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History Space Place

Bednall, AL (2017) History Space Place. Chinese Academy of Fine Art, Beijing, 28 September 2012.

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Abstract

International Fashion Art Exhibition: Beijing 2012 Theme: Home Presentation title: ‘History, Space, Place.’ The concept for representing ‘home’, which reflected a ten-year period living and working in China reflected a multitude of entangled narratives. Individual identity, social connectivity, the physicality and functionality of location and of borders and the emotional attachments that develop, regarding people, spaces and environment. As an academic, fashion designer, curator, and artist the influences and observations from these narratives brought into question not only the practical aspects of urban life but the broader issues regarding mans relationship with architecture and his desire to own an individual space that he has absolute control of and total influence of. Striving to possess an individual structure or ‘home’ is by no means new. The dress section of the ‘History, Space, Place.’ piece was constructed from original 19th Century English mortgages (indentures). These defined the amount of loans undertaken by individuals to purchase buildings and are hand written with wax seals on vellum, a traditional hide material used for official documents throughout European history. The key to the work was whether ‘home’ is purely signified by location, architecture and investment and thus becomes a restrictive and divisive constraint within our urban societies or can be seen as a more conceptual premise without borders and with empathy and engagement with appropriate communities. ‘ History, Space, Place.’ International Fashion Art Exhibition 2012 Authors image By developing a process of laser cutting wood and etching on the interconnecting shapes, technology supported the idea of the restriction that populations have continually placed upon themselves in order to locate themselves within a community. The work not only questioned these distinctions, brought together historic and contemporary similarities and supported the idea that fashion and art can combine as forms of critical discourse which can be used to question how we have come to accept society norms.

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