Bethany Milner

Visual Arts student.
bethm1992@hotmail.co.uk

Contemptible Beauty (displayed)

I decided to place the two necklaces inside of a small velvet jewellery box. I decided upon velvet as it is a material that reflects grandure, which allows me to continue to combine the luxurious with the disgusting in my work. I also decided to place the piece upon a pedestal table, questioning the ‘idealised woman’ in connection to the way women are placed upon pedestals. 

'Til Death Do Us Part (complete)

 A sculptured wedding dress made entirely from sanitary towels. All of the sanitary towels have been folded to create a pattern and then hand stitched together to form a grand outcome. I decided to hand sew the dress, as similar to the process of menstruation, the technique becomes repetitive and laborious. Also in connection to this, and as mentioned before, sewing and the female form have a history of connection. Placed upon the dress is a swarm of hand-made wool flies. Each fly has been dyed to resemble blood. These small creatures are symbolic of the process of decay and the way in which the menstrual cycle can be seen as one of life and death. I decided upon making a wedding dress, as this object plays a vital role in many girls lives from such a young age. Many dream of their perfect day and the princess dress they wish to wear; so combining it with a subject that many girls refuse to acknowledge, creates the contrast.

Symmetrical or Asymmetrical?

Experimenting with the positioning of the pattern upon the dress. I initially was set on having it symmetrical however, I now feel the asymmetrical version works a lot better. It disrupts the symmetry of the dress and by doing this it stands out more. 

'Til Death Do Us Part

The dress still in progress, however nearly finished. I decided to place a layered frill at the front of the dress. These are made by stripping down the sanitary towel and folding it before sewing it into place. 

Flies; Pattern
Instead of using the flies to attach to a piece of material in order to make a large embellishment, I have decided I’m going to create a pattern to sew directly onto the dress. The pattern is made up of strong, sweeping lines and formation of flies that create floral like forms. 

Flies; Pattern

Instead of using the flies to attach to a piece of material in order to make a large embellishment, I have decided I’m going to create a pattern to sew directly onto the dress. The pattern is made up of strong, sweeping lines and formation of flies that create floral like forms. 

Flies; Manipulating colour

In order to change the colour of the flies, I needed to find ways in which to do so successfully. I decided to combine dye with PVA glue. The dye would change the colour of the thread and the PVA would harden the embellishments making them rigid and more malleable. I experimented combining different amounts of red dye with purple dye and different amounts of glue, from a lot to none. The majority of the experiments were successful, however, the ones that weren’t were when I tried to just place the glue over the wings and when I used only red dye on it own with PVA glue. I’m going to use all of the other successful experiments to reproduce a mass of the flies to place on the dress. 

Flies (experimentation)

After experimenting making embellishments using wool and cotton separately, I decided to combine the two types of thread into the same embellishment. This added depth to the form. Although the experiment was successful in creating the ideal form, the colours are too brash and unnatural. Need to experiment with maybe dying the threads in order to drastically change the colour. 

Flies (experimentation)

Further experimentation making fly embellishments. This time using wool, a heavier thread than cotton. 

Flies (experimentation)

Creating fly embellishments to place upon the dress. Experimenting using cotton. 

'Til Death Do Us Part

Dress (in progress). Folded pads have been added at the bottom of the dress in order to disrupt the symmetry. These pads will form the entire bottom of the dress and also part of the train.