Neighbourhood Part 2; Research

Reggae; Mood Analysis

I found that the best way to understand the Ska & Reggae music scenes was to listen to lots and lots of music. I found this to be an eye opening experience given that I have never listened to this genre beyond the more surface level, i.e through music produced by artists that transcended the genre. I enjoyed listening to the relaxed and laid-back energy in some of these cuts. Also observing what the men are wearing in live performances I can see the mood is uninhibited - there is visibly a sense of release and catharsis when people are dancing i.e letting go. I am also very drawn to the lapels that I see, these are very sharp and wide, men's shirt collars are opened over their jacket collars. I think it is important to not be literal with my references and to instead use the design development practices I have learned on the course to generate shapes. At the same time I want to translate this mood in to my design process. One way could be through adding dropped shoulders to some of my garments, potentially creating a more relaxed silhouette as per the mood I am trying to create. I am unsure as to whether I will end up using this research explicitly, however it was useful to understand what people did for fun in Lewisham in this time. It also might be something I can return to later.

Secondary Research; Left: The Heptones, Country Boy (1976) Right: Linton Kwesi Johnson, Dread Beat 'an Blood (1978).

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Sample Set

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Sample Set

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Secondary Research; Slade, D. Reggae Back Beat (2009)

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Reggae Back Beat; Textural Analysis

In researching the Borough of Lewisham I was particularly drawn to the 1970's when  Ska and Reggae were growing forms of artistic expression through sound system culture, originating in Jamaica.  I am interested in the rhythm and beat in this particular genre. I was thinking perhaps I could also use the specific beat and/or rhythm from Ska music from this period somehow translating this into textile design, generating rhythm through material. What interests me specifically about Ska and Reggae is the unique 'upstroke' guitar sounds that emphasises the space in between the beats as opposed to having the stroke land on the beat. This tilts our ears as if we are always catching up. It also provides jolts of movement in the sonic landscape, I am thinking about sonic terrain, sonic textures - how can I use this? This I feel was an unconscious development that has been occurring since I visited Blain Southern and observed the exhibition 'Uninside Out' by Sean Scully.

Secondary Research; Munsell, A. Colour System (1930).

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Primary Research (Group Exercise); Kings Cross Colour Studies

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Design Development; Aesthetic Analysis

I include these to act as visual cues for 'Benches Analysis'. I am trying to visualise the potential for the line created by the bench to be translated into a laser cut fabric. This would make whichever fabric I use drape in a completely different way, though a rigid fabric such as industrial felt for example would  hold its shape. This reminds me of the technique 'slashing; that I learned in the Geometric Shapes workshop with Koki. Perhaps I could experiment with these lines and slash in to a similar weighted fabric to the one I envisage using for this design (woolen mohair), if I had more time I would make many samples and develop this further, then have my fabric laser cut, utilising the Digital Fabrication Bureau at Kings Cross.

 

Another way I could translate the bench in to the design is through surface and texture. Doing research in to how the wood on benches is treated for example, or perhaps using my mark makings from when I went to Lewisham. I want to ensure that my sources of inspiration are visually evident in my design outcomes.

Primary Research; Sculpture Making (Full Making Process Outlined in Sketchbook)

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Contextualising my Primary Research at Kings Cross

I am trying to contextualise my structures within my research into The Battle of Lewisham. Thinking about the flares and noises going on in the streets of South London. One of my structures from Monday looks like a mine that is being set off. This perhaps is too abstract an idea to translate into my design - I was thinking about how I could use my magenta trimmings to resemble the flare 'smoke' going off in the street, I don't feel that this works because it is underdeveloped at this stage. Due to timing I think it best to concentrate on collaging my sculpture and samples onto the body in order to contextualise these in garment form since that is what I am here to study, my abstract ideas need the structure of the body to make any sense. I learned this during my Public Art project where the structured process centred around the body really helped my ideas and research to become more visually evident especially once draped onto the body.

 

Although I don't intend on using yellow, it was interesting to see how this colour interacts and offsets/adds a jolt of vibrancy to the deep blue and green hues. It does lead me to think about incorporating perhaps another colour to the Teal colour palette, my mind immediately goes toward experimenting with a 'hot magenta'.

Sean Scully, Colour Analysis

The range of hues Scully explores here I find potent. I am drawn to the movement in between the lines, these are much freer than the rigid geometry that Albers uses in his colour studies. I find that there is a sense of rhythm in Scully's work that appeals to me, at the exhibition at Blain Southern I read Scully's scrapbook which talks about this rhythm. Scully described how music and drum beats inspired his painting during the 1980's before he moved on to making sculpture. This lead me to research the predominating musical genres  (Ska, Reggae) in my given Borough, Lewisham during the 1970's, I am thinking that I could infuse the rhythms of the Ska & Reggae music as a pattern or print for my samples.

Secondary Research; Left: Sean Scully, Landline Blue Black Cream, 2014. Right: Sean Scully, Landline Green Sea, 2014.

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Aurora Conceptual Analysis

I find Albers work to be personally very challenging. Why would somebody choose to spend years obsessing over colour? The strict geometric format is to some extent benign and reduces the visual down to simple shapes. I find it challenging to understand what Albers is saying. I think this is important to note and to explore rather than simply accept what his painting is about. In a way I think this is the true spirit of what Albers is saying, to try to find out my own way of interpreting and understanding colour, discovering my own relationship through 'throwing myself in' to it.

 

Having seen online videos on Albers I am drawn to the subtle blur between each colour, intentionally provoking a sense of the colours melding into each other, literally interacting with each other on the canvas. All the while this interacting is contained through using strict geometry. This makes me think about how I may use strict geometry to control my abstract thinking, which sometimes can be difficult to translate into design outcomes that 'make sense'.

Secondary Research; Albers, J. 'Aurora' (1975).

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Primary Research (Group Exercise); Kings Cross Colour Studies

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Design Development; Translating Bench Research in to Print/Laser Cutting Ideas

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Benches; Shape & Form Analysis

I want to interrogate my interest in the bench. It seemed I was drawn to the benches due to my interest in ubiquity and universal design features in my surroundings while visiting the borough of Lewisham. The distorted silhouette and protrusion that occurs when a person is sat on the bench is one that I decided to study through draping. We constructed the shape by using sticks; this was effective in creating the effect that I wanted. I want to explore this idea further through collage.

 

Having spoken with many BA fashion students, it has opened my mind to the endless points and avenue that I can go down when being inspired in this case by benches. Through surface, texture, print, mood, shape, material, proportion, scale, colour, concept - there are many ideas here that I can extract from the benches that I observed. 

 

I am interested in laser cutting to translate the space between the wooden plates that generate the form and structure of the bench. Due to time - it is best to explore these ideas through small samples and drawing/collage so that I can work through these ideas at a pace before next week's project begins.

Left: Macrame Sampling Experiments Right: Contrasting Magenta with hints of Turquoise

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Colour Study; Teal Hues

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Colour Study; Teal Hues

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Shelton, S. The Battle of Lewisham (1977)

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Secondary Research; Shelton, S. The Battle of Lewisham (1977)

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Secondary Research; Shelton, S. The Battle of Lewisham (1977)

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Secondary Research; Shelton, S. The Battle of Lewisham (1977).

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Secondary Research; Shelton, S. The Battle of Lewisham (1977)

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