tries to be as invisible as possible. He has achieved this invisibility by pretending not to understand what is going on around him, so people notice him less and less. Moreover, he imagines a fog surrounding him that hides him and keeps him safe. He keeps both his body and his mind hidden.
When McMurphy smashes through the glass window of the Nurses’ Station, his excuse is that the glass was so clean he could not see it. By smashing it, he reminds the patients that although they cannot always see Ratched’s or society’s manipulation, it still operates on them.
The Power of Laughter
The power of laughter resonates throughout the novel. McMurphy’s laughter is the first genuine laughter heard on the ward in years. McMurphy’s first inkling that things are strange among the patients is that none of them are able to laugh; they can only smile and snicker behind their hands. For McMurphy, laughter is a potent defense against society’s insanity, and anyone who cannot laugh properly has no chance of surviving. By the end of the fishing trip, Harding, Scanlon, Doctor Spivey, and Sefelt are all finally able to participate in real, thunderous laughter, a sign of their physical and psychological recovery.
Real Versus Imagined Size
Bromden describes people by their true size, not merely their physical size. Kesey implies that when people allow others, such as governments and institutions, to define their worth, they can end up far from their natural state. Nurse Ratched’s true size, for example, is “big as a tractor,” because she is powerful and unstoppable. Bromden, though he is six feet seven inches tall, feels much smaller and weaker. He tells McMurphy, “I used to be big, but not no more.” As for McMurphy, Bromden says he is “broad as Papa was tall,” and his father was named The Pine That Stands Tallest on the Mountain. Bromden says his mother was twice the size of he and his father put together, because she belittled them both so much. With McMurphy’s help, Bromden is gradually “blown back up to full size” as he regains his self-esteem, sexuality, and individuality.
The Electroshock Therapy Table
The electroshock therapy table is explicitly associated with crucifixion. It is shaped like a cross, with straps across the wrists and over the head. Moreover, the table performs a function similar to the public crucifixions of Roman times. Ellis, Ruckly, and Taber—Acutes whose lives were destroyed by electroshock therapy—serve as public examples of what happens to those who rebel against the ruling powers. Ellis makes the reference explicit: he is actually nailed to the wall. This foreshadows that McMurphy, who is associated with Christ images, will be sacrificed.
From the picture below I wanted to study how costume effected the characters personality and the position they played within the institute. White is shown as the uniform colour many of the characters wear, a colour which is related to being clean and easy to wash, a simple design which used little money to make or throw away if needed, however the use of a uniforms also strips the individual of being a unique character, unable to express their personality through their clothing and other accessories they may wear. The ideas relate to being in a prison, lowering the person's authority in society and in some cases shaving their head and removing shoes as an extra measurement.
((This is a discussion many school encounter, whether the pupil should or shouldn't wear a uniform and the pros and cons which go along with the argument. The answer for many schools around the UK is that it creates equality, less of a reason to be bullied and judged on about class and wealth. It also allows the student to be recognised by others, if they decide to run away or if unwanted people enter the building, they are able to distinctly point out who belongs to a part of the school and who should be removed, allowing for a safe environment. Overall this action is not to belittle the childs authority but to keep them safe and be a good ambassador towards the schools reputation. Other schools disagree with this idea especially seen in north America. They believe a student should be able to choose what they wear giving them freedom. If a uniform is worn, it acts as a society logo, wearing cheerleading outfits, marching band or football jackets. In contrast to this, UK school normally use badges to present authority or leadership towards a group such as house captain or council.))
Mad as a hatter . random notes
When thinking of things to research with similar topics to cuckoo my mind was instantly drawn to Lewis Carroll's Mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland. The phrase came from hat makers being intoxicated with mercury used to glue hats together or convert fur into felt back in the 1800s. The workers would be suffocated with mercury poisoning, with side effects of loss of coordination, slurred speech, loosening of teeth, memory loss, depression, irritability, and anxiety.
My mind started looking at people today, who are thought to be mad. Are they the modern mad hatters living amongst us? One man especially came to mind called "mad john" A man who is a legend within the Wandsworth and Merton community. cycling around the streets in union jack garments and a black top hat. It is rumored he was one happily married, living in Australia with his loving family, however sadly after the loss of his wife to turned to alcohol, losing his wealth . He is well known by police as a friendly harmless man living on the streets with strong opinions but turned away by others as he appears to be an old, drunk and violent figure.
I feel mad john is a good reputation of one of the patients living in the ward, harmless to the public, however is judged on his behavior,
Week 22: The Master Builder
The following day I was invited to see "The Master Builder". I was interested to see they had covered the set with gravel and used timber panels to indicate the stage. At first, I was confused why this feature had been added as the first two scenes were set in an office. The backdrop displayed old wood and foliage behind a giant oval sculpture adding to the idea of being outside, both these features were shown throughout the entire performance. Above the actors was an oval wooden sculpture acting almost as a roof. It had missing panels making it look fragile. I thought this linked to the idea of being an architect as they cover structure, design, and support. I noticed each time the set changed the wooden sculpture would rotate, creating a new effect each time. In the second set changed I saw that they cleverly slotted the top of a bookshelf with a gap in one of the panels.
Overall I wasn't very impressed with the story line of the play and personally found it was too long and didn't have enough of a cliffhanger to follow onto the next two intervals. All the main drama was at the end when the play when the master builder fights his fears. During the final scene, a swing is visible stage right. We see the supporting actor swing harshly, using all her body weight to force the swing over the audience adding intensity to the scene. Her costume was a long old fashioned skirt which was very appropriate for this section.
The play closes with a dramatic ending ( see picture below) The back foliage and wood seen static throughout the entire play falls to the ground creating a massive sound from a great height. The actors become a freeze frame and all the focus turns to the woman still swinging. Lights turn from a lit up stage to a to a white spotlight focusing down.
Doctors first began manipulating the brain to calm patients in the late 1880s, when the Swiss physician Gottlieb Burkhardt removed parts of the cortex of the brains of patients with auditory hallucinations and other symptoms of schizophrenia, noting that it made them calm
The first procedures involved cutting a hole in the skull and injecting ethanol into the brain to destroy the fibers that connected the frontal lobe to other parts of the brain. Later, Moniz introduced a surgical instrument called a leucotome, which contains a loop of wire that, when rotated, creates a circular lesion in the brain.
About 50,000 lobotomies were performed in the United States, and Freeman himself performed between 3,500 and 5,000.
While a small percentage of people supposedly got better or stayed the same, for many people, lobotomy had negative effects on a patient's personality, initiative, inhibitions, empathy and ability to function on their own.
"The main long-term side effect was mental dullness," Lerner said. People could no longer live independently, and they lost their personalities, he said.
Electric Shock theraphy
What is ECT and what is it used for?
ECT involves sending an electric current through the brain to trigger an epileptic fit, with the aim, in most cases, of relieving severe depression. It is occasionally used to treat mania or catatonia. The treatment is given under a general anaesthetic and uses muscle relaxants, so that the muscles only twitch slightly, and the body does not convulse during the fit.
ECT is used if you:
- have severe, life-threatening depression
- have not responded to medication or talking treatments
- have found it helpful in the past and have asked to receive it again
- are experiencing a manic episode which is severe or is lasting a long time
- are catatonic (staying frozen in one position for a long time; or repeating the same movement for no obvious reason; or being extremely restless, unrelated to medication)
- have severe postnatal depression. Because, when it works, ECT usually works very quickly, it can minimise the time that you are not able to care for and bond well with your baby (see postnatal depression).
It can be an effective treatment if you are seriously depressed, and no other treatment has worked for you. It is also suitable when it is important to have an immediate effect; for example, because you are so depressed that you are unable to eat or drink, and are in danger of kidney failure.
To be admitted to one of these asylums, the local JP and a doctor had to certify you insane. To protect against corruption, the doctor who signed the certificate could not be affiliated with the asylum in any way. It was a massive improvement on the previous system. Patients included those with learning disabilities, epilepsy, senile dementia, and the grandiose delusions and physical paralysis that accompanied tertiary neuro-syphilis. Alcoholics and drug abusers often ended up in asylums as well. Many women passed through asylums too, usually suffering post-natal depression, or puerperal fever – then a common post-natal infection leading to mania and sometimes death. Thousands of people passed through the county asylums, but they actually tried hard to keep patients out, for one simple reason. The Victorians hated paying taxes for public services even more than we do. But there was simply so much medical need, and nowhere else for many needy people to go except the asylum. What, then, of the absurd diagnoses in the admissions table? Nineteenth century mad-doctors knew next to nothing about the mind. They tried to discover what had triggered a mental breakdown, and list that incident as the ’cause’ of the illness. This remained the case until Emil Kraepelin, a stereotypically logical German Professor of psychiatry, came out of leftfield with a wild new idea. He classified mental illness according to prognosis, instead of cause. He swept away the confused jumble of religious mania and excess novel-reading, and replaced it all with a logical, simple, practical, system. Apart from neurological disorders and diseases of old age, there were only two mental disorders. Manic-depressive disorders, from which patients would usually recover, if only at intervals, and schizophrenia – delusions with the mood being affected – which patients would never recover from. Kraepelin’s model of mental illness still forms the basis of all modern psychiatry. http://katetyte.com/medicalhistory/how-to-get-admitted-to-a-victorian-lunatic-asylum/
22# First Proposal
For my proposal, I was influenced by my last project of making a garment and presenting it as a performance. From my ideas, I want to show a documentation of movement and behaviour through a garment. Looking at medicine, treatment and care during the 1950s.
This came to mind when watching patients being held down by people or with straps ensuring they wouldn't damage or break bones when being electrocuted. They also used rubber instruments placed in the mouth so the patient would bite through their tongue when in pain.
These techniques were used to make the patients rest. The idea of people not confining to society was an element of being mad. i.e Randle McMurphy.
Language of closure
Closure literally closes the body up. It may range from a slight bringing together of the limbs to curled up into a tight ball. Extreme cases may also include rhythmic rocking of the body to and fro.
In a closed positions one or both arms cross the central line of the body. They may be folded or tightly clasped or holding one another. There may also be holding one another.
Lighter arm crossing may include resting an arm on a table or leg, or loosely crossed with wrists crossing.
Varying levels of tension may be seen in the arms and shoulders, from a relaxed droop to tight tension and holding on to the body or other arms.
Legs, likewise can be crossed. There are several styles of leg crossing, including the ankle cross, the knee cross, the figure-four (ankle on opposite knee) and the tense wrap-around.
Legs may also wrap around convenient other objects, such as chair legs.
When legs are crossed but arms are not, it can show deliberate attempts to appear relaxed. This is particularly true when legs are hidden under a table.
Looking down or away
The head may be inclined away from the person, and particularly may be tucked down.
Using an apple application 'Posable lite' which manipulates a digital mannequin to create different positions. From this, I have been able to observe the anatomy of the body and documents stereotypical movements when depressed.
I found the app very hard to use as the buttons were not clearly labelled, making the entire making process very long of changing and then reversing the movement. In the end, I had a good enough idea about the app that I was able to make some representations of signs indicating closed body language. From playing around with the app It allowed me to understand all the movement possible in the body. Little details had to be altered in order to create the desired effect and it was obvious when something was missing as it "stuck out like a sore thumb" Literally have to change the smallest things like turning of the wrist, pointed or flexed feet and change in spine placement.
And we also cross our arms and legs when we are relaxing. It can just be a comfortable place to put those gangly limbs. We may look away because we are thinking, nothing more.
When you are trying to persuade a person, then their standing or sitting in a closed position is usually a signal that they are not ready to be persuaded. Moving them to an open position can significantly increase your chances of persuading them.
Force hand use
A common method sales people use to break a crossed-arms closed position is to give the person something to hold or otherwise ask them to use their hands, for example asking them to hand over something, turn over a page, stand up and so on.
The other common method of opening a person is to first adopt a closed position like them. Then some effort is put into building a bond with them, such that they start to like you and are attaching their identity to yours. Finally, you then open your position, unfolding arms and legs. If they are sufficiently bonded then they will follow you.
This should be done naturally and steadily, for example unfolding your arms in order to use your hands to illustrate what you are saying. If they do not follow you, return to the closed position and work further at bonding before trying again.
Reasons for closing
There can be several reasons for closed body language. This is one reason why reading body language can be hazardous and you should take into account other factors. In particular look for the transition when the body closes and the triggers that may have caused this change.
When we feel threatened, our body language becomes defensive. We use closure to place the barriers of our arms and legs across in front of us to defend ourselves from attack. When we close, we also make our body smaller, reducing the size of the target. When we tuck our chin down, we are protecting the exposed throat.
We also may be signaling to the other person that we are not a threat to them. Thus the held-in arms shows that we are not attacking and looking away from them removes aggressive staring.
In a variant of this, particularly where the person is holding themselves, a closed position may indicate self-nurturing. The person is effectively holding or hugging themselves in an imitation of a parent or other caring person.
Closing also may serve the purpose of hiding something that we do not want the other person to see. Holding the body still prevents it from betraying our thoughts. Looking away prevents the other person from seeing our expression that may show dislike or lying.
A more pragmatic form of closure is when we are cold. Huddling up reduces exposed body area and reduces heat loss. Holding warmer parts of the body against colder parts evens the temperature and prevents extremities from being chilled too much.
By the time we got back from reading week I had a good general idea about the book, characters, and themes, however, had trouble taking the actual text part and reading between the lines. As a class, we all sat down in front of a projector and read the first scene, reading allowed and changing readers every few of pages. I found this reading allowed and changing of readers very disruptive and confusing as people's English was very strong when sight reading and changing of people involved looking for the reader to know which character was saying what. I found it easier and quicker to read in my head and wait for the pages to be turned. It meant I was able to visualise the characters pattern of voice and accent much better than people losing their place in the text. Overall this was a good workshop for everyone as I'm not sure how many people had read the book.
In the first week back from reading week , we had workshops to help create ideas and have a better understanding of the book, exploring how certain characters had developed throughout the play and interpreting these changes with character illustrations. This was a useful workshop as I struggle with character drawing and illustration. I looked at character already created in other books and related their character on personality. I looked at Nurse Ratched and tried to show her authority in the play. I thought of the Queen of hearts from 'Alice in Wonderland' by Tim Burton. How they extenuated Helena Bonham-Carters head to express being big headed and powerful. I found when drawing the character all her featured became enlarged as the proportion was distorted. To change my way of thinking I also tried continuous line drawings, working in pen and creating realistic pencil drawings of different characters.
We also spent a day catching up on workflow, this was a good idea. Getting into workflow allowed me to layout my idea's and evaluate which were my strongest. I also found it helpful changing location every few hours as I get easily bored and distracted with sound around me and usually block out my environment with music. When going through my sketchbook I realised there were a lot of gaps from where I had missed out research and design. I found it very confused what appropriate work should be displayed in my sketchbook and items should stay documented on workflow.
"Penwald: 2: 8 circles" a performance by Tony Orrico
When looking for artists which create visual performances I can across Tony Orrico. He uses his own body as a drawing instrument, thinking about his arm span and his head and torso as the centre of the circle, he is able to use his body asa piece of artwork. With a pencil in each hand, he creates giant pieces circling the floor and turning after each movement. This piece is tittled Penwald, made up of eight different circles, each using a different movement in his hand and turning clockwise. He starts by lining himself up to face north at the start of each art piece and works his way around.
Anthropology : drawing arm span
Once to the right atrial light : Tracing the head and torso
Roll once to the right - Geology : "Roll once to the right" is the scale, chemistry
Infinity symbols: figure of eight showing astronomy
once to the right magnets - physics
Triangle : mathematics
Pea pods : lobotomy
Starfish : zoology
The piece also creates audio for itself, the scraping of the pencils against the paper creates a repetitive motion, and the sound of his legs propelling his body around the circles add a tempo to his work. I thought these pieces were really effective, entirely unique as he is only him, I thought the performance mainly covered the process of making as it had a stronger impact than the final outcome.
Inspired by this Artwork, I tried a few designs of my own. Firstly by using my body to its maximum arm span of creating curves of the body and followed it up by trying visual artwork standing up. I found the standing dance piece much more aesthetically pleasing as there was a clear sign of movement within the piece. When creating the work I had to be careful of where I was standing as any sudden movement would make an imprint on the paper.
Rosas Danst Rosas
When thinking about performances which used everyday movements and body language my mind turned back to a dance I once created inspired by Rosas Danst Rosas. It covered the idea of showing everyday movements done during the day and used repetition, canon and union between groups of three or more women to create an effective breathy piece.
Choreography: Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker
Awards: Bessie Awards for the light design (1987) and choreography (1987) in New York. The dance was also awarded the Eve du Spectacle by L'Association des Journalistes du Spectacle (1989).
Film adaptions: Thierry De Mey filmed a screen adaption of the dance in 1997. This version was filmed in the old building of the technical school of architect Henry Van de Velde in Leuven. It is shorter than the actual stage production, and includes more members of the company than the usual four dancers.
Week 23: Workflow
In the last lesson for the week, we were allowed to do workflow. This was a very good idea as I had all my ideas, however, hadn't put them down on paper or document them. It allowed me to understand where I was with my project and sort out the next few weeks in the route I was heading for my project. It also allowed us to look at others work and see what their ideas were. They were able to give supportive research to explore such as museums or ideas and videos to view.
Other than choreography I started thinking about set, costume and music.
While sitting outside of CSM looking out at all the building, it inspired me to play with contrast. Using harnesses and restricting fabric while being outside in an open area I though compliment each other very nicely. I thought about where I would position my piece, taking into account people walking past or through and took into account the fountains being their own mini performance, unable to walk through without getting wet and yet always admired, creating a stage for their self.
This would be perfect for portraying an open closed space, using the water to create a barrier between the performer and audience, and yet almost creating a cell block. Trapping the audience out and performer tight within.
I referenced back to the performance in the window display, understanding filling the space and using it for an audience viewing a flat 2d space.
Week 23: V&A
As a starting point for inspiration, I visited the V&A, where they had a collection of theatre costumes, set design and props from the west end and broadway. I was most fascinated with the Giant war horse puppet in the first room. It showed how the performers were able to move with the puppet giving a life and mimic aspects of a horse such as turning ears. When watching the performance in the West end it expressed how important body language was, especially when the character is mute. It made me want to research body language further and study different ways a character is able to express their emotion through movement.
Another Piece I was interested in was the set design of 'An inspector calls' A scaled house which had an aspect of foreshortening within it. As the performance continued the house opened up similar to a dolls house, using a hinge joint on either side and extended the set. There was extreme precision to all the elements which I found inspiring.
Dancing in real clothes
‘No one ever asks me to do classical ballet, everything I’ve done with Christopher Gable and everything I’ve done with Matthew Bourne has been set within the last couple of hundred years and more tailored and I prefer that because it’s not a fake, a jacket will do what it does. It doesn’t always have to be skinny, stuck to the body.
'Period costumes have to move with the body, but dancers like tight-fitting costumes. However, a jacket that fits too snugly will rise with the arms and stay up. The battle is to get the dancers to accept looser fittings that move up and down the body. Occasionally you go “OK, fine, let’s pin it. That’s where you want it. Now lift your arms up. Oh look, it doesn’t come down. That’s why we’re not doing i". You really have to prove it to them.’
So costume fittings can be fraught: ‘it’s that relationship thing again – when you’ve been working with someone like Adam (dancer Adam Cooper) for twelve or thirteen years I know he’s not difficult. If he says “I’ll make it work”, he’ll make it work. If he says “I’m having problems with this", it’s a problem and I can’t ignore it. For me, what they’re bothered about is a judgement on how good they are as performers. Different dancers have different foibles, different likes. It’s only when you’ve worked with them a lot that you know, there are some people you know are worth doing it for.'
23# Nonverbal communication
Week 24: Planner notes
24# Progress feedback
When going over my proposal with kate, I found there wasn't a lot of changes needed to the main body of the text. I was advised that there was never too much planning and should develop my action plan as it was very brief.
From this, I went away and planned things I could do in the free time I had during lessons, using good use of resources of the Uni including the classroom for working space, Library for research / computers and Archway for clear space or workshop materials. London also have a lot of museums and work which broadly covers all aspects of art, history, media and more. This would lead to expanding my bibliography for as much research coverage as possible. Looking at all aspects of the project enable to see views and develop ideas to final ideas.
When kate suggested I work on my action plan as it was very simple I looked over my past planner notes and started filling in all the missing gaps. I found this was the best answer for having a more detailed planned week head.
I also started writing in what I had accomplished that day and could tick off in advanced things finished that week.
Working in the library was a more effective way for me working, than sitting at home with distractions around me. I feel I am more pressured to work when in the Library which helps towards doing work and it mean I'm not able to go downstairs and watch tv or get distracted with other people within the house.
From acknowledging the best places for me to work, I will make it a priority that I stay behind after class and work in the library or class instead of going home. This will help towards time management, by getting things done quicker.
24# Design for Dance 04/02/16
To have a better understanding about how designers and choreography collaborate, I went to the design for dance performance shown at the Platform Theatre. I thought this would be very useful as it would cover the grounds of ways to present my piece involving, lighting, staging, composition and other aspects I hadn't even considered. We were also given the chance to talk to the choreographers and designs after the show in a panel.
One ) Behind closed doors
I found the first performance very inspiring, the scenery was very minimal and casual with two hanging house lampshades staged far left with hanging string down one side. In the other corner of the room was a bed on the floor with red fabric piled up acting as a head mast for the bed. The dance started with both performers on the bed and traveled towards the empty space far left, this made the audience lose concentration of the bed and forget about it all together. There was a clear sign that this piece had a stimulus of a abusive relationship from the beginning of the dance from the way the fabric was messily thrown onto the bed. The dance started of with love, using lifts and sync movements, playing with levels and contact floor movement, laying over one another and using patner balances. The dance then shifted to show distress and struggle as red fabric is pulled out of the mans white shirt. At first i thought this showed the man being killed. The red fabric reveals to be a dress which the woman dresses in and helped by the man. From this point the dance has a much faster pace. As the dancers travel across the stage they grab onto to dangling lights and push them with great force. This allows the lights to swing throughout the performance and moves the audiences concentration to the entire stage. I thought this was a very clever effect as it created tension and kayos within the dance.lifts flexibility
Two) Two faces of a whole
The second performance was a ballet dance with two duet couples. The scene started off in pitch black with giant neon chandeliers of different colours hanging from a fine wire. In front of the stage was lighting covered by purple gels turning the room UV. The first duet came on wearing black, they seemed invisible against the backdrop. The garments didn't seem appropriate for their dance as they weren't refined to the body and were frumpy looking. Minutes into the dance the backdrop changed from black to white and their garments dropped revealing a flowing white dress. These outfits looked much better, moving to the body, however still looked too heavy for the work they were performing. Original movements were performed throughout the entire performance. The ended replicated the start of the dance, changing the backdrop back to black and dropping the lights, the chandeliers came back into focus and reverted back to just two performers.
An issue which occurred during the ending was the positioning of the ballet dancer during the lift and hanging of the chandelier, unfortunately they both collided spoiling the performance, this is something they could improve on next time, making sure when they performed the lift they moved a couple of steps to the side of the prop.
I found this performance the weakest from all the rest. The scene started off with four white beds all alined vertically to the back of the stage. Along with the beds were four girls positioned standing on top of them in static positions. Their costumes were simplistic, all wearing white night gowns with no shape and hair was mostly in two high buns. Personally I found this performance a bit over done and amateur, their choreography wasn’t in sync, something which is an important element when working in a large group and personally think should of been practiced more, I also found the transitioning movements messy and didn’t connect the the rest of the dance.
Half way through the performance there was an elements of sound and dramatic lighting. I thought this was very effective and saved the performance, However this shouldn’t of been the case in a dance performance. The piece made me think of American horror story, when it was set in a coven of witches. To fix these issues, I would make sure the dance was clean and asked others to review an fix any clumsy mistakes such as entrances and exits. I found the beds were an excessive prop which wasn’t needed, wasting time within the dance and used as a visual element.
Other than the the first dance I think this would have to be my second most favourite performance out of all the acts . The scene started off with there large triangular sculptures in the middle of the stage. they had white fabric wrapped numerously around, I thought this was effective as it created texture to the sculpture and allowed light to pass through certain areas. The performer started off hiding behind these sculptures, with one main man walking in to the centre of stage. All performers were wearing nude baggy trousers, nude sheer tops and had fabric wrapped around their hands restricting certain movements. The dance was very well structured working with the fabric and using its strengths throughout the entire dance, an example of this pulling the fabric taught when extending the arms or wrapping the fabric around one another within their group. At first I thought this element would limit their movements however they worked with it very well and actually extended the body using flexibility to exaggerate each movement.
Through out most of the performance there was a sheer fabric separating the performers to the audience. I think one reason why they did this was so it represented the feeling of being behind one of the triangle sculptures. When talking to the set designer after the show in a panel, A question bought up was what limited you when creating the set. Her answer was money budget, and that all the work created was from their own pocket. Her ideal set design would be much bigger and more durable to use over again.
Five) like them apples?
lights coming down from the ceiling
Not reading the programme before I was a bit confused about the piece. When setting up there were giant painted balloons as eyes in a net hanging from the ceiling. I noticed the paint had already started flaking off which is something I think they could have fixed or changed the media of paint used as this interrupted the text group of performers. Stage left was a set of tv’s piled on top of each other. The video was of eyes blinking adding to the image of eyeballs. On top of both of these elements it also encounter a large group of profrmeer sand a video projected onto the backdrop. All of this made it very confusing of where to look, however this added to the effect of everything.
weird inflatable costumes
eye's prop issue
rubber beads as rain
To carry on my research I created a Pinterest board on different ways artists had shown movement:
I found this very helpful and stumbled upon certain research sources including, Butoh dance-
Butoh dance: A form of Japanese dance covering taboo topics. The performers are normally cover in white body paint, using slow and controlled motions. Their outfit's are minimal, only covering needed areas of the body and their bald heads with unnatural skin colour made them appear supernatural. I thought there was a lot of expression shown within their piece's adding to the performance making it intense and created suspension. The abstract movements used made it seem they were in pain or anger within themselves. The pace of the performance allowed me to analyse every movement and what they were trying to portray to the audience. I found certain Butoh dance very disturbing at times as it showed a lot of emotion.
I would like include elements of Butoh including the abstract movements and simplicity of the costume. I feel like this would enhance the message of the performance to portray pain and misunderstanding
24: Butoh Vs Contemporary
When further studying Butoh dance I found that the strength and power created from their dance was empowered through the ground. This was an interesting fact to take into account as many dances focus on elongating the body by pointed feet and straight arms such as Ballet. In contrast to butoh moves the body is normally shown to be elevated, jumping high in most dances especially ballet is one of the suspense high points in a dance building up to lifts, jumps and contact work. Butoh goes against all these feature, specalising in slow floor movement, using a lot of expression in their faces and wearing minimal clothes, normally covered in white paint. Again ballet performances are normally casted with dancers the same height and body shape. Their outfits aww usually heavily detaled with embroidery, rhinestone and lace.
At first I thought it would be a great idea to merge these two genres of dance together, however looking at it now this target seems harder than expected. Another type of dance which fits nicely into both of these categories is comtempory. A dance which is normally described as ballet and jazz mixed together. It covers floor work and most know for traveling and using levels, cannon, union and repetition. Personally i am more drawn to this style of dance, I hope to intertwine the research on butoh and ballet to create a piece which is able to identify the two within my piece.
24# Final proposal
While researching artists and looking for ways to develop my idea I found myself heading towards a more visual outcome from movement than a physical design. The final outcome from painting with the body appealed to me more than the movements used to create the work, making me realise that I would rather create a design than a choreography.
My ideas still heavily covered movement and restriction, however now looks at the final outcome of these actions rather than the actions their self. To start with research I looked at harnesses, mouth guards and belts, but was more surprised at the behaviour of the ward. Abuse and fights which occurred between the patients and staff, resulting in marks, cuts and bruises, head injuries and even fractures on the body. This influenced me in playing around with makeup and prosthetics to create a similar effect. To do this I purchased a few items such as a bruise wheel (cream based makeup) sponges and scar wax to create wounds and texture effect on the skin and blood.
extending the idea of showing an opposite effect of a mental asylum, I wanted to extend these ideas and taken them further to become one of the main themes of the project.
My first was playing with restriction, working in an open space where people were able to walk around and view from a far. I started looking at other ways I could extend this idea and started comparing gore and beauty. I thought this was a strong point to cover as the media continuously seem the promote and cast vulnerable and young actors to the point where these aspects are turning to be popular and goals.
Week 25: Planner notes
25: Abuse within the ward
Returning to movement and Visual art, I wanted to link my past research with my new proposal transitioning from one idea to a more developed and structured proposal. I looked back at my themes of mental institutes, treatment and care given to patients and linked this in with my newer research on movement resulting in visual art.
I thought a strong connection seen throughout all my work tracked back to acknowledging abuse from nurses and assistances in the ward to patients. Throwing a bucket of water over patients and knocking them onto the floor was a sign that they would never recover with treatment such as this. I started going back over scenes in Cuckoos next and noticed where was a considerable amount of abuse
Ophelia is a painting by British artist Sir John Everett Millais, completed between 1851 and 1852. It is held in the Tate Britain in London. It depicts Ophelia, a character from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, singing before she drowns in a river in Denmark.
25: Alexander McQueen
Fine Art Painting
While flicking through Instagram, I was particularly drawn to and artist which I follow, His work show minimal oil paintings of section of people in pastel colours. Being so inspired by this artist and specifically the by this one painting of a person's hands and chest from the neck down coloured blue, I wanted to recreate his work to have a better understanding of brush stroke and an understanding of his work.
I found this task much harder than I had expected, as I had not painted in a while. I felt I was much slower than other painting I had created in the past. It was also hard to exactly to recreate as he uses oil compared to the acrylics I was using however their similarities meant I was able to replicate the design to an extent, an advantage of using acrylic was allowing to work on canvas board and quickly drying after each session which took three different attempts to finish. Overall I was very happy with my design, It allowed me to appreciate the artist a lot more consider his work was a0 or bigger.
Apple to Apple
An advantage to having both an iPhone and MacBook is the iphoto transfer connect between the two devices. Because of this, I was more drawn to taking a photo on my phone, it also meant I wasn't carrying a bulky camera everywhere I went and also able to take sneaky photos of things when people weren't looking i.e exhibitions and theatre performances. I find it annoying that the V&A and RA have a strict no photography policy and should be removed especially for art students. The V&A take it one step further by not allowing sketchbook in the building either.
A genius invention used to fix all spelling mistakes. When I'm on a roll I normally type really quickly to ensure I don't forget anything, as my touch typing abilities aren't the best this is normally filled with mistakes. By clicking on the little symbol in the corner and it fixes all my errors. This is also very helpful as I've never really understood commas and semi-colons .
Week 26: Planner notes
Most recognized for performance as a non-traditional method of painting, Brown uses her body as a tool to create artifacts that are remnants of her process. Reminiscent of abstract expressionist studies, Brown produces aesthetically whimsical paintings with a deep underlining rawness of human emotion. Viewing the body as a vessel for spiritual practice, Brown pushes her physical and mental boundaries to reach a state of enlightenment from which creative expression and healing derives.
TO recreate the vision of abuse, I experimented with special effects makeup. I went out to Covent garden where I purchased scar wax, blood, sponges and a bruise wheel in black eye. As this was a first attempt I chose cream paints instead of active based paints as these were a lot more expensive and wasn't sure how strongly related I would include this is into my project.
When trying out the bruise wheel I thought the application with a sponge was too heavy and needed to use something lighter with more texture, I found the black sponge I received in a special effect kit much more effective because the edges easily blended and wasn't so harsh. I found using the scar wax was harder than expected and warming it up with your fingers wasnt helpful enough, Once in the microwave for a short period of time I found the scar wax to mould much easier. The overall outcome was effect, however was shiny when shining a light onto it, losing the effect of realism. To fix this I covered the makeup in power to create a matte overall finish.
26: Leah Miriam on Flickr
Following to the idea of beauty and gore, I found an artist who created fake blood designs using glitter. This inspired me to create some of my own, finding materials which were suitable for attaching to my face and didn't cause a safety hazard, I found large beads which were suitable for placing in my mouth without danger of choking of getting stuck such as rhinestones.
My final outcome worked well, showing a clear link between the artists designs and my own interpretations. These designs are more specifically aimed towards film based creations rather than photoshoots.
26: testing fabric
As designs were becoming more complex and intermate, I started testing out a few ideas, playing with fabric, colour and designs. Personally I preferred the effect of stretchy fabric which was medium weight. When browsing around the shops for possible materials my main issue was my garment looking cheap with materials that didn't fit my design. I was wary of material that may be too thin for my garment which is thought to be cheaper and overall ruining the effect of the garment
Time management: Train
As the deadline was close around the corner I found using my commute to school a very good time to write up my reflection for the day as there the little people and an hour to kill before getting home. I would use pages to write all my analysis and then transfer the over to workflow when wifi was connectable.
This wasn't the same for getting to uni as there is normally a case of rush hour, feeling like a can of baked beans in the morning doesn't allow for standing laptop time. even when there is a chance of a seat ``i feel it is too awkward to bring out my laptop with all my bags etc.
Week 27: Planner notes
27. Box design
Above you can see a few sketched I jotted down as an initial idea. My first idea was to create a warped box illusion getting small and smaller, this would present the twisted mind of a person relating mental health to beauty. I imagined using the silver card, and images of "beauty".
Week 27: Model Making
In today's lesson, we learnt how to make mini doors for our exhibition space. we were given a lecture in the morning about model making and precision to detail. It was interesting to know and good to remember for future to use material that doesn't have a texture or pattern to it as this becomes magnified when scaling up. This was a fun little exercise we did, however, took the entire afternoon to create as there was so much accuracy involved. stencil card was used to make our little doors and we were given templates to follow as measurements and guidelines.
I found this class irritating as I'm not very good with little dainty making. however hope to get better as I keep practicing working involving precision. I preferred the workshop before at a larger scale, however, I find doing work like this in a room full of people, not the best environment for this as I need total concentration.
Now that I had my final material I was using I wanted to have a better representation of the final outcome. To accomplish this I experimented with draping material over my mannequin. folding and pinning the material to mimic the final outcome. this was a good idea as it made be have a
Easter: Planner notes
For this week, my main focus was to start and finish my garment as much as possible before going off to Poland and starting the final term at CSM.
Diary of making
When first starting by changed the size of my mannequin, this meant I was able to work straight off the model and have a better realisation about scale and fitting when it came to wearing. To make the dress I first cut out one of the sleeves measured up on pattern paper, I made sure the fold line on the paper and seam on the material were on the same side, once cut out I sewed the sides together. When trying it on I immediate realised it was too tight, just fitting, luckily this was the only item I had cut out otherwise everything would have been too small. It meant I needed to alter all the sizing and extend the seam allowed, most likely this problem would have occurred from following a pattern piece created for a different type of fabric. I also realised when assessing the sleeve that I had cut them not using its full stretch potential. To fix this problem I recreated my sleeve patten piece and added an extra two centre meters onto the pattern I also ensured that the stretch was the right way when cutting ( even though this fabric was a four way stretch it was clear one side was stretchier than the other) . The second time round I found the fit helped a lot more than previously. Its qualities showed tight enough to fit well around the skin as well as having a medium stretch property meaning add fabric didn't ruffle against the body.
I then added this extra measurement to all the other pattern pieces and cut out ready to sew, when sewing I on purposely pinned then left to right and facing upward side on this meant that the sewing machine was easily able to glee over them wen sewing, when sewing two stretch fabrics together I changed by dewing settings to a zigzag instead of straight line stitch, this allowed the fabric to stretch when being pulled as straight line didn't allow this extra pull.
When creating the top I remember to sew everything but the bottom half of the appliqué. this was so it was ready for the second half of designing.
Easter I: People Places and Things
On the weekend, I went along to see People Places and things at the Wyndham's theatre. Before going I had no idea what it was about other than addiction, I thought this would benefit me to see and include in my project.
I found the play absolutely amazing, its set design was very minimal and effective, with trap doors from both sides of the stage, above and below. The stage itself as hollow, being able to be viewed from both sides, luckily enough I was viewing the performance from on stage able to see all the detail in set and acting. At first, I was a bit concerned that I was going to see their backs for the entire performance but they cleverly presented their self-sideway for a lot of the dialect and used group circles when talking in large groups.
The performance covered, addiction, home issues, relationships, support, depression, help, recovered, cold turkey, and relapsing. All theses themes were very important during the entire peroformance however I knew little about addiction itself and cold turkey. As my mother asked "why doesn't she just stopped" Other than a mental issue and being addicted I didn't know much about addiction itself.
After going to see people places and things I started looking at addiction and how this disease affects the brain physically before changing the person's behaviour.
From studies, a doctor can easily diagnose someone with an addiction. Someone with addiction would show signs of an over stimulated nucleus accumbens (pleasure centre) found at the centre of the brain and abnormally small frontal lobe (controls your views on rights and wrong within society, ethics and moral) located at the front of the brain. On a normal brain, the frontal lobe would show being the most active and dominant part of the brain. See to the images to the right.
I found attending this lecture very inspiring and educational, I hope to carry on with this research throughout my project, gaining knowledge and making it more personal.
Easter II: Planner notes fail
My trip to Poland was a way to have a break from work however, I intended to bring along my laptop and work during down time of the trip. This did not happen due to workflow being down but mainly not having a lot of time in between sight seeing. As this was a new place we visited we really wanted to pack the holiday with as much tourist attractions as possible. Going out to different areas and seeing old history restored in time. Due to this it meant little time was spent at home, eating out when possibly and attended allotted time slots for seeing attraction.
Easter II: work before returning
Before returning back to uni for the final few weeks I really wanted to finish the main base of the dress, finishing up seam allowances, connecting arms, skirt and top together. While finish essential sewing I also found that darts need to be included within my garment as fabric overflowed onto the side of the dress, making it took untidy. I wasn't sure of how to measure these part of the dress so wore the garment and guessed where the most widest part of the dress was.
28: V&A Press night - Undressed, A brief history of underwear.
For the lower floor, the curator, Edwina Ehrman, has wonderfully sourced a minimalist selection of items to demonstrate the origins of underwear as we know it today. Examples of corsets, bustles and crinolines – structures that would emphasise a woman’s elaborate skirt, whilst unfortunately preventing her from sitting down – create a nice effect and quickly introduce the first ideas behind underwear: ideas of control. One of the most startling exhibits comes from the year 1871. The Princess Louise Jupon patented “caged crinoline” appears to resemble more an implement of medieval torture than a thing to wear. The sheer size of this piece, coupled with the fact that women had to wear it for extended periods of time, is very powerful and draws attention to the atmosphere of patriarchal domination of the Victorian age.
While the older elements of the exhibition are fascinating, the most memorable section is definitely the more modern items. The garish colours and revealing cuts that dominate one of the display cabinets speak volumes about the amount of change that has happened in the world of women’s underwear. Latex suits feature, as do bras that expose nipples. One of the most obvious examples, though, is the lingerie set provided by one of the sponsors of the exhibition, Agent Provocateur. As the brand’s name suggests, it is quite provocative, allowing the wearer to display a lot of their body as it appears naturally.
The exhibition does pay some attention to masculine underwear and yet it really does feel like a celebration of the liberation that women thus far have achieved. It interests, entertains and inspires and is well worth a trip to South Kensington this spring.
As part of work I was invited to the V&A Undressed: A brief history of underwear. being the photographer of press night.
I found it really interesting seeing the transition in clothes and new inventions created compared to traditional wear. The ground floor covered general wear, a clear move in modern wear and past wear, all garments were well presented and made which made me think about my own presentation.
On the second floor were the flashy designs, all very glamorous and high end. Being there on press night meant I was there on the private viewing being amongst the designers who made the garments and able to listen in on taped interviews. I found this aspect extra special as designs are not the face of their work and was privileged to see both designer and final pieces.
I was especially impressed with items covered in rhinestones, glitter and embellishment. understanding the time taken to create these pieces added an extra sense of accomplishment towards the makers.
Cont. Diary of Making
Now that I had a physical dressed created the next step was to alter the fit it had to my own body. Scared of making it too short I allowed an extra couple of centimetres to the pattern paper as the material wasn't as stretchy to the original material i desired for this costume.
I created darts in the skirt on either side to allow for a proper fit. and took the back fastening in by a centremeter as I thought it was too lose and distored the shape.
When dying the fabric I needed the whole dress to be sewn as I was free handing the drips and wouldn't of been able to aline the two half together along with a seam stitch in-between. I did this by placing the dress on the mannequin and using a paint brush to choose the placement.
`The next step was to attach the trimming lace on to dress, first by pinning onto the dress and then sewing on by hand with red thread
29: Working BA style
For this week out classroom was being installed for the exhibition, so were made to work in the BA classroom of PDP, this was fun as we were able to see where we would possibly be next year. With three studios to work within this gave us a lot of room to work with. However my main focus for this week was to work on my dress and start and finish embellishment.
On my action plan this showed me being a week behind and so wanted to get this finished extra quick. I decided to take time out of class and stay at home finishing off my dress as this was time used most efficiency.
29: How not to fail workshop
in the afternoon we were told to go to the third floor for a workshop on how to write our evaluation and any questions we wanted to know. this class wasnt the best as everyone was distracted with catching up with everyone and wanted to get back to their own project as there were days left.
The workshop allowed us to know all the information for finalisation and deadlines, the actual workshop covered things to include on our evaluation and what past evaluations looked like.
29: Finishing dress
As the finishing touches of the dress, I added a lace trim pattern piece on the dress of the dress. With the dress on the mannequin I pinned where I wanted it to be and then hand sewed in it. I then added a skirting of beads to cover the outside edge and fill in a few gaps, surprisingly this didn't take as long as I thought it would compared to the sequin example done before. I also added red dye to look like stain fabric with blood. I separeated the layers and did them individually before sewing up the bottom of the dress. I finally went over these blood lines with even more beads.
25: Alexander McQueen - Spray paint
Carrying on from the idea of visual moving art I remember a garment created by Alexander Mcqueen using machines to spray paint a dress. The outcome to this garments was messy, careless and thoughtless, however there was a clear sign of movement within the garment as it developed over time to reveal a yellow and black design. This was the main stimulus of the design.
When seeing this dress in real life at the V&A it was much grander in person, it managed to take up so much space in the exhibition that it created a personality of its own, sitting amongst the audience in the middle of the room and growing a design of its own. Other work covering evolution made me want to look at growing work further. Seeing a design process similar to penwald 2:8 circles gives a sense of accomplishment when the design is complete.
Hussein chalayan dissolving dress
In comparison to garments evolving I also started looking at garments which deteriorated, I felt the effects were similar in ways as they both modified their designs to reveal a change in the overall structure. The dress seen above was shown at a fashion show where showers were installed at the centre of the stage. As models walk up onto the platform their soluble garments would dissolve as the outfit became completely immersed in water. One the fabric was fully dissolved the garment underneath was revealed to be much more designed and well fitting compared to the original bulky design due to its main feature of covering the dress underneath.
An impossible wardrobe for the invisible
Another artist which I came across had also used soluble fabric within their design, however their approach was very unique. Unlike the previous artists revealing a surprise transformation garment underneath, this artist created a very simple yet effect outcome to using soluble fabric in its original purpose. To wash away.
Garments presented were viewed in a swimming pool or small rock pool, As the performers entered the pool their garments washed away. Some designs were only viewed from the waist up, this meant that their garments were not below the water and resulted in half of the garment still visible on the top half. This was a very way of thinking working almost as a stencil or dip dye effect. I thought in way of how I could incorporate these effects into my own design as
I thought of ways in how I could incorporate these effects into my own design. I thought they showed representation link between material and emotion, feelings being washed away and dissolved by the water. A transition on design similar to how a person may occur an illness and recover.
Week 25: Model building
For our final exhibition, we needed to create 40x40 boxes to fit into a miniature asylum, Gary thought it would be a good idea to practice our model making skills by recreating one of the rooms in CSM. We started with measurements 1:100 accurately drawn out, In groups our first task was to convert all the dimensions into 1/25 or 1/10 depending on the space we were working with. Working with Georgette and Julian we found it confusing and complicated in how we would convert these measurements. Some people used scale rulers to work out the size, however I personally found it easier to measure and multiply by the desired measurement to work out the size, even though this was the longer way around working out things, it allowed my mind to understand the conversion rather than it being given to me. By working out the formula I was able to accurately measure out all the other measurements and found it to be more reliable as scale rulers didn't show millimetres.
That was the easy bit..
drawing our design and cutting out seemed to be our most difficult challenge, visually every looked straight and the same size until we cut it all out and found that nothing truly matched. The majority of walls height ways didn't match up and even though they were vertically straight when turning it into a net it was evident that the tops were not straight. We also found when cutting everything got slightly smaller each time, changing all out measurements and being small than expected. Luckily these were practice test for the real one, hopefully by the time of the exhibition, everyone would have mastered the skill of model building.
Things to take note of are sharp Stanley knives. lining the ruler as precise as possible when cutting and ensuring the ruler doesn't slip ensuring accuracy and health and safety. (purchase cork bottom metal ruler)
25: Drawing light
The following day we had a light workshop with Kate. Understanding shadow and how to draw when light sources hit various part of the body and how clothing reflects light in different ways. Starting off with body positions, we worked in groups of four and took turns in rotating being the muse. We took note of the model, levels, and positioning of light, main focuses it hit on the body and playing with different fabrics.
At first. the first few drawing were very stiff and out proportion, however as the workshop went on I found my wrist to loosen and drawing became more lifelike and in proportion. It made me realise that I need practice drawing more as it would help me in a lot of way. From that lesson I started carrying around mini sketchbooks A6 that fitted in pockets and coats to use on the train during my hourly commute on the tube to and from Uni, this was also good to during for exhibition and theatre, sketching set design for garments to reference from instead of having to keep a mental image which may distort over time.
As an additional reminder of things I needed to be doing on top of my weekly planner and updated action plan I also used a whiteboard sitting on top of my desk as a reminder of things to do, I feel having a list visually in front of you every day stops mentally trying to pass it off for a another day. It mentally creates an idea of success as the list gets small and small rubbing off accomplished tasks throughout the week.
26:mutant baby doilies: a luxurious skin disease
When browsing Pinterest and looking for extra research I came across this designer who uses beads, rhinestones, lace and other textiles material to create designers bruises and cuts. I thought this was a really good idea for showing both of my ideas.
I started at once of ways I could create this and looked at latex as this was skin coloured. The first attempt didn't go so well as I wasn't able to prise the latex off my leg without curling up into a ball as it was too thin. The second attempt was more successful, using a pair of tights as the base so they could roll up like the first time and I had a base to peel off my skin. From the past taking ages to dry I remember seeing someone mix flour and latex together to create a stronger bond replicating latex thickener.
This process turned out very well, however, wasn't as translucent on the skin then without however I didn't think this was a problem. When attaching rhinestone to the latex I found this to be an easy and simple process, but when I stood up and walked around I found a majority of rhinestone fell of easily and ruined the effect. I went back to the drawing board and started again. This time, I changed the placement to areas which had little movement, and especially not attaching it to the knees where there is the most movement. This final attempt was most effective as it created a sturdy base and didn't have an issue of beads falling off while walking.
26: Design development
As designs were becoming more elaborate and technical I started picking my favourte designs and developing them to c=become strong, I found creating a mood board around then I was able to have a better understanfing about the feel and themes I was going for.
This leads me to want to try out how these designs would visually look instead of having a piece of paper as a reference. I found physical experiments much more beneficial as I was able to take into account time sewing and embroidering which took a lot longer on certain fabric and rhinestones.
Note to self: Bring in laptop charger.
After my laptop died on me during a power work session I annoyingly found out that the library laptops were not compatible with my own. This wasn't a problem as I borrowed on of their laptops and transferred photos and documents once I got home. However, this made me realise to bring my own charger in future as it makes things a lot easier overall.
Instead of flicking back and forth between reflection and research I found it much more helpful and useful, collecting all work on workflow onto one page. This enables me to see a clear pathway of all my work instead of jumping pages which became very confusing. I thought this way of work was able to present supporting backup research with analysis and reflection. Analysing both pages became very confusing as I wasn't sure what should be where.
27: Final design
The top of the dress is dyed red using special effect blood to create the illusion of dripping blood. The front of the dress shows a red lace patch following an art nouveau style of flowers and leaves embellished with a skirting of red and black hexagon beads. Below the lace follows a similar style of dripping blood enhanced by the embellishment of red. the top half presents an appliqué with two of the main materials seen this garment. the sleeves are full length made from sheer camel coloured material. The back of the dress is open revealing the models back. The bottom of the dress comes down mid knee of the model created from a peach nude fabric replicating a lycra texture. Extra feature show wounds created from liquid latex, flour and rhinestones on the top of the leg and on the calf created from different beads and rhinestones from the main design on the front.
27: Character interpretation
When picturing this garment in a film or theatre I pictured it possibly being a documentary featuring cannibalism or understand the beauty of others. Using it as a recreation clip or as a representation of what they saw when looking at an object or design.
Another way which I would interpret this would be I in a pro mental illness film showing the other side of views and their views on inspiration. I noticed there were a lot of films on youtube which had never made it to the cinema, covering the theme of mental institutes, understanding different, points of views and how they interpreted these ideas.
Once I was happy with my final outcome, I guestimated how much material I would need for each section plus a bit more if things went wrong and for testing. My initial material I was looking for was viscose and nylon as these were material I had in my wardrobe and liked the feel and texture of them.
When going to the fabric shop I bought along with me the fabric I was originally looking for. Unfortuniently I wasn't successful finding either of these materials, however, found very similar fabric with similar properties which wouldn't alter my design. Another aspect I found difficult when searching for materials was the right colour, even with a fabric shop there was still a limited amount of colours to choose from and had to result with two slightly off nude colours, this wasn't a problem though as I was able to use my initiative and when to choose colours decided on slightly pink and the other yellow tinted to cancel out the two colours creating a beige skin tone.
Before making my design I wanted to have a final play around with as many as experiments as I could, because this was a new type of material, large scale of dying and finally embellishing I wanted to ensure everything was perfect as I knew the process of unpicking was a strenuous task to fulfill. I tried out using the material with different outcomes of dying such as straight from the bottle, before sewing, after sewing, applying on layered fabric, unlayered, working with it concentrated at different layers. I found the best outcome was working on pre-sewed fabric however applying the dye one layer of material at a time. This meant when sewing I had to remember to leave one side unattached to allow my hand to reach through both layers with a paint brush. This was longer process however, accomplishable.
27: Pattern piece
When creating the pattern piece I made sure to include a fold line, stretch line, and seam allowance
Easter I: People Places and Things Set
Photos by Minghui Reece
Working in noise
Funnily enough, I am never able to concentrate in an empty room or in complete silence. for this reason, I found it useful to work in the library even when fully packed rather than staying downstairs in our own classroom. At home, I would also put music on or watch a film as background noise.
When looking over my sketchbook I wanted to add more analysis to my pages, however, didn't want my pages to appear messy or over flowing with too much work. I Decided by uploading certain sketchbook pages onto workflow showing all my initial ideas and development.
Classroom, Library, Home
My most productive days worked by going to class 10-4:30
Moving up to the Library until being chucked out or 10 to get home for 11pm
working on the train
Carry on working in my bedroom, work is not productive or feeling groggy I would move downstairs to work in the living room or on the dining table.
Advantage of resources
Throughout this project I thought I used the resources we were given wisely.
wood workshop: taking scraps of wood to create my structure for my exhibition box, asking for help to cut the wood to the right length on the big machines and band saw.
library: taking books out for research, using laptops, printing scanning and topping up card, space to work, extra time after class closed.
archway: space to work in , casting and using wood and metal workshops
teachers: asking for help, workshops with moon for workflow
A complication which occurred was the dimension of the box. At first, I thought the dimensions for the box were 40x40x40 and so created a box which was to these measurements. A few days after people believed the size was meant to fit 40x40x38. This was a small change in dimension so didn't worry too much about making drastic changes to my box. When I returned o the class for the weeks lesson I was surprised to find out that when measuring it was 30cm from the side however 38 from the front however only on boxes with high towers. I found this very annoying as I had to find a way to cut down an acrylic box. Because of my design, it was overall better to create an acrylic box rather than using cardboard.
I managed to fix this problem by scoring the acrylic to the desired height on both sides then adding for the one side for the material to snap. I found that in certain places I had over cracked, above the line which was a bigger problem then under the cracked , which was solvable by sanding the sides down, using plyers or smashing it with a hammer. Luckily I had only badly botched one side of the box which I positioned out of view to the audience.
29: Exhibition box installing I
We were allocated certain days for installing our box, and wanted a head start as i knew there was a lot i had to get done, I came in on the week end to install box and use the empty room for a photoshoot
When photographing my dress I took into account hair makeup, special effects makeup, shoes, hand, and nails as all these elements would show and benefit if changing for the photoshoot:
Dress: Made sure all extra threads were removed
Tights: made sure they were ready to put on with supporting cardboard inside of them
Hair: curled hair and then put up in a bun, took out front fringe from up do
makeup: heavy and dramatic makeup, focussed one eye and contouring, minimal lips look
Earring: took out bull horn stretcher and replaced with black spiral as the colour scheme was nude, red and black
Hands: rubbed off any writing on hands as this would show up on photo
Nails: painted matte red
Special effects: giant bruise across back using bruise wheel, and dripping blood from the eye using special effect blood in dark.
Shoes: nude Jeffrey Campell
I first took photos in the classroom using the installed white wall as a backdrop and proposed by camera and tripod on a nearby table. I found the lighting was off for these photos and had to edit them after on photoshop.
When the light was out and it had stopped raining I wanted to go outside and take photos in the fountain. This was my original idea from the start and wanted to fulfill my idea, The water was extremely cold but bearable, I used Diane as my camera woman as she had previously shot a film so had an idea about angles overall I thought the photos turned out well and after editing them and adding a red filter to the water its added a really realistic effect.
30: Installing box II
When coming in and installing my box, I didn't realise how much work I needed to do to it. I found that it was a bit more complicated as expect as`I wanted to add the oil in only at the very end meaning I had to prep the box before.
Cleaning it with window cleaner
cutting and applying reflective card
adding in smaller box applying water and oil
having to top it up gradually.
I wasn't entirely impressed with my box so returned the day after and tried to improve on it more. I added material related to the dress, topped my box up more and added glitter to the water. This added a lot to the boxes final detail and was more happy with the final outcome. I also increased the amount of tablets to added to the water as they effect wasn't as good as I hoped. with the glitter now in the water this created a much more interesting overall outcome
Sheet 1: main and drawing
Sheet 2: leg samples
Sheet 3: Initial
Sheet 4: developed
Sheet 5: dress x3
sheet 6: water pictures x2
Sheet 7/8: movement paintings
From the UP interviews I had a good idea on how to measure up my portfolio sheets, taking the dimensions of the sheet away from the pictures and then dividing from the gaps needed. I found this the most effiency, reliable and quickest way of doing things other than others who used a much complication method
As last touch ups I use the last few days and hours to work on my workflow as this had been neglected during the process of making and box installing. `This was also the case for my sketchbook. I added in samples, sketches and any paper work which needed to be included, To complete these items off my tick list I stayed in uni late as this was the place I worked best.
My project covers a range of ideas, and news ways of thinking. Discovering foreign materials and new ways of thinking in different mediums. Work was continuously documented on workflow, able to keep a continuous journal of my experiences throughout this assignment. My analysis was updated by writing up changes and developments along the way. The research collected was most strongly influenced by articles, museums visits and seeing theatres productions. By analysing every piece of work created it allowed me to develop the strongest pieces along with using research and articles as supporting work to help. From these points, I was able to create a basis of character interpretation and design.
Problems which occurred along the way were first experimented on by creating samples of work before making scale models. This made my process cost effective and saved time possibly lost. These issued were easy to fix as work had previously been sampled and tested out on previous designs.
I found referring back to my proposal stopped me from possibly going off track. I was able to look back at my work created and use this as a pathway for future work. My action plan was also a great help, using it as a starting point for tasks and a guideline for personal deadlines for myself. When work became delayed or ahead of time I had to reassess my action plan to alter dates and timing,this allowed me to use my time most efficiently.
When designing garments I experimented with various materials, understanding texture, elasticity, thickness and colour scheme. This was tested out prior to making and reduced the number of errors created. Before cutting out my design I played with various outcomes, draping fabric over the mannequin and pinning to manipulate the shape, this let me have a clear visual understanding of the final outcome possibilities.
I ensured all three aspects of my project were continuously kept up to date. While making my garment, I presented my process in my sketchbook and on workflow, adding supporting research which I may have come across along the way, and how this it may have altered views on past work.
Throughout my designs, I consider alternative ways to present my ideas, looking at theatre design, performance and film to document my final piece.
Past experience in special effects and my future course of 3D effects for performance and fashion influenced me to create my final outcome, this attracted me to artists and designers with a more theatrical approach to garments and artwork, covering aspects of hair and make-up, costume, props, shoes and prosthetics.
I found my ideas changed throughout my project being influenced by new sources of research and materials. This project opened my mind towards interpretation and ways of presenting work. I inspired to challenge myself and use new materials and techniques, it allowed me to understand supporting work and appreciate work in films and theatres, strengthening my desire for working in this industry.
In this project I proposed to reveal and present the surreal views of mental health through costume design, covering news ways of thinking through model making, 3d outcomes and prosthetics garments. To help understand the main themes within my project I used a range of mediums to explore my project in depth. This included going to galleries and theatre productions, reading books and articles with relating themes attending lectures to have a better understanding about the theoretical structure of mental health.
From my original proposal at the beginning of the project I had intended to create a performance focussing on body language and movement throughout the asylum. This however changed as I progressed in developing my ideas to create a visual outcome inspired by body movement and actions performed with in the institute. I found that my final outcomes showed to be more effective and stronger than the performances themselves creating the art. This led me to focus on physical actions resulting in mark making on the body and designs created as a result of movement.
The research produced had a large impact in my designs and creation towards my final outcome. I Looked at artists and articles which followed similar themes and motif including ‘A luxurious skin disease’ and Leah Miriam who idolised unappealing subjects in different ways.
If I had a chance to extend my project and develop it further, I would focus on creating an entire outfit fully engulfing the themes of altering the unappealing properties of a subjects. I thought my most strongest point within my project was the approach to the stimulus given to us, taking on the project from a different point of view and experimenting with different outcomes.
In contract to this I found my weakest areas were experimenting in different areas of performance, adventuring into film or creating an interactive activity. In a situation were they was no time frame, money budget and full access to all supplies I would have liked to work at a grander scale, creating a collection of garments that follows the themes and ideas of my project. experimenting with costly materials and industrial machinery which may have improved my overall final outcomes.
With the time frame given, I managed to produce a garment with complimentary add ons, however ideally I would have liked to create a series of design and play with materials other than fabric. Due to time and cost this was not possible, but still encountered these designs into my project.
Looking back at my over all project I thought my outcome was a clear representation of my proposal and demonstrated the themes within my project clearly and effectively. My time frame was planned accordingly to the the work produced and the time taken to finish each outcome, I felt the last few weeks of the project were much more productive than the first few weeks and would have liked to have an extra week to finalise all my designs and contribution work towards my project.