WOOD GASCOYNE’s collection ‘Hezekiah: The Demise of Reality’ explores the contrast between two worlds: that of self-deprecation and self-glorification. Starting with John Berger’s writing on publicity’s reduction of reality to a unceasing daydream, GASCOYNE notes that ‘with the advent of social media, we are no longer merely publicised at, but have become publicists ourselves: self-glorifiers.’ These self-glorifiers, having become the victims of publicity’s perpetuated daydream, reside enveloped within its broken reality; where the ever increasingly tenuous connection to it is destroying culture as we know it. Contrasting this decadent world with that of religion’s self-deprecating nature, the proverbs of the Biblical King Hezekiah, written to rebuke glorification of the self, were used as a foundational springboard into the world of religious dress and iconography.

Initial research centred around items of dress and household pieces, deemed by the artist as ‘objects of reality’. These included a dinner table, a dinner set, domestic fabrics – bed sheets, tablecloths – and work-wear worn by workers in ‘unsuperfluous’ industries, such as those which keep us fed, clothed and religiously nurtured. Design development saw the destruction and re-piecing of these items around the body to represent broken reality as it fragments around us.

Taken from Biblical imagery, the prints depict the four faces of the Cherubim: man, ox, eagle and lion; representing all aspects of reality. These were fractured and merged with the designated ‘objects of reality’, motifs found upon those objects and creeping leaves found to grow amidst abandoned destruction. All hand-drawn with pencil on fabrication saved from landfill and with a previous life as bedding or work-wear in London’s hospitality sector, this collection sees the reuse of society’s discarded reality. The garments and prints have been tenuously, and at times forcefully, pieced together to create a dual feeling of fragility and substantiality suspended in a daydream of uneasiness, and held together by elements of religious dress which stand as an admonition to the modern day broken subculture of the self-glorifier.

Alongside GASCOYNE’S fashion collection she designed, in collaboration with Adam Jafferji Ceramics, a three-piece range of porcelain art. The functionality of each piece - a water jug, a milk jug and a vase - is interupted by an inscision or cutaway, rendering its original function useless and its reality as broken. What is left is an object of art ensconced by porcelain leaves of abandonment and adornded with the hand-drawn motifs of their fabric counterparts.