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Photography by Amirali Ghasemi 'Parties ' 2005, image courtesy

missing faces, missing personalities, missing people

  1. an act of someone or something ceasing to be visible.
    "the sun's disappearance at night"
    synonyms: vanishing, fading, fading/melting away, passing from sight, receding from view; 
    • an act or the fact of someone or something going MISSING.
      "the police were investigating her disappearance"
      synonyms: loss; 
    • the process of something ceasing to exist or be in use.
      "the disappearance of grammar schools"
      dying out, dying, death, extinction, coming to an end, ending, passing away, passing into oblivion, expiry, vanishing, perishing, withering away, petering out, fizzling out
      "the disappearance of the last big predators from Western Europe"

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Book cover of 'Missing Link: The Image of Man in Contemporary Photography: Christoph Doswald'

While conducting some research on the topic of missing people I found this book in the library . It seemed not to be directly linked to the topic of research however , within this book I found some relevant and interesting imagery. 

(see right).

'Around 327,000 incidences of people reported as missing are reported to authorities each year in the UK, but little research exists which could provide practical insights to benefit those with responsibility for and to missing adults.'


“People choose to go missing for a wide variety of reasons, but there are common threads. A history of traumatic experiences, feelings of being unable to cope, and feeling trapped or powerless to share their emotions were widely reported by those we spoke to".-

Dr Hester Parr, from the University of Glasgow’s School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

-Text courtesy of


'PEOPLE and Crowds: A Photographic Album for artists and Designers by Jim Kalett' Publisher: Peter Smith Pub Inc (June 1989)Language: English,scan of book cover ,courtesy of myself , 

This book captures large groups or crowds of people . Again not directly related to my topic at first , but interesting. From the notes of Jim Kallet I find this one the most interesting;"Visually a crowd is a large group of people reacting to the same event or environment. But their reactions to the same event are not necessarily similar. In one photo people watch an event to which their response in intended to be manipulated , however one person smiles ,another is highly skeptical ,one is in suspense  another laughs-'". Now lets suppose the event is 'life' one person might deal with their struggles in life  through therapy, one might suppress these feelings and one may decide to simply disappear . Although the crowd is a collection of people , each person still lives his or her own individual life , with its own individual struggles. I further found that the the crowd could be representative of the society, where every person is for his /herself  and therefore so indulged in their own lives that persons do not focus or care enough about other individuals. If one of the many people pictured in these crowds were to be cut out and go missing ...who would notice?


Image from book cover edited on Photoshop by me to cut a person  out of the image 


"Lost souls are people who are spiritually adrift. For whatever reason, these individuals have blocked the intuitive guidance coming from their higher selves.  In doing this, they have also cut themselves off from feeling the infinite love of the universe, and this leads to struggle, anger and sadness.  As a result, a lost soul’s life is very challenging."- text courtesy of

Picasso's lost children by artist Ruth Clotworthy ,



'Steel garment , makers house Henry Moore inspired February 2017 runway collection ,image courtesy of me'


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Ugo Mulas
Alexander Calder with “Edgar Varese” and “Untitled”, Saché, France, Gelatin silver print, 1963
Courtesy Ugo Mulas Archives
© Ugo Mulas Heirs
Artwork in photograph © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London ,image courtesy 



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'1928 caricature of former Vanity Fair editor Frank Crowninshield' ,image courtesy of


Whole by Freudenthal/Verhagen, image courtesy of


Veil - Acrylic on print - 14 x 15cm,Source image by unknown photographer Copyright Charlotte Bracegirdle image courtesy of


New York 1932 - Acrylic on print - 11 x 15cm,Source image by Lucienne Bloch Copyright Charlotte Bracegirdle 2014 image courtesy of


'Night Gown - Acrylic on print - 20 x 29cm' Charlotte Bracegirdle image courtesy of



PRIMER - Jesse Draxler x Jen Whitaker for Dazed and Confused , image courtesy of

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 [ maman : Louise bourgeois : tate modern : london ,medium- Stainless steel, bronze, marble] - [ : 2008 , image courtesy of

Louise Bourgeois. Jitterbug. 1998

 image courtesy of Alternate

Title:'Jitterbugging Spiders', composition: 17 1/2 x 22 3/4" (44.5 x 57.8cm); sheet: 18 3/16 x 24 1/8" (46.2 x 61.2 cm),Publisher:Artists Space, New York

The spider—why the spider? Because
my best friend was my mother and she
was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing,
reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable,
neat, and as useful as a spider.” -

Louise Bourgeois 

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The other mother’s hand, illustration by Dave McKean, image courtesy of

'Coraline  is a dark fantasy children's novella by British author Neil Gaiman, published in 2002 by Bloomsbury and Harper Collins. It was awarded the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella, the 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novella, and the 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers.It has been compared to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and was adapted into a 2009 stop-motion film directed by Henry Selick'.-

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The Beldam in one of her many forms (FORM TWO) , image courtesy of

(child snatcher)

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Photographed on display at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 21, 2010, the world of Coraline is painstakingly brought to life frame-by-frame by subtly manipulating the characters, sets and miniature props.




 Detail from Unseeing by Abby McGuane,image courtesy of


Distortion ,Giclée-Print, 24" x 32" ,image courtesy of




Every time we blink ... we are missing some information. Now there is something we have not seen, something which is left out . Our eyes are the organs which allow us to record visual information , they are like our very own CCTV cameras. They are our personal surveillance systems. Technologies such as cameras as we know are imperfect and could often experience some malfunctions or errors which could result in what we know as glitches. Therefore is OUR BLINK NOT OUR GLITCH?

image courtesy of



Collages and photographs from the portfolio of Bettina Birmarcker, a visual arts and graphic design student from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. image courtesy of


Birmarcker's collages remind me of the idea of glitching in surveillance. Several images are distorted here , cut up into different pieces and made incoherent. The information from one photograph is mixed and matched with another , and therefore the views is viewing two to three different stories or images at once. Because we are viewing everything at once we are missing some information of each photograph . I believe that I could quite easily use this idea of cutting up pieces of information and then collaging or piecing them back together in this way and would like to experiment with this in my work to see if any interesting prints are made. Perhaps I could even use different types of materials in the collage , for example cutting up one of my more 3d samples and then mixing it with a more 2d sample or imagery.


'Tear it off" Nicholas Mottola Jacobsen photography image courtesy of

The title of Mottola's work quite literally describes  what the artist has done; tear off pieces of drawings, photos, and illustrations in order to create new pieces of stunning art. He also has a  series named 'Pixelation' where he further  transforms pictures, hiding selected pieces of the whole image in order to create a new perspective. I further find the idea of tearing ,quite aggressive and destructive . The term has all negative connotations and to me could represent the idea of something being taken with force and struggle. This could be interpreted as embodying the idea of people being stolen / taken away and ending up being branded as missing but it could also be a lot more metaphysical and supernatural. Perhaps when linking it to the idea of desensitisation , the tearing could represent the tearing out of the soul , which is supposedly the most spiritual and emotive part of the human. When a person is referred to as souless , what is generally being expressed is a genuine lack of sympathy and empathy. Furthermore when  something is torn away , it is clear that there was something in the place of the tear or gap before , therefore when a person views it it is clear that something has been taken away , quite carelessly and roughly . Therefore supporting the idea of making  an  observer  clearly notice that something is missing from the work . This is a teqnique I would like to experiment with in my own work .



'Tear it off" Nicholas Mottola Jacobsen photography image courtesy of


image courtesy of 'Getty Images/Kenneth Garrett ',Ancient Remains This mummy was once Amenhotep III, King Tut's grandfather.


 Pictured above, a range of tools used for organ removal ,image curtesy of

The mummy is filled with saw dust, stones etc to keep life like appearance---- Coraline doll is  filled with saw dust.


image courtesy of



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'Illusioni nate' ,image courtesy of

This piece of photography by Misha Gordin depicts a crowd. They are all covered by a print/shade which is meant to represent hypnosis or illusion which in it self is interesting ,but I find this image interesting as the print on the bodies unifies them.I further find the shapes from this imagery interesting and the individual persons also look to me as if they are finger tips revealing the finger print.Every finger print is unique , just like every person but the fact that we all have them unites us . Just like with society. We are a crowd but we are also individuals. I further feel that the print which is about illusion and ultimately confusion is very appropriate in the context I have put forward. The prints become confusing , connecting and overlapping and repeating themselves moreover due to the number and proximity of the persons pictured. This confusion could make the observer feel quite lost , which could represent the idea of becoming lost in a crowd and feeling alone although surrounded. Perhaps I could use this idea of repetition and overlapping etc,to create similar prints and effects with my own work.



('CROWD 59' 1999-2000 )silver gelatin prints size 25"x 38"',image courtesy of




('CROWD 42' 1999-2000 )silver gelatin prints size 25"x 38"',image courtesy of

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My words , courtesy of my mind 

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A display of sympathy ,  Tin Tin rests her head on Kennedy's shoulder , image courtesy of me  




           PAUL BUTLER: THE SPACE OF FORGETTING                                                                                                                                                                                            0006-procession


' the space of forgetting' image courtesy of

This work reminds me of James Lee Byars, 'AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 1972'. I still have not experimented with a format such as this and feel that since I have now developed quite a body of practical work , that I could still experiment with a format such as this. The main difference between the two works is that in the previous , there was essentially only one person lost in the darkness , whereas in this image it is much more. Perhaps this could be interpreted as the opposition of my stance that we as a society have lost the ability to sympathize . Maybe this image represents that sympathy is still alive.



media courtesy - "Please Turn Your Phone ON: 116 000: Helpline Phone Call". YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.

"Missing People is the only charity in the UK which is dedicated to bringing missing children and adults back together with their families. Some missing people you will have heard of, but many more you won’t. For their families, life can feel like a desperate and unbearable struggle as they wait for days or even years. That’s why we are here for missing people and their families, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide free and confidential support by phone, text or email."

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Image of blurred out missing child , image courtesy of -



"In international human rights law, forced disappearance (or enforced disappearance) occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organization or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person's fate and whereabouts, with the intent of placing the victim outside the protection of the law.


Often, forced disappearance implies murder. The victim in such a case is abducted, illegally detained and often tortured during interrogation, and killed, with the body hidden. "-text courtesy of Wikipedia. com


Image result for autobiography 1972 james lee byars

James Lee Byars


Black-and-white photograph, 2.9 x 2.8 cm

Kunstmuseum Bern (Collection of Toni Gerber, gift 1983)

This image really stood out to me , amongst all the other photographs/ works in the book . I found that the image visualizes the act of disappearing , which strongly links to my theme of going missing . At first glance the photograph appears to just be a black square with a tiny white spec in the center , however after looking at the photograph more closely it becomes clearer that the white spec is actually a figure captured in a space which is filled with darkness.I feel like the figure in this photograph could represent a disappearing , lost , and essentially missing person while the darkness in the space represents the dark and evil emotions associated with the issue of 'missing persons'  or perhaps the motives of why some persons decide to disappear or perhaps the state of isolation they find themselves in ,the further they distance themselves from the people that love and care for them. The fact that an observer of the work could easily miss the figure further represents how society often overlooks or just does not acknowledge the cases and issue of missing persons .(something to further investigate) .I further believe that this scale would be an interesting one to work with at a later point where I begin to develop some visual response to my research , I find that it would be interesting to experiment with how working at this scale modifies the implications of my work . Perhaps I could manipulate a composition such as the one above and play with the idea of very subtle detail as a way of representing something which is nearly not there or vanishing.

‘Missing’ is an exhibition of paintings by Swansea-born artist, Jamie Morrison.

images courtesy of


Section of Blurb from 'Suitcase is missing woman' by Book by Eva Maria Weinmayr

This book features  out of context shocking news headlines ,in this format

-Image result for suitcase missing body book


page 1 of 'Suitcase is missing woman' image courtesy of

while flicking through the pages each headline becomes less and less shocking. The book has no climax or recede or anything like this because every page holds shocking headlines.Being exposed to what is shocking constantly  , creates what is shocking to be normal. I feel that what the author was trying to provoke is perhaps that we as a society are so exposed to hearing about terrible things to such a great extent  that when we hear or expierence something like this in the news ,we act like it is normal and nothing is wrong. We as a society  have been desensitized

Fitzgerald, Kavanagh and Bulgakov by Charlotte Bracegirdle

Fitzgerald, Kavanagh and Bulgakov by Charlotte Bracegirdle


Image courtesy of

The works by Charlotte Bracegirdle feature different shots of a portion of the subjects face and profile.The faces are never completed and cut revealing the background of the shot.

the fact that in each frame parts of the face are MISSING is interesting to me. I further appreciate the compositions used in these works, and feel that similar composition could be used in my own works.

Maybe people who choose to go missing are lost souls?

Maybe people who are forced to go missing are lost souls?

Maybe people who are stolen away and made missing  are lost souls?

Maybe those who lack sympathy in regards to this tragic and all tragic cases which do not directly affect them are lost souls?  And so to this extent who is really missing?

River of souls by BoxTail

River of souls by 'box tail' image courtesy of

Makershouse Henry Moore Inspired collection FEBRUARY 2017


'The looking glass' makers house Henry Moore inspired February 2017 runway collection ,image courtesy of me

I really liked this piece as it uses the looking glass which i find is relevant to my topic. when something is lost or missing people often look for it. The looking glass supposedly helps with this task and symbolises the act of looking closely, in depth and with will. therefore I feel that the use of actual looking glasses or the linear properties taken from observation and shape would be appropriate.



This piece at the exhibition was made from steel ( image on left). The piece is not practical of course, as the steel would be far to heavy to carry. In relation to my topic I feel that the heaviness of the garment could represent the heaviness of the negative emotions associated with the loss or disappearance of a loved one. Metal is further a strong and cold material providing security however little to no comfort. When people seek comfort they often turn to soft materials and not hard materials. Take the simple duvet for example that we all recline to at the end of a tiring, sad, eventful day . It is soft and comforting and not cold and hard. I feel that soft materials emote sympathy therefore while hard and cold materials do the opposite , showing a lack of comfort and therefore  a lack of sympathy or empathy. I feel that I would like to experiment with metal , to represent the idea that a lack of sympathy and empathy is present in the society. More specifically I believe I would like to experiment with wire , as it is a fine and flexible metal which I could easily manipulate and create shapes and forms from which would  explores aspects of my work prior , exploring with new materials and dimensions. I feel that the brown / copper shade of the metal would further work well with the rest of my colour scheme , and I might introduce this shade or perhaps a darker one. Brown is a warm colour , but is it also nearly black . Which often has negative connotations of darkness, and perhaps void , and perhaps a disappearance.

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Wire portrait by Alexander Calder image courtesy

Alexander Calder, known to many as ‘Sandy’, was an American sculptor from Pennsylvania.

I really enjoy Calder's work with wire. He creates a continues line which is fluent and beautiful. I find that it would be interesting to experiment with wire  within my own work , specifically if I manipulated the idea of continuous line.



Celia Pym's work , image courtesy of


Rips and tearing ... This work by Pym reminds me of the previous practitioner research I have completed , only the rips and the tears and the missing elements are translated into a garment. I find the this holds the same denotations as the ones I made earlier with Nicholas Mottola Jacobsen 's works except since Pym's work is directly  in relation to the body ,the idea of missing people and the lack of substance being in some place goes back to the idea of people and the society rather than being so abstract. During the design process for a possible garment or further textile samples this idea of taking away and creating gaps and holes would be considered.


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Viktor & Rolf Spring 2010 RTW image courtesy

These garments are odd and seem incomplete. It seems like something has been cut away. Its seems like something is missing 

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Victor& Rolf 2010 ,photo © Stephan Moskovic Image Courtesy of


Bracegirdle is a artist who works with images that already exist. They are all reproductions, digitally mass produced in books, postcards or prints. She manipulates paint to disrupts the surface of the works, leaving a shadow where once was a person or an object holding that person. By erasing elements in the photographs -  she subverts the narrative . The altered image is unnerving , mysterious and just generally creepy overall . The interference is not always clear, and often involves cropping out certain aspects of a piece of work.  Often the narrative is about loss, fear and lack of control. 


 'Don't Leave Me Here - Acrylic on print - 15.5 x 11cm' image courtesy of



'Flora Thompson Acrylic on post card', Charlotte Bracegirdle image courtesy of

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moving image  courtesy of

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'Open windows in a victorian household , black and white', image courtesy of

"Open windows ,Lost boys , Lost girls , peter pan , Wendy, brothers , left through open window, missing , Eyes are the windows to the soul, Open windows let in the bad, Missing children , open windows......."

This is what comes to mind when I look at this image.


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Louise Bourgeois, Spider Couple (2003),image courtesy of 


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The lost souls / ghost children of the movie adaptation 2008 of 'Coraline' ,image courtesy of


The ghost children of the novel and film are the souls of innocent children which the antagonist of the novel the 'Beldam'  also referred to as the 'Other Mother' has trapped in the other world. The other world is a magical world/ alternative reality  created by the 'Beldam'  which when first introduced to its victims (children) is fantastical and dream like. The other world is a copy of the real world , however better . It is more vibrant , and alive and provides each child that visits at a time with their every wish and desire ,as the Beldam designs it to do. The Beldam spies on her child victims in a kind of omnipresent way , she never appears in the real world (in person) at this stage however is able to find out important information which helps her lure her child victims to her world. In this novel/film her victim is a 11 year old girl named 'Coraline' . Coraline has just moved into a three bedroom flat called 'The pink palace' with her parents who pay very little attention to her because they are both busy with work when they initially move into  the house. Coraline is presented to be unhappy with her current situation , and vulnerable and therefore becomes a desirable target for the Bedlam. When Coraline first enters the 'Other world' through a tiny door (which is the only  passage between the real and other world ) she is startled to find that  her destination is the same as the one she had just left behind. When she begins to roam around her new surrounding ( identical to her home) she finds the Beldam . Initially facing away from her Coraline refers to her as 'mom?' as the Beldam strongly resembles her mother only better in physical appearance , health , and skill . When the Beldam then turns to face her the difference between her and her mother becomes clear . She has buttons for eyes ... The Beldam introduces herself as the 'other mother' and her world as the 'Other World' and proceeds to charm Coraline with all the things she wishes she could have in the real world. Soon the Beldam reveals her plans to want to keep Coraline in the Other world , all Coraline has to do is give up her eyes and replace them with buttons , which unknown to Coraline would trap her in the other world forever , making her a lost soul like the Bedlam's previous victims . Unwilling to succumbs to the Bedlam's wishes , the Beldams facade soon becomes to crumble she becomes increasingly more impatient and aggressive towards Coraline . However ,despite the Bedlam's efforts the girl who she wished to steal away from her parents and keep trapped in the other world ,like she did with many children before , manages to escape in the end. The Beldam is further described as by the souls of the ghost children to have 'eaten their lives up'.


EYES  are often described as the window to the soul.

Perhaps this is why the Beldam / antagonist takes the eyes of her victims , as they capture the soul.

Her own lack of eyes and having buttons instead , could therefore be interpreted as displaying her own lack of having a soul. She is therefore evil, and sadistic and someone / something that craves a living soul. The lack of her eyes could further represent her distorted vision and perspective on normality, and what is right / wrong .






“We have over 1,000 children a year who just go missing, and we don’t know what’s happening to them. You’d think with all the headlines over abuse of children in care, people would be all over this, but they’re not. We are talking about children and babies. Why are we not doing a better job of tracking them?”-(John Hemming, Liberal Democrat in Parliament)


Text courtesy of

"Lack of her eyes could further represent her distorted vision"


‘The Battleship Potemkin’, 1925 (still photograph from the film) image courtesy of


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 Detail from Unseeing by Abby McGuane.image courtesy of



Distortion ,Giclée-Print, 24" x 32" ,image courtesy of




Bettina Birmacker , collaged photographs image courtesy of


Bettina Birmarcker, collaged photographs image courtesy of




'Tear it off" Nicholas Mottola Jacobsen photography image courtesy of



'Tear it off" Nicholas Mottola Jacobsen photography image courtesy of



 Image courtesy of




The Soul is internal. Death in many cultures and beliefs (including my own ) is seen as the process where the soul (the real living part of us) is separated from the body, which is just the container of the soul. It is not the death  of the soul . The process of extraction of the soul , reminded me of the ancient Egyptian embalming process where the internal organs  of persons were removed from the body and dried and then placed in separate containers. The purpose of embalming and mummification was to preserve the body to its greatest potential as ancient Egyptians believed that after death that the soul also known as KA would move on and then return to its body on judgement day . The Egyptians preserved the bodies as well as possible so that the souls of the people would be able to recognise and identify its body. A soul which could not ,would be lost and according to Egyptian believes become transient. Through the process of embalment the body becomes rather hollow , its internal organs which used to make it function are now replaced by a strong salt (Natron) which only preserves the body's exterior making it appear life-like . Similarly without the soul the body i.e the society is hollow unable to feel what a soul should and unable to sympathise and empathise with one and another.



 Ancient Egyptian jars containing internal organs of deceased ,image courtesy of



(CROWD 39)1999-2000 )silver gelatin prints size 25"x 38"',image courtesy of


('CROWD 44'1999-2000 )silver gelatin prints size 25"x 38"',image courtesy of


('CROWD 62' 1999-2000 )silver gelatin prints size 25"x 38"',image courtesy of

I really enjoy the aesthetic of these works by Gordin . She creates an image which is uniform but then breaks this pattern by adding something to her images which disrupts the pattern ever so slightly.  find that this image is a great example of this . The thing which 'breaks the pattern' here is more obvious than usual and rather comical .Yet what is demonstrated is that something as simple as rotation or changing the direction of a thing which would otherwise conform to the uniformity of an image could really shape a new image and conceptual purpose. The focal point is now the face of the man who could be said to look as if he is drowning amongst the crowd of people. The main point is that the image is made incoherent just like it would have been if one of the members of the crowd became negative space ,perhaps this is one way I could manipulate  to explore the idea of individuality within society. 


'(CROWDS 1999-2000 )silver gelatin prints size 25"x 38"',image courtesy of



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A display of sympathy ,  Kennedy and Tin Tin share a hug , image courtesy of me 

Here are some research images I produced myself , which represent some actions that persons commit upon sympathizing or empathizing with another.

I asked Kennedy and Tin Tin "what would you do physically, to show sympathy to each other if either one or both of you were feeling down / upset/in emotional despair?" These were the results

A hug

A head resting on another's shoulder 

Raising the other up ,and out of despair


To develop work from this research I will drape on both girls while they are in these positions. In this way I could begin to create silhouettes for a garment , and some interesting structures and  shapes to further inspire textiles work.

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A display of sympathy ,  Kennedy raises Tin Tin up out of despair , image courtesy of me 

Here demonstrating how I will continue / have draped on them.