Back to the Breast with Carina Hardy

If you were around the Goldsmiths campus one particular sunny Friday this year in May, you couldn’t have failed to notice a pair of giant, inflatable breasts adorning our College green. Interested visitors could even crawl inside through an underwire, and see the sun through giant a nipple ceiling! The eye-catching installation is the work of Carina Hardy, a student of Barnard College (New York) who spent one year in the Design department at Goldsmiths. The giant boobs have travelled far before they arrived to Goldsmiths, since they were built in Bali and previously exhibited at Wonderfruit festival in Thailand. But why inflatable breasts, and what does it all mean? Carina explains:

How the breasts were made

This project posed some extreme challenges because I was committed to make them entirely out of sustainable materials. The ultimate goal was to compost them at the end of their life. After a series of material tests and prototypes we built the membrane structure out of organic cotton and coated the fabric in natural latex. I built them in Bali, where I was raised, with the help of a master tailor and a team. The natural liquid latex is hand-painted onto a total of 64 panels, and we pigmented the canvas because I didn’t want the default to be white breasts – watching the pigment change over time has been really interesting as well. It was a very intense material to figure out because it’s so sticky. The latex had to be brushed with baby powder so that it wouldn’t stick to itself.Read More »

HYPHEN show 2017: Eleanor Price brings cross stitch to a new audience

Embroidery and cross stitch are usually associated with femininity, and seen as less sophisticated than other crafts. A keen cross stitcher herself, Eleanor Price is challenging these perceptions through her graduation project for the BA Design course at Goldsmiths:

“I’m looking at embroidery and how it could reach a wider audience. I’ve been using cross stitch to make house plans, using the femininity of shapes, and the skill, on something that’s seen as more neutral. And I’ve been building extensions on the houses, as a fancy element of decorating a house. I started by trying to think of things that were already shown through cross stitch imagery, and house imagery is one of them, but it very much consists of idealised cottages and wooden houses in the mountains. It’s a kind of fantasy that I don’t feel many people have anymore. So I started looking at more achievable fantasies that you could work towards, and that everyone could relate to- and house extensions is one of them. ”Read More »

HYPHEN show 2017: Joseph Thompson disrupts the routine of craft

For his graduation project from the BA Design course at Goldsmiths, Joseph Thompson is trying to uncover the complexities of craft processes:

“I’ve been looking to expand what is meant by the word “craft”, and unpick the problems with it in contemporary culture.  The output that I’ve created is a diagnostic tool for ceramicists to re-evaluate how they throw pottery, which comes from the idea that people who have an ingrained habit find it inconceivable to change, or to progress in their practices. This tool exists to disrupt the process that they normally throw pottery by, so that they can re-evaluate and train themselves to learn different techniques.

The experiment consists of ceramicists throwing under a strobe condition, and there are two ways you can configure the strobe light. One is to act as a stroboscope, where the pot is completely still, so every time it does a rotation, you see the same side of the pot. This makes it really difficult to tell if the pot is off-center. The second way you can configure it is to allow people to set the strobe themselves. I found that when people were throwing under these strobe conditions, those who weren’t as confident would turn up the speed, whereas those who were more confident would turn it lower.Read More »

HYPHEN show 2017: Annie Kruntcheva re-frames longevity as a conspiracy theory

Annie Kruntcheva’s 2017 graduation project from the BA Design course at Goldsmiths started as an investigation into fear of death, and gradually turned into framing increased longevity as a conspiracy theory:

“We’re all being made to live longer because of our fear of death, but in doing so, we also have to work longer. So, an extended human lifespan is for the purpose of capitalist gain. We’re currently seeing more and more people living up to, and past a hundred years of age, but with that come many repercussions for climate change and overpopulation- and if we live longer, we’re going to have to finance that life.

I’m also looking at what happens to human purpose when work disappears. We’re raised to believe in a three-stage life, education-work-retirement, and the value of hard work is embedded into human culture. But what happens when we can’t work? With automation, precarious work, universal basic income, it’s looking more and more like the corporate ladder, and human jobs altogether, will disappear.”Read More »