Two years ago I was asked by my alma mater St Martin’s School of Art (now Central Saint Martins), to participate in a project to set up a scholarship fund to help future bright young things access an Art School education. Les Visionnaires Scholarship Fund was in association with with GREY GOOSE vodka (my favourite tipple), who asked CSM alumni to create artworks interpreting the GREY GOOSE bottle inspired by the phrase Fly Beyond. From the host of artworks proffered, three were chosen (by fashion designer Jean-Pierre Braganza, jewellery designer Hannah Martin and myself), to be transformed into a Limited Edition GREY GOOSE Martini gift set that will be sold exclusively in Selfridges. The original artworks were auctioned at CSM earlier this month. I am thrilled to say that my creations (I bolstered Lot 17 with a handmade Comfort Blanket and Quote Quilt – more later), sold for £1700 – the third highest bid following Sir Terence Conran and Jarvis Cocker.
Here is the initial design (including sketch and an explanation of my working methodology and process), along with the Limited Edition GREY GOOSE bottle and GREY GOOSE Grand Explorer Martini gift set.
Over the next few days I will show other items that I created for the auction and further pages from the sketchbook…
you pour your heART out
When I was asked by Les Visionnaires to remake/remodel the iconic GREY GOOSE bottle I knew I wanted to create something that would demonstrate my multi-disciplinary approach. Having studied fashion design at St Martin’s School of Art (1977-80), I eventually fell into the world of fashion journalism, ending up as fashion editor of The Times and ELLE, among other periodicals. Although along the way I have worked as a stylist, photographer, creative consultant and curator, I am best known as a fashion writer. It was for this reason that I knew I wanted to put words on the bottle.
The final choice of words came from a process that I use continually to inform my work – making lists of words, would-be slogans and half-finished phrases that evoke associated feelings and emotions.
The final five words, which are intended to be engraved directly onto the bottle, have been typed with the Olivetti 35 manual portable typewriter that I was given by my mum and dad for my sixteenth birthday; the same typewriter that I used throughout my years at art school and have continued to employ in my work to this day. These five words have been blown-up on a Xerox machine – another medium that has become a constant in my work since I first discovered the photocopier in the library at St Martin’s during my first term.
Alongside the bottle I have collaged together a stream of consciousness sketchbook of inspirations and imagery that alludes to my primary source material. These disparate representations – from angelic rappers to ethereal supermodels, favourite film stills to suitable scraps of fabric – are gathered together alongside initial sketches for related items (a pair of padded wings, wordy sweatshirt or patchworked comfort blanket). Throughout the book I have pasted in more words and thoughts linked with the heART slogan: these have also been typed, this time onto opaque trace paper that aims to replicate the frosted glass of the GREY GOOSE bottle.
I am tremendously excited by this project and have enjoyed the opportunity to show how the process, the making of the piece, is as much part of the artwork as the finished isolated object. I HOPE this is a message that I can pass on to a new generation of bright young things – dream BIG, make your own rules, fly beyond the boundaries and borders imposed by the established order and pour your heART out…