Wednesday 1st March
Preparation for Pitch
On reflection of the work I have created over the current course year, I have always focused on culture, as this is something that has always been an interest if mine. However, I want to look at something much more personal to me that I can relate to, as I feel that this is always something that I have never been able to do by looking at other people’s cultures.
Therefore, my first initial idea is to look at my child hood on the farm, which my uncle owns and used to run before settling down and taking retirement. This was a place that I used to go to every Sunday to help out with the daily “chores” and explore the buildings to find new hiding spots and hibernate with the new born lambs. It almost took me to a different word that most of my friends never ever got to experience. As a result, this almost because a fantasy, like a story, as everything seemed so special and perfect.
However, on growing up and understanding the role of my uncle and the industry in which the farm was based, I have realised that the place isn’t all as perfect as it seemed. My uncles farm was a free range working dairy farm and meat rearing farm. He was the owner of 117 acres of land, which included land laying by the side of reservoirs and woodlands. He had “80 milk cows, 50 calves and heifer replacements, as well as 80 beefers and 1 wife” (Kenneth Bretheton).
Understanding the implications of the industry included resulted in flashbacks of my childhood almost becoming sinister. Everything at a young age appeared to be sugar coated because of my naivety. Even though we were a free range farm there were procedure and rules that my uncle had to follow to ensure that he carried out his role professionally to be a successful business man. However, some of these methods included procedures that seem distressing towards the animals and therefore considered as animal cruelty. Therefore, this is something that I would like to explore.
Using online resources, I was able to look at existing campaigns currently discouraging the act of animal cruelty across the world, including the leather and fur campaign, meat and makeup, animal testing and dairy farming.
The first I stumbled across was the meat campaign that Peta held, which was to emphasise the supermarket packaging of cut meats that we purchase daily. This was twisted around and then sampled women wrapped tightly in cellophane and meat trays. This is a highly disturbing image, but it shows clearly the extent that we as humans use and present animal meats. It makes us realise as viewers that this is something that we visualise and take as the “norm”. When in reality this is far from normal.
Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Next I came across an image of a quote. This was something that took my eye not because of what was necessarily said, but who said it. As this quote is by the “animals” it almost builds but guilt due to the personification in the way that the quote has been addresses. It shows you that they do have feelings, but most of all ironic how the animals actually have no say in what happens because of the role of the humans.
Continuing to surf the web, I came across another campaign that Peta held. This about how all animals have the same body parts. This is something that I found really interesting and would love to use for garment designs later on in the process of developing a garment. I would love to explore using the shapes to construct a garment pattern.
Designers also play a large part in promoting the use of alternative materials to fur and leather, these includes Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney. Looking particularly at Stella’s work and promotion techniques, everything thing is animal friendly. The use of using innocent young animals, such as lambs, bring back that feel of guilt. Stella McCartney has done various campaigns with Peta over the years, but one of the most famous ones was the parade that she attended to promote “No fur”.
As well as designers I decided that looking at artists would be a way of taking inspiration for my illustrations as well as my garment designs. The first artists that took my eye was Gale Hart, with the image of a human silhouette and pig. The patterns that are used within the outlines reminded me of the meat campaign. Therefore, I would like to use this style to illustrate my work. I also looked at artists such as Sue Coe, Kim Deguara and Zoe Birrell. Some of these artists are sculptor and create 3D objects, so this is something I would like to explore further and incorporate into my work and designs.
Looking at a range of different aspects within the idea of animal cruelty, I would like to look specifically at the farm to start of my project, looking at the of nostalgia. Using and taking inspiration from images – old and new – I would like to explores using these to inspire garment designs.
After exploring this aspect, I would then like to look further into the industry, exploring the different campaigns held and see how this would allow my work to develop.