Cruelty-Free Make Up Campaign Shoot

For almost exactly a year now I have been helping out with numerous photo shoots and fashion films for my photographer friend Sapphire Scott. As part of Nick Knights Mastered course, together with a great team of girls we created artistic photographs and films that followed briefs by the renowned fashion photographer. I got involved with Sapphire after answering an ad in the University newsletter and offered my skills as a creative director to gain experience in both fashion and photography. At the time I was not working with either of these disciplines but I still believed that learning these crafts would be useful. And now here I am, one year on and creating my own fashion film that I will be shooting in just over a week! The inspiration and skills that I have gained from these shoots have greatly benefited me in my own art and have allowed me to work with disciplines that I never thought I would.

Yesterday a group of 7 girls traveled to Aberdeen to create a shoot based on the idea of cruelty-free make up. It was a grueling 13 hour day but was filled with fun, inspiration and helped me keep the excitement alive for my own shoot. With us was make up artists Annie Voigt, prosthetic artist Laura Sutherland, models Brogan Bauld and Shelly Forbes, Sapphire as photographer and project manager, Aimee Keatch as body paint artist and assistant and myself as both creative director and assistant body paint artist.

The idea for the shoot came from Sapphires disagreement of cosmetic brands using animals to test their products on. She wanted to highlight the unfair cruelty of this act and celebrate the brands that are against animal testing. The whole team were on board with this idea which helped with the passion and enjoyment of the shoot. Sapphire approached the head of Illamasqua, a cruelty-free make up brand, and explained that she wanted to create a shoot on the cruelty of animal testing and would love to use their products. Illasmasqua were excited about Sapphires idea to promote their company and even sent her free make up to use on the shoot. The aim was to promote the beauty of Illamasque products while reminding the viewer of the animals that suffer for popular high street cosmetic brands.

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Aimee and I painted Brogan with a Tiger print on both arms. Her hands were painted, one with an eye and one with a mouth, allowing us to use her own body as a prop.

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Brogans hands covered the beautiful make up on her face, both silencing her and showing who the real victims are that allow the models to be beautiful.

Similarly we covered Shelly in a snake-print to highlight the countless species of animals that suffer due to the cosmetic industry.

I helped Sapphire with the creative direction of the shoot and offered the idea of multiple hands coming from the background and grabbing the models faces. The plan was to make the hands take control of Shelly and smear the make up to show the ugliness of many make up brands policies. We also used this idea to create a film piece that Sapphire will be editing.

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And so it was a hard days graft but the team worked together very well and the images look stunning. The shoot has left me very exciting for my own film next Friday and with Sapphires experience and help I look forward to the day. Stay tuned for my own BTS images.

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Barely-There Prints

I could not make it through this semester without popping into the print studio. My research of drawings and photographs always lead me into the loving arms of the screen printing beds and the exposure light box.

After researching sites for my fashion film, I was left with a lot of interesting photographs of what I called ‘Urban Voids’ around Dundee. I wanted to create prints out of these photographs using only the colour white. I emphasise the word colour as white is not the absense of colour as many would believe, but the presence of all colours.

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Screen print of void drain on tracing paper

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Screen print of void drain on white paper with foam on top

It is not easy to create a print that is entirely white. First of all, the shades of white from the ink and the paper can be different making one look less white than the other. Secondly, white on white is very hard to make out. To get around this, instead of screen printing on white paper or even tracing paper like I previously had, I wanted to play with the levels of the paper.

After working with blind embossing in 3rd year I was desperate to give it another try. The simplicity that this technique produces is so appealing and incredibly satisfying. Embossing is the way to go to create all-white monochrome prints without any ink at all.

I took a photograph of the Urban Void at Park Place, Dundee and other sites, and drew onto them on Photoshop. I used both thick and thin lines to achieve depth in my embossing. I then used this image and exposed it onto a photo plate and left the plate to develop in the sun.

This was my second attempt at making a photo embossing plate as the lines were not thick enough on my first plate meaning the embossing was not as deep and the lines were too hard to make out. As I now knew how thick I needed the lines I was able to play about with the thickness to make the print more visually interesting. Fabriano paper was the best choice for printing onto as it is both thick and soft. Unfortunately, although visually very interesting in person in my opinion, the embossing is not the easiest to photograph.

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It is hard to make out the finer lines in the background when photographed, but here is an idea of what the embossing looks like. I love that the viewer will need to come in close to these prints to realise what it is showing. My idea behind the Urban Void is to notice empty land that we walk past every day so in making these prints I am encouraging the viewer to really stop, come in close, and take notice of these Urban Voids.

To develop these prints I will scale them up. I am limited by the size of the photo developing box in the print studio but to get around this I will laser cut my image onto MDF and put this through the press with the paper. I am also currently thinking about presentation and was hoping to illuminate the prints to both attract viewers and make the prints more visible. I have been considering creating a film piece on the green screen and projecting this piece onto my prints. I would be filming one of my models moving or dancing around wearing my Tyvek costume and putting them in the place by projecting them onto my embossing. My plan is to scale up these prints first and see if the projection would work or if the piece is successful enough in its own right without the dancer. So get ready to see some big Urban Voids!

Tackling the Void

Follow my new Instagram account @dailly_fineart to keep up to date with my work ahead of the 2017 DJCAD Degree Show.

Organising a performance piece is not easy. After finding a date that suited my models (my wonderful uni friends who are also very busy with their own work) and giving myself time to make the outfits, I got back in touch with the contractor responsible for the land at Park Place. I was told that by the date I had chosen the construction team would be finished and the land would be a car park, not quite the urban void I had in mind. Luckily I was prepared for this set back and had looked into alternative sites.

All sites had pros and cons but the one that seemed to be near perfect is picture number one, an empty space at the Stack Leisure Park in Dundee. This land is situated amongst busy supermarket shops with many people driving and walking right past it without a second glance. This would be the perfect spot for my urban void fashion film, a performance that will make people notice the emptiness in a busy area.

The only thing that still stands on this land is a blue gate. I think that this lonesome gate adds to the empty feeling of the area and brings life to my urban void concept. It separates the bustling from the empty, the performers from the spectators.

After speaking to the security guards at the leisure park I was given the contact details of the man who owns the land. Unfortunately, I have had no reply from him but I decided to go around the owner and circle back to the security guards to ask their permission. They agreed to let me use this site for my fashion film and were very helpful.

As mentioned in my previous post, I really wanted to draw the footprint of the Park Place School building on the land it once stood on in white chalk. This would suggest what is missing while giving my performers a stage. I’ve taken this idea and tweaked it to match the new site at the Stack. After contacting Martin Allan from the Dundee City Archives I was given the footprint of the old jute mills that once stood here. The link that you can access here-  http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=15&lat=56.4752&lon=-3.0182&layers=168&b=1

– allows you to see both modern day Dundee and historic Dundee and fascinatingly interchange between the two. I will use the shape of the old jute mill to draw in chalk and this will be the area that my models will stand and use as their catwalk. I am excited by the combination of Historic Dundee with contemporary fashion film and the nostalgic feeling it will hopefully induce in passers-by. I want my audience to stop, notice what is not there, and feel the strange emptiness.

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So now the site is confirmed, it was back to the costumes. As mentioned in my previous post, I was looking at the material of Tyvek to create my masterpieces. With the stress of time and money, I decided to purchase a coverall made of Tyvek rater than a roll of the material as this is expensive and I was not sure how much I would need. It was now easier to adjust the coverall to a dress from an already made bodysuit. My main idea was to make the costumes big. I wanted them to really catch the attention of the passers-by and to not only make them notice the models, but the empty land that they are standing on. What i enjoyed about this material is how it relates to the land itself. As previously mentioned, the site I am working on used to play host to a jute mill, a fabric that became outdated when polypropylene was invented. Polypropylene is almost identical to polyethylene, the fibers that make up Tyvek. I love how my outfits will represent the change in Dundee that left this land empty. I will fill this site with the reason it was emptied. Another link to the jute mills was my choice of models. I have chosen females as the majority of workers in jute mills were female. I will have 3 models as the females outranked males by 3-1. I also wanted to bring the void concept into the costume by creating cut-out holes.

Again, I am no textile student or fashion designer so I had to make do with the skills that I have, all while learning new ones. I wasn’t sure the best way to adjust the material so tried a few different techniques. As I wanted the costume to be big and theatrical, I decided to add wire into it to give it structure and shape. However, it was getting the wire to stay in the material that was the problem. I tried different aids from hemming web, mending tape, fabric glue and even double sided tape. Luckily no one will be looking at the inside of the costumes!

The costume had began to take shape thanks to my mother for both modeling and helping. The wire created shape at the hem, arms and waist and around the cut-out holes. To make the costume even bigger I used waste material from the legs and arms and added them back on.

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I then lathered my mixture of shaving foam and PVA glue onto the costume to add more texture and relate it back to the work I have been doing earlier this semester.

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So that is one costume down, two to go with just less than a month until the performance. I will also have an amazing photographer on hand who I have previously worked with on fashion shoots. I believe that being both the director and photographer will be very difficult so it will be great to have a friend there to see things from another perspective and give me professional tips.

I have also been researching fashion films, particularly those on photographer Nick Knights’ SHOWstudio. I have been noting the film techniques such as slow cinema and photography techniques e.g. stop motion. I hope to use a mixture of both film and photography adding in special effects to create a film that is both fashion and fine art. I have also been inspired by the movement of the models in Gucci’s Cruise 2016 campaign and hope to incorporate a fun, free dance vibe to my own film. Stay tuned for further progression in costumes, print and film.