Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

As the festive season approaches I am getting more and more excited! That's not to say there haven't been lots of stresses in the run up. Things never run smoothly do they?
Anyway, last week was the private view and last phase of my burlesque art residency in Sunderland. The exhibition went really well. It was housed in The Place and was one of the first art shows to be held in the mutli million pound arts venue!
At the private view I met some of Sunderland's art and burlesque crowd, including the lovely Miss Gretchen Tice a member of the North East based burlesque troup, The Coquette Collective.

The project, although delayed by three months until completion, was really fun and I enjoyed finding out about an area I previoulsy knew nothing about. I was fascinated by Sunniside's merchant and sea faring history. I also enjoyed researching about Victorian culture and how the characters from the project fitted into this. I will be uploading the final images and write ups onto my website in the next few days so keep your eyes out for updates! In the meantime here's a snippet of the work from the exhibition:

The Widow

The character you see here is Margaret Turnbull a widowed school mistress who lived at number 13 Norfolk St in 1861.
Women were not allowed out of the house during the first year of mourning and were obliged to wear all black and a weeping veil. Some would even go so far as to dress the entire household including staff in black. Here we see Margaret outside her address which is now a picture framers
Margaret was 40 years old when the 1861 census was taken and lived with her general servant.
With a high death rate during the Victorian era mourning was a part of everyday life which encouraged a melodramatic obsession with morbidity and went on to influence the gothis movement of later years.

To read more about the project see older posts of this blog or go to my Myspace blog for a blow by blow account as the work progressed

The private view also included a fabulous live V.J set from artist Carl Gregg.
On the day of the photoshoot we all acted and reacted with eachother in character. All this was filmed on several video cameras. We performed and hammed it up in Sunniside gardens while the public gathered around filming us all on there mobile phones. I'm pretty certain we entertained a few local buliders too as they watched from their scaffolding! All the footage was then taken and edited by Carl who projected and overlayed the images to music on the walls of the gallery.
The final product was fantastic and I was pleasantly surprised as I felt a right idiot acting cheesy and pouting while the camera was rolling, but the finished thing looked so effective! I only wish Carl would release some of his amazing work onto the internet to show you!

Now I'm winding down for Christmas and I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! I intend to indulge my chocolate habit to the MAX!
Until next week, Merry Christmas! xxx

1 comment:

Mary-Beth said...

Hi Gemma, I'm enjoying the blog! And the photos on this entry - particularly the black and white set - are incredibly striking. You look fantastic!