Curious Trends


Altered states: body morphing meets mythology in art and design


All is not as it seems. Themes such as genetic modification, surgical enhancement and mutation are increasingly being adopted by designers in fields as diverse as ceramics, illustration and fashion design. The current desire for bodily transformation, together with a reflection of the mythical beast in all of us, lie at the heart of this curious trend. Expect to see more digitally transformed faces and bodies, animal/human-hybrid forms and fiercely furry costumes like these:


Along with his art (see above), conceptual artist, Marc Quinn’s surgically enhanced sculptures aim to reflect the ‘real’ world we live in.  

As do Shary Boyle’s ‘corrupted’ porcelain figurines, featured in the Ridulously Interesting blog.

Toft Laski aka Sarah Bevan's curiosity creatures utilise vintage finds such as china and dolls to create surreal, collage-like sculptures:

Sam Morris’contemporary toys and cushions feature animal headed humans, inspired by fairytales and legends – and Greek mythology in particular. 

Costume designer, Jenni Joule’s wearable art creations include intricately embellished animal head masks.

Alison Shanks’ distorted face sculptures aim “to create unreal, uncanny sculptures as a reflection of our own unfamiliar, fragmented and disjointed world.”

Sophie Woodrow’s altered animal ceramics combine random body parts to form unidentifiable mash-up creatures.

Felieke van der Leest’s jewellery draws on ancient symbolism and totemic style. 

Hybrid animal/human forms have been especially popular with young textile and fashion designers. Like these fabrics and surface prints by Chevonne McKenzie.

And this curious bird mascot by David Longshawe.

During the previous London Fashion Week, Dr Noki gave students a four day challenge to create a masked fashion monster with an interesting silhouette that ‘also stimulates debate and conversation.’ The winners were on show at the exhibition

Digitally maniputated images have also been rife in the blogging community like this from the Janetteria blog (via Popbee). 

Parties, festivals, performance art and fashion shoots are also adopting bestial masks and costumes, such as this Cambridge University feature… 

And this forthcoming Last Tuesday Society party.

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