This piece is the project that I want to display in the final show – because it will be the most interesting visually to display and I can do so much more with it than the beer bottles or the book cover.
My main inspiration was Alexander McQueen’s show at the V&A. I want my dress to not just look like an item of clothing, but also a piece of art. I want my display to be mysterious and dramatic, and to evoke the subject matter.
My idea is to display the dress as if it is floating, suspended in mid air. I will use fishing wire to create this effect, as it is strong and almost invisible.
Also suspended from the dress with fishing wire will be flower petals. I kept all of the dead flowers that I used for references because I had a feeling I would be needing them. I will tie fishing wire to one end, then on the other end create a loop and pin the flowers and wire to the underskirts of the dress.
Underneath the dress I want a display on the floor of flower petals, as if they’ve dropped off of the dress. I feel that this shows the themes of decay and memento mori really well – it shows the dress as almost a tree or flower, wilting and dropping petals.
I was upset that I wasn’t able to include the insects in my design, as it would have been too cluttered, so I bought taxidermy insects that I will attach/pin to the dress using pins. The insects will create even more of a Vanitas feel because they look like they’re still alive, when in reality they are dead. This dead/alive theme is so strong within Vanitas imagery. The insects I chose are moths, a cicada and beetles – the same ones I found in my research that had the most meaning to me.
It was also suggested to me in my crit that i could include music playing. McQueen’s exhibition was a triumph because the music they picked for the displays made such an impact in connection with the pieces.
It is possible that I could hide some small speakers near my piece.
One choice for the music would be Shine on You Crazy Diamond I-IX. After my friend passed away I would listen to this song on repeat as the lyrics reminded me of her. The only problem is that it is a very long song and would need to be cut down. I would only pick the instrumental parts of the song, because I don’t really want to include any singing in the music.
I also thought about using this instrumental piece by Einaudi. The only issue I have is that it sounds a little too…cheerful. I don’t think it would have the right impact for the installation.
The last choice for my installation is the one I am going with. This instrumental piece by Nine Inch Nails has been one of my favourite songs for years. It has a really ethereal quality to it. This song is what I could listen to in any mood and somehow it seems to reflect it perfectly. For my installation, it will be a sombre, haunting accompaniment to the theme and I think it will work perfectly.
To make the music a little more personal to me, I decided to record myself performing a piano cover of A Warm Place. As I’ve shown before in other projects, piano is a hobby of mine that I have been trying to master since the age of 7, so it i and has been a huge part of my life. Playing piano is a good release for me, hammering away at the keys relieves a lot of stress and tension and also gives my hands a break from drawing while still stretching them out and keeping them limber.
I think that if I put a lot of effort into my installation, it could be really beautiful. I’ve never displayed my work quite like this so it is a huge challenge for me. I think that this piece is the perfect way of honouring the people I miss.