Final Project – “Tell me the story about how the Sun loved the Moon so much that he would die every night to let her breathe.”

For the Final Project for Integrative Studio 1, we were given the prompt to create a garment, a sculpture, or an installation inspired by a fairytale. I worked in a group with Kasey Riera and Ashlyn Simpson. Together, we chose the story of How the Sun Loved the Moon.

In the story, the writer depicts the Sun as this dominant and exuberant being. “The Sun would bring people joy and warmth throughout the day, yet he craved to live a life of solitude.” The Sun is being described as this entity who doesn’t understand the strength of his own powers. The Moon is painted as a “sad kind of beauty” who was the light in the blanket of darkness. As the Sun grew weary, the Moon would illuminate the sky surrounded by the millions of stars. The stars would watch over her, hoping that one day, they would get close enough to her so that she would no longer feel empty. One day the Sun caught a glimpse of her as he was sliding out of the heavens and he instantly fell in love with her beauty. He wished to see her more than these fleeting moments, but she knew that this would never be. The Moon told the Sun,”Don’t you dare abandon your blessing of light for my darkness.”

Inspired by the very poetic imagery in this story, we wanted to create an ethereal garment that harnessed the characteristics of the Sun and the Moon. We went through many iterations of designs, from starting with a cape with wings, to different kinds of dresses and unconventional silhouettes. One theme in all three of our designs was the depiction of sun rays and a softer moon. For our final design, we derived much of our inspired from the Heavenly Bodies exhibit at the Met. Two garments from this exhibition that stood out to us was a Thierry Mugler pleated dress with shoulders that mimicked the shaped of wings and a gown with pleated wings at the back which folded over one another. We thought that the pleats resembled the lines of sun rays, so we wanted to incorporate that into the design. As for the moon, we knew we wanted to imitate the “sad kind of beauty” as described in the story. Our Professor, Rachel, suggested that instead of pleated the moon as well, we let the fabric fold and crease in a more organic way to give a softer structure. Lastly, when designing the whole garment, we knew that the back would be showing due to it’s radial length, so we decided to create constellations because in the poem, it describes the stars as watching over the Moon and connecting her with the Sun.

To construct this piece, we used gold and gray taffeta fabrics to represent each. We lined each with interfacing to give the fabric a firmer structure in order to holder the pleats. For the Sun, we ironed each 1 inch pleat and then beaded the lines of them with gold, copper and reddish beads. On the back of the sun panels, we drew our own zodiac constellations as a way of putting our signatures on the piece. We also added rhinestones to evoke the glow that they emit. For the moon, we decided to use a gathering stitch to manipulate the fabric and give volume. We also beaded the moon to mimic the craters and phases of the moon in purple and slate gray beads. To combine both together, we hand stitched each panel to a harness we made out of scrap fabric. Lastly, to make to top of the sun stand up, we added wooden rods to help it create the shape we wanted. For the finishing touch, we made a crown inspired by the sun rays. To make it, we used a headband and zip ties spray painted in gold.

 

Bauhaus Design

For my Bauhaus inspired design, I wanted to explore with “V” shaped structures and different thicknesses of lines. In the final piece, I created a heavy weaving effect of the black shapes into the gray shapes. I put most of the black shapes on the bottom left and then slowly dispersed them diagonally upward to create more movement in the composition.

Bridge #3: Parent Interview

For the bridge #3 project, we were assigned to create an illuminated manuscript inspired by our interview with our parents/guardians. A moment that stuck out to me in my mom’s interview was when she told me that there was nothing that would stop her from going to France. It resonated with me because our stories paralleled with one another; at the same age, I was determined to live in New York and study here. And so, I created an illuminated manuscript that combined both of the cities’ bridges and cityscapes. I wanted the buildings to look very flat and distorted to give it the sense of having an unfamiliar sensation. I also wanted to make the entire color palette in pastels of blue, pink, and yellow to further drive this sense of wonder that my mother and I both shared when moving to new cities. In her interview, the way that she described France was with such fascination and enthrallment, so I wanted to capture that in this piece. At the bottom of the manuscript, I wrote,”La Poésie est dans la rue”, which translates to “The poetry is in the streets” in French. She experienced so much beauty while she lived there and looked at everything through a bright-eyed lens.

Preverbal Sculpture

Front

Back

 

  Side

Wire Post

For my preverbal sculpture, I created my version of my great grandfather’s wooden swing that he built. The structure he built was dilapidated,  crooked, and when you would sit on it, the chipping paint would itch the bottom of your legs, but that’s what I loved about it.

I made the swing out of wire and twine to evoke the malleability of the structure and it’s organic shape.  For the two posts on each side of the swing, I wove twine around the wire arches to enhance the battered nature of the piece and to make it look solid from the front. When the viewer looks at the structure from the side, they can see that the posts are hollow to further add to the narrative of its dilapidation. For the swing part of the sculpture, I made two pieces of wire in a zig-zag pattern  to mimic the slats from the original swing. Then, I tied pieces of twine onto the wire and frayed the edges to elicit the feeling of when I sat on the swing.

Fragment Visualization

For my Fragment Visualization piece, I chose the quote, “This was before rivers had names other than names for my father. It was before there were numbers, those fearsome first angels. Long before the wind learned to speak in past tense. Before it started crossing into the future by leaving all of its faces behind.” I took the imagery I read in the quote and incorporated the ones that evoked an emotion for me. The first image that emerged in my mind was to have rivers mimic the silhouette of flames. The lines of the poem read as this rhythmic fiery flow, with the repetition of the word “before”. And so, I wanted to illustrate those rivers going into this formidable future. I also drew a person “speaking out” their future, manifesting what they say and making it into a reality. The river symbolizes the crossing into the future. I also illustrated blind contour faces on the main figures head to depict the faces that are being left behind. Finally, I added a halo-like silhouette behind the main subject to also contribute to the nature elements of the piece, as well as balance the composition.

Khebar

    Ballet is the core, the roots, the basis of dance. It is the catalyst for all of the other genres to blossom into their own innovation. It provides such a definitive technique — from the way one positions their head to the way one elongates their fingers. The art form of dance has evolved since 15th century Italy and it continues to adapt to the contemporary world. I have choreographed and performed in contemporary ballet pieces that take the rules of ballet and created new shapes and textures. Instead of portraying lines that make the body look as graceful and elongated, I experimented with things such as how one tilts their hips forwards or backwards, how contracted their upper body was, and the position of their hands.

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