Caitlin Magda Shepherd

"Art belongs not to the active life but to the contemplative life—not to the vita activa but to the vita contemplativa." Nicholas Wolterstorff

Month: October, 2013

Introducing the Pyschaleggin: Expanding the mind one step at a time

Psychadelic leggings. Enter the Psychaleggin. I’ve been attempting to apply some narrative geometry to some worn surfaces for some time. So having spent a few years in a sensible and thankfully fulfilling profession, I’ve decided to take out a loan and get a batch made! I’ve been trawling through old designs, and attempting to compile them into collections. With a limited budget I will be getting these four beauties printed onto leggings (size 8 – 14) in a limited edition run of 50 per design.

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Three of  these designs are taken from a batch of printed textile designs I produced in 2006, exploring classical Greek mythology through illustrative, abstract and colour based compositions. I’m interested in incorporating myth and story into print design, as well as experiencial and interactive design. By applying myth to be worn, stories are expressed through embodied engagement and classical myths are re worn, worn out and retold. The above designs are inspired by the tales of Poseidon and the Greek god Zeus.

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The following design was taken from a 2010 collection, which was produced as part of an Arts Council funded research project into sustainable textile production, that resulted in a new body of work being generated and an exhibition at MOMA Wales.

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I am currently in the process of meeting with my manufacturer, and test printing the designs on a cotton jersey lycra fabric. Psychaleggins will be available from the 1st December.

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Walking dreams inside the dress

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Winter is on its way and I’ve retreated to my studio, dreaming up ideas for next spring and various ways to ensure I have an income next year. I’m currently developing a proposal that explores the idea of sanctuary through oral history and the re telling of stories in temporary story telling dwellings. I plan to print narrative textile designs onto a range of lightweight fabric, that are then made into individual garments that can interconnect to make a temporary dwelling for both the wearers and visiting audiences. I envision spontaneous link ups too, where people wearing the same garment realize they can interconnect and suddenly decide to embrace, and build a temporary interactive architectural structure.

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The work of Dana Karwas is the only existing contextual practice I can find. Her Party Dress piece, (also a site specific performance) is particularly relevant to my research and thinking. The project I’m working on is entitled Stories to Where, and I hope to work with interactive designers, story tellers and the general public. 

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I’m particularly interested in exploring the theme of sanctuary in my upcoming work. How and where do people take rest and renewal and why do they pursue the attainment of sanctuary. What role does sanctuary and retreat (weather psychological and physical) play in today’s society, increasingly public, outward facing and fast paced. All being well, the Arts Council will be similarly interested in these questions and fund a 6 month research project. Watch this space.

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