Thursday, 18 March 2010

Anglorika: Background to work

Anglorika is a series of work in which I look at two very different cultures: British Victorian culture and Tribal Africa. I am fascinated by their distinctive attire, the iconic shapes and unique choice of materials made to create their garments.


In making this series of 'wearable art' I have combined elements distinctive of each society resulting in a new cultural wardrobe. I chose to create each piece in the colours of the British flag, a symbol of the old colonial empire. Anglorika I is predominantly blue and Anglorika II is mostly Red. The colour also relates to the gender of the work, with Anglorika I being inspired by mens’ attire and Anglorika II referencing womenswear.

Anglorika I combines the shape of a Victorian collar with Springbok horns, Zulu shin pieces, Victorian inspired trousers and a beaded belt. The choice of fabric and the bead detailing have a strong South African aesthetic. The pose is inspired from the Tudor Paintings of noble men who all typically held the same pose.

Anglorika II was inspired by Victorian ladies’ fashion and Ndebele Tribal wear. The headpiece combines the shape of a Victorian lady’s bonnet with traditional African materials and craft techniques. The exaggerated shape of the bonnet is covered in shwe shwe and the inside filled with beads. These beads then extend down to two long beaded strips inspired by Ndebele headwear. A bustle covered in shwe shwe fabric with a beaded waist band and Ndebele inspired leg-bracelets complete the garment.

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