Over the last few weeks I have been drawing and painting a series works to be printed on silk and wool for a set of unique textile linings for Victorian ladies cycling garments; commissioned for the Freedom of Movement research project created by sociologist Katrina Jungnickel who is based at Goldsmiths, University of London. The drawings are inspired by Kats in-depth research and tell some of the stories behind each patent, the woman who invented it and the social, technological, physical and cultural challenges that early women cyclists had to face .
Through much of my work with Proboscis collaborating with communities, geographers, technologists and social scientists I’ve become interested in how drawing in public or amongst researchers can be a catalyst for conversation, observation and new analysis, revealing hidden connections and sparking alternative ways to interpret ideas and research. So, rather than being isolated from Kats research in my studio I decided to take the work to Kat’s space in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, and for the conversation this sparked to inform the content and feel of each drawing as it developed. Kat has a keen interest in making, craft and collaboration so at any time there was drawing, sewing, film-making, photography and desk based academic research all going on in the space. The finished linings are the a record of, and result of those intense drawing activities as well as an interpretation of the research.
One of the features of the cycling garments that attracted me to this project is that they convert from one type of garment to another. A long skirt might be folded, gathered or lifted up to above the knee by some mechanism of cords, buttons or hooks, to reveal bloomers worn underneath or perhaps a long coat on top; in another patent a skirt is taken off, to reveal bloomers, and worn as a cycling cape. In previous projects I’ve explored drawing and textiles, creating images that change or are revealed by the movement of the fabric so it was interesting to now do this with such rich research tied to the form of a historical garment and in conversation with the researcher and her team.
I was surprised to find out how controversial it was for women to cycle (particularly wearing bloomers), they were shouted and jeered at, refused entry to cafes, were socially shunned and had dirt thrown at them. The women who invented these garments had to be highly creative and balance the need for modesty with the need for free movement of the limbs and safety from fabric catching in the mechanism of the bicycle. Despite the privileged backgrounds of the very early cyclists (machines were expensive) I think these women must have had to display great courage and strength of purpose to push against convention, adopting and campaigning for women’s freedom to be accepted as cyclists, to race on cycles and wear clothing that allowed them more freedom.
The garments themselves will be worn and used for storytelling and presenting the research. You can see them in an exhibition at Look Mum No Hands from 7pm on the 13 June 2014 find out more at bikesandbloomers.com
Welcome to our June 2011 newsletter. There’s been lots happening at Proboscis since our last missive.
BOOKLETEER NEW FEATURES: BOOKREADER & USER API
This year we’ve launched two major new features of bookleteer: an online bookreader allowing eBooks to be read and shared via the web and a user API (application programming interface) providing access to making eBooks and StoryCubes to other websites and services. We have two virtual residency’ projects nearing completion that explore creative uses of the API, one by James Bridle (stml) and the other by Simon Pope & Gordon Joly. We’ll announce their projects on the blog soon.
Pitch Up & Publish
One day workshops to create and publish booklets and StoryCubes using bookleteer: guiding you from concept to publication and beyond. 12 July, 13 Sept, £50 / £40 (Early Bird) max 6 places
Join one of our of 2 hour sessions to answer your questions about specific projects as well as introduce new users to bookleteer online self publishing tool. 28 June , 26 July, £20 / £10 (Concs) max 6 places
JUNE SPECIAL OFFER:
20% OFF SHORT RUN PRINTING WITH BOOKLETEER
For this month only we’re offering a 20% discount on all Short Run Printing orders made with bookleteer (can’t be used with other offers/discounts). Use the discount code : BKLTR0611-20
Check out our prices on the printing price estimator:
FIFTIES FASHION COMMISSION
Alice has been commissioned to create a new body of work by curators Day + Gluckman for the Collyer Bristow Gallery in Bloomsbury. The work, (on show now until early September) includes drawings and fabric designs inspired by fashions of the Fifties. Alice’s work includes a collaboration with fashions designer, Mrs Jones, on a spectacular dress and apron made from her fabric designs.
NEW PROGRAMME: PUBLIC GOODS
We are now developing a major new creative programme, R&D Lab and training programme for young people under the conceptual framework of “Public Goods”. Through research and public projects and a new creative placements programme we will be exploring the how to make and share representations of the intangible things that we value most about the places and communities we belong to, such as stories, skills, games, songs, techniques, memories, local lore and experiential knowledge of local environment and ecology. We are actively looking for partners, collaborators, funders and supporters please get in touch to find out more.
We’re offering a massive 70% off the normal prices on a batch of our publications. The ‘Austerity Special Offer’ bundles the Social Tapestries Case of Perspectives, Endless Landscape Magnet Set, the Being In Common Catalogue of Ideas deck of cards, COIL 9/10, Mapping Perception and Pavel Buchler’s Ghost Stories all for just £29.99 (UK), £34.99 (Europe) or £39.99 (World).
CITY AS MATERIAL
We have recently published a limited edition numbered and case bound set of 10 books created for our City As Material project last Autumn. The set includes work by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Tim Wright, Ben Eastop, Simon Pope and collaborative books created by the participants.
The books are also published on Diffusion and can be downloaded, printed out and made up from here:
LEONARDO ELECTRONIC ALMANAC EXHIBITION: REDRAWING BOUNDARIES
Proboscis has been selected by curator Jeremy Hight for an exhibition presenting “key innovators in Locative Media, New Media and Mapping in a show that works to display not only fields and works but more of cross pollinations, progressions, the need to move beyond labels just like the importance of reconsidering borders on maps, what space is and what pragmatic tools and previous forms can do.”
CRITICAL TEXTS: BRONAC FERRAN, FRED GARNETT & FREDERIK LESAGE
This Spring we published 3 essays on our work and practices by ‘Critical Friends’. Each looks at a different aspect of what we do, why and how, observing our impact from their own varied perspectives:
NEW TITLES PUBLISHED ON DIFFUSION.ORG.UK
We’ve published lots of new titles on http://diffusion.org.uk, including new works by Adam Greenfield & Nurri Kim, Tim Wright, Cartoon de Salvo, Dodolab, John Hartley, Cambridge Curiosity & Imagination, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Ben Eastop, Simon Pope and many others.
Thanks for reading. We hope to see you at some of our events or interact online.