CHANNELLING THE ARTIST
I have always described myself as an artist. My beloved medium has always been textiles and hence how a fashion and costume designer was born of me.
What drives my work is concept. My work is the means by which to explore an idea and as I mature as a designer, what that concept is, has become more and more relevant for me. I think we are living in a moment in time in the history of humanity where we perhaps do not have the luxury to explore concepts that ignore emergencies taking place in the world right now. The planet is suffering, people are suffering, archaeological and historic sites are suffering. What do we address first? How?
So, this brings me to a point where I have to seriously consider how to channel myself best. Do I design in literal terms addressing one or more of these issues, such as focusing on sustainable design? And finding real design solutions to real issues that need to be solved by designers? Or do I create far more abstractly and artistically? After all, as long as I am inspiring as an artist, as long as I am raising awareness on something or challenging an idea thus helping to open someone's heart and mind - isn't that really what my role is about? Artists have the power to bring attention to a theme or a topical issue. A few years ago comedian Hannibal Buress made a joke about Bill Cosby and the revelations since have been endless. So it could be said the #metoo movement started with an artist.. an artist who raised awareness by being bold.. The film Searching for Sugarman teaches us how the music of Sixto Rodriguez helped inspire a generation of South Africans to oppose apartheid. Of course, there are countless examples. It’s these examples that excite me the most about being an artist. All I want is to try and be one of those examples, to feel I've contributed in a sense which feels effective, because there is so much right now for artists to address, and it is urgent. We have a very real duty. An artist, whether it’s a designer, a musician, or a dancer has the capacity to unlock people in a way that nothing else can. We need to be solemn about our power and clearly conscious of where and how we focus it.
Politicians Discussing Global Warming by Isaac Cordal