Flight: Drawing Interpretations is the culmination of work at the National Gallery in response to the theme of ‘Flight’, developed over the course of a year by a group of practice-led researchers at London College of Fashion, representing a range of disciplines as fashion design, fine art, fashion illustration, textile design, costume and dance. The final outcomes have taken a variety of forms including direct drawing on paper, animation, film, costume, performance and fashion design.
Initiated by Charlotte Hodes, Professor in Fine Art at London College of Fashion and Colin Wiggins, Special Projects Curator at the National Gallery. This project is the exploration of how historical images can provide triggers for creative contemporary practice. The project also addresses what can be revealed through a direct engagement with specific paintings and the value of working from primary sources.
Drawing, as a means of investigation, of thinking and articulating ideas has played a pivotal role in the research and creative process. Collectively, the outcomes reveal ways in which drawing is used by creative practitioners, within their thinking and working methodology. In addition, it highlights the considerable hybrid activity across the subject disciplines, which includes the use of analogue and digital processes together with film, live performance and installation.
The project outcomes are represented here online alongside a Friday Late showcase of performances and temporary installations at The National Gallery taking place on 14 June 2013, which follows a symposium on 24 May 2013, with speakers exploring the project concepts in further detail.
The collaborative project Flight: Drawing Interpretations is characterised by two main parallel challenges: from the artistic perspective, responding to the paintings of the National Gallery collection, and on a curatorial level, contextualising the new responses within a different, both virtual and actual, space.
The stylised National Gallery floor plan has been the point of departure for our curatorial approach, representing the primary chance for a reflection on curating itself. Gradually abstracting from the original Gallery space, we have outlined a virtual map for the artworks created by the participants.
In sketching our curatorial contribution, we have graphically and conceptually synthesized the floorplan of the Gallery through the notion of negative space. This has been functional in symbolising the integration of the original paintings belonging to the Gallery and the responses elaborated by the participants to Flight: Drawing Interpretations. Our intention is to emphasise, in curatorial and graphic terms, the endless nature of the process of interpretation. The map of references woven by the artworks resulting from this collaboration could be further expanded, with its limits or borders being potentially stretched ad infinitum.
Experimenting with the boundaries between physical and virtual spaces, this curatorial intervention culminates in an online interactive exhibition and website, alongside a Friday Late showcase of performances and installations, at the National Gallery.
From the curatorial perspective, the physically unrestrictive potential of online media both compliments and compensates for the temporary nature of the Friday Late event. In collaboration with design studio She Was Only, our initial concept has been translated into an online experience. The design of the site allows the audience to create their own journey and narrative through the works, as opposed to the conventional sequence of a physical exhibition.
The ‘physical’ component of this project comes in the form of a single experince of performances and temporary installations, fleeting in its nature, yet captured and preserved online.
Dr Flavia Loscialpo
Through her curatorial practice and research, Dr Flavia Loscialpo has collaborated with several institutions, among which the Barbican Centre, Victoria and Albert Museum, London College of Fashion. In 2011, she co-curated, with Prof. Charlotted Hodes, Drawing and the Body (2011), an exchange exhibition between London College of Fashion and The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, Sweden. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Fashion and MA Coordinator at Solent Southampton University. Her research interests focus on historical and contemporary avant-gardes in art, design and fashion. She is specialized in curation, philosophy of language, aesthetics, and fashion theory.
Flavia Loscialpo obtained her PhD in Philosophy from Sapienza University of Rome (2008), and is alumnus of the MA Fashion Curation.
For this project, she explores, with Ben Whyman and Fiona Mckay, how the theme of flight is echoed in the work of the various participants, and works at translating the curatorial challenges through a convergence of media.
Fiona Mckay is a London-based curator. Following her BA degree in Art History from Goldsmith’s College, London, she spent several years in the creative industries and completed an Art and Design Foundation at Central Saint Martin’s, then embarking on the MA Fashion Curation at London College Fashion. With a focus on interpreting the ideas around fashion and design into both physical and digital spaces, Fiona’s curatorial practice demonstrates a convergence of interests in fashion artifacts, personal histories and digital technology. These are combined with her background and experience in art history, fashion and architecture. She has recently co-curated the exhibition Footprints Studio (2013), Central Saint Martins’ Museum and Study Collection.
Within the Flight: Drawing Interpretations, Fiona is involved in the co-curation of the online exhibition and website, and in the final showcase at the National Gallery Friday Late.
Ben Whyman has curated fashion exhibitions in London and the United States, as well as publishing work on film, contemporary art and fashion. Recent research has considered curatorial interventions using dress to improve engagement with marginalised groups, specifically those living with mental illness.
His current research interests lie in exploring the relationship between material culture analysis and life-writing methodologies. He is alumnus of the MA Fashion Curation and has recently commenced a PhD at London College of Fashion exploring material culture analysis, life writing, and biographical and museological interpretations of men’s wardrobes.
At London College of Fashion he is Project Coordinator for the Fashion Curation research office, closely working with professors Amy de la Haye and Judith Clark.
He is co-curating the outcomes of the project Flight: Drawing Interpretations with Flavia Loscialpo and Fiona Mckay, exploring the use of drawing as a tool to analyse, contextualise, and conceptualise understanding around space and the object within the curatorial practice.