Initially starting out as a small prop making task, my role evolved along side this production. The first task of creating the elastics was simple and seeing them in use was rewarding. Their ability to manipulate the concept of space was interesting and very effective. As the characters around these elastics developed it became clear that I was going to have to step up my game. A plan was made with the directors and artistic director and, with some help due to time restrictions I set of to source costumes for the cast. This production went excellently and I am very pleased to have been involved.
This piece, designed and made exclusively for Amy Montgomery has been a feature in some of her higher profile performances including Glastonbury 2019 and Cambridge Folk Festival 2019. Made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials including recycled denim and hemp rope. The dramatic contrast between densely stitched denim and delicate macrame spattered in black gives this piece an edgy feel and strong presence.
The collage of images about shows off the work to some more detail that what might be seen on stage. The right side seems to carry the persona of the ragged wild thing, with different materials, shapes and tones creating a punchy depth. This develops a war with the left side with a more military silhouette and pops of white amidst the spatters of black paint. The piece finds balance with the two in shiny red spirals, emphasising and dramatising any movements made.
Thanks to Shirlaine Forrest for the awesome pic of Amy at Glastonbury!!
The opportunity to work with Beat Carnival was excellent developmentally. On top of whats shown in these images I altered many other items, a bulk of 25 tabbards and a full leotard (which was not photographed due to a significant mistake in another area of the costume made by a colleague). This all improved my ability of work quickly and efficiently, as well as introducing me to producing a bulk of identical items. The leprechaun, which I designed along side designer Lli Griffiths, was a really successful piece. It reintroduced me to working with plastazote and opened my eyes to the world of dressing hats. The jacket tied in excellently with the hat creating a more 360 degree appeal to the costume and making him further stand out in the crowd: perfect for a street performance.
The Threepenny Opera – Uni Final Major Project
Through the ‘Threepenny Opera’ I have begun to explore the stagnant state of the socio-economic classes found predominantly, but not exclusively, in prosperous countries. Through looking at themes of anatomy and ecology each costume aims to portray the clash between human desire and global requirement. In keeping with the brechtian style, this aims to force people to question the relentless regime of modern day consumerism. The costumes depict a harsh and exaggerated reality. Taking inspiration from German expressionist artists like Otto Dix and Max Beckmann layers, texture and colour are used to represent each character. The predominant colours red and blue represent the bourgeoisie and beggars respectively. These blend to create a range of tones, suggesting each characters place in society.
This design and realisation of Jenny is somewhat richer than what you often see. Jenny is depicted a strong character who has given up a lot to get to where she is. Similar to Mac, her station over the years has risen, as has her clientele. With her elements of her colour pallet being so heavily bourgeoisie, it was fitting for her costume to be clean cut and detailed as she know that if she wants to be rich she has to look the part.
The Alchemist (By Ben Johnson)
The medieval forerunner of chemistry, concerned with the transmutation of matter, in particular with attempts to convert base metals into gold or find a universal elixir.
This being my first design project really spurred me on to play with colour, texture and symbolism. The character of Subtle from the Alchemist is that of the classic con man. Here you see him at his finest. Donned in rich colours and lavish textures he portrays himself as the wealthy scholar. In doing so, he tricks the less fortunate into giving him all their money. The dramatic contrast between the gold and orange form a perfect lesson from the practice of Alchemy: Only true gold will not rust.
During this production, in collaboration with The Actors Wheel, I assumed the position of Assistant Designer. I played a part in the design and realisation of this piece, set on a pre-industrial revolution farm. Other tasks I under took including organising meetings and fittings. communicating between designer and makers, fitting, dressing and makeup.