VOLTA Fashion & Lifestyle Society
The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors. Its contents do not reflect the opinion of the University Students’ Council of the University of Western Ontario (“USC”). The USC assumes no responsibility or liability for any error, inaccuracy, omission or comment contained in this publication or for any use that may be made of such information by the reader.
table of contents 04 CONTRIBUTORS the Volta team
08 SOMETHING BORROWED by Emma Barrett
20 HABITUAL ATTRACTION stirrings of autumn
05 EDITOR’S LETTER Emma Barrett & Stephanie Wood
10 LED ASTRAY ethereal layers
26 INSIDE BLUSH: FASHION, STYLE, LUXURY by Jag Raina
06 MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS notable magazine members
16 INTERNSHIPS: ARE THEY DEAD? by Stephanie Wood
30 AUTUMN GILT extravagance unleashed
07 BEHIND THE SCENES & COVER PAGE inside look at Volta
18 CULTURE current events
44 THE DEPTH OF BLACK CLAY by Patrick Carter
photograph by Maryam Golafshani
CO-EDITORS IN CHIEF Emma Barrett & Stephanie Wood CREATIVE DIRECTOR Faustina Sari Setiawan
WOMEN’S FASHION DIRECTOR Hannah Murphy-Marshman WOMEN’S STYLISTS Grace Yang Tatiana Warke Courtney Cadieux MEN’S FASHION DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE Torrel Ollivirrie MEN’S FASHION DIRECTOR Aaron Gray MEN’S STYLIST Marcel Sokalski
CREATIVE ADVISORS Brooke Dunford Danielle Aftias Bethany Greer
LAYOUT EDITORS Natalia Kondratieva Maryam Golafshani Emma Barrett
PHOTOGRAPHERS Logan Ly Matt Yang Julian Romano
PHOTO EDITOR Jan Kuzan
WRITERS Emma Barrett Stephanie Wood Stephanie Grella Logan Ly Jag Raina Patrick Carter MAKE-UP ARTISTS Angela Clemente Erica Ho ASSISTANT MAKE-UP ARTIST Senen Yuen MODELS Jacqueline Wojciechowski Christianne Hoey John Maubach Dana El-Tawil Quinn Griffiths Lisa Shales Nick Palombo
LITERARY EDITOR Angelica Ng SHOOT CONTRIBUTORS Emma Danyliuk Melissa Bareham Zarmina Khan
Letter from the Editors
As the FW’13 issue depicts the transition from summer to autumn, the Volta team fed on the cool, earthy atmosphere of London’s outdoors. With that in mind, the FW’13 issue focuses on a naturalistic interpretation of sweater season. Each article and photo shoot identifies the interchange between the environment and our expression within it. In Habitual Attraction, shot by Logan Ly, models highlight the intersection of flawless beauty with a rugged exterior, while writer Patrick Carter studies the utilization of earthly ceramics as a form of rebellion in works by Patrick Calhoun. Following The Fashion & Lifestyle Society Casting Call, we discovered an incredible talent base at Western University. We were extremely excited to feature new face Lisa Shales on both the cover and in the main editorial, shot by Julian Romano. Collaborating with the brilliant student designer Bethany Greer, Autumn Gilt revives Baroque extravagance and brings rich colour and texture back to a realistic space. Volta FW’13 also welcomes Matt Yang, who shot Led Astray, an editorial which relays the calm feeling of seclusion while alone in the forest. With student designer Danielle Aftias’ designs as the base, Volta’s creative team crafted a barren sensation of solitude. We hope you enjoy this issue, and look forward to showcasing our Spring issue next semester! Emma Barrett & Stephanie Wood
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS Julian Romano- Photographer Returning to Volta for a second year, Julian once again amazed us with his ability to find the perfect shot. As a fourth-year student in the Bachelor of Fine ArtsSpecialization in Studio program, Julian is interested in the design, creativity and skill that is a part of the fashion industry. With his striking attention to detail, Julian can coax the ideal image, even out of the most tentative of models. Since the age of 14, Julian has been working with photography, and plans to continue into a career in fine art commercial advertising.
Faustina Sari Setiawan- Creative Director Faustina is a 2nd-year BMOS student, who has always taken an interest in fashion. Having lived in Singapore and Bali, Faustina has infused both the eccentric, experimental take on fashion of an urban city with the more casual, liberal fashion of island life into her personal style. She has brought a deep fascination of trends to the table, with the ability to synthesize complementing styles. In her spare time, Faustina likes to hang out with one of her ten dogs back at home.
Dana El-Tawil- Model Armed with a firm belief that a lack of passion is fatal, Dana, a 4th-year honours specialization in political science student, came to Volta with an intrigue in the dynamic and powerful world of fashion. Dana has a strong attention to detail, and is interested in the messages that fashion can convey, from politics to social changes and the impact that it can have. We very much look forward to working with Dana in the future, and her refreshing attitude: nothing will mean anything if you donâ€™t live a life of use to others.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Photographs by Katherine Chien, Julian Romano, and Maryam Golafshani
COVER Photographer: Julian Romano Make-Up Artist: Erica Ho Model: Lisa Shales Clothing Design: Bethany Greer
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
SOMETHING BORROWED Emma Barrett
he fashion industry takes in something borrowed, and creates something new, with contemporary design having a strong habit of revisiting past fashions. This is not a modern occurrence; styles have transcended time and trends for centuries. These cycles of revival are evident in collections, street wear, and in general media. Often in the form of a recurring silhouette or colour palette, the cyclicality of the fashion industry does not only extend to trends, but to aesthetic ideas as well. Considering fashion’s fascination with its own history, and shortening cycles of resurgence, there is a changing landscape for designers and consumers of fashion alike to traverse.
The existence of revisiting ideas in fashion is not contested, however recently, the cycles have become shorter and shorter, moving from centuries to decades, and perhaps to years in the near future. Revival can even reach back millennia to ancient times, with Madame Grès leading this trend in the 1930s and 1940s. Grès, born in Paris in 1903, is considered to be one of the most significant clothing designers in haute couture. Studying art, she developed an interest in costume, and in particular Grecian-style statues and sculptures. To simulate Grecian gowns, Grès revolutionized draping techniques to mimic softly flowing tunic column gowns. Shifting from centuries to decades, gigot sleeves are an example of a trend resurging in the 1830s, 1890s, and again as recently as the 1980s. Gigot sleeves start slightly off the shoulder, and “puff” before narrowing again at the lower arm. Mixed with a v-neckline and full skirt, gigot sleeves gave the illusion of a narrower waist. The gentle sloping of the sleeve connected the wearer with the romanticism movement of the time. Modernized in the 1890s, the “puff” was raised, directly where the shoulder met the dress. The reincarnation of the style in the 1980s is a hybrid of works in the 1830s and 1890s, and is best represented in Yves Saint Laurent’s lavish evening wear collections of the decade. Another example is the Victorian petticoat and metal-hopped cage crinolines, supporting expansive skirts. Like the gigot sleeve, the goal was to elude to a narrower waist. The silhouette was seen once again in the hourglass figure that made the 1950s famous.
- Yohji Yamamoto
Going to the future means you have to use your past.
While most contemporary fashion cycles repeat every few decades, there have been instances of rapid revivals; grunge, originating in the early 1990s, has resurfaced multiple times in the last 20 years. This is one of those trends that defies seasonality, always a movement, but like minimalism, has become an enduring reference. Like all trends, grunge in its early days was not so desirable before its adoption to the mainstream. Grunge made an early appearance on the runway for Spring/Summer 1993, crafted by Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis. The strong focus on plaid, beanies, and an overall sense of apathy, the collection was not well-received; the 1990s trend of purism did not accept grunge’s basic tenets. It was not until photographers such as Mario Sorrenti and Steven Meisel influenced the aesthetic to become a higher-end reference, “grunge with art direction” if you will. Following high-fashion acceptance, grunge shifted from a noun to an adjective, describing a glamourized and sexy aesthetic which designers such as Alexander Wang utilized through the duration of the 1990s. Only 15 years later, designers borrowed again from history. Karl Lagerfeld showcased a grey mixed gingham coat and a black one-button suit with a checkered cropped jacket during the Fall/ Winter 2011 show for Chanel. Bottega Veneta’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection included a selection of baggy jeans which were chalked to look faded. And this past season, Rodarte reminisced with thematic elements of DIY acid wash and ombre, hinting at 1990s nostalgia. The revival of grunge only 20 years after its inception indicates a larger tendency of shortening fashion cycles. Moving forward, it should be expected that the cyclicality of fashion will condense further. With the prevalence of social media, more information is readily available to the masses. This includes a curatorial source of fashion-related data that is easily accessible and distributable. In addition, “fast fashion” has arisen due to dropping clothing production costs and is accessible to consumers via brands like H&M or Zara. As a result, seasonality has shifted from centuries, to decades, and now every few years with the availability of this fast, disposable fashion. The popular desire for recovery of earlier time periods will remain a facet of fashion, so be sure to keep those ‘dated’ garments from your years past; you never know when they will resurge once again.
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
Photographer: Matt Yang Creative Director: Faustina Sari Setiawan Creative Advisor: Danielle Aftias Make-up Artist: Angela Clemente Women’s Fashion Director: Hannah Murphy-Marshman Women’s Stylists: Courtney Cadieux, Grace Yang Men’s Fashion Directors: Aaron Gray, Torrel Ollivirrie Men’s Stylist: Marcel Sokalski Models: Dana El-Tawil, John Maubach Shoot Contributor: Melissa Bareham
Led Astray 10
John wears beanie, knit scarf, pea coat, and dark jeans, stylistâ€™s own.
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
Dana wears black maxi skirt with red cape, designed by Danielle Aftias. 11
Dana wears black wool beanie,gold statement necklace, quilted jacket, black shirt, and shorts, stylist’s own.
John wears deep grey wool hat, suede jacket, grey hoodie, plaid shirt, and jeans, pulled from stylist’s wardrobe.
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
Dana wears mustard sweater, pearl necklace, black skirt, and heels, stylistâ€™s own. John wears a grey scarf, jacket, classic jeans, and knit warmers, pulled from stylistâ€™s closet.
Are They Dead? Stephanie Wood
The countless films, television series, and media publications that have been successfully produced do not fully reveal the challenges facing anyone inspired to make a career in the fashion, film, and publications industry. Internships are often the only and, perhaps best way for an entrant to get their “foot in the door”, learn the business and players, get experience under their belt and decide if this is really the industry in which they want to launch their career. As human rights’ laws and debates surrounding fair labour practices come under scrutiny, specific industries are being thrust into the spotlight for the insensitive way they manage their internship programs. The fashion, film and the publishing industries fall soundly under this focus. With an abundantly large pool of talented, aspiring young professional vying for positions at the top firms, the sacrifices to “get in” are weighty. Long hours, low pay, and cutthroat competitive behaviour as well as the need to make an impression on the people in charge are trademark characteristics for traveling the road to the to getting a permanent role in these businesses. Firms in these industries, including publishing giant, Condé Nast, are facing lawsuits from interns who contend that the programs are violating labour laws. Condé Nast creates content for many of the most influential publications around the world, including but not limited to, Allure, GQ, Vogue, W, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. Their portfolio includes eighteen consum-
er magazines, four business-to-business magazines, and twenty-seven websites. The opportunities for the aspiring creative individual seem endless, and it is not a surprise that some of the most prominent names in the fashion industry, such as Lauren Conrad, have spent time working or interning with this company. An internship at one of the prestigious Condé Nast brands not only gives young writers credibility, but also lends an invaluable experience that can’t be obtained elsewhere. The purpose of internships, paid or unpaid, is to broaden the intern’s learning and understanding of the industry in question and give them real-life experience. There is an image and expectation associated with the role that, having served in this capacity, doors to future opportunities will be sprung open. For the majority who applying for these internships, there is an implied underlying expectation that the role will be demanding and sacrifices are to be made. There will be tradeoffs between work-life balance and in the amount of compensation. Unpaid internships are commonplace but the understood reward for taking these creative industry internships includes the foundation of careers and the means to strong networks. When Condé Nast announced in late October that they would be ending their internship program, the reaction from both former interns and the press was resoundingly negative, accusing the company that it was reacting too harshly to recent litigations against them from
former interns claiming they were not paid for their services. While these lawsuits will impact the reputation and profits of the firms hiring the interns, the overall benefit of hiring young and passionate individuals cannot be ignored. The content that CondĂŠ Nast produces must be Ă la mode to satisfy the audience; trendsetters that are passionate about fashion, lifestyle, and current affairs are the ones that will be most valuable in evolving and maintaining the substance of these publications. By CondĂŠ Nast eliminating these internships, they are cutting themselves off from the vast pool of new talent that could keep them progressive and fresh. It is a statement that ultimately demonstrates their view of interns as dispensable, short-term means of generating ideas and completing tasks. While many of the lawsuits against these creative content firms may be unsubstantiated by interns that did not have a longstanding ambition in this industry, the demanding schedule and scarce compensation limited the possibility of internships to those who had the financial means to support themselves.
So where does the future lie for unpaid internships? As firms become more conscious of labour laws and the inflexible conditions they place on internships, will they feel compelled to choose between compromise and the cancellation of these programs? In competitive industries where success rides on connections and bottom-to-top commitment, the elimination of internships poses serious disadvantages for the young and ambitious. Likewise, the firms who cancel the programs lose access to the talent pool and the chance to discover outstanding young stars. These firms need to address their development and training model and make changes. Yet, for all the press and attention, is the plight of the intern really so different than anyone entering a profession? The price to entry in most professions, including those without formal internship programs, is defined by hard work, long hours and low pay. The rewards are there for those who put in the effort and make a commitment, have true talent and are in the right place at the right time. Both sides need to think long and hard.
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
Jian Ghomeshi Revives the Liberal Arts Degree From CBC Radio host of The Q and Globe and Mail columnist to author and musician, Jian Ghomeshi has come far from his teenage years of trying to be David Bowie. On Friday, November 22, the Arts & Humanities Students’ Council hosted a night with Jian Ghomeshi in Western’s Mustang Lounge. Telling countless anecdotes and offering students in the audience some enlightening insight into the world of media, Ghomeshi not only traced his steps to success, but also restored hope for students completing a Liberal Arts degree. “Don’t be afraid to stir shit up,” Ghomeshi said. He offered this bold piece of advice to studentss after telling the audience about his own “stirring of the pot” during his days at York University. As an undergraduate student (studying political science and history) in the early 90’s, Ghomeshi ran for the university’s student council president, engendering much conflict around his platform that encouraged minority groups at the time, like the LGBT community. Despite many students’ strong protests against Ghomeshi’s candidacy, he won the presidential candidacy that year. Ghomeshi added that his campaign was spurred on by writers and editors of campus publications at the time— one of these writers being Doug Saunders, now one of the Globe and Mail’s international affairs columnist.
Along with his career success, Ghomeshi consistently brought his ethnicity and familial ties to the forefront of his presentation. Identifying as Persian-Canadian, Ghomeshi opened up about his resentment towards his ethnic background as a young child, growing up thinking he came from a “bad place”. Moving from Iran to England, then permanently to Canada, Ghomeshi evolved into a media literate Canadian—and one who is proud to be Canadian. He expressed his positive experiences in multiethnic neighbourhoods in and around Toronto, allowing him to embrace his bond to Iranian culture. Most notably, Ghomeshi emphasized his support for students pursuing a Liberal Arts degree in hopes of a media-related career. Among the power of Facebook and Twitter, Ghomeshi still has high hopes for print journalism and the importance of stations like CBC in our daily lives of news and culture, believing that CBC Radio is still a vital lifeline in the scope of current and relevant media. “Nothing that is worth having comes easy,” Ghomeshi said. “I don’t know anyone who is successful in this business who didn’t get there by working their ass off.”
- STEPHANIE GRELLA
Guess Fall/ Winter 2013 Fashion Show I often dream of renting a convertible. In this same dream, I throw a few bags into the backseat, escape top-down, venturing off on a crosscountry adventure. Sitting front row at the GUESS fashion show for their Fall/Winter 2013 collection, it seems like the All-American clothing brand shares the same dream. One by one as the models come down the runway like dominos lined up one after the other, the collection embodied the essence of American freedom with rugged classical pieces that would be perfect for driving down the open highway or ducking into small-town diners. Denim and leather made pivotal pieces to evoke the laidback “I just woke up and picked up my clothes from the floor” on-the-go girl. The collection is for any urban street child who’s looking to escape the confines of the city’s skyscrapers for a reckless getaway. Using a heavy palette of thrilling ox blood to matte black, GUESS brings it back to the details with studded embellishments and lace patchworks. Pieces such as GUESS‘ signature Blousons were crafted with a faux leather-detail twist. Zippers have been transformed from functionality to theatrics, adding a flare of drama to a jacket or distressed jeans. As I was watching the fashion show, for a moment I forgot I was seated front row on the rooftop of CUBE in Queen West. For a moment, I was rocking GUESS‘ Fall 2013 denim jacket, driving down the open roads of the American mid-west, leaving the bright lights of the big city behind. Live from the 416, Photos by Logan Ly
- LOGAN LY
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
Photographer: Logan Ly Creative Director: Faustina Sari Setiawan Creative Advisor: Brooke Dunford Make-up Artist: Angela Clemente Nail Artist: Grace Yang Models: Jacqueline Wojciechowski and Christianne Hoey Shoot Contributor: Emma Danyliuk
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
Fashion, Style, Luxury
written by JAG RAINA Old-fashioned hardwood floors, pale pink walls, classy chandeliers, dreamy vintage hotel trolley carts overflowing with accessories and handpicked clothes. Sounds like a recipe for style heaven, doesn’t it? It’s these key ingredients that make up Blush, the luxurious boutique nestled in all the hustle and bustle of downtown Guelph. The Quebec Street boutique has become an ideal shopping destination for the best in women’s fashion. It’s either the 1960s sound of French singer Brigitte Bardot playing in the background or the vintage props and sweets filling the space that truly makes it feel like it’s been plucked right out of London’s Mayfair district, the streets of Rue St Honores in Paris, or found in the heart of New York’s shopping mecca, Soho. Having walked by the shop numerous times throughout my middle and high school years, I was always struck by the aura that surrounded it, an intensified feeling of luxury and inspiration. From the enigmatic models that peered down at the passerby, or the shop itself, it was a place that I was desperate to know, and to be a part of. Being back in Guelph after four years of undergraduate studies at Western, I finally found the courage to introduce myself to the owner, Michele Lee back in May. Ever since then, months have gone by and I have been given the incredible opportunity to get to know the shop, its amazing employees, and its owner. I have seen firsthand the amount of hard work and dedication that goes into maintaining the Blush atmosphere. The hard work has paid off since the shop has become an iconic staple for fashion and style in my hometown. Hungry to know more, I decided to sit down with Michele to learn more about the history of the boutique.
Continued on page 28.
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
Blush On Wheels
For Michele Lee, the idea of opening her own boutique had been a dream that finally came to life in 2004. “I’ve always been in retail, in the display and merchandising part of the business.” Lee stated. Having studied merchandising at school followed by a prestigious job with Club Monaco as head of visual merchandising, Lee spoke about her desire to open her own shop. She was inspired by her ventures into the fashion industry of New York’s Soho and Yorkville boutiques in Toronto. Driven and ambitious, Lee did just that, opened up her own women’s boutique, and just like that Blush was born. Nine years later, the shop is stronger than ever, with a growing reputation and a loyal customer base. It is this connection Lee has created with her customer base and her venture into social media that has made Blush an iconic place for style and luxury. Her instagram page alone holds over 25 thousand followers and garners thousands of likes and comments a week. Lee chuckles at me, stating that people have asked her if her shop is located in Los Angeles, due to the her website being blush.ca, confusing the “ca” to be California. Her shop has been featured on Elle Canada and has had her
Blush On Wheels was my crazy idea of renovating an old RV into a mobile shop. I loved the idea of taking the Blush experience to our customers and to new places!
clothing adorned on prominent Toronto Fashion Bloggers and Television Personalities. Another creative and ambitious venture that Lee has taken on is BOW, short for Blush on Wheels. I first saw BOW on a hot summer afternoon while walking down Quebec Street, parked prominently in front of the shop. During the interview Michele explains that “Blush On Wheels was my crazy idea of renovating an old RV into a mobile shop. I loved the idea of taking the Blush experience to our customers and to new places!” Who doesn’t like a road trip?” And Michele did just that. BOW has ventured into places all across Ontario, bringing the blush experience wherever she goes.
What makes Michele’s boutique that much more special is the relationship she builds with her loyal customers. “I wanted to make it an inviting space for people to be inspired by” she told me. From private events to fashion parties, and BOW to one-on-one style consults with the customers, Michele made sure to make the customer’s experience unique. Just this past month alone, she hosted a fantastic little private party, featuring fashion bloggers from all over Toronto to visit the shop for an afternoon of delicious macaroons, doughnuts and of course, shopping. I was lucky enough to sketch, paint and photograph the whole party. As Blush nears a decade, I was curious about what Michele has planned for the future of the shop. “I would love to see Blush expand with our online business. We’ve got a great customer base in our Guelph boutique location and look forward to growing the online business,” Lee said. With a successful blog, Pinterest, twitter, Instagram and Facebook page, it doesn’t seem like Michele would have any trouble succeeding in her Internet endeavors. Lee comments on the powerful impact Blush has had on social media as of late, stating the versatility and power Blush’s digital brand has inspired. I asked her about the role social media continues to play with the shop, and Lee happily states how it has become a great way to communicate with customers. “It’s such a fun way to share our brand and feels great that people appreciate all the hard work and the little details that make blush” Lee remarked. I truly believe that she will be successful in molding the digital vision of Blush for years to come. As for me, a 22-year-old South Asian male infatuated with the shop, I hope Michele one day creates a menswear section where I can go to burn my pay-cheques. But a man can only dream.
photos by MICHELE LEE of BLUSH SHOP
PHOTOGRAPHER: JULIAN ROMANO CREATIVE DIRECTOR: FAUSTINA SARI SETIAWAN CREATIVE ADVISOR: BETHANY GREER MAKE-UP ARTIST: ERICA HO ASSISTANT MAKE-UP ARTIST: SENEN YUEN WOMEN’S FASHION DIRECTOR: HANNAH MURPHY-MARSHMAN WOMEN’S STYLISTS: COURTNEY CADIEUX, TATIANA WARKE, GRACE YANG MEN’S FASHION DIRECTORS: AARON GRAY, TORREL OLLIVIRRIE MEN’S STYLIST: MARCEL SOKALSKI MODELS: LISA SHALES, QUINN GRIFFITHS, NICK PALOMBO
Quinn wears a green lace shirt designed by Bethany Greer, necklace, gold ring, and mustard shorts, stylistâ€™s own.
Lisa wears blue velvet shirt by Bethany Greer, and gold necklace, stylist’s own.
Nick wears grey salt and pepper coat, black pants, white tee, and shoes, stylist’s own. Quinn wears a green lace shirt by Bethany Greer, necklace, gold ring, and mustard shorts, stylist’s own.
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
Quinn wears velvet bustier and high-low skirt designed by Bethany Greer. Lisa wears velvet skirt designed by Bethany Greer. Red sweater, gold necklace, and black heels are stylistsâ€™ own.
Quinn wears blue velvet leaf dress by Bethany Greer and earrings, stylistsâ€™ own.
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
Jacqueline wears a fur coat from Lovesick ($120); cotton spandex jersey halter leotard, black pants, leopard heel ankle boots, body necklace, stylist’s own.
FASHION & LIFESTYLE
Lisa wears velvet skirt by Bethany Greer, shirt and necklace are stylist’s own. Nick wears cowl-neck sweater, pants,, and shoes, from stylist’s wardrobe. SOCIETY
Lisa wears velvet skirt by Bethany Greer, shirt and necklace stylist’s own. Nick wears cowl-neck sweater, pants, and shoes from stylist’s wardrobe.
Lisa wears skirt designed by Bethany Greer. Transparent clutch, burgundy shoes, fur scarf, ribbed tank top are stylistâ€™s own. FASHION
& LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
Nick wears navy coat, camel pants, knit sweater, and leather shoes, stylistâ€™s own.
Quinn wears lace shirt by Bethany Greer, with necklace, fur clutch, shorts, and shoes, stylist’s own. Lisa wears navy velvet shirt and ruffled skirt by Bethany Greer. Shoes and jewelry are stylist’s own. Nick wears salt and pepper coat, white tee, black pants, and shoes, stylist’s own.
The Work of Patrick Colhoun written by PATRICK CARTER
Sexual Deviancy. Bondage. Aggression. These are but a few words often associated with the work of English artist Patrick Colhoun, a self taught ceramics sculptor both oppressed and inspired by a life of redundancy and the troubles of living in Belfast. Often utilizing black clay, minimalist forms, and simple metallic finishes, Colhounâ€™s work symbolizes both a rebellion against the monotony of working under the authority of others and the need for personal expression in a world characterized by the former. As such, many of his pieces contain a mixture of different mediums meant to convey a personal narrative. Whether it is adding piercings to a brooding head severed above the mouth or adding a reflective finish to a piece meant to convey emotional emptiness, Colhoun has always strived to create work that is not only thought provoking, but visually engaging. Adding such unexpected elements works to not only entertain the viewer but demand their interaction. With textures begging to be touched, his pieces invite onlookers to physically approach art of not only varying degrees of subjective beauty, but of uncomfortable and sometimes controversial subject matter. Taking a departure from his traditional style and subject matter, Colhoun recently contributed to the 20th anniversary of the Streenonian Rugby Football Club in Greenwcich; Unlikely Union: 20 Years of Art and Rugby. The exhibit, comprised of pieces by various artists throughout the UK such as James Dean, Samantha Denny, and Dan Gardiner, combines multiple media and styles. Meant to be a celebration of body and mind, the free exhibit finished on November 12 of this year. Often working alone, its exciting to see Colhoun work alongside other artists. The potential for future collaborations is considerable and intriguing. Continued on page 46.
Foundling Installation piece featuring 25 ceramic heads at group contemporary art exhibition in the home gallery/ studio of sculptor F.E. McWilliam. December 2011. Each head 32cm high x 28cm wide x 28cm deep.
Home Grown Exhibition, F.E. McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge
FASHION & LIFESTYLE SOCIETY
The aforementioned themes of sexual deviancy and bondage, naturally coupled with aggression are some such examples. Interestingly though, rather than presenting a submissive female form typical of art conveying themes victimization and abuse, Colhoun’s figures are notably masculine and stoic. Rather than pitying the figures he creates, one feels as if they are an accomplice to their desires, regardless of whether the viewer shares them or not. Such thoughtful use of form creates works that rather than embody any specific subject, work to convey a mood instead. The mood associated with sadomasochism. The mood of feeling empty and depressed. These are the forces that give Colhoun’s work resonance. His work does not sit with the viewer as a talking point based on knowledge and theory, but rather as an emotional response to subjects that most people are if not exploring themselves, than at least curious about. Beginning his artistic career some twenty years after working a series of regular jobs, Colhoun’s work has been presented in galleries throughout the UK both as solo and collaborative exhibits. His work is currently being featured at the Cluj International Cermaics Biennale in Romania; the world’s first international ceramics convention and festival. Its also worth noting that Colhoun as begun experimenting with two dimensional art forms such as print and paint. His piece In Pursuit of Happiness, dated September 12 of this year and currently being displayed in the Engine Room Gallery of Belfast, is his latest creation and further illustrates his many talents. If his next foray into canvas and photography is anything like the work he’s putting out now, following the works of this versatile artist will be even more worthwhile. Regardless of whether one cares for contemporary ceramics or not, the work and self-taught mastery embodied by Patrick Colhoun exists to not only remind us of our darkest desires and feelings, but to bring them into physical existence through art. Anyone interested in his work can find his latest projects and pieces on his website, www.PatrickColhoun.com.
Reckoning Installation piece at international exhibition of contemporary art featuring work by Tracey Emin, Miranda Whall, Andre Stitt and Brendan Jamison. June 2012.18 ceramic heads, covered in latex, with piercing and hosiery detail. Three piece ceramic torso bound with red hosiery. Each head approximately 32cm high x 28cm wide x 28cm deep. Torso 60cm x 50cm x 30cm.
Warning! Exhibition, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
VOLTA: [vohl-tuh, vol-; It. vawl-tah] In literature, the volta, also referred to as the turn, is the shift or point of dramatic change.
Published on Jan 23, 2014