Surreal Sunday

After an extremely busy and tiring week it has been really very cathartic to retire with my laptop and my mind for a little while to write this post. It is only when you are unable to do something that you truly miss it I find, and this is the way it has been with blogging this past week. Nevertheless, I am here now, and ready to write to my heart’s content. You may be a little perplexed by the image above – I was too around this time on Sunday when presented with a list of Google image links containing the strangest of paintings. The artist is Réne Magritte – a 20th century surrealist Artist from Belgium. By definition, ‘Surrealism’ is:

A 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind.

According to the Réne Magritte Museum, “the movement owes its name to French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who in 1917 uses the term ‘sur-réaliste’ to describe a form of expression that surpasses realism”. I like that – the idea of “surpassing reality”, because it is what makes surrealism an incredibly imaginative form of Art. It’s where the expression “thinking outside the box” really comes into its own and the movement encourages originality and creativity.

The reason I became away of Magritte’s work this work was that my best friend is focussing on surrealism and Magritte in particular for an Art project, which includes both taking and photoshopping her own photographs in his style. A challenge you might think? Yours truly was asked to model and of course obliged, dressed in black leggings, turquoise converse, and the wackiest, brightest 80s jumper I own! All it needs is a little imagination, and I can honestly say that I’ve never improvised more in my life! We rushed out into her back garden (the heavens were clearly about to open and she really needed to get the photos taken!) stopping only to acquire a huge tennis ball and an umbrella on our journey into th great outdoors.

From then on I scrambled around grabbing any and every garden appliance and feature in sight and attempted to do something extraordinary with them, as BFF snapped away and laughed at me trying not to laugh as she photographed me doing the most ridiculous things! My escapades included: fending off a life-sized model of a heron with a rake, cutting a flower in half and sticking the pieces through my trusty jumper both on my front and back to make it look as if I was a walking rose bed, jumping around holding an umbrella to give the impression of flying, and my favourite pose of them all – being physically pegged to the washing line so to appear as if I was a piece of clothing, waving in the breeze.

The photo below is a quirky take on the image at the very top of this post – the woman with flowers obscuring her face. We thought we’d use a tennis ball. At first I tried holding it at the back but it was too obvious so we resorted to photoshop. If you’re interested (at long last, a tiny element of an outfit!) I bought the jumper for £10 from a local vintage market. I fell in love with the clashing colours when I first saw it, and love that it has the words “lots of fun” emblazoned upon it. Because I did have lots of fun prancing around being something of a model for half an hour before it really began to pour and we were resigned to creating ‘surreal’ images inside, hence the tennis ball.

I’ve never talked about Art on Alexandra Thérèse before, but oh WAIT, I have! Because, of course, Fashion is Art – Creative Art. Art which is painstakingly fitted together having being worked on by a number of extremely dedicated and talented people for a very long time. This is an argument about which I am most passionate and I shall be condensing my emotions and thought processes into a post about it very soon.

Lastly I’d just like to say a blog hello to three other teenage bloggers who I know will have been thrown back in at the academic deep end during these past two weeks, and I hope that their blogs won’t suffer because of it (like mine has!). They are: Libby of Catching the Stars, Kate of Style is Always Fashionable, and Rosalind of Clothes, Cameras and Coffee whom I wish to congratulate for winning the very prestigious Vogue Talent Contest! Look out for her winning piece in October Vogue. I also want to say a late Happy Birthday to the very lovely Polka Dot Jill for yesterday, I hope you had a wonderful day!

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6 thoughts on “Surreal Sunday

  1. I love interpreting and re-creating the work of others – I focused on Frida Kahlo for my last art project, with her obvious links to spinal problems. I can just imagine you running amok in the garden! That’s the kind of thing I often ask my friends to do for me… Ripped dresses, zombie outfits, dancing etc etc.
    Thank you for referencing me in the post, and also for your thoughtful comment on my penguin post. It is definitely a shared interest of ours! And college is taking its toll, it might just take a few weeks to get into a routine.

  2. What inspiring pieces and I think you representation works really well. I really feel for everyone going back to school and college – so glad all that is behind me! Also random question, some people are having trouble getting up dates from my blog now I move it over, if you are too could you please let me know so I can have some idea of how to try and fix it, thanks 🙂

  3. ALEXANDRA!!! Bless you! What a lovely post-birthday surprise. I was just thinking that I hadn’t had the luxury of visiting my blog friends recently, and that I hadn’t heard from you. So I started reading this post, which is a treat in itself: I have always loved Magritte. He’s been probably my favourite artist, ever. The photoshop art that I was doing quite seriously in NY – I’d meet regularly with my mentor, a very smart, high level art collector, and a wonderful man – and my work was, I like to think, a blend of Magritte and Maxfield Parrish. I really want to get back into that now, and the fashion photography feels like it’s bringing me full circle to what I used to do with my dad’s Pentax, colour slide film, and a tripod: with me as model.

    So I read every word of your story, slowly, so as not to cheat and see the finished results. I LOVE it! If you search for the iconic one of the man with the apple – did I dream that one? – that’s so spot on.

    Actually.. because artists influence other artists.. I’m going to have a play around with the image, if you don’t mind.

    So you can imagine my happy surprise to see at the end that you’d mentioned me! Shame on me for writing 11 days to read this – and you posted it the day after my birthday. You are so sweet. I don’t know where you’ve been the past 11 days, or what you’re doing, but I hope whatever it is, you’re happy and well. And with that, I’ll shut up now! And btw: altho I took all my blog rolls down, I’m now adding a few to my newly decluttered side bar: you’re up there, right above Anna Della Russo.

    And please: more art posts! Fashion is art, and besides, we’ve all got enough fashion posts in our lives. Hope your friend did well with her project, I like the way she thinks.

    with thanks, Jill xx

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