Plato vs Nietzsche in art

Plato was an Ancient Greek philosopher died in 348 BC at the age of 80. His idealistic view of the world shows through his believe that for everything that surrounds us there is a perfect original essence or form of it and we must always tend to improove ourselves in order to get as closer to the truth as possible. He had 2 theories of art

  1. According to the first one, since art is saw by Plato to be the imitation of the physical world, then art is to be considered a copy of a copy because the world itself is a copy of a perfect and changeless original.
  2. Art has the ability to mix in emotion, is a powerful tool that can influence our behaviour and our character, therefore dangerous.

As he asserts, true knowledge consists of direct, unmediated of the Forms gained through the study of philosophy… .

Discobolos, Ancient Greek Statue, representing the perfection of the body in movement.

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Nietzsche on the other hand, was a German philosopher from 1800 who contrasts Plato’s philosophy of an idealistic world and a unique truth with a more pragmatic and experimental one.  He believes that instead of having only one idealistic object or truth there are as many interpretations of them as people to represent them and they are all real. Just like a table it is defined in as many ways as the different prospective from which that table is seen (under different light or angle etc) and how can’t all be true? Art, just like life is in a continuous transformation.

There is no such thing as a perfect chair, just many representations of it as the persons designing/making one:

 

Me, I feel more idealistic, I believe in a constant research of improving ourselves in order to try to reach the perfection in our every action. I also believe that how better way to achieve it if not practically and throughout experimentation. Living Nietzsche with the goal of reaching Plato. I was told that the two exclude each other but how can it be that only theory and questioning can bring us closer to the truth rather then experimentation and manipulation of the world that we have in front of us and we live in. How can we reach the truth if not by starting to understand the game we play in, in order to acquire the ability to go beyond it?

Reflection on my learning process

Reflecting on how I’m learning, the example of the bucket and the fire fits just right. It reflects the process in my actual studies, and I have to admit that it never did before. I don’t know If it’s me or the uni, probably both, but if I I had to choose between them it would cut my learning process in half, it would’t be a circle anymore. I feel the fire burning inside especially when I see the possibility of all the workshops my uni provides and I feel like needing a  full immersion all at once and just create whatever. Practically I’m inevitably being a bucket during the lectures, ready to fill in with all the knowledge, all those important techniques I’m given, both new or already known. But I try to empty myself even for the subjects I’m more experienced in just not to miss out a different tint of it because the same subject taught by two different people will give even slightly but somehow different results. Then I can finally explode in exploring, researching or what I love the most, practically create something I didn’t know I could or that I ever would. A vivid example of this process was the discovery of sewing machine. Even though it’s a textile course and it could come naturally to imagine that one of the tools I would use would be a sewing machine, for me it wasn’t that obvious given the times of the digital rise. So here I am in front of the sewing machine, totally inexperienced, even though my mom’s a Taylor. I never wanted to learn, I never actually liked the idea of it. But there I was, and I don’t know how it happened, I just know that in some days I found another fulfilling way of expressing myself, and it was beautiful.

 

Ducati – Futuristic Artists Inspiration

After a long research I found that Giacomo Balla is one I felt most appropriate regarding shapes and shades from whom I’ taking inspiration for extending my range of work I already have looking more closely at Ducati as brand.

Balla likes to represents movement and speed of vehicles, the solar system, objects and feelings.

But my research continues to whatever shape or artist inspires me along my Ducati line for  the possible future position of new or existing products

International Women’s Day

Cardiff Met, and especially the Textile courses, celebrated the International women’s day by inviting a few speakers to talk about what that represents in terms of global awareness of the women’s condition both in Middle East and in the Western reality:

Alumnus Alex Wall for Xandra Jane who decided young to start her own business based on sustainable design where nothing is wasted;

Jo Perrin, volunteer for Vintage Vision, a non profit social enterprise run by women that develop projects around vintage fashion from donated clothes and resell them together with the history and the emotions they bring along from their previous owners. Their approach is based on promoting the recycling and re-use of clothing and textiles;

Jean Jenkins, senior lecturer in employment research in Cardiff Met. Her research is based on the women’s work conditions in the garment industry, mostly in Middle East. Pubblications here.

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As Jenkins’s research shows, while tailoring was mostly a male occupation, with the beginning of the mass manufacturing it arrived to be today a mostly women’s occupation (80%).

While in UK women’s rights became equal as men’s from the ’70, that doesn’t apply to the Eastern countries like Bangladesh, India and Cambodia, to name a few, where work conditions are still very poor and where most of the international well-known brands are manufacturing their garment careless of that reality. A reality where the vulnerable labor sector (mostly young and female) are forced to work within closed factories without the possibility to leave, often without water, proper rest, toilets and for 11/12 hours a day. The lack of a proper Health and Safety Policy and the local police forces that stand up in defense of the factory owners instead of the workers led in time to numerous cases of building crashes and thousands of deaths.

Considering as well that ‘THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS SECOND ONLY TO OIL FOR HOW POLLUTING IT IS TO OUR ENVIRONMENT’ as sustained by Alex in her website, we can only assume that this is the top of the iceberg and begin to wonder what’s actually behind our branded clothes and the real industry behind our textiles.

We as individuals, and most of all as designers/creatives have to become more aware and create awareness, research about the materials we use and how these can influence the life of the garment and of our environment ones it’s disposed of. Question the provenience of our clothes as well as our food and everything we come in contact with during our day to day life. So where does my t-shirt comes from, who made it and how much was he/she payed if I only bought it for 2£ and in what conditions did he/she worked for me to wear it?

One of the speakers said, with my big surprise I have to admit, that the boycotting of a label is not the answer, that by doing so we take the work away of the poor workers. That we should only ask that label to provide information from where does my garment comes from. But if we continue to buy from them anyway how do we prevent those worker from being enslaved? Why should the label begin to care about it if the income continues to be the same and they didn’t care in the first place anyway?

I bring here the most exhaustive definition of boycotting I could find, not in the Oxford or Cambridge dictionaries which I found reductive, but in the Italian Wikipedia one: ‘The boycott is an individual or collective action which aims to isolate, obstruct and / or modify the activity of a person, or that of a group of people, a company or an entity or even a State, as it was considered not conform to the principle or the universal rights or social conventions’

I conclude saying how much I appreciate my tutor’s involvement in creating awareness among us while i discovered it’s not a common use in all universities. I definitely have a different mind set, even thought I always tried to waste as less as possible and doing my best to make the difference, or at least to do my part in terms of sustainability and work ethics of the factories I come in contact with during my career.

Field project: Ducati

The Ducati Monster, in all of his versions, is one of Women’s favorite Motorbikes as sustained by this interesting article by Genevieve Schmitt, one of the leading experts on the subject of women and motorcycling.

Ducati Monster Inspiration:

A Mirror article of the Ducati Monster 1200 voted in 2013 at the International Motorcycle Show as the ‘Most Beautiful Bike of Show’:

ducati monster

A new collaboration between Ducati and Diesel brought the concept and design of Motorcycles even further with the Ducati Diavel Diesel from where I choose the brown leather and its variation to create some of my final pieces. As stated by the Ducati Diesel team ‘The inspiration for their work is an imaginary post-apocalyptic and retro-futuristic world with a hyperkinetic vitality’:

All of which I brought in my stitching and laser cutting/engraving work:

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Mothers of Africa – textiles charity project

Mother’s of Africa is a medical educational charity, found by Professor Judith Hall in 2004, that trains midwives and medical staff in general in sub-Saharan Africa, to provide care for mothers during pregnancy and childbirth. The World Health Organisation sustains that every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, more than half of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

My teacher Maggie Cullinane decided to take part of it on a voluntary basis in 2012, at first providing a couple of hoodies for the 33 miles sponsored walk, an average distance a woman in Africa would make on foot, to get to medical help when pregnant. After realizing the situation there and remembering  her difficult pregnancy that probably wouldn’t have had a happy ending if it took place in Africa, she felt she had to do more. She then decided to resurrect a past fundraising project which had involved students and friends being sponsored to create fabric squares, which then made up into a quilt, and Mothers of Africa Sponsored Quilt Project was born.

And I’m proud to say that the Textiles course of Cardiff Met is since then active part of the project, selling ruffle tickets and organizing small events to raise money. Money that I’m sure where they end up since Maggie has an active and direct contact with the local project in Africa. Just some months ago they finished building a school!

1 Year Textiles 2017 Quilt:

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My class was divided in 4 groups, each named by an important city in which the project operates and came up with different ideas to involve people in the charity. The fundraising was fun, my group decided to make eyebrow threading and henna painting and besides doing my part for a good cause I discovered a new way to express myself.

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Curiosity – A video of a childbirth in Africa, with their traditional midwife:

Denim hexagons with Aisha


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The hexagon project was a really quick and fun way to put together creativity and team work within a short deadline ready to challenge our immediate capacity of responding to a task.

  1. Groups of two people, one hexagon each to start with for 20 minutes and then swap them to continue on the others work for other 20.
  2. Assemble the hexagons randomly on the wall close to one another and the result still makes me smile.

It’s a good way to realize that even if given same materials, from the moment we let our own creativity flow, it can only end up in as many different forms of expressions as the people who took part of it.

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