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Memphis

The ‘Memphis Group’ was an Italian Design group which started in Milan in 1981. It designed Postmodern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass and metal objects. I first came across this style of design when working on some large scale pieces of my own, and I instantly saw a similarity. I absolutely love the work of the Memphis Group from the block colours to abstract shapes and prints. Its a style that I am very drawn to in both fashion and art, and I can definitely see me exploring the movement in more depth in the future.

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In my current work I am using large abstract shapes which are painted mostly in a range of block colours, incorporating patterns with a special focus of contrasting colours – for example pink on red. The aim of my work is to be evocative with familiarities that the audience may relate with. There is almost an outrageous presence to my work due to its use of ‘in your face’ colours and shapes, which is partly to make the audience stop and think.

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“You were in one sense repulsed by the objects, or I was, but also immediately freed by the sort of total rule breaking” – Jasper Morrison

I found some really interesting research on Memphis on the Design Museum website: https://designmuseum.org/memphis

‘Memphis was seen as equally sensational outside the closed confines of the design community. The packed opening party, cool graphics and hip young designers – male and female, from different countries – proved irresistible to the mass media. Perfectly in tune with an era when pop culture was dominated by the post-punk flamboyance of early 1980s new romanticism, Memphis was also a colourful, clearly defined manifestation of the often obscure post-modernist theories then so influential in art and architecture.’

One thing this movement of art also made me think of is shoes. As I am going on to study footwear design I am also on the look out for new inspiration to take to university with me. This will most definitely find its way into my work, and I am going to have a go at design some inspired shoes in the near future.

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