This project was influenced by BDSM and fetish subcultures. Fetish fashion such as harnesses, bondage gear, latex/leather/rubber, corsets and shoes all have the ability to change the shape of the body, thus altering the wearer's worldly experience. I am interested in heavy-duty metal, but I want to demonstrate the softness these materials can hold. Sensory deprivation and restriction of movement are two practices used in BDSM that have the ability to alter the body’s perception of the world.
I am particularly interested in bondage and the effects this has not only on the wearer but also on the viewer. I am interested in the way restrictive materials and clothing can morph the body and modify it, forcing the natural body shape to be changed. Shibari creates shapes on the human form by squeezing pockets of fat into places it doesn’t naturally sit, sculpting the body into a piece of art. I am drawn to the idea that whoever wears the designs becomes desirable - this has been represented in fetish fashion since the corset. My design process has been very physical, by using chain and wire I have squeezed, morphed, gagged and blinded my own body to create a new physical form. Understanding how the wearer feels whilst embodying my work is extremely important
Once my understanding of the body was clear I started to make 3D moulds which will becomes the basis of the designs. Due to the lockdown I had to work from home with only basic tools, so I started using aluminium wire as it is soft enough to be bent my hand but still maintains its shape. My making these models I was able to transform my ideas into pieces with a strong understanding of actual size and how they feel/look on the body.
Translating my wire forms into technical drawings allows me to understand dimensions so that they can be transformed into finish pieces in the workshop. The dimensions of my design are extremely important as they work so closely with the body and preparing these beforehand meant I wasted as little time possible which was ideal with the pandemic restrictions. My pieces are all made using brass, aluminium and some use steel springs.