When Fashion meets Fine Art

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One of the silk scarves Stacey printed for her Hands Work exhibition.

We often hear about fine art influencing fashion. Be it the iconic “Mondrian” print dress by YSL or Zac Posen’s printed dresses from a collaboration with painter Rosson Crow, we see art in fashion all too often.

However, can fashion influence fine art?

Stacey Davidson, a 22-year-old Fine Art graduate from the University of Sunderland, has been investigating this relationship in her work recently in exhibitions across the region.

We spoke to her about her upcoming shows, how fashion magazines became influential to her work and how Instagram has become a medium for her to hold exhibitions.

Tell us a little bit about your work as a whole?

I love fashion and particularly in my practice I draw upon everyday life upon which fashion is an element of. I classify myself as a post-net artist so I’m really interested in platforms such as Instagram. At the moment I also have a very strong print element in my work and this was the basis of my last exhibition at Independent in Sunderland.

What was your exhibition ‘Hands Work’ about?

Hands Work is an ongoing project I am working on and it particularly focuses on the physical action of working with my hands to create the pieces. It also plays on manual labour, hard work, those kind of themes.

For my last solo exhibition at Independent Sunderland, I wanted to create printed work but had no way to display them. I wasn’t interested in just placing them on a piece of paper. Lots of these prints included images from Vogue magazine, I-D and lots of kooky fashion publications so my natural instinct was to print these on to some kind of fashion item.

I decided to use silk scarves as I was inspired by the likes of Susie Bubble who loves her scarves, and Susie Green who has produced scarves for the NGCA in Sunderland.

I found this independent print company called Lacuna press who printed my designs onto the scarves for me and I hemmed them myself. The result was really interesting, they are collage based with text included.

Is Fashion a theme that regularly features in your work?

Yes! I love fashion and particularly in my practice I draw upon everyday life, and fashion is an element of this. I classify myself as a post-net artist so I’m really interested in platforms such as Instagram.

A lot of the time the people who I follow on Instagram seem to be fashion houses or those who publish advertising campaigns for fashion as those kinds of images seem to be made to be online.

I’m interested in the relationship between Fine Art and Fashion, you can often see cross-over’s where fine artists help designers create their videos and so on.

How do you use Instagram as part of your practice as an artist?

Instead of printing all my designs in the Hands Work series onto silk, I saved some and decided to release them on Instagram as some kind of gallery. They were released individually as a kind of online piece of artwork, this gave the pieces a kind of exclusivity. It gave a new layer of intrigue to the whole collection.

What is the next piece you are working on?

I think a lot of the time I’m drawn to print as a medium, whether that be actual printed pattern, screen printing, the printed image… pretty much anything!

Currently, I’m working on a project with the NGCA and Circa where I am creating a zine to celebrate their birthday reflecting on the work of two artists who are completing a Twitter and Instagram residency.

You can come down to the NGCA Gallery in Sunderland above the city library on Saturday 16th January and come and buy the zine from me.

You can find out more about the event on this Saturday here. 

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