Tuesday, 30 November 2010


As the blizzard swallowed up all of the little houses in old London town and isolated towns in parts of Kent and delayed people getting to work and forced a number of commuters from Brighton to sleep on a train throughout the night, Natalie was traipsing through the snow in Essex buying fags for her nan.

It was very cold, and just as i always do, i had managed to leave going to see my nan until a day that it snowed. Not only that but i couldn't go a different day because my nan had ran out of cigarettes and milk and the sheltered housing that she lives in is never properly gritted outside (the local council do know how to deal with snow, don't they) I usually refuse to buy my nan cigarettes- but as i was going to be the only one seeing her in a couple of days i felt as if i had too (I got id'd as well- proves how often i buy these types of things). She also warned me before i got there that people would be panic buying milk so she wasn't fussed which type she had- as long as i got some. She's right- people do panic buy milk in a crisis- but it doesn't make sense "we have no food but as long as we have milk in our tea everything is dandy!" The trains weren't too bad in the end either, i managed to get to Essex on Monday and back to London on Tuesday, usually anything is a reason to stop the trains in Essex but i think this time it was obvious that Kent was hit the worst and they were still running a service (In a town in Kent a news reporter measured the snow as being a '4 pints of milk carton' deep!- that's accurate milk crisis measuring for you)

Anyway, at my nan's we had a good chat about my upcoming exhibition in the Opt-in space. I'm making a piece of work relating Christmas in the war to Christmas in the present recession so i wanted to see if there was anything she could give me tips on. All i found out really was how awful Christmas was if you were evacuated- she told me one story about how for Christmas one year she had to sit in silence all day with her evacuee family while the other children played and then had to be grateful for a pair of ankle socks she had been given. A little different from the Children nowadays with their Wii's and DS's. I think i might make a point of that in the work. Also she gave me a funny idea involving ladies stockings. I'm unsure if I'll use the actual information she gave me in the work. But it is a good insight into the past that i can definitely reflect on in my performance.

I'm helping in the Christmas fayre tomorrow, however if the snow doesn't ease up I'm not sure if it will be going ahead? I'm supposed to be doing hook the duck, face painting and a cake raffle (picture of the cake i made below- it is Chelsea college in the snow!) I've also made some Christmas cards- hopefully they will sell well- if not I'll be a little embarrassed, and I'm also to run the Tombola before Anika gets out of her seminar and help Joe set up. I feel a long day of fundraising ahead...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Christmas Face Painting at HWPS

It is officially the Christmas season. My sisters primary school had their Christmas fayre earlier today and despite most of the children being off school this week with some sort of flu or illness, there was a decent turn out. We didn't make as much money as in the summer fayre but we were only there for half of the time.
I can't say that i have actually ever done Christmas themed face painting before, its not really the the right season; but i think the school makes so much money from me and my mum doing it that they can't afford not to bring us in. Still, my mum came up with some very good designs- a snowman which was very popular and a reindeer that looked good- although my sister hated it when my mum practised on her. Charlotte was actually one of the children that had been ill that week- she was deceptively quiet and green looking- yet as a reindeer she seemed absolutely fine. My favourite of the designs that i came up with was a roast dinner (a bit of a cult favourite i think, as only my sisters friends dared to have it).
There was one boy who had his face painted as a snowman- which wasn't unusual, however his dad filmed the whole thing- it was very sweet, but I'm now waiting to find myself on YouTube "Terrible face painter attempts snowman, lol!" I think that it was more of the case of being new to the country- his dads English wasn't great and they both seemed to be far too fascinated with the fayre and what was happening- as the rest of the crowd (mainly cash losing parents) were huffing through predictability of tin tombolas and Santa's grotto's. I thoroughly enjoyed the fayre... minus Charlotte spilling my newly bought cup of tea.

I'm looking forward to the Chelsea Christmas Fayre next week!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

New beginnings...

We met at the Morpeth on Wednesday to discuss and evaluate the last chapter of  the thegalleryistalking project- despite it being an evaluative session we actually had a really good time and chat about the things that were good and bad, we also had a very nice meal (which is unusual with pub visits). People were surprisingly positive about what had gone on and the plans for the next steps of the project- i think the discussion was mainly based around the opening and whether people got anything out of the project. I think i certainly did. It made me realise that i shouldn't take on too many responsibilities all at once, not just for the time ratio i have to do everything in, but also because i have a tendency to take over situations, which isn't necessarily good (Hopefully i will act upon this new knowledge- although it may be too late!). The meeting has also set the point for me as the end of the second year and the beginning of the third year and new responsibilities, partly for the responsibility of taking over the project but also because all of my projects left over from last year are finished.
I called a meeting on Tuesday with the three new people that were to be joining the project and us old members - the new people didn't turn up. I had the assumption that they would just come. But i have to realise that not everybody's mind works in the same way as mine (I would go to the opening of a letter!), not everyone checks their e-mails 15 times a day,  and some apologise after the event for not coming instead of giving warning. It's a shame because i wouldn't have minded arranging the meeting for a different day if i had known that they had their seminar that day. Also, it is probably quite daunting to go to a different studio as a new 1st year to go and meet up with a couple of dominating 3rd years. I'll have to make sure that next time they don't feel as if they can't tell me if they can't attend- perhaps we can meet in their studio? I miss the Blue room- such neutral territory.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

World Bake Sale Day!

My contribution to the world bake sale tomorrow as a non-international student:

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Christmas Card preview

I've been making some christmas cards to be sold at the christmas fayre on 1st December at Chelsea college on the parade ground (10.30am- 5pm)- come along and buy them, they are all hand made, mine are odd satire cards, but other people will have nice ones- plus there will be food and drink to consume and some fabulous kareoke

Monday, 22 November 2010

Winter Wonderland!

We took a house trip down to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde park today- originally the plan was to go and see The museum of everything, but when checking the website on the way there we noticed that it wasn't actually open. The quick change of plan involved going to see some Anish Kapoor by the Serpentine Gallery, however we thought we would walk through Hyde park to get there and by passing bumped into the Winder wonderland. It was very brightly coloured and wonderful as we expected, but unfortunately everything was far too expensive. We settled with buying some doughnuts and having some pictures taken with a pretend Santa. O well, onto the artwork.
The Anish Kapoor was ok, it was a little too predictable for me though, we may have just looked at  the photos in the Time Out mag we had instead of walking for half an hour to see the same sculpture doing the same thing in 3 different locations. Perhaps i just have a short attention span, but i did enjoy the winter wonderland more.


We ventured up to Liverpool on Friday for a class trip. After leaving ridiculously early and being sick on one of those awful curving speed trains, we reached Lime Street and headed over to the Tate Liverpool to  drop my bag  off in a Hotel on the dock and meet the rest of our class (A little turmoil with this task as it seemed that when i checked in, the receptionist had given me a dud key card that wouldn't open the door- poor Laura took the initiative to go and ask for another while me and Joe were trying to force the thing open- Laura's method prevailed and the 5 minute stop turned into a 15 minute hastle and a quick stop in a Beatles souvenir shop). When we eventually got to the Tate, there wasn't much of a class there, in fact it was just myself, Joe and Laura who had turned up, Oh and Gill.

We stopped for a quick cup of tea in the Tate- i was horrified to share a pot of herbal tea with Laura, not that I'm not fond of it, just that i was shockingly tired and needed caffeine. I assumed Laura would need caffeine too?! Inside the gallery there was part of the Liverpool Biennial tour. I can't really say that i found any of the work breathtaking although i did enjoy finding various ways of sitting on a big blue sculpture in the middle of the room that you were allowed to interact with. My real joy came when browsing the permanent collection- Bruce Nauman's- Good Boy, Bad Boy. I have never seen the full installation before, only clips and photos. I was totally taken in by it and encouraged Joe to share the joy too. I think he was very pleased in the end with the forcing him to sit and watch it, unfortunately we couldn't watch it for the full hour.


We swiftly moved on from the Tate and we saw a couple more sights- the place where the 'This Morning' weatherman used to jump across his  floating map, the Mersey and the livabirds- we also learned about the Liverpudlian cultural heritage features (a la Gill) such as the immigration, slavery, trade and lambananas- and took a tour of a house that was dressed with 1940's ww2 decor- a very friendly man invited us in, he seemed very interested in our array of accents and i was convinced that he must have been friend of Gills- however we were reassured that Liverpudlians are just friendly and nosey, everyone speaks to each other like that.

The tour stopped for a brief buy in the Mersey Ferry gift shop where i bought my sister an 'I love Liverpool' T-shirt and had a conversation with the  shop assistant about Hanson and 90's music. We agreed that cheesy pop is the best music to play in a gift shop.
Gill moved us on again, this time for Lunch- unfortunately we had missed the ferry trip across the river and were told 'we may be able to go on the way back' - i think his was just one of those lies your mother tells you when you want to go in the sweet shop and she wants to go elsewhere (I do like a nice boat though, so i made sure i got a ride the next day). We got lunch in a very beautiful old pub- specifically chosen because it sold 'Scouse'- bowls of it. Again myself and Joe missed out as they weren't serving 'blind scouse' (The veggie alternative)- but what we lacked in eating we made up in drinking (I actually only had half a pint of beer and i was so drunk i insisted that we should visit a pound shop.)

Moving on from lunch and the pound shop we did a little more tourism- Joe had his picture taken outside of 'The cavern'  and we all went to the Vivian Westwood shop to dribble for a while, and then over to see a little bit of art. After all, I'm sure there was a reason for us to be there. We went inside a church building where there was a bed- a copy of the bed piece that John Lennon and Yoko Ono did all that time ago- apparently different artists were coming in to make an artwork on the bed over the course of about a month everyday. We had missed it that day though and the remnants wasn't really that illustrative of what had happened- we walked over to the back of the church where there was an old book store. Joe bought some old door knobs and i got a 70's penguin book of the Crusades. First Christmas present sorted.

The main exhibition that we had come to see in Liverpool was inside an old hardware shop- it had a piece of Work by the Freee collective on the front of the windows and had an extensive collection of every kind of artwork you could think of, from a room full of paintings, to the the roof which was full of pipes leading into the air vents out in the street (Rosa Baba) to some wacky brain numbing films in the basement that made absolutely no sense (Which was part of the fascination of the films-RyanTrecartin) This was probably my favourite space of the day, i enjoyed the challenging aspect of the space being completely different to spaces i had seen before and being so vast that i was ready to collapse when we left. The space also had a labyrinth type quality, and the mix of work meant that every turn was a surprise and unexpected.

Misty Liverpool and a UFO
I didn't wait long before i got cold and went back to the hotel, i grabbed a sneaky cab back up to the station about half an hour later- very interesting conversation with the taxi driver though, about how he likes the cockneys, but can't stand people from Essex- I told him i was a London girl to save embarrassment.

The weekend was a lot more relaxing than the whistle stop tour- we went on the Mersey cruise (where the Beatles song played over and over again) and visited various pubs in the city- the majority mentioning the Beatles somewhere in the pub for tourism purposes. We managed to find the old pub from the Friday again which was good, because i knew Nick would love it. We didn't go for any scouse though. It was very cold over the weekend too so we spent the weekend off and on looking at coats- the shopping is very extensive in Liverpool and it does seem as if a lot of the culture surrounds this at the weekend, the crowds were the varsity of those at Oxford street on a Saturday- which is probably why we stopped at the pub so many times. 

Nick taking photos of the Mersey (maybe to escape the Beatles song?)
We stopped off at the Britannia Adelphi Hotel (Adelphi Hotel) for a drink on Saturday, which was an odd experience, from the look of the building and the description of the Hotel you expect luxury- and we had specifically gone in to take a look around the building, but the bar had been turned into an American 'diner' style bar and the main pub area, although beautiful in its originality and architecture, seemed to have been hollowed out to fit in as many chairs and tables as possible, and hadn't been cleaned in a long time. However, to be fair, it was full. The pub culture in Liverpool obviously runs quite deeply into the city's history- the majority of the punters were men on their own with a paper and a pint, the odd family and a couple of Lady's scattered around. It wasn't a bad atmosphere, but it was a little odd. In contrast to this we walked into the main hallway of the hotel which was very large and lavish and immaculate. It is supposed to be a tea and coffee reception room but it was almost too daunting to sit down. We didn't stay for coffee, but we did head up the hill to see some of the architectural artworks that i hadn't managed to see on Friday. One in particular that i thought was very good was a building covered in flags- it was obvious to see the countries of each flag but at the same time there was an overlay  of a fire image, so the building looked like it had been burnt down (Will Kwon) I hadn't realised to start with
that it was a piece of work- but it was very effective.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Thursday, 18 November 2010


I managed to get to Rainbows this evening- it was quite lucky, as the one of the leaders couldn't make it- the unit can only really run with two otherwise our ratios are out. I think there has to be 1 adult to every 5 children, which can be tricky, especially as everyone has to be CRB checked nowadays. When i was in Brownies, guides etc, the mums could just come and help out no problem- much easier, and there was never any cause for cancelling meetings because of staff shortage. It does make things a little difficult, especially as it is at an awkward time and it is a voluntary position, people just aren't able to volunteer anymore.
Anyway, rainbows was fun- we did some colouring in- which i was quite pleased about, although i didn't get to do one of my own; i was told by one of the rainbows that i had to help colour hers in- because it was going to be be a big job!
After Rainbows i quickly ran home for some dinner to then follow on to a District meeting to discuss plans, fundraising, that kind of thing, its a little sad though, because i know with college i just wont be able to go to half of these things; we did discuss doing something for Thinking Day, as it is a large guiding tradition. we all had to pick a country for our groups. I chose Norway off the top of my head for the senior section, presuming that i would know how to do a craft as such. Could be a little more difficult than i thought...
I was also supposed to be going back to London this evening, having a seminar tomorrow morning- but the meeting went on a little longer than expected- when i said that i needed to get home, i think i was misunderstood, there was a reply of "we all need to get home tonight"- i don't think that people have caught on that i don't live in Harold Wood anymore.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Royal Academy - Treasures of Budapest

I went to see treasures of Budapest today with Rob. It closes soon so i thought i should use my membership. I recieved the membership for my birthday from my brother- I think he wants to prove to me that my work is not real art, afterall it doesn't come in the form of a painting! I'm only joking, i'm sure he respects my work for what it is, and the gift was very generous. Myself and Rob were very pleased- and i was very excited to see what the RA members room was like.
The exhibition was very extensive, but unusually i didn't see this as a problem- it had a lot of substance and the majority of the paintings were very beautifully painted. It wasn't until we exited and realised we had been in the space for at least 2 1/2 hours we saw the real vasity of the exhibition as we felt as if we had only browsed the work. I think Rob enjoyed the exhibition more than myself- he looked extensivly at many of the pieces (especially one of the first we looked at, a medieval alter piece) but i enjoy our trips to painting exhiobitions anyway; I always come away with a little more knowledge to add to my art history archive. Rob knows everything. I especially enjoy the few people that follow us around an exhibition just to listen to waht Rob is telling me about each painting.
Treasures of Budapest

We were also planning to go and see The Glasgow Boys today, but the RA was closing as we left the Budapest Exhibition. We didn't even get to go in the members room. However on the plus side of leaving durnig the evening, we managed to see  Christmassy Piccadilly. I forced Rob to go into Fortnum & Masons- i drew him in with the window displays, old master paintings, restructured to become almost 3D sets.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


The protest today in London against the student fee rise i must say, turned out to be massive. I didn't realise what the extent of the turnout would be- but London was totally jam packed. I actually watched the unfolding of the protest at work in the Estate agent on BBC news- i did have the intention to go to the march at my lunchtime, but it got cut short by me being late to work in the morning so the 20 min walk to trafalger square from mayfair seemed a bit pointless, I don't think i would have even got close because of the crowds.  Of course, our uni being very close to Millbank tower meant that our college pretty much closed for the protest and everyone attended. It also hosted the port-a-loos for the protest. My boss thought the protest being at my college was hillarious and made up a very ellaborate story about how i had crept into the Millbank tower in the morning and had let down the security there so my fellow commrades could go and destroy and burn down the place... thats why i was late that morning, and also why i was at work- to give myself an alibi.
I did run back to college this evening after work and there were police everywhere, half the roads were taped off too, it made my journey home on the bus horrendous. 
We were watching newsnight earlier- i cant say that us students were very well repesented. We'll have to see what effect the protest will have on the unfolding political desicions before i make a calculated opinion on what has happend.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Thegalleryistalking recruitment presentation

After last weeks 'sorry im late presentation' i'm worrying that i haven't put any useful information in thegalleryistalking presentation at all. But hopefully everyone got enough out of the presentation to e-mail me if they are interested. I'm still worried theough.
The presentation did go well- Mo told the first year's before thier lecture this evening that they should all come along because it is a brilliant project, which drew in about 30 students, and i got a couple of questions at the end. It looks promising that a couple of people will e-mail to be part of the project:, I suppose a lot is dependant on this though:

"The Gallery is Talking is a collaborative project that was set up last year between Tate Britain and Stage 2 of the BA Fine Art course at Chelsea
Established to increase accessibility of the existing in-gallery text for people with dyslexia to refresh resources at  The Tate Britain, the project soon engaged with wider issues related to art and communication and the very way we experienced and looked at the gallery.
During this first year we discussed at length what actually makes a text accessible and engaging, and if text is in fact the best way to reach out to museum visitors. The participating students devised a series of resources aimed at people who don’t usually rely on text during their visit, but who would like to access the ‘gallery’s voice’ through other media.  After a year we have made a large amount of progress in resources produced.
Last summer, towards the end of the first year of this project additional students were recruited to the project by the course, this included Stage one students with the hope of developing the project this year.
As the remaining participants from this group we would now like to expand on and evaluate our ideas further. This, we believe would be done best opening up the project to other disciplines and students, to maintain it fresh and relevant with some new members, fresh ideas and a new outlook.
Now I am going to briefly talk about the work we have been doing and our progress so far.

The Map concept is something that took a lead within the paper resources made during the year. It was keenly worked upon because of the problems that the group felt the existing normal Tate map contained. Small things like stairs not being logical to the structure of the gallery, to not having any visual reference to where you are on the map. E.g. ‘Room 15’ does not help us know where we are as much as a landmark such as a stained glass window would.  The actual production of the map was quite complex, It is something that was incredibly difficult to manage and to make, but the success with this resource is that the Tate now wish to trial the map on the main information desks of the gallery. 

The website that has been developed by Sam has become a hub to share our learning and resources and opinions.  It is linked to the Tate Britain website and can be accessed by anyone that goes onto the Tate website through a link. We have already had some interest from a museum asking about our progress due to the originality of the project.
Please take a note of the website: www.thegalleryistalking.org and perhaps you can look in more detail after the meeting has finished about what we have been doing. 

There are also other resources that have been made to expand The Gallery is Talking to its visitors. Chatterboxes were made as a way for people to talk about art in a way that is recognisable and fun. Audio questions was a way of finding opinions about traditional gallery forms i.e. Curatorial statements and text; who writes this and what are they trying to say- talking to people about the gallery within the gallery. Finally, the active forum, a way to produce conversation around all of these subjects I have been speaking about. 

The opening was a way of showing the public what we had been doing with the project, and was a great way for us to get some feedback. It launched the website, introduced our resources as well as giving visitors on the day some ‘only on the day’ events in the site specific environment that was so necessary for the launch.
For example, we had a digital comments board that visitors to the Tate could add to by text messaging, and of course our map making workshops right in the centre of the Tate. 

If you would like to know more details about the project, please send me an e-mail or have a look on the website. Otherwise if you would like to be a part of the project please send me an e-mail with your name and a brief explanation of why you would like to be involved. I’m happy to take any questions you have now, or if you would prefer, I will be staying behind here for about 10 minutes.
Thank you for listening and I hope some of you are interested in taking part.
Any Questions"


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Performance success!

Success at work today at college- I have been asked to help out with the Saturday School programme in line with the ambassador programme that i am involved in, over the next couple of weeks. The Saturday school this year is for potential 1st generation  university students that are at college  or school preparing for their art foundation courses. Today's task involved animating sentences- some obscure- some simple, but with the intention to create a stop motion animation at the end of the month with all of the important supporting material. It was my role to talk to the students today and help them with initial ideas of where they would like to take their work. This is also the same group of students that were doing portfolio practise a couple of weeks ago, so they all know my work already. Anyway- one of the sentences was 'painting yourself into a corner', a student today asked for my help with the task because as everyone else was drawing and cutting out letters she was finding the task a little boring. She asked me about my work- after seeing it in the previous weeks and said it was a shame she couldn't do performance in this session. So we found a way to incorporate the task into a performative piece. instead of just animating the words in 2D we animated them in 2D  within a performance. It consisted of the girl in a manic way writing the sentence on pieces of paper with black paint and putting them in front of her (Each time moving slightly backwards)- eventually she was writing with her fingers dipped in the paint and was under a table in the corner of a room! Brilliant- Performance in the Saturday school! Next week she is planning a stop motion performance....

Thursday, 4 November 2010

'Sorry i'm late' Presentation

From last weeks discussion with Bex- today was the big day of collaborative performance.
The collaboration, we had decided was to be about the distribution of text that Bex produces in her everyday practice. Bex would throughout the week distribute information whilst i would gather (If found) and translate it into a performative piece of work. Hopefully the seminar group would also pick up on these nuggets of information.
I received a text last night- through extreme fear that i wouldn't receive any information saying:
'page 2/2
Lines are down
seek other methods'
From this, i gathered that the information was about the train strikes that have been happening in recent weeks and i decided to write a presentation/ speech about change (after all, this is what you seek from striking) I also decided it should be ambiguous, like the text that Bex had sent- as if all the people in the seminar group had received exactly the same lack of information that i had (Which it turned out that they had) and we were all in the room on a 'revalutionary hearsay' basis. Titled 'Sorry I'm late' to be the only emphasis on what i presumed the text was about:

I know, i know, I’m sorry i’m late. It was expected that i would be late, so i’m sorry but there was really nothing that i could have done. I tried to get here on time. It didn’t happen. You know how things are. It didn’t happen.
But anyway , I’m sure None of us want to be here. To be honest it took me an hour longer that in should have to get here. But we can’t be talking about why we are here, how we got here, but only how we can change the way we got here. 


It’s time that we did make a difference. If not for ourselves, but for future generations. I have younger sister. She is 10, what will happen when she is in this position? And to be honest the way the youth is like today, she’ll be there before i ever was a her age. Do you know what i mean? Children aren’t children anymore. This cannot go on forever, otherwise they will begin to get too old.

 People have rights, that is understandable. But this is why it has happened really. If people didn’t have so much freedom then they wouldn’t have the option to aggravate other peoples lives. Other people have lives, lives where they want to talk to others- tell them their ideas, their thoughts. I admit that. But they shouldn’t have to have lives that affect other’s lives...  I’m glad that you are thinking along the same lines as me. Without having common interests people are nothing. 


I read a book before. It was about France. Well, It was set in France. I’m certain. A small book, not many pages, a story book; it was about philosophy. Well. A philosophy. A philosophy about how people can affect each others lives in a detrimental way without even realising it. I remember the book because it had some really nice illustrations in it. I advise that everyone reads it. It will help with how you are feeling at the moment. Anger is only a thing that you can feel in the present text. 

This leads me to my final slide and the object of this presentation. You all came here for answers, and that's exactly what i am going to give you. Answers. The answer is of course is that there  was a consensus. Nothing that i could do about it. And only something that YOU can change. Yes you. Not me. I am here to encourage you to do something. 

Of course you may think that the reasons were right; or even just reasonable-  for these people doing what they did..., but you have to remember  why i was late this morning, why you are here and why the person  sitting next to you is here. They are here for you as much as themselves, and they are here for your children, and your children’s children.

People are nothing without each other- We can make a change to the way we got here.

You probably have questions. I don’t blame you. I would.    If you do, please contact me by e-mail. I’m more likely to answer quicker. (Show contact slide)

Thank you for your time. (sit down)

My character was 'stumbley' and out of breath, as if it was a nightmare to get to the presentation, and i didn't allow time for questions- although i think it was quite obvious within the presentation that the character had no more information that anyone else. The work was a way of explaining the links between our normal work and i think that the similarities are mainly in language and style of dispersion of information. I know that my work is always very ambiguous and i think so is Bex's.The main difference which is quite obvious is the way we distribute our work. Mine is very controlled and 'in your face' where as Bex's is subtle and up to the viewer whether or not they take the work.
a lot more forthright with strikes and will gather as large communities to protest for others; instead of the British attitude of complaining about strikes.
Overall- feedback was very good and it was quite a good opportunity to make a piece of work with a guaranteed audience.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

People Like Us- The Pilot

I thought i should put a little clip of this on here- It's very good, especially this one, the actor, the photographer and estate agent. It is cringing to watch if you know anyone in these professions because the caricatures are strangely accurate.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Halloween Dress

It was Halloween over the weekend, we had a little moving in party in aid of the celebration.  I don't think i have ever worked as hard on a fancy dress costume. When i dress up for a party i always like to make the costume somewhat responsive to recent news and i thought that the bankers huge bonus's would do, as we had a couple of accountants as guests. I dressed as a 90's fat-cat/ clown (fat man pants sewn together with a hula hoop and grey suit trousers, topped off with a waistcoat, braces and hilarious tiger pants. Well i thought they were hilarious... - I also had the traditional 90's clown face paint and wig with red converse trainers- all topped off with a bowler hat) Unfortunately my costume wasn't too scary, well it was to the people that couldn't recognise me.

It's quite obvious to say that the performative side of people reveals itself to you in a party like this. You always get surprises with costumes- who dresses up and who doesn't- and of course who goes a little too far with acting the part. I think our party was a little sensationalised for a normal fancy dress party- but then with a room full of art students- what do you expect. Joe dressed as a Scout (Don't ask how this is Halloween related) and spent all night getting his scout guide out of his top pocket to give 'good scouting advice' to our guests. Also we had a guest dressed as a 'dead gym instructor' who insisted on doing aerobic dances with everyone (Using her equipment that she had bought along). Personally i love dressing up- I think that speaks for itself in my work and i don't think it is a terrible thing to say that wanting to make performance art stems from fancy dress. It was the game i played everyday at playschool, i wore a curly wig and dressed  as super girl- onto primary school i used to love going into the playroom which always had a theme. Once it was a hospital (This is the only time i can remember being told that i couldn't do something because I'm a girl- the teacher made me pass over the doctors outfit and put the nurse one on instead!) It has very strong links for me about what is fun (and to an extent educational) in my life- You learn a lot from being in others shoes- a 'costume' is going to indent how you feel, influence what you do,  influence the ways others act around you.

During my Gap year before i went to Art college, it was my ambition for the year to try and work in as many different jobs as possible- which i did; from security guard to estate agent to dinner lady to post lady, plus more-  and the thing that was always apparent to me was how polite or not people were to you. As a receptionist i was told to dress smartly and people didn't acknowledge me outside of the office at all, yet when i was a post-lady, everyone that i walked past said 'good Morning' whether i was working or not. I could start to ramble on about the Authority of clothing, but i think if you want to know more- you could look at this social experiment-
Milgram study: Which was a study done to prove that uniforms can be used as a way of social control. There was also a situation in a school in Germany, The Third Wave- where in a participatory way a teacher taught how fascism can be bred  from a minority influence situation- this started just by asking for everyone to dress alike- in  the same white shirt and actually ended very badly. there is a very good film based on this story called 'The Wave'

Anyway, moving on from fascism and back to the Halloween Party- It went very well in the end, everyone left very late and the house was a mess- but after tidying up the next day I travelled home where i then went trick or treating with my sister- obviously the other side of Halloween- for children it's the one time of the year where you can knock on your neighbours door, give them a fright and then ask them for sweets without your mum telling you off. I like to where a mask for Trick or Treating (I have a very scary looking cow mask), although the adults never really like it, i think it's because they cant be bothered to dress up- however, you get a laugh from children if they answer the door- and as i know half of the kids in the neighbourhood because of rainbows/ brownies they have begun to expect it. My sister likes me dressing up too. Well, i presume. I don't really ask her permission.