A couple of weeks ago I teamed up with Alysander De Djinn Photography and my gorgeous friend Jordan for a little creative play day - inspired by the delectable works of Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton. The shoot was a fun way for Alysander and I to work together, for me to finally get my amazing friend to model for me before she leaves the country indefinitely and to test out some ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while now.
I commenced work on a huge backdrop painting a week before the shoot - taking inspiration from elements of Del Kathryn Barton's amazing collection of work. Utilizing an old projector screen I happily scored in the local hard rubbish week I busied myself drawing, painting, styling and cutting a wig and making props up until 2am on Saturday morning when I realized I'd lost all sensitivity in the tip of my right thumb...which no, still hasn't returned!!!
To be frank it was an AWESOME day of shooting - one of those happy occasions where picking the final photos is almost impossible as there are just far too many you're in love with.... We're hoping to have the final photos ready, edited and printed to be exhibited at the RAW Melbourne: Revolution showcase on the 23rd April :) If you fancy popping along tickets are a mere $15 and available here: http://www.rawartists.org/elvisschmoulianoff
Roll up roll up all ye who dare and meet Don Alacrán - the twisted skeleton ringmaster who
lured his crew to death & a pact with Santa Muerte that would keep them partying, performing and
guzzling tequila until the end of time....
Just before leaving England this summer I organized a video shoot with Happy Slap Boutique and Fresh Cut Media to showcase one of the characters from our Boomtown Fair venue: El Espectáculo Esqueleto!!!
Inspiration for the character was drawn from Day of the Dead iconography, entwined with circus and embellished with ideas that sprung from Joe Fur's amazing mural which appears in the background for sections of the video. The candles emenating from the skeletons' heads in Joe's art were of particular inspiration so I endeavored to incorporate this element into the character through the costume. I spent a couple of days embellishing and decorating a top hat and constructing a pair of epaullets from various materials that could be attached to the shoulders adding a stronger silhouette to Don Alacrans painted jacket. All were topped with an array of candles which were detailed with paint and lit for sections of the filiming.
Due to time restrains with the location there wasn't as long as I'd have liked to do the painting but Grace McComisky, Tash Hobbs and I did what we could in the time allowed before our amazing actor Jason Wilkinson and his insanely expressive face dove into the depths of the character. Our new friend Pieter Snyman of Fresh Cut Media filmed (and subsequently edited) the video while the amazing Scott Salt got handy with his camera and produced some beautiful on set photographs.
Massive thanks go out to everyone involved including Balkan Beat Box for allowing us the use of their track (which can be downloaded for free here), to Mike Freear for finding and editing the track for us, to Markus for letting us use the location in the Coronet Theater, and to Dan for all of his help and directive input :D You're all amazing and thank you for helping bring Alacrán to life!
Summer in England means one thing above all else - madness, mayhem and serious creative indulgence with the one and only Happy Slap Boutique!! We started the season at Kendall Calling - a lovely little festival near the divinely lush lake district - where we spent an absolutely beautiful weekend fully embracing the horror genre to accommodate this years movie based fancy dress theme. My fairly obvious love of circus imagery was fully indulged over the course of the weekend and culminated in an evil clown bodypainting which my fantastic model Delia fully rocked on stage on the Sunday night. A huge huge thank you to the entire Happy Slap family - especially to one Mr Michael Marks who is without a doubt the most amazingly committed photographer I've ever worked with at a festival - absolute legend!!!!!
For more photos of the weekend, including some beauties of our performers in action check out Happy Slap Boutique, and I'll have more photos from Kendall and our skeleton extravaganza at Boomtown coming your way very very sooon....
Just spent a lovely Sunday in battling through an intense American Horror Story Asylum marathon (which was amazing by the way) & assembling a few little buddies that will be accompanying me on an upcoming project. Aren't they sweet?
I absolutely love the current trend of pastel hair colours and the light blonde/pink is a sure favourite of mine - I was besotted with a wig this colour over summer in England and recently decided to get my hands on some and beautify them. Today I finished the first which is now sitting happily in the window of the The Silver Lining in Mullumbimby patiently hoping someone will buy her and whisk her away on some magical adventures....
I wanted to stick with a sweet delicate look this time around so have decorated the wig with a variety of crocheted doilies and some white lace which I've embroidered using iridescent sequins, pink and white beads, faux pearls and teeny tiny clockwork cogs. To tie them in with the over look I also sewed embellishments into the hair once I had finished styling.
For the last week my life has been completely taken over by fairy wings... this particular pair are for part of a Titania costume that my client will be wearing to a Midsummer Night's Dream Ball this weekend. Titania is the queen of the fairies so these had to be particularly special and work well with a glorious old white, embroidered wedding dress that will make up the main part of her costume. I made 8 separate wings sections from a fairly stiff wire, then covered them in silk, lace, netting, crocheted doilies and embroidered fabric before embellishing them by individually sewing on beads and 7 different types of sequins. To ensure that the wings would stand well while being worn I build a strong middle section that held all of the wing peices together and will stop them from flapping around. This was wrapped with cushion stuffing for comfort and then covered in white lace and decorated with some foam roses which I highlighted in an iridescent glitter to tie them in with the effect of the sequins. Instead of using elastic to attach them to the body I have used a light ribbon which allows the placement of the wings to be adjustable and will also tie in well with her costume.
This summer saw the first of my close friends tying the knot as my beautiful & amazing friend Olivia became Mrs. Burchell at a sweet, intimate ceremony at Lubstock Festival in Leicestershire. Definitely not the conventional type, Olivia decided to swap the traditional 'white wedding' for one swathed in golds and purples with a flock of fairy bridesmaids, & my god did she look stunning! I wanted to make her something special to wear on her big day so set to work making her a pair of wings of her own. I used the frame of an old pair of fancy dress wings & covered then in some lovely creamy gold embroidered fabric by Laura Ashley. I then sewed on pieces of crocheted doilies, flowers and trimming which were then embellished with gold & purple beads & a numerous amount of individually sewn on sequins. As a finishing touch I attached a number of creamy coloured leaf skeletons and a small bouquet of white and purple paper flowers which I'd lightly spayed with a hint of gold. Visit the Arts & Crafts Gallery for more photos.
I've just finished a new pair of fairy wings to be part of the display at The Silver Lining in Mullumbimby. The frames are made of wire, I covered them in 2nd hand fabrics that I found in charity shops, embellished them with doilies, sequins, beads and small pieces of mirror, and have sewed ribbons in which can be tied around the shoulders to make straps.
For quite a while now I've wanted to make a big old wonky top hat out of tatty playing cards. I found some beautiful old worn cards at a market in Sydney but thought I'd better do a test run first...just in case, and here its is! have also been playing with wire and fabric scraps again - this time to make flowers. All I need to find now is some good clips to attach them to so I can start putting them in people's hair...
I've been fiddling around with wire, sequins, fabric scraps and ribbons to make some leafy headgear. I used to make them out of real leaves and wear them in summer but have discovered you can't really do that in Australia as the sun dries them out so quickly you end up being left with a withered droopy crown which isn't much fun. These are now on sale in The Silver Lining on Mullumbimby High Street.