Sunday, March 04, 2012
Vintage is really fashionable; everybody does it. I find myself looking to earlier times for inspiration for Myrtle and Rose, things that are gentle, feminine, flattering, flowing. I'm still not convinced by the vogue for using vintage imagery in art, though. It has become ubiquitous, a whole Somerset Studio type style, using rubber stamps and copyright free imagery. It started, I think, at least in part, because people were worried about copyright issues, and felt it was much better to take images from the past, that were out of copyright, rather than risk being pursued for breach of copyright from living artists. It's a pity, I think, that people use this type of image instead of being inspired by their own work. I think it shows a vast lack of confidence in our own abilities.
I guess I'm musing about this because I'm doing something I said I never would (yes, again...); using vintage inspirations. But they are exactly that. I'm not copying vintage clothes or hats or bags, just looking back at a gentler, less complicated time and making work that is mine, but with a different feel to it. Not sure if I'm making any sense, here, but I dare say that's not unusual. I'm happy to use vintage fabrics when I can find them; they dye better than contemporary fabrics, and are often of better quality. In addition, they have a feeling of story behind them. Interesting to repurpose them, to give them the amount of usage they were made for, albeit in a different way to what was originally intended.
If I ever work out what my relationship to/with vintage is, I'll let you know. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear what you think about this phenomenon... will it run and run? I chatted to one of the stall holders, a woman around my own age (most of the stall holders were in their twenties, interestingly enough, which perhaps explains why so much of what was on offer did not seem to be vintage at all...). She said that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find vintage clothing and jewellery, and it is becoming increasingly expensive, because it has become so fashionable. But, she said, it won't go on for ever. When it stops, prices will drop and things will flood back onto the market. I'm tempted to think that it is one fashion that won't go away; the market for nostalgia is unlimited. What do you think?