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More connections

Fashion and art

I worked on this project for just over two years.

During that time, antlers began to appear on the fashion pages. This has happened to me before. A crucial image in a previous work, a skull and cross bones, became an ever more prevalent fashion motif as that piece developed, finally appearing on Top Shop Tshirts and jewellery. I had created a work based on Top Shop a few years before, but that’s another story…

As to antlers, perhaps their most spectacular appearance was as the headdresses worn by the models on the catwalk for couturiers Victor and Rolf. They also appeared as jewellery. A friend directed me to Stella McCartney’s shop in Bruton Street where a stag’s head brooch and antler necklaces were on display. They were beautiful, but I was much more excited to find the stag skull brooch in the window of the Holland and Holland store next door, a shop whose historic origin as a gun maker was in hunting, not fashion. When I approached Holland and Holland and described my project, they were intrigued and kindly lent the brooch which was used in the shoot. Just before the shoot in late December I spotted clear plastic antlers on the wall of the Pringle store at Heathrow airport and antler motifs printed on wallpaper and on a screen in the Mulberry store on Bond Street.

Antlers also began to appear in art. The original set used in the first, trial shoots were borrowed from Juneau Projects, a duo of young artists I had first met at the Showroom Gallery in London. We shared the antlers until they were needed for the Juneaus’ show at Fa Projects in London in October 2004. The show was a sell out and the antlers, transformed into a stand for headphones, went off to their new owner. This was great for the Juneaus, but disastrous for me.

Fortunately, my photographer colleague, Michael Cheetham, strolling after a lunch with his sister in Ladbroke Grove, spotted some antlers amongst the bric a brac on a market stall. Unusually they were not mounted ready to be hung on a wall, but separate and a pair. Smaller and more delicate than the first set, they were ideal, and the project was on again.

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