Forged of Nature is a collaboration between myself and Ellen Durkan of Iron Maiden Forge Ellen and I met at Peter's Valley School of Craft over 10 years ago. I was working for a Photography workshop and she was a Teaching Assistant in the Blacksmith department. We had a sort of instant unspoken "you're cool, I'm cool" artistic bond and have been friends since. We've worked together in the past with various projects and events. But for as long as we've been friends, we've been talking about doing a Runway Show together. The kind of show we've wanted to do is inspired by our time seeing the Jean Paul Gaultier Show at the Brooklyn Museum and other exhibits at The Metropolitan Museum.
Ellen and I work in two very different materials: metal and fabric. Our work is hard and soft. We both have strength in our silhouettes but remain very feminine. The collaboration is an exploration of how we can show individually and blend our work together. We are also choosing all female models in a range of ages.
Collectively the show is entitled "Forged of Nature" as a nod to our two styles. Personally I am exploring a mix of materials. I am continuing my nunofelted work and adding in elements of heat set tulle, latex, and vintage pieces. The combination of materials adds new and exciting textures for me. I am working to elevate my silhouettes with dramatic asymmetrical shapes and form.
My inspiration is the addition of new materials as well as personal growth and space. I've gathered visual inspiration from visiting the Heavenly Bodies Exhibitas well as Iris Van Herpen's Transforming Fashion Exhibit as the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. I'm interested in creating new textures and challenging our perception of what can be worn while still feeling like clothing and not costume. I'm thinking about parts of our mental selves that can be exposed and squeezed out to make space for new ideas and emotions. I'm also thinking about rebirth and what it means to feel ourselves evolving and changing. I'm working on my own well-being while creating this collection and letting it be a part of my overall experience. This collection is allowing me to dissect my thoughts and recreate them as pieces for others to wear. The idea of rejecting thoughts and parts of your that no longer serve you is a way to propel yourself into a more heightened version of yourself. While this collection reflects this change it also captures the moments between.
Forged of Nature will showcase Ellen and my work separately and together. Here are a few teaser images of how our pieces work together. Tickets to the show on Sept 29 at Delaware Contemporary can be purchased here.
Photographer Joe Hoddinott