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Strive ! Compete ! Consume ! // Megan Park

Megan//My latest project’s theme is a visual interpretation on the prevailing social/economic/political ideology of today: Neoliberalism. I created a series of posters that attempt to echo the iconic propaganda art of the Soviet Union. I have always admired the bold constructivist and avant-garde movements that were a staple to the imagery of that era and I was inspired to develop a visual language to convey my own political message. unnamed    unnamed-1
Neoliberalism isn’t a common term that many people use – or know what it is. Simply put, it is an altered form liberalism that revolves around free-market capitalism. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were considered the major propagators of the ideology in the West and brought it to the forefront of political policy in the 1980’s. It accommodates an economic system in which a small select few can accumulate wealth whilst the majority fall short through privatisation, deregulation and austerity. In Britain the Thatcher cabinet passed neoliberal policies after a period of recession in the 70s that eradicated trade unions, left 3 million unemployed and privatised most of Britain’s services under the premise that were was ‘No Alternative’.

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And while the light-side of it is that the hard-working go-getting individual has the ability (to a certain extent) to strive to make a lot of money through the free-market if they wish, most of us don’t have such luck. It has led to a underfunded NHS that could end up being privatised completely and the recent tragedy where 80 people died in the Grenfell Tower due to a lack of fire safety measures through governmental deregulation. Less governmental regulation means can increase in competition between building companies due to a lack of safety that would otherwise have been required.

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The task I gave myself of trying to illustrate such an ideology was challenging. When I initially tried to think of how to visually portray ‘the free-market’ or ‘global capitalism’ – it proved difficult. There is not much more to be inspired by than the standard piggy bank clip art and dollar signs that I felt lended themselves to the concept well. After several discussions with my friends and tutors, I decided to glorify neoliberalism ironically to parallel the way the Soviet art glorified communism. As there is no equivalent to contemporary governmental political art promoting such ideals, I believed using such a style and method could inform people of today that the way society functions is not by chance and is in fact driven ideologically.

Website / social media:
website: www.meganparkillustration.com
instagram: meganparkillustration


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Miss Earth England // Chloe Pearce

Chloe// This project was a commission that I made for Miss Earth England “Charlotte Brooke” I designed and made the costume from scrap.

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The design had to be within a super hero theme for the pageant Miss Earth which has been televised all over the world from the Philippines. The costume was inspired by the Earth which we called White Zephyr with over 5000 individual diamonds hand stuck and over 500 fabric cut flowers.

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Website / social media:
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/RockettCoutureDesigns/?ref=bookmarks
Instagram: @Rockett couture design


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ISSUE 08 Launch

New year, new BUMF // Photos by Kate Wolstenholme

BUMF kicked off 2018 with wine and interesting people in the BUMF Gallery last Friday, launching the new Reality Issue. The event filled up fast, people enjoying the curated reading corner that featured the contents of a couple of team members’ bedrooms.

The theme of Reality diffuses throughout this issue with articles on science fiction, escapism and cultural confusion- all written by talented BUMF writers. Not only this, but as usual the writing is complimented by submissions and editorials submitted by skilled AUB students.

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If you missed the launch, fear not! We will be at Refreshers Fair on Tuesday handing out copies of Issue 08, so come and say hi. Issue 08 will also be available in the Student Union office and around campus, so keep your eyes peeled.

Words by Rachel Chorley, Photographs by Kate Wolstenholme


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Women // Ennun Ana Iurov

Ennun// “Women” is a personal project I ended up doing in a sort of a happy accident.
It started as a dreadful artist block of which I tried to get out of by doodling some sketches of a bunch of ladies. It slowly turned into a really fun and fulfilling series of illustrations depicting all sorts of women, of different sizes, body types, ethnicity, all portrayed in a combination of playful and confident postures. I hoped the resulting series would give a fresh look into what it means o be a woman or to feel feminine and comfortable in one’s own body.

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Website / social media:
tumblr: http://artofennun.tumblr.com/
twitter: https://twitter.com/ennunanaiurov
IG: https://www.instagram.com/ennun/

Email: ennunanaiurov@gmail.com


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Pre Major Project // Megan Tadden

Megan// As an aspiring children’s book illustrator, for my Pre Major Project, I knew that I would, of course, focus on children’s book illustrations. More specifically, however, I wanted to produce an inclusive children’s book.

High quality children’s books, which feature a character with a disability, are disappointingly few and far between. It seems that the vast majority of such children’s books are rife with stereotypes, loaded language, dull storylines and generally only aim to pass on information to able-bodied children. Some examples are even downright insulting. (It is worth noting that ‘Seal Surfer’ by Michael Foreman is a truly excellent example of inclusivity in children’s books, however).

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Furthermore, children’s books which feature a main character with a disability can often be found in the ‘issue book’ section of bookshops, next to subjects like illness and divorce. What message does this sent to both children with disabilities and their able-bodied counterparts?

It is my view that disability in characters should be as unremarkable as a character having red hair. It should certainly not be something that the story should hinge around, or even worse, act as a tool for an able bodied character to better themselves, and learn to be ‘accepting’.

My story follows a little girl called Ida, who has gotten lost in the woods. With her, can be seen Hope, a physical representation of her hope, who gets bigger and bigger, brighter and brighter, as they find their way home, with the help of some forest creatures.

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Ida has a physical disability and uses a walking frame. However, as to what the disability actually is, is left quite open for children to interpret in their own way. I have tried to ensure that no unnecessary attention is drawn to Ida’s disability, and it is not mentioned in the text, nor is it regarded as the ‘problem’ of the story (as so many ‘inclusive’ texts do).

Of course, I understand why many authors and illustrators choose to avoid it; it can be a particularly sensitive subject. However, as Jane Ray aptly put it, “I think part of the problem, is that we are paralysed by the fear of causing offence, of somehow making it worse. But what could possibly be worse for a child than not being included, being ignored, having your very existence denied?”.

However, hopefully with increased exposure, the presence of disability in children’s books will become quite unremarkable.

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Website / social media:
Instagram : megantadden_illustration

Facebook: @megantaddenillustration


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Alice // BUMF Reviews

Our Chief Article Writer, Daisy Leigh-Phippard, visited AUB Performances’ ‘Alice’. Here’s what she had to say…

Photos by Ewa Ferdynus

Opening night always has a gravity to it in the theatre; it’s the first time away from the comforts of asking for a line, or being able to take just a little longer on that one fiddly costume change. It’s when things get real, and that comes with a lot of pressure – and, of course, excitement. So when I went to see AUB’s acting show of Alice by Laura Wade on it’s opening night, I couldn’t help but feel that anticipation both for and with the cast and crew themselves. I needn’t have. They smashed it.

 

The production is a collaboration between the acting and costume courses, and tells the well-loved story with exuberance with some affectionate twists. To be honest, for a lot of the time you’re sitting there smiling, wondering what is happening – which is exactly what you want from a retelling of the story that happily boasts ‘everyone’s mad here’.

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Wade’s adaptation takes a video game perspective of Alice’s strange journey, giving it a modern depth and soul that speaks out to contemporary audiences. It deals with grief and adulthood, as well as the escapism and wonder of the original. Luke Kernaghan’s – the director’s – choice to align the adaptation with the traditional whimsy of the novel in terms of production design and atmosphere pushed that nostalgic and uncomfortable growing-up period that the piece fits so well.

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The two-sidedness of the story wasn’t the only dimensionality the production achieved; the characters themselves have both real-world personas and wonderland counterparts, reminiscent of those in The Wizard of Oz. This gave the cast the opportunity to show off all their abilities in multiple roles – which they definitely took advantage of. Seeing the reasonably small cast fall into multiple performances in different costume was almost seamless, attesting to the skill of all those involved.

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The side characters really shone out, actually. To name specifics would take up the whole article in itself. The production also somehow took it a step further and incorporated music into the show. The ‘Wonderband’ turned up at various points to turn up the comedy a few notches, and take full advantage of their multi-talented cast.

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Alice herself was the ultimate pre-teen; frustrated, full of tantrums, and emotionally confused with good intentions at the centre of her character. I found little pieces of myself from that crossover age in the brilliant performance of a conflicted young adult that doesn’t understand how to deal with growing up (sorry mum). It dealt with the border of childhood and adulthood without being patronising, teaching the audience to ‘go straight to the heart’ of your emotions.

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Credit is also due, of course, to the wonderful costume department whose influence was invaluable for the show. Taking both the old fashions of the novel’s context and its modern retelling into consideration, the team created a wonderful selection that mixed rag tag modern implements and colours just as vibrant as the performances to bring the characters to life. The White Rabbit’s white-leather jacket and bike helmet; the hand-knitted coat of the Hatter; the roses scattered across the Queen of Hearts’ arms; the plastic forks making up the March Hare’s ears. Each was more impressive than the last.

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Alice was a show that took the risk of being exaggerated and comic, while balancing it with explorations of grief and escapism. Each department took pride in their work, and it all paid off. Overall, the show was a touching and enjoyable production capturing the true spirit of the original story – ‘there are things in this world we can’t understand’, but that doesn’t make them any less important.

Words by Daisy Leigh-Phippard, Photographs by Ewa Ferdynus


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Chronic // Beth Grew

Beth// This project is based on my experiences of living with chronic pain. I decided to take back the control that pain has on my life by using humour and bright colours to make light of my situation.
I’ve had chronic pain for three and a half years and I’ve tried various treatments and medications to try and help, without any success. I’ve previously tried to find solace in art that was based on chronic pain but found that art based on this subject was often dark and depressive. I decided that I wanted to create a narrative based on chronic pain that was different and didn’t strongly or obviously convey the themes of sadness or hopelessness.

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I have come to accept living with my own pain, possibly for the rest of my life, and decided that if I am living with it 24/7 then I am going to own it and make fun of it with humour.

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I’ve used absurdism and surrealism because I didn’t want the themes of the story to be clear to the viewer, as I wanted them to interpret what they believed it to be about. The narrative itself can be cut, edited and changed into different orders, allowing the story to be relatable to different scenarios and themes depending on the viewer and their interpretations.
The full narrative has been made into an a5 printed zine, and I have also produced a limited edition risograph zine of a shortened version of the story.

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I pushed myself to create the narrative entirely digitally and out of shapes to give it a rounded, cartoonist style which helps support the humorous themes. The characters I created for the project resemble humans without them being too realistic, and I used bright and bold colours to give it a sense of fun to contrast with the dark undertones of the project.
I never intended for the project to be solely and clearly about chronic pain as I find it difficult to discuss or explain it to others. Creating art that touches upon my experiences has been almost therapeutic for me, and I’m only now realising that its okay to talk about and own as it’s a part of me.
If others can view my work and find connections to their own lives then that is a bonus, as up until creating this project, I hadn’t found any art that related to my experiences.

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My chronic pain has been a long journey and I know that it is still an ongoing issue for myself and many others living with it, so I intend to continue exploring and shedding light on these themes throughout my work.

Website / social media:
https://www.instagram.com/bethgrewillustration/

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What Would Alice Do? // Bumf Reviews

Our Subject Scout, Sarah Gomes Munro, visited AUB Performances’ ‘What Would Alice Do?’, a dance performance. Here’s what she had to say…

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What indeed would Alice do?

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

What would anyone do when faced with a choice?

It is a cliché but actions speak louder than words and that is exactly what the 2nd year of the BA (Hons) Dance crew showed us during their performance. In a deconstruction of Alice from Wonderland we got to see not only that she contains multitudes (every dancer on the floor was Alice) but every decision she made carved a bit more out of her and defined her character a little bit more.

We meet Alice as a perfectly well behaved young girl who knows the rules and follows them, then she starts to experiment with them, then she’s off being an entirely new person and before she knows it she’s been sucked into Wonderland by her own curiosity. Wonderland is both strange, beautiful and scary. Faced with her own reflections she must once again decide whether or not she has made the right choice in going down there. The dances range from a light-hearted tea party to a terrifying chess game, but one thing is constant throughout: Alice discovers who she is with every twist of her body.

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From a technical viewpoint the performance was also a delight. The Alice costumes were unusual with hidden bright colours and the few props on stage were oversized which further emphasised Alice’s youth. The 10 weeks of rehearsal and creation paid off wonderfully and it was great to find out that the show was choreographed not only by the course leader but the students themselves. In fact, the lighting was also designed by some of the dancers as well as there being a costume and make up team backstage ready to keep the show running smoothly. Student involvement in performances elevate them as they become that much more personal.

As the viewer you get given a silent narrative that you piece together as you go along, the more you watch the more you recognise that Alice is just a girl who was born different and cannot hide it. The whole show is modern, not only due the contemporary style but also the message being passed for it concludes with Alice defying the rules, changing the routine everyone expects her to perform by embracing her truer inner voices and coming together as a whole. All thirteen Alices standing still in unison and looking up at what Life is going to bring is a powerful image that burns right into your head as the lights dim.

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Jane Short Film // Lily Marks

THE END OF A LONG SILENCE. FEMALE CREATIVES SPEAK OUT AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIES 

Lily// Recently, a close friend of mine was sexually abused by a taxi driver after being driven home from a night out. She feared that by exposing this driver, her employers may deem her as someone who attracts antisocial behaviour, putting her job in danger. Due to these pressures, she has not reported the crime. Now, she is haunted by fact that he is still driving around London looking for the next vulnerable girl. This made me really angry. How on earth do we live in a world where women don’t feel safe enough to call out abuse? How can we let a man like this continue to drive a taxi? This sparked the beginning of my investigation into just how many sexual predators get away with their crime. The most upsetting thing I found – two out of three sexual assault crimes go unreported. This seems to boil down to one simple reason: for decades, women have been silenced. They have been silenced by the threat of losing their job, losing their status or in some cases, even losing their home and family. But this silence has lasted long enough.

FINALLY VOICES ARE HEARD

After The New York Times published an article detailing allegations against Film Producer Harvey Weinstein, it only took 5 days for thirteen more sexual abuse allegations (three decades worth) from world famous actresses to come forward. Days later, Ellen Page called out directors who have been inappropriate with her, including X-men Director Brett Ratner. Following this, over 20 more allegations against a wide range of wealthy, powerful men in the industry. The bravery of these female role models resulted in a campaign encouraging women from all walks of life who have experienced any form of abuse be it inappropriate touching to rape itself, to stand in solitude with each other by posting the hashtag ‘#metoo’. The shocking amount of women who posted #metoo, opened up new channels of conversations worldwide, changing public thinking and encouraged men to stand with women in open and honest discussions about the issue.

Examining today’s culture, we can see the biggest influences on the choices of young women is undoubtedly the commercial world: film, fashion, media and the female role models within it. If this is the case, then it is the duty of film, fashion and media makers to take a stand with these women, in the hope that more creatives will use their power to encourage calling out sexual abuse with no excuses. As a female filmmaker, I felt it is my duty to join the conversation. I also wanted to amplify the voices of the most marginalized women, who may not have the access to the privilege of mental healthcare, and because of this are still suffering or have been lost to substance abuse due to the trauma of sexual harassment. So I began writing.

MAKING A FEMINIST THRILLER

Very often, in situations where a man is sexually abusive, it is not just one woman who is affected, particularly with these ‘big name professionals’. This is why it’s important for me to show how the strength of one woman can prevent the abuse of so many others. For the past few months I’ve been writing a short feminist thriller called ‘Jane’. The film follows Jane, a wife of a high fashion photographer, as she catches him sexually abusing an underage Cuban model. Jane decides to escape her current life with the young model and together they find a way to expose her husband. The women in this film are represented as not only the victim but also the hero, reflecting on what I see happen everyday, women supporting other women, because when it comes down to it, it is the women in my life who have been my saviours.

The backdrop of the film is set in the high fashion world of Paris during the 1970’s, a time when exposing a sexual predator was almost unheard of. I want to shed light on how long this has been an issue, whilst using the 1970’s misogynistic industry to portray how impossible it can feel to speak out about these situations, when a call from a boss or producer can throw your career in the bin. Through the journey of our two women, we will delve deep into the psychological impact abuse has on its victim and of those who trusted the abuser. I will be using the allegations against high fashion photographer turned sexual abuser, Terry Richardson, as influence in crafting a story as horrifically powerful as knowing the real truth of the industry.

Above all, I hope that exposing the gruesome truth of the industry will encourage the men and women that run these industries to ensure they are employing people who are safe to work with. If the world’s largest industries cannot set an example of a safe working environment, then how do we expect the small company’s everyday women are working for to implicate any kind of prevention against abuse for their workers.

SUPPORT JANE TODAY

My crew is build up of my wonderfully talented friends who care just as deeply about this issue as I do. We want our film to influence as many people as possible. To do this we need the funding to create a piece powerful enough to make a difference. We currently have a crowdfunding campaign going with a goal of reaching £6000 by the 15th December. Any donation towards our production would mean a great deal to us and every penny we make will be used ethically and resourcefully. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/jane

ABOUT AUTHOR

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Lily Marks is a filmmaker from South London. She is currently in her final year at the Bournemouth Film School and has spent her past years working as a dancer, actress and film director.


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Book Jacket Covers // Rachel Sawyer

Rachel// My project responds to the ‘Sector 5’ brief of ‘Book Jacket covers’ from the 2nd year IOT (Interpretaton of Text) unit.
Choosing Daphne du Maurier from a set list of authors, I have created a series of 5 book jacket covers that celebrate the 80th anniversary of Penguin Books. Targeted specifically towards an American audience, these covers aim to breathe life back into the otherwise old and uninspiring paperback designs that typically appear on du Maurier’s novels.

The process of creating these covers first began with primary research; reading the novels. After noting inspiring quotes or moments within the stories, I went about thumb-nailing initial ideas. After several rounds of roughs, I selected the strongest designs and sketched final detailed roughs which I would later use to digitally render.

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Up until a year ago, my work comprised of mixture of traditional dry and wet mediums, however, I later transitioned onto Photoshop and finally onto Procreate- a drawing app I primarily use to create final artworks.
Upon completing the five finished artworks, I arranged them into InDesign, experimented with fonts and their placement, and finally mocked them up on book templates using Photoshop.

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Within my practice I naturally gravitate towards objects and still lives. The way in which we would approach and view an object before us is completely changed the moment we translate the physical item onto paper through a drawing or painting. The fact that the most mundane of items such as a spoon can be made into a piece of artwork worthy of your attention and contemplation is fascinating to me, and so it is only natural for me to use objects as a focal point within my cover designs.
Another beautiful quality of objects is the symbolic meaning behind them and how the viewer must interpret them. Take my cover of Rebecca for example; I have used an old gun which has connotations of a specific time period, fighting and murder/death, which I have combined with a coiled snake which has connotations of deceit, betrayal and feminine temptation. With these elements a viewer is able to decipher the genre and themes without having the narrative led out before them in a overtly literal and uninspiring way.

Website / social media:

@r.sawyer.illustration