Hi, my name is E.Rega, I'm a Senior Fibers major here at The University of the Arts, and I'm going to start this presentation off with one of the most miserable pictures ever taken of me.
If you're wondering why I look so forlorn, those horns weigh a ton.
This was the first 'fibers' piece I did at Uarts, in the Freshman Fibers class with Warren Seelig. I've been working processes since I was very young, but this is the first time I was exposed to it in a college setting, and with the idea that I could actually study it and pursue a career in it. The shape-particularly the horns, and the texture are related to what I'm doing even now.
I'm not a fashion designer. I'll probably never be a fashion designer. But there's a lot going on in fashion right now, and I'd be lying to say I wasn't drawing a lot of inspiration from it. Textures, techniques, as well as concept and context are all interesting to look at from a different perspective.
These two pieces, from my Sophmore and Junior years of Experimental Costume,are examples of this exploration of texture and material, with references to fashion as well as constructed surface.
As far as guilty pleasure sources of inspirations, well:
There's something profoundly strange about the idea of Cosplay While I'm not an anime fan (Akira and Miyazaki excluded) there's something sort of amazing about a group of people totally dedicated to creating garments that were never meant to exist in real life, and probably aren't logistically possible. That transition from illustration to garment is something I'm interested in in my own work.
The next couple of pieces really grew out of that interest in funny, unreal, cartoonish garments.
This was my piece for the Philadelphia Flower Show in Sophomore year. We were instructed to simply make an 'Over-the-Top' garment for a floral designer to respond to. My poor designer gets this piece with absolutely no natural colors to it. She had to use tennis balls to plant her flowers in. I think it was at least a good exercise in that I considered the rest of the garment. It also has, I think, a sort of cartoonish look to it--something that could be doodle but which should probably never be made into a real garment.
This piece I'm not terribly happy with the end result. It's a little too 'crafty' for me--the embroidery thread, well, it's still quite clearly embroidery thread. But I was starting to learn the full potential of surface embellishment. And the pain thereof. And getting used to the fact that I'd be embroidering up until the night before, and all the construction gets done in the early AM.
More of a video game influence here. I was thinking about Katamari Damacy. There was something great about the contrast here between the silliness of the design, and the serious endurance it took to move in it.
I then started going back to my roots--illustration. I originally came to UArts because it has a very good illustration department, and I wanted to do comic books for the rest of my life. It didn't work out that way, but I'm still heavily influenced by comic books. Character designs are really interesting to me. The writer comes up with this character, and hands it over to the artist, who has to take all these attributes and personality, and encode them into an outfit. These are two of my favorites I pulled up, from Doom Patrol and The Sandman.
This piece was the most literal interpretation of that influence. I drew out a page of comic book art, and began to knit it pixel by pixel with intarsia knitting. I still am interested in the conflict between mass produced, instant gratification objects (comic books) being turned into such traditional, time consuming craft work. It's not something I'm focusing on now, but it was an interesting detour and really brought my drawings back into my fiber work.
This piece started to delve a little more into character and setting. The sense of past/future in my work now is present, and that framing of the face, along with the horn motif and thickness of work all sort of informed what came after.
My inspirations from illustration really started to bleed into film by way of concept art and costume design. Movies are perfect examples of the sort of world building I'm interested in. Blade Runner (on the right) is one of the best movies I've seen for this--the costumes and sets were so incredibly perfect.
Thoughts about film and performance brought me to making this work, the Two Headed Boy. It was the clearest narrative I'd developed, and for the first time, I realized how craftmanship and material really contributed to the integrity of the piece. Despite the total ridiculousness of the piece, the jeans were well-made and strong enough that they were perfectly believable. You accepted it, and were able to move on to looking at the story behind it.
Movies not only brought in the idea of narrative, but also of context. The costumes don't exists in a vacuum--the set and surrounding inform them, give them somewhere to live. And yes, I do often look at children's or young adult movies for this--the sets are usually more interesting.
These two pieces were part of a sort of earlier spur of work involving furniture, but I think they also had something to do with the installations I've moved into. I love the process of constructing.
I'm going to stop off here for tonight so I can get a bit of sleep. It's a good place to break off, my recent work picks up where this leaves off. Will try and finish tomorrow.