A feast of fashion, film, photography, masks & poetry.
After the success of the 2012 Valentine’s day Welcome to the Brightside Extravaganza exhibition; aMBUSH Gallery, Alexandria, Miss Brightside previews her 2014 solo show Preloved 31 October, Surry Hills, m2 Gallery.
“I’m a performance and installation artist interested in iconography, Hollywood, fairy tales and feminine representation. This exhibition plays out my investigations into plushophilia1 and scopophilla2,” states Miss Brightside.
1986, Miss Brightside, aged 7 idealistically stood in the playground singing waiting for the orchestra to serenade, like a musical number from Busby Berkeley. To expel her theatrical energy the young Brightside joined a local amateur dramatic society. Unfortunate to have 2 left feet and a voice that crocked under pressure, she happily played dress up’s in the chorus, where she could ogle the male lead.
As a child in play acting; most girls her age improvised with a teddy or Cindy-doll to date Barbie. Brightside’s lucky Barbie had 3 Ken’s to date; Sports-Ken, Rock-Star-Ken, and Dinner- date-Ken-with-no-shoes. Re-acting love scenes from musicals Brightside's Barbie had a exhilarating love life. Her own romances had a lot to live up to…
With roll-play children have a natural inclination to personify toy’s and invest the objects with human attributes. A child’s first desirable object away from fist-to-mouth and the mothers breast becomes enriched with feelings. Both projection and self-identification mechanisms operate. The physical excitement the child has for the plush toy is akin to the climax of an orgasm.
Fantasy, play and storytelling enrich children’s desirable objects. Miss Brightside’s wolf masks are projections of her own attachments. Preloved; an autobiographic series of 30 masks and costumes that represent her pre-loved past loves. These artworks are hand- stitched and constructed from childhood development fabric such as felt and fur. The sexual allure and female prowess of these masks relate to Red Riding Hood, the morality tale used to warn pre-pubescent young women of the dangers in the forest and the wolves that lurk within it. In the film A company of Wolves (1984) writer Angela Carter revises the Red Riding Hood fable. Charmed by the wolf, Red strays off the path and eventually turns into a wolf herself, thus becoming the hunter.
Miss Brightside explains, “the masks are saturated with narrative representing a conflict between a female hunter and chaste childhood innocence.”
Brightside’s costumes are a highlight in the preloved exhibition. In particular the ‘Onesie’ made from felt and fur created using all the templates of previous preloved masks.
“The fashion crime of the century the ‘Onesie’ has a plushophilia quality. This sordid grown-up baby-grow is comparable to an adult in a mascot plush suit; welcoming you into Disneyland in his cum-stained pants from rogering Snow White on the Tea-Cup ride just before the Parade,” states Miss Brightside.
Brightside weaves film, photography, poetry and costume, into her exploration of female as an desirable object. This idea extends out of the physical realms of plush toy’s and into the concept of the invisible mask. Miss Brightside explores the self-division of woman and girl. Included in Preloved, is the Tragic Kingdom photographic series. This series is Brightside's representation of the exaggerated female in Hollywood Musicals and the Busby Berkeley pin-ups girls.
Graduating from a BA in fashion at Kingston University, UK, 2001, Brightside moved to Treviso, Italy, where she worked as a designer at United Colours of Benetton. In 2002 she relocated to Sydney for 10 years; freelancing for designers such as Akira Isogawa.
In 2011 Miss Brightside embarked onto the art scene, screen printing alternative fairytale narratives onto glass. In 2012 the aMBUSH gallery, hosted her first solo show where 1000 people attended opening night. This successful exhibition inspired thirst for further education, MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martin (CSM), London, graduating June 2014.
In the next 18 months Miss Brightside will publish a coffee table book on Poetry that relates to the preloved series and over the next 8 years will work towards obtaining a 2022 nomination for the Tate Gallery’s Turner prize.
What: Preloved: a feast of fashion, film, photography, masks & poetry
Where: m2 Gallery www.m2gallery.com.au
Shop 4/450 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
When: Private view: Friday 31 October (Halloween), 6pm-9pm
Exhibition continues daily until Tuesday 4th November, 12-6pm