All posts in Body Image

Treacherous Torso Exposition at Northlight Art Studio

My first exposition relating to my PhD study was held on 26th July 2014 at my personal art studio.

An interesting group of women attended, resulting in some very fascinating and emotive responses from the participants. The level of engagement and dialogue varied from participant to participant, and there were some very interesting conversations.  Specifically, there were several comments about  how the sound created a physical sense of movement relating to different body parts. This proved very interesting in relation to the creative and theoretical aspect of my research.

Here is a short caption film of one of the participants interacting with Treacherous Torso: Sites of Struggle

Participatory Exposition – Treacherous Torso

Treacherous Torso is my first exposition as part of my PhD research. It is going to be held on Saturday 26th July 2014 between 11am and 4pm.  The event is free and details of registering for the event can be found here on Eventbrite:

More details can also be found here on Tumblr

Please get in touch if you have any questions about the event.  All women between the ages of 18 to 75 are welcome.

Sites of Struggle Audio Player

New Artists Studio Space

Super Super Super!! After months and months of being on the waiting list I have at last  got my artists studio space  which I am really excited about (well I will be moving into a temporary space this week whilst the roof is being fixed). So… I will have lots of space to spread my work out, and hopefully I will be more productive with the practical aspects of my research because until now I have been doing everything at home, and have stuff everywhere which has not been easy when trying to be organised and creative at the same time.

Manchester Mini Maker Faire 28-29 July 2012

What a weekend and what a great time I  had at Manchester Mini Maker Faire where I exhibited Mannequin Maggie and also some interactive sound canvases. There was a complete mixture of visitors and it was interesting to see the different reactions between male and female participants especially when interacting with Maggie.  I met some wonderful women who expressed an interest in participating in my next project which is part of my PhD and anybody who would like some further information can find it here .

Here are a few photos of Maggie and her interactive canvases, more can be found here:

 

ISWC 2012

I attended the ISWC 2012 Doctoral Consortium yesterday where I met a diverse group of PhD researchers investigating a wide range of subjects within the wearable technology sector.  The research ranged from weaving fabrics with conductive yarns with embedded electronic components, to measuring errors in sensors embedded on garments.  My presentation “The Embodied Feminine and the Sensory Self”  discussed integrating body issue theories such as Social Comparison Theory, Self Schema Theory and Body Image Schemata into interactive installations went well. It can be seen here  I was the only PhD participant undertaking a full creative practice PhD and many of the other studies were predominately technical or scientific. I had anticipated at least several other similar creative practice PhD studies which led me to question why there were so few design led and examples of wearables in clothing. My interpretation of wearable, which is undeniably informed by my fashion design background is that technology is embedded within clothing  and that technology is worn on the body. I found myself asking the same question several times throughout the conference as many papers and presentations focused on the smart phone as a wearable. Whilst I appreciate the value of the extensive data which can be extracted and used in some way from smart phones, to me the phone is an accessory or gadget… as to date it is not worn on the body unless you use the bluetooth earpiece, which is rarely the case with users.

I had the opportunity to display a poster at the main event so that was good exposure for my work here it is:

 

The demo and design exhibition was interesting and I will be submitting my design work to the next ISWC 2013.

Here are some pictures of other designers at the design exhibition: Flutter by Halley P. Profita, Nicholas Farrow, Nikolaus Correll. Solar Family by Silvia Guttmann, Sara Lopez, Dziyana Zhyhar.  Context aware signal glove for bicycle and motorcycle riders by Tony Carton. Twinkle Tartiflette and Don’t Break My Heart by Rain Ashford.

So in conclusion, my experience of attending and participating in the conference highlighted that I would like to see more design presentations/papers which focus on integrating technology into wearables as clothing in a social and cultural context. In the panel presentation Lucy Dunne also highlighted clothing as a main area of development of wearable technology, and referred to body image schemata and social issues relating to fashion and clothing which my study directly relates to, so I am  pleased that the next ISWC 2013 now includes in the category Applications of Wearables, music with wearable technology in a social and artistic context.

UWL Conference 2012

I have just come back from London after doing a presentation about my research at the UWL 2012 Annual Conference.   It was well received and a couple of really interesting questions which I will give some thought to.  One question from Lesley Stevenson at the University was should I incorporate other senses into my work ie: food as part of my installations?  Eating relates directly to issues concerning body image, so this is a very interesting point… I will see how my work evolves and whether it is a viable option. Another interesting point made from a fellow PhD candidate, was why am I using female mannequins with a perfect body size? Well this again is an interesting point as I consciously did not make a choice, it was an automatic subconscious selection to integrate standard sized mannequins.  Having thought about this, I feel that at this moment in time  representing the theory in relation to the practical elements of the study, the ideal size mannequin is more appropriate to represent what is expected and sold to us.  However, later on in my PhD I may introduce plus size models or mannequins, but this will come after reflecting on the next three pieces I am building.