To begin with I found adjusting to the different types of movements (Table, Wheel and Door) quite difficult because I felt awkward and uncomfortable and therefore my movements naturally became very small and stiff. However as the workshop progressed I became more confident and less self aware and therefore so did my movements- causing them to be bigger and more fluid. So when we came to drawing our emotional responses to all three movements I felt that it was important to reflect on how my mood affected my movements. This naturally influenced my costume design later on as I wanted to be able to portray how at times I felt very restricted and stiff and how at others I felt very free.
Emotional Response To Movement
Brainstorming My Costume Design
When experimenting with the different types of movements I felt very restricted and uncomfortable with my lower body movements, where as my arms and fingers felt free and light weight. Therefore I wanted to express this feeling in my costume design by emphasising and accentuating my fingers. I chose to create rings that grow into branches as I felt that a tree expressed my emotions perfectly- my body stiff and sturdy like a trunk, my arms free and flexible like branches in the wind.
When coming up with my costume design I was reminded of and inspired by Rebecca Horn's "Finger Gloves".
Still from Final Piece
Developing Our Costume Ideas
When brainstorming ideas for my own costume I felt very inspired and excited as they were based on my own emotional responses. Therefore I had a clear vision as to the message and movement I wanted to convey in my costume. However, I found designing a costume for Jemima more difficult, for despite having very similar emotional responses to the movement workshop, she had a very different concept for a costume. Therefore I had to find a way of incorporating both of our ideas into one piece.
When Jemima expressed the way she felt restricted and bound together when she moved I came up with a design that completely bound her together- like an Egyptian Mummy. However she then went on to described that she felt as if things were pulled from her limbs, especially around her torso, but her arms felt free.
Taking into account all of Jemima's comments i came up with a costume that was restrictive around the torso but free and flexible around the arms. I also wanted to illustrate the way she was a bird trapped in a cage. Therefore my design is of a corset(that restricts the torso) and wings that extended out of the body. Ideally I would have liked to have made the corset out of a dull tarnished metal and the wings out of colourful translucent fabric in order to emphasise further the contrast between what is restricting and what is freeing. When creating my costume design I was reminded of Rebecca horn and her piece "White Body Fan"
Both Jemima and I decided to design costumes that involved wings due to having similar feelings about the movement. Therefore we opted to display are costumes together in a performance. We wanted our performance to tell the story of metamorphosis which we achieved by using the wings to conceal, reveal and extend.
Still from Final Piece
- "Despite the fact that both costumes used forms of wings, both were used in a unique and refreshing way that kept the performance interesting".
- "The bold and defined shapes of each costume created interesting shadows that added to the intensity of the performance".
- "There was a clear relationship between the two costumes that was illustrated in the final performance."
- "The overall performance could have been enhanced further by using more malleable and perhaps even transparent materials to create more movement in the costumes and the performance."
Overall I think our performance was weak and could have been improved in many ways. For example in our feedback many people commented on the way they appreciated the bold shadows the costumes created, therefore I think we could have been much more deliberate in our movements to create more powerful and intentional images out of shadows. Moreover I think both Jemima and I could have interacted more to convey our message of metamorphism more clearly and to show a relationship between the two costumes more effectively. lastly I think both Jemima and myself needed to use much more malleable materials as our movements were a little bit too stiff.
- What does the movement remind you of? Both Jemima's description of how she felt and the way she moved reminded me of a bird that was trapped in a cage and could only stretch out its wings.
- What does the piece dictate?: It is a constant juxtaposition between being trapped but breaking free and being stiff but fragile.
- What material used and why? Does the chosen material enhance/restrict movement?: For the main body of the costume I used cardboard because it is a stiff material which restricts movement and I painted it black in order to emphasize how Jemima felt very restricted around her torso. This contrasted with the paper wings which are light, malleable and much more free to allow movement. I also added colour to the wings to further add to the contrast and therefore emphasize how Jemima felt free in her arm movements.
- Are the materials used appropriate?: I believe the materials I used reflect the movement and the contrast I wanted. However, ideally I would have like to have created the torso out of a tarnished metal to represent the cage of a bird (and restrict movement) and the wings out of colourful fabric as it would be a better material to use to show more fluid and free movements.