Issuu on Google+

beauty THE HARVEST ANDREW A. NESSON

IN SEARCH OF THE CHESIRE CAT CRISTOPHER SMITH

Volium 01 March 2007

beauty


“This savage and repulsive ‘brave new world’ of human sacrifices in the quest for eternal youth is a prime example of the end results when all moral boundaries are destroyed” The Harvest “Beauty not only relates to how we look and present our self, but it also expresses who we are as a unique being” The poet’s pen turns them to shapes “For Beauty is simply the sum of our imagination reflected back to us through what we deem pleasurable. It can only ever exist for us, on our own terms and with reference to our own fears, dreams and desires” In search of the Cheshire Cat


CELEBRITY SCENTS Martin Mills FROM THE JETTY Gary Blankenship VANITY Dominic Mercer THE HARVEST Andrew A Neeson DESIGN AND FABRIC WORK Rosalind Wear TAMARA DE LEMPICKA Jane Snape IN SEARCH OF THE CHESHIRE CAT Christopher Smith PHOTOGRAPHY Kim Laughton

Contents 04 06 07 08 10 14 16 18


by Martin Mills

Celebrity Scents

I

recently purchased Sarah Jessica Parker’s perfume Lovely, hoping in some small way the very essence of Carrie Bradshaw is stored in that 50ml bottle; dormant until Valentines night when it will transform my girlfriend into a sultry Sex and the City style temptress. But to what extent is Sarah Jessica Parker, indeed any celebrity, involved in the creative process of their own endorsed perfume? The worlds largest fragrance maker, Coty, has the widest range of celebrity clientele; a company whose perfume portfolio includes the Beckham’s, Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion. Jennifer Lopez perfume earns Coty more than $100 million a year, and according to Catherine Walsh, a Coty executive, Lopez insisted on regular consultations. Coty competitors, UK based Starscents released a range of Ronan Keating colognes last year, hoping to emulate the success of its previous pop collaboration with Sir Cliff Richard. Sheila Pickles, Starscents creative director, talks to the celebrity first about the scents they or their family wear; the scents they like and dislike. She then constructs a formal written brief which documents the way the new scent should smell. This brief is then issued to ‘internationally renowned Perfume Noses’ who submit 10 or more samples. These are then presented to the celebrity; and are further refined, until the celebrity is happy to endorse the scent as their own. When asked about Sir Cliff Richard’s creative contribution Sheila explained: “He insisted on Night Scented Jasmine, and we used Sandalwood in his ‘Miss You Nights’ perfume. It reminded him of his childhood in India.” Actor Alan Cumming included the most bizarre scents in his endorsed perfume: “Black pepper, whiskey, cigar, rubber, and white truffle.” In partnership with perfumer Chris Bronsius, founder of Demeter Fragrances, and with their tongues firmly rooted in their cheeks they created – “Cumming: the Fragrance.” Now a range of cosmetic products which includes: “Cumming all over,” the body lotion; “Cumming in a bar,” the soap; and “Cumming in the air,” the scented candle.

04


by Gary Blankenship

From the Jetty The sailboat slid into Bedford Harbor as effortless as an albatross soars over Nantucket Shoals Behind me, sheets flapped on the cottage clothesline, pink and yellow strips on a field of the bluest white. At the bow, a girl of a woman, undressed too light for the Nor ’east shouted words I could not hear in a language I could not understand, although she appeared close enough for me to smell what she had for lunch, what wine she drank with it, and what she did before and after. She threw her words again; her voice lost in the noise of cries of children on the beach, worried parents, excited dogs, nervous gulls. I shrugged incomprehension. She laughed, tossed hair the color of wild strawberries and slid into the cabin as easy as a hermit crab into a new shell. I turned and walked along the jetty, one eye on the harbor, another on the ground for stones I could chuck at cans in the surf. Tonight, when I go into town for Friday’s chowder, I will listen for a language I do not understand.

06


by Dominic Mercer

Vanity There was real beauty True beauty even, The kind of air and grace That turns heads. But Therein lies a spiteful seed A slowly growing ever-present awareness Of the very quality. Beauty. At first it’s a realization of self Then it’s a realization of others reactions; Comments, flattery and flirting Lead to; Mirror watching, makeup and manipulation At first the world bows, Running for every beck and call But slowly invisible cracks appear Like those in a deep blue glacier. The reflection will change slightly As the mirror just sits on the wall But the people begin to stare harder As the image won’t fade from their mind And the transparency will make that Vain face Fall So chop off your nose to save your pretty Face.

07


The

Harvest Andrew A. Neeson

The cosmetic industry has always been desperate to obtain the secret of – at least aesthetically speaking - eternal youth, often employing practices which raise a host of ethical, moral and medical questions. The latest of these questions surround the dubious content of SkinMedica’s TNS range, which won the Editors choice award for Allure and been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The TNS range contains the ingredient NouriCel-MD, which according to the company’s website contains ‘natural human growth factors.’ (Source:www.tnsskincare.com)

T

hese ‘human growth factors’ are derived from the skin cells found in the foreskin of circumcised babies which contain necessary proteins, collagen and elastin necessary to help stop the visible signs of aging. While there is no question of the products safety, its ethics are debatable. A mother, posting on internet chartroom, www.mothering.com, said: “I think it’s creepy. It’s like they are harvesting our children for their beauty products.” Chris Pattinson, owner of Revitalise UK, Britain’s distributor of this brand believes the public have been misled: ‘No pot contains thousands of baby foreskins as the press would lead you to believe, just a few cells, amongst other things…I don’t think people would feel at all squeamish about this issue if the truth had not been exaggerated.’ Harvesting human skin for vanity cosmetic products first became a global concern two years ago when a Chinese company, which cannot be identified for legal reasons, was exposed developing

beauty products made from the skin of executed convicts. In an article published in the Guardian on September 13th 2005, a lack of legislation was blamed: ‘The Department of Health is waiting for the European commission to draw up proposals for laws governing cosmetic products. It could be several years before this legislation takes force.’While these new regulations are drawn up, the Department of Health remains powerless in its ability to regulate most human-tissue fillers intended for injection or implant, as they occupy a legal grey area. Most products are not governed by regulations as they are not classified as medicines. They also escape cosmetics regulations, which only apply to substances used on the surface of the skin and not those injected beneath it. Another cosmetic product which is benefiting from similar legal loopholes is AlloDerm, which is made from freeze dried human tissue, the skin coming not from China, but from American


citizens. Bereaved families are approached by representatives of American tissue banks, often unaware that buried in the small-print is a clause which allows for the use of the donated body in ‘reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.’ The skin of the family member is often then soldon to companies like Life Cell Corporation which utilises the tissue to create various cosmetic products like AlloDerm. In June, 2006, some batches of AlloDerm were recalled when it was feared that human body parts – including those of British broadcaster Alistair Cooke – stolen from New York funeral homes had been traded to legitimate companies and injected into patients. The U.S. Food and Drugs administration urged anyone who felt they may have received stolen tissue to be tested for HIV and although unproven, the Department of Health believes that there is a risk of contracting blood-borne viruses and even vCJD -the human form of mad cow disease - from collagen containing human tissue. Furthermore, in Europe, the abuse of stem-cell therapy has led to a growing black market in aborted foetuses. In Russia - currently top of the world abortion league - women are paid $200 to carry babies up to the optimum eight to twelve week period, (thought to be the best for harvesting stem cells.) This practice is based on the theory that injected cells from the umbilical cords of aborted babies can help regenerate failing body parts.

Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, says: “The idea that by injecting the stem-cells of a foetus you can maintain a youthful appearance is exaggerated and unproven.” Although stem-cell therapy is being developed as a potential cure for life threatening illnesses, using it for cosmetic purposes conflicts with British and European laws, leading women to unethical treatments often by unqualified doctors. An article published in the Daily Mail on August 7th 2006, ‘A barbaric kind of beauty ’, highlights the cost of treatment and some of the clinics responsible. In Moscow, for example, a course of six anti-aging injections of stem cells into thighs, buttocks and the stomach cost between £1000 £1500. The most succinct reproach of these practices came from Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of CWA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, who said: “Not only is the origin of the foetuses immoral and inhumane; there are medical problems and complications associated with the injections. This savage and repulsive ‘brave new world’ of human sacrifices in the quest for eternal youth is a prime example of the end results when all moral boundaries are destroyed.”


by Rosalind Wear

The poet’s pen turns them to shapes

Beauty is often classed as an outer, visual element, such as how we appear and ‘create’ our self. I strive for individuality in my design work, and fabrics. What we wear creates the chance to reflect our personality, interests and who we are. I always work from personal experiences and things that have inspired me and find interesting. Visiting the globe theatre created a starting point for my most recent project. Shakespeare’s language is filled with imagery, linking nature to feelings. Dress gives us the chance to create a social identity and how we appear to others. Beauty not only relates to how we look and present our self, but it also expresses who we are as a unique being. “…And as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shapes.”

10


Corsage - Rose. Layering laser cut printed papers and acetate.


Fabric design. Digital prints worked into with devore and screen printing, then laser cut and bond-a-webbed onto organza. Layered on top of digital print on silk viscose.

12


Paper design - Hidden Hedgehog. Drawing and collage of laser cut papers and acetate.


by Jane Snape

Tamara de Lempicka

S

earch for anything to do with “beauty” on the web and sadly you see references to Hollywood’s hottest stars and their beauty secrets, selftanning salons, new cosmetics that will make you look years younger. I’m hoping that this month’s theme of beauty includes none of the above.

luxury, arriving in Paris as refugees. With painting lessons from Andre Lhote and a combination of natural talent, hard work, enthusiasm and her distinctive style, she was soon showing her work at major galleries and impressive commissions followed.

Beauty is a very subjective theme; for me beauty through Art is thrilling and can be inspiring, with none more so than the work of an icon of the Art Deco period – Tamara de Lempicka (1898 – 1980).

Her success enabled her to afford the life style she had previously had; travelling abroad and staying in the best hotels with writers and artists such as Picasso. In 1925 Tamara had a successful Art Deco exhibition in Paris, but her heavy workload did not, however, impact on her social life and the scandal of her many bi-sexual love affairs was well-known. Divorced from Tadeusz, but soon married again to Baron Kuffner, they moved to New York in 1943. She continued to work, into the 1960’s although her style, now quite abstract, had changed considerably. She died in her sleep in Mexico in 1980, her paintings a legacy to enjoy.

My first introduction was a postcard I came across in the City of York Art Gallery, I found “Les deux amies”, so beautiful and evocative, I was intrigued to find out more. Knowing nothing of the artist, it was a delight to learn that the lifestyle of Lempicka was as colourful and exotic as the paintings themselves. Much of her work is now in private collections; Jack Nicholson, Madonna and Barbara Streisand owning some of her work. Analysing her work can be left to others expertise; I hope that some readers might be interested enough to seek out and enjoy the beautiful paintings she accomplished. Very briefly, born Tamara Gorska in 1898 in either Warsaw or Moscow (details appear vague) to wealthy parents, Tamara was painting her sister at the age of 12. A marriage at 18 to a handsome lawyer Taduesz Lempicki, found the couple fleeing the Russian Revolution and their life of

14


1934

1929

Kizette Sleepin g

ves en With Glo Girl in Gre

15


In Search of the

Chesire Cat

Who Was Lewis Carrol? Christopher Smith

F

or many who love the literature of Lewis Carroll, it has timelessness beyond the rigours of ordinary life. The innocent fervour of his characters let loose in all manner of absurd and mysterious settings is uniquely the imagination of a one-off genius, whilst also containing universal themes imagined with all the charm quintessential of childhood dreams. Carroll possessed an atypical insight into the beauty of childhood. His considerable academic intellect was offset by a purity of sensibility that enabled him to recreate the enthralling and sometimes unruly lure of youth. This existence, that swerved the burden of Victorian convention, enchanted Carroll as much as, he captivated his audience. It provided ceaseless inspiration for his art but drew him also and by his own admission within horrifying proximity of what Browning termed ‘the dangerous edge of things’. Or so the myth goes. For a fresh critical initiative has been brewing at the very heart of the Carroll legend, reinvigorating the debate regarding his perception of Beauty and what this will mean to his legacy. Freudians have observably had their fun with the dream-literature of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Paul Schilder in 1936 denounced the work as that of an ‘enormous anxiety’ suggesting that the fragile sensibilities of children be protected and to eschew Dodgson’s work as that of a sexual delinquent. It has hitherto been problematic for ardent followers of Carroll the artist that Dodgson the man had such an unprecedented relationship with his child muses. Freudian followers however interpret literature in the manner of a dream. They assume that Dodg-

16

son’s elusive misdemeanours of character can be read with reference to imagery suppressed into dense pluri-valent phrases. They ignore in essence the conscious value of art. Dodgson himself acknowledged that he had an imagination that would ‘fain be pure’. His Alice books are realised with a concerted rectitude without which the beatific, vibrant world of Alice would simply not exist. Another school grew out of the Freudian analysis, suggesting that it is his intensive adherence to decency to which he owes his inspiration. The ‘shadow of a sigh’ that ‘may tremble through the story’ is born of an unrequiteable longing on which beauty so ruthlessly feeds. Authors such as Katie Rolphie have subsequently argued for Dodgson’s integrity. Rolphie writing in 2001 suggests that ‘It is possible that our crude categories, our black and white views of romantic feeling, cannot contain someone like Dodgson’. His ‘indisputable’ fevered adoration of his self termed ‘child-friends’ did not for this school of thought represent an inexorable sexual deviancy, precisely because, as Donald Thomas’ biography was to argue, his ‘labyrinth of emotional compulsions’ were ‘drilled into submission by conscience, conviction and intellect’. His disquieting longings that were demonised by the Freudians were now the source of his moral triumph. He was courageous in his antipathy to his own hearts wishes. The logical implication of this is that his urges, consciously repressed, exploded into beauty on the page. For Rolphie ‘he channelled his devotion into a wild and lovely literary universe; his imagination so dangerous and inflamed, it fled the real world’.


Both the Freudian psychopathology paradigm and the later ‘flawed hero’ perspective implicate Dodgson in a sphere of communicative ineptitude with adult reality. They propose his infamous stammer as microcosmic of this interpersonal ungainliness (It was allegedly disabling when in contact with adults and unnoticeable in the presence of children). Is it really plausible to believe either the Freudians or Rolphie and Thomas’ approach in their entirety? Are we to suppose that this accounts for the whole story, that Dodgson was either a dangerously repressed, emotional and psychological predator of young girls or that he was righteously ascetic in his abstinence from a malevolent complex of illicit sexual desires? Not necessarily according to the research of Karoline Leach. She emphasises the need for a complete overhaul in Carrollian studies. She argues that the aura of deviancy that exists around Dodgson is built on nothing more than myth and fantasy. That his notion of beauty was neither unconventional nor illicit when contextualised within Victorian aesthetic orthodoxy. Leach argues that Carroll’s preoccupation with young girls reflected not only the apex of artistic endeavour for Victorian society, but also the zenith of piety. She proposed that the image of the child represented an incorruptible virtuousness, and that if we wish to taint Carroll with the shade of paedophilia, then we have to also implicate an entire cultural and historical paradigm that included the likes of John Ruskin and a whole host of fashionable artists painting child nudes for the gratification of the Victorian aristocracy. The ostensible manifestations of indecency observed in Dodgson’s photographs of scantily clad children by a twentieth century audience, simply were not present in Victorian England. Leach argues that ‘Lewis Carroll quickly came to mean that age of innocence that human beings perpetually believe to have just come to an end’. A society that imbued him with untouchable piety, also suffered from the syndrome of rose tinted spectacles. Lewis Carroll represented therefore a powerful myth that was centred in the aspirations of humanity to believe in an innocence that is absent from modern society. This was a myth nonetheless. A myth, Leach believes, perpetuated by the various manipulations of the legend by Dodgson himself (the inventor of Carroll), a deep and profound familial reticence on the subject of the real Dodgson and by the failure of subsequent researchers to present a sufficient challenge to the dominant paradigm governing the man and his work. It is much easier and more self-serving in the vacuous space opened up by the silence and secrecy

surrounding Carroll, to tint the myth with the colours of one’s imagination. This porous historicism is revealed in Leach’s study, as are various underlying details that provide motivation for certain parties to perpetuate the legend over the facts. For instance Dodgson’s family had, according to Leach, ample reason to be suspicious of his supposed communicative incompetence with adults. What is left of his diary is full of allusive insinuations of sexual activity. Leach believes that Dodgson the man was tormented with desires for a debauched ideological liberty encapsulated in exactly the kind of promiscuity that would devastate his budding career. Consequently he invented Carroll; the dutiful recorder of children in all of the fawning adoration embodied by the Pre-Raphaelites. He escaped his own conception of sin by wearing the mask of Carroll, a mask that has been problematic for posterity to uncover. This is for reasons beyond the mere misplacement of documents claimed by the Dodgson family. Some of the diary entries are cut out at climactic moments, while an entire four years of his life (the time when his sense of sin seems to be at its most intense) are missing, succeeded by a more resolved, serenity pervading his life. What then, does it mean that the myth of Carroll has runaway with the historical headlines, whilst Dodgson has skulked away into the soundless vacuum of time? What is Dodgson in this elusive game of literary ‘call my bluff’? A man with inadequate sexual functioning fixated in a childhood realm of mystery and imagination? A man for whom the surreptitious attraction of the child was countered at the cost of his happiness by an impressively responsible sense of morality? Or a man who sank into the persona of Carroll with the aid of his family and friends and the ineffectiveness of his biographers, to escape his own sinful desires that were completely apart from his aesthetic preoccupation with children? Whatever the truth is, it is the very indeterminacies that we seek to overcome that provide the beauty for us. He has an ephemeral existence, that when approached with the sharpest tools of historical and scientific enquiry simply grins and vanishes like the Cheshire cat of his fable. The ensuing vacuity is then loaded with whatever leaps of faith, or necessary psychological conjectures, the historian or reader requires to re-animate the legend. For Beauty is simply the sum of our imagination reflected back to us through what we deem pleasurable. It can only ever exist for us, on our own terms and with reference to our own fears, dreams and desires.

17


by Kim Laughton

Photography

“Mannequins reflects the ideal beauty of the time it was designed and manufactured�

18


Clothing shop Near Harajuku, Tokyo

19


Mannequin shop Hong Kong

20


Christmas window display London

21


The hostel doll Riudoms

22


www. givenpoetry. com Enric Solé Sendrós 1r Gràfica_tarda 2007


Given Poetry