Contributors to Open/Closed exhibition URBANDSEY have all been inspired by experiences specific to the urban environment. Together the contributions form a light-hearted exploration of what it means to talk of the city; how city-life distinguishes itself from other modes of being and why we love – or loathe – living this way. In short, URBANDSEY takes a moment to reflect on urban existence.
My part of the exhibition was 'Forage', a series of pre exisiting urban style hats that I adorned with animal and plant parts. The concept is no matter how urbanisedThe collection consists of 'Strobilus', 'Cervid', 'Columba' and 'Vertebrae' and each represents either plant, skin/fur, feather and bone. 'Strobilus' gets its name from what a pine cone boils down to being, a sexual organ. The plants attached to this sports cap were sourced in an urban environment and acts as the presence of greenery in an urban landscape. The second, 'Cervid', is another sports cap but covered in faux fur intended to represent everything furry in our urban lifestyle, from coats to pets. Of course the use of animal skin is also everywhere with leather shoes, belts, bags all around. The pigeon feathered trilby 'Columba' is quite self explanatory as cities are always filled with hordes of pigeons. The final image is of 'Vertebrae', a bowler hat with a fox spine sewn to it. This hat is my way of depicting urban decay and the reminder of the damage urbanscapes inflict on the natural world, not only this but the use of real bone is a reminder that our existence (personal and global) is only finite.