Art & Design, Research

A Look Behind Heritage

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Women In My Life That Inspire Me

 

   

 

1ST BIRTHDAY

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This is an image from my mother’s 1st Birthday. I want to use this image as the main image I use within my samples because she is my biggest inspiration.

My Ancestry

Heritage Definition:
 1. Property that is or may be inherited. 
 2. A special or individual possession; an allotted portion.
 3. God’s chosen people (the people of Israel, or the Christian Church).
To me heritage stands for the music, tales, and even clothing passed down to us from our ancestors. The folklore, the clothing as well as the food are all huge aspects of any culture. For this project, I aim to go back in time and interpret the history, tales and legends of strong African heroines that have been passed down many generations. I want to experiment with the idea of presenting these histories in a different way by placing women in positions of power. In order to do this and make this project personal, I needed to take a deeper look into my own ancestral roots.
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Nigeria

I started my research by looking up the concept of ‘Heritage’. I wanted to explore this by looking at my own ancestry and looking at tribes and the stories they passed down through generations. However, I came to the realisation that although these stories were told to teach people moral lessons, people (women in particular) still struggle to find their voices in society. By looking at my places of origin, I realised that these are the places women seem to suffer the most. Through my research I hope to try and retell these stories and make it so women are celebrated.

Senegal

Having recently discovered my senegalese roots, I wanted to incorporate this into the unit 7 project. I found that Senegal was one of the major areas in Africa that slaves were being traded. What stands out to me about Senegal is the ‘Door of no return’. It is located in a building called ‘The House of Slaves’ was has since been reconstructed and re-opened as a museum in 1962. It is believed that more than a million slaves passed through the doors of the house. Although this has not been confirmed, I find it highly tragic. Even tough I am an African, I have been lucky enough not to have been so affected by our involvement in slavery because it was not practiced in Northern Nigeria. Unlike in southern Nigeria where chiefs sold people into slavery, in the North our rulers never allowed it. Learning about my senegalese ancestry and ‘The door of no return’ affected me because now I am aware that there is a possibility of some of my ancestors being slaves. It is not distant anymore but something that is deep-rooted in my own family and people’s history.

 

DEDICATION:

I wanted to dedicate this project not just to women in my life who I look up to, but the girls in my nation who need hope. The girls who need encouragement, love or simply to hear the words ‘you’re not alone’. With this in mind, I took a look into young women and children in need of help.

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Art & Design, DIY

Create Your Own Fabric Design – DIY

Hi Guys!

Here’s a fun DIY project on how to create and ‘fabricate’ (LOL) your own fabric design. First and foremost you have to come up with a design. The best patterned fabrics, especially for beginners, are those with bold yet simple shapes or symbols. These symbols look even better when repeated on the surface of the fabric. For example, you could decide you want a shape – perhaps a square shape. When applying the shape to the fabric, not only can you create multiple square shapes, but you can also use different coloured inks to transfer the shapes onto the fabric. The big question is however, how does one transfer their desired design? There are two easy ways to go about this. You could either go with mono print or you could use a thick tape like I did. Here is a little step by step demonstration of how I made my own fabric design:

  • The fabric: I believe my fabric was a mix of cotton and polyester. you van use any fabric of your choice but I would recommend splurging on silk and satin for this project. I think ‘rougher’ fabrics would do a better job. Just choose a plain fabric preferably a light colour so that your patterns show.

 

  • My chosen symbol – Due to my heritage, I chose an ancient African symbol which means strength and vitality.
  • Deciding on the application method – I tried using mono print, which is basically when you apply ink to acetate (transparent ‘plastic looking’ paper) and use a roller to evenly distribute the ink before placing your fabric on it and tracing your desired pattern. I though this was a bit of a tricky process because the ink would go everywhere and it could take a long time for me to trace and repeat my symbol all over my fabric.

 

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  • Having tried out mono-printing and finding that it wasn’t for me, a friend recommended that I use a thick foam tape to create a stamp. I made my symbol using the tape as can be seen above. Others use potatoes to carve up their symbols and shaped but I thought using the tape was the easiest and most efficient way to go. Having sorted out my stamp, I proceeded to horizontally stamp and apply my symbol to my fabric.

 

  • You should be careful not to stain other parts of the fabric so that the finished look is seemingly professional. Make sure to clean your hands of any excess ink that may  cause unwanted stains (if possible). I managed to stain a bit of my fabric but seeing as I was going over it with a different colour anyway, it wasn’t too detrimental.

 

 

  • I chose to repeat my stamped symbols all over my fabric, but this time using a yellow ink instead as I felt that it would be a lovely contrast to the black. Overall, I was super pleased with the finished design. It was a relatively easy process for me and it hopefully will be for you too if you decide to give it a try.

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Note: This is a part of a Fashion Project I took part in during my time at the Central Saint Martins Orientation to Art and Design Course. A review of that will be coming soon so please keep an eye out for that. Thank you and till next time!

 

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Art & Design, Lifestyle

Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!

Hi Everyone!

This summer I had the pleasure of visiting Grayson Perry’s Exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. I honestly had no expectations whatsoever when I set off to view the show. In fact, I had never heard of Grayson Perry Prior to the exhibition. However, upon being welcomed by a long queue of eager observers waiting to see the very exhibition I was contemplating on not viewing, I realised the relevance of this exhibition within the world of art and design. Judging from the large groups of people waiting to be let in, it’s no wonder the exhibition has been coined as ‘The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!’.

The sentiment that hovers around the entire exhibition, as stated by Time Out Magazine comes from the phrase ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. For Perry, the show was intended as a form of meditation on the role of popularity in art. Through his art, he is able to tackle many contemporary issues within politics, the media and even social disasters such as class division and segregation.

It is said that his ceramic pots ‘threw him into the mainstream’s limelight’, however his custom-made motor bikes as well as unique tapestries are what intrigued me and drew me to his way of thinking. This way of viewing the world suggests a colourful history of a long series of events put into motion not just by ideologists but by ordinary individuals too. The inclusive nature of this exhibition and the fact that Grayson Perry highlights current issues really inspired me. I thoroughly enjoyed the humour and candid nature of his work.   

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Disclaimer: All of the artworks above belong to and were created by Grayson Perry. They are not my property in any way.

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Art & Design

Word Instillation Art

Hi Everyone!

This summer I attended a short Art and Design course at Central Saint Martins (University Of The Arts London). As our first assignment, we were asked to produce a piece of artwork based on the title ‘Identity’. This subject choice was rather difficult to tackle because as an individual, I believe that I am constantly in a state of change. Whether physically, mentally and of course spiritually, I feel that everyone is evolving. This lead me to explore the different factors that contribute to the development of a  person’s identity, instead of solely focusing on my own individuality.

Amongst all the brainstorming for ideas, the word that stood out to me was ‘society’. Society is vital in determining how a person grows. Not only does society influence behaviour, it shapes individuals. People like abiding by the status quo and many are pressured in various ways as well as coerced into following conventional, stereotypical social ‘norms’. This strips people off of their individuality, and perhaps gives way to all types of identity crisis. I am not a professional of any sort, but for this project I encouraged myself to step out of my comfort zone and dig into a contemporary issue.

I decided to plan as little as required as I wanted to see where my imagination would take me. My chosen word became;

SPECIFICATION – An act of identifying something precisely or of stating a precise requirement.

For me, the word perfectly summarised the pressures of ‘fitting in’ and need to act a certain way because it is considered ‘the norm’. I had a lot of fun creating the word installation, as I had never done one before. It was refreshing to have an experimental approach to art, not caring whether you made a mess but just letting your zeal for creativity take control.

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Music by Karaoke Masterpieces

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Art & Design

Coined Outfit Illustration

Hi guys!

It’s been a while since I posted anything art related and wanted to start off with some fashion illustration. Lately, i’ve really been interested in using various materials in my artwork. I thought it would be fun to use coins and come up with a look that suited the circular shapes and rusty tones of the coins.

Coming up with the outfit design was no trouble, however, I was determined to make the most of this illustration by having both the 3d and 2d elements work naturally together. After sketching out the outfit, I used water colour paint to enhance the drawing and give it a more professional finish. I then placed the coins onto to drawing; I tried out different compositions but finally settled on this one:

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It was an enjoyable process. I’ll definitely be producing more fashion illustrations so please keep an eye out for those.

Thanks and till next time!

 

 

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