Final Major project – Research

Friday, the 3rd, Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th of March 2017,
On Friday I had my second group tutorial. I had to present what I have already done before the presentation of next week. It was a quick but helpful tutorial, because they gave us the assessment form, that explains in detail how UAL and the tutors are going to marque our work at the end and that is something very useful.

I started first with my presentation. I just showed quickly my work to those who weren’t with me in the first tutorial. Something that I don’t regret at all, is that the tutors told me that it may be important to include some more research, not only mood boards and mind map. These supplementary research will support the themes I choose and help me to take the decision on the final one, but they have to be equal.

During the day I was thinking about my theme “Give homage, I knew what kind of research I could do but not really how to present it. How can I represent Colombian traditions…? I had that thread next to me, similar to straw and a rough texture. I just started to make knots, when the idea of macramé came in my mind. In Colombia, people do a lot of craftwork inspired by the technique of macramé. Actually you do a lot of knots using threads  with different colour and then you can create different shapes of patterns in bracelets or typical bags. I spent almost the whole day doing this, I did several lines and then I sew them together to create a structure and honestly the result is stunning.
I knew that I was going to spend the weekend working on my sketchbook, well it is also what I decided to do in my timetable, however I didn’t know at all how I wanted to present the research in my sketchbook because at the beginning I already did mood boards and mind map, so how could I integrate my next work in it?

When suddenly I had a great idea, I don’t know at all how it appeared, but the inspiration came from the structure I made. I thought about to create a kind of envelop where I could put a lot of information in it. And do the idea started to evolve. It is quite interesting that you are able to create four whole pages from a structure you created. Now that I finished it I still can’t believe what I did, because for me it is such great work already….

So let’s start with what I did.

To have a logic in my pages and to understand it, the first research I made has been about the theme “help save” because the first mood board I made was about it so it is just to clarify. I wrote in my proposal that there wasn’t any designer or artists I can get inspired from, but actually it is a big mistake and I have to change it. So there is Johanna Ortiz, Colombian fashion designer. In 2016 for fall-winter, she created a whole collection based on the rainforest of the Amazon. She is a human lover and nature protector. She knew what she was doing. Using deep green and these interesting shapes that form the forest. She shows the exact beauty of the tropical forest through her collection and it is exactly what I was looking for. Because of course when we say rainforest, we think about the deforestation and all the disaster that provokes. We don’t have to forget this. But in my case I want to explain and show through artists and designers why we shouldn’t destroy it, and instead see the beauty and the big potential of it. I knew Johanna Ortiz, but I didn’t know that she made a collection about the tropics. So I looked for other designers, well there several that were inspired from the rainforest, but I have the feeling that they didn’t really get involved in it, perhaps because there are not from a country that edge with the Amazon. So that why for me Ortiz is the perfect reflection of a women who grew up in one of these natural environments and that why her work is more than unique and show the real purpose of protecting the forest.

The second page is quite unusual, I created that envelop decorated with threads and leafs. Inside two newspapers. The Amazon, and two visionary artists, but one and unique life… I just want to know what is written in the newspapers. But if you think, perhaps several trees were cut down, to make it possible to read. I want to ask you if you still can breathe normally?  Just think about it. Catch you breathe again and stop the disappearance of a tropical nature.

I am very curious and I want to know what is written in the paper. I open it… well there are few words highlighted by a red pen. It is on purpose. All these words are related to the rainforest. I am not going to write them down, I just let you have a look and read them if you have time. On it, there is another artist, Anderson Debernardi, he is an artist painter who grew up in the Peruvian Amazon forest. His painting are amazingly beautiful, he really show the beauty of a free forest. I hope it will be free on day….Artist and designer that I have presented to you, are the perfect combination of humanists who really want to protect the rainforest. Anderson is a visionary. The forest shouldn’t be seen as a land to be developed, but instead as an important resource that must be protected. Alright I red the first page, let’s read the second one. Why shouldn’t we destroy mother nature’s gift? Humanity depend on the forest, it gives us the oxygen to breathe, an habitat and protection for wildlife and indigenous tribes. Mother nature gave us a precious gift, we were supposed to protect and respect it. But because of our behaviour, maybe we will never see all the riches that are hidden in it. Where is the passion and the respect gone? I think we should start again and give our compassion to a tree. Hug it as it is your friend, your family.

You may ask me, why on newspapers? Are we not talking about to help save the rainforest of the deforestation. That is my answer, it is a kind of first step, looking forward to recycle and use everything, even I already do it. But for me it is a way to not through everything away the first time. Use it again and create something from it. And it is what I did.
The two last pages are about the theme “give homage”. I looked for two really specific designers that are the perfect combination of traditions and hand made craftwork.

Bally. I am sure you know that company. Maybe not that well but I am going to tell its story. First of all it is 165 years of innovation of a 100% swiss company. The label founded by Carl Franz Bally and a nation that speaks 4 languages grew up together. When you hear Switzerland, suddenly you think about the delicious creamy chocolate, the beautiful mountains, the peaceful and quiet land, including all the banks and trains of course. Cliché but true. 165 years of innovation. Bally appeared even before the first bank, the first national rail and even  before the first milk chocolate in 1875. At that time Bally already had 24 years of craftsmanship. Is it not stunning!?

Durability, reputation, quality and craftsmanship, an example of the swiss precision and the exact work of Bally. Can you believe that in 1907 when Switzerland became completely neutral, Bally was already on the top of success.? Later on he created shoes for the swiss olympic team and boots for alpinist to climb the Everest. In 1979 he started to create clothing, high quality bags and accessories. Today, the sense of tradition still remain, using archives and reinterpret the designs. All this began in 1851, when Carl Franz decided to create good quality leather shoes for his wife. He was so successful that he could open his own atelier to work with leather and make footwear. Honestly, it is a proud part of Swiss History.

The other designer I chose for this theme is complete logical that is Johanna Ortiz. She went back to her roots after graduating, she believes that going back to its origins is a key of success. The love and connection she has, she gave back homage in helping and working with indigenous communities in Colombia. Hand made and natural textures are part of traditions and generations. I said at the beginning that all my work has been inspired by a structure I created. I am going to tell you something… since the beginning of the invention of craftwork, the technique of macramé has always been used in typical Colombian craftwork. Macramé, is a way of doing knots and so creating patterns with different shapes. For example, the typical Colombian Mochilas bags are made with this technique, it allows to create extraordinary accessories. But where to go to buy them or sell them? The Chivas  will take you to the biggest markets where women and men sell their own hand made crafts.

Never forget your origins, always go back to them even they are far.
I tell you, this weekend was the most intensive weekend of work but what a pleasure. Even I was surprised by myself. I learnt such a lot. I know quite a lot about where I come from, but when you learn something knew, your brain starts to work and work and you can’t stop it because you are so proud of your roots…


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