THE SLEEPING GYPSY, HENRI ROUSSEAU

Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau inspiration for a window display, college project for Visual Merchandising course in DIT, Dublin.

PAINTING AS A MERCHANDISING INSPIRATION

The objective of the summer window display was to reproduce a large painting and display it with a suitable merchandising product. I have chosen The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau a French post-impressionist.

The Sleeping Gypsy (French: La Bohémienne endormie) is an 1897 oil painting by French Naïve artist Henri Rousseau (1844–1910).
The Sleeping Gypsy (French: La Bohémienne endormie) is an 1897 oil painting by French Naïve artist Henri Rousseau (1844–1910).

 

For 26 years the painting was lying in somebody’s attic unappreciated. Today it is considered to be one of the XX century masterpieces displayed in Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Henri Rousseau described his painting:

A wandering Negress, a mandolin player, lies with her jar beside her, overcome by fatigue in a deep sleep. A lion chances to pass by, picks up her scent yet does not devour her. There is a moonlight effect, very poetic.

Rousseau mixed different cultures, the gypsy is wearing an oriental costume, bedside her there is a mandolin, an Italian instrument. The lion hair is growing in an opposite direction, the face is more of a sheep face than a lion. It looks like a desert, yet there’s water behind them. No foot print of the gypsy. The mysterious painting arises a lot question to the viewer.

To me the painting of the Sleeping Gypsy is about dreaming, about the peaceful moments during our sleep when we feel very safe and cosy … in between the two worlds of wakefulness and sleep. I chose the bed linen as the product to emphasise the idea of shelter and protection. A place where nothing wrong will happen to us.


YIN&YANG ELEMENTS

The composition of the painting is horizontal (triangle shape, the rule of 1/3 applied), what makes it very peaceful with the horizontal lines of the mountains and the water in the background. The stripes on the gipsy go horizontally, yet on the pillow, the same pattern is used vertically. There is a contrast between the danger (lion) and the peace (sleeping gipsy). 


THE MAKING OFF

To reproduce the painting I had to follow a technique called grid drawing, which allows anyone to come up with a good scale drawing. The painting was created on the mdf board, which had to be covered with layers of PVA glue, otherwise, the board would absorb too much paint. The whole process of recreating the painting took me ten long days. I also made the mandolin out of a hardboard and the bed linen from the scratch, using college sawing machine. I recreated H.Rousseau signature on the red vase. More on the making off.

 


THE WINDOW DISPLAY WITH BED LINEN

The painting is suspended on the nylon thread. I used a blue filter on the lights to create the moonlight effect. I tried to recreate the layout and the composition of the painting using my merchandising products and props. The painting should be a little bit lower in order to create a unity with the rest of the display. Unfortunately, I was told to put it higher up …

It was one of the most time-consuming projects but very enjoyable to work on 🙂

Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau inspiration for a window display, college project for Visual Merchandising course in DIT, Dublin.
The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau inspiration for a window display, college project for Visual Merchandising course in DIT, Dublin.

Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau inspiration for a window display, college project for Visual Merchandising course in DIT, Dublin.

 

 

 

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THE LUXURY HAT DISPLAY

Hat inspired by Guggenheim Museum in New York

LUXURY HAT AS A MERCHANDISING PRODUCT

The display is inspired by an architectural style of an American architect Frank Lloyd Wright . The creator of an organic architecture who believed humanity should live in harmony with its environment. He designed several iconic buildings through his career, two of them were the inspiration for my collage project.

INSPIRATION

The luxury hat is inspired by The Guggenheim Museum in New York which looks to me like a ready to wear hat, simple and stylish. The display plinth is inspired by The Falling Water House in Pennsylvania. These shapes complement each other and yet are a suitable contrast.

The Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright
The Guggenheim Museum in New York designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

‘LUXURY HAT’ WINDOW DISPLAY PROPOSAL

Frank Loyd Wright, The Falling Water House, The Guggenheim Museum in New York, luxuries hat, luxuries accessories, ladies fashion

Luxury Hat Display inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright architecture
Luxury Hat window display inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright architecture

THE MAKING OF THE HAT

The hat is made out of a white cardboard paper. I turned the original design upside down like that was able to wear it as a hat. The structure had to be made on the day when I was constructing the window – it just had to work and resemble The Falling Water House. I covered the boxes with brown fabric, painted the walls sky blue to bring it closer to Frank Lloyd Wright philosophy on organic architecture. The blue colour is the reference to the blue sky and brown colour of the plinth is very natural and woody.

I had previously prepared blue accessories (handbags, gloves) but they really were not working, colours were clashing. I decided to go for the monochromatic look with a small touch of blue with a silk scarf.

 

All images are linked to original sources, click to find out more.

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MALE ACCESSORIES

one man army

HANDMADE MALE ACCESSORIES

One of my projects during the Visual Merchandising course I was doing in DIT College, Dublin was to create accessories following the micro-trends of the time S/S 2014.

We were given a piece of mannequin each, it was either just a head or an upper body or a head with an upper body. I can not remember today what styles we could choose from except the one I have chosen to follow called One Woman Army. Because I was given un upper body of a male I slightly changed the trend to One Man Army.

All our mannequins were in a pretty bad state covered in an artwork by previous year students. I had to give mine shiny spray treatment.

One Man Army by Walkowska Design

The main materials for making the piece was pasta penne and a feather. Also strings, gold acrylic paint, bits of fabric, elastic band.

One Man Army accessories made of pasta penne
One Man Army accessories made of pasta penne

pasta penne
pasta penne

Inspiration Military&Tribal Culture

The inspiration for my pasta jewelry piece came from military style uniform and Maasai tribal accessories. I wanted to mix more of a formal style with something that is considered more of a primitive style, yet very passionate and courageous.

maasai-warrior
Maasai warrior
Kenya Masai People
Kenya Masai People
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte

View the rest of work created by students of Visual Merchandising, DIT College, Dublin, 2014

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