Some people do really like traditional shopping, I am not one of them. Unless it is a nice day spoiled with a good coffee. My idea of window shopping is screen shopping … while watching my favourite TV show or recently a lecture on design. I open another window and browse on Etsy. Even just looking at the handmade accessories makes me feel good, appreciating the skills and creativity of the artist. I am transferred to a fantasy world.
The day I found the Tiger and Lion silver, eco earrings made by Them Silver Seas I was looking for something quirky with a personality. Something I have not seen before. The theme is called Nights at the Circus. (I am not sure if animals in the circus are banned in most of the countries, but I would hope that they are. They never looked happy there anyway.)
This is the kind of work I admire the most, the artist Laura Brown does not explain in details what the story is about but leaves it to the viewer interpretation. With a similar effect some good movies have on us or a photograph that is never forgotten … they stay with us forever.
I have no idea where and how the story of The Tiger and The Lion had begun and where is it leading to. What I love the most is now I am the creator of the story too 🙂
Please, visit links provided and dive into the Them Silver Seasworld. The world of imagination, inspired by fairy tales, storytelling and storytellers, myths and folklore.
Since I wrote the post the artist has changed the name and the website of her brand. From now on you can find her pieces on Elby Brown Jewellery.
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.
For 26 years the painting was lying in somebody’s attic totally unappreciated. Today it is considered to be one of the XX century masterpieces displayed in Museum of Modern Art, in 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 chance to pass by picks up her scent yet does not devour her. There is a moonlight effect, very poetic.
Rousseau mixed different cultures, the gipsy is wearing an oriental costume, bedside her there is a mandolin, an Italian instrument. The lion hair is growing in the 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 footprint of the gipsy. The mysterious painting arises a lot of question to the viewer. Who is the gipsy girl? Where did she come from? What is her relationship with the lion?
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 merchandising product to emphasise the idea of shelter and protection. A place where nothing wrong will happen to us.
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 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 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 of.
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 at the same time very enjoyable to work on.
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 throughout his career, two of them were the inspiration for my college project.
The luxury hat is inspired by The Guggenheim Museum in New York which looks to me like a ready to wear a 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.
‘LUXURY HAT’ WINDOW DISPLAY PROPOSAL
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, the colours were clashing. I decided to go for the monochromatic look with a small touch of blue with a silk scarf.
We were given a piece of mannequin each, it was either just the head or an upper body or 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
The main materials for making the piece was pasta penne and a feather. Also strings, gold acrylic paint, bits of fabric, elastic band.
Inspiration Military&Tribal Culture
The inspiration for my pasta jewellery 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.
View the rest of the work created by students of Visual Merchandising, DIT College, Dublin, 2014