TASK 1 – Major project proposal


Out of Mind – project proposal initial idea

click for word document – Final Major Project Proposal


For my final major project, I want to explore surrealism photography. I want to try and create photography pieces and a short fashion film portraying the subconscious mind. I want this work to come across quite ambiguous using symbolism within my work to represent certain elements, similar to surrealist artist Salvador Dali. By analysing the subconscious I want to research in to the way the mind takes in different information and stores memories. I want to explore if and how you can reach your subconscious and the impact it has in everyday life. My first research step in this will be exploring the theories by Freud looking at psychoanalysis, dream interpretation etc. Freud was the stepping stone into surrealism. Himself with other psychologists influenced the surrealist world in regards to the way they created art and literature. Artist that are renowned for their surrealist work included Man Ray and Salvador Dali whose thought and work processes I would like to explore. It’s said by Bretton who expressed a great enthusiasm for signs and representation that to create surrealist work via photography you have to create a piece of work that represents or symbolises something. Surrealist artists are deeply interested, like Freud, in interpreting dreams as a channel for unspoken feelings and desires, this is something I want to recreate.


Looking into the book ‘The interpretation of dreams’ by Freud, S. and Robertson, R. (1999) I found some initial starting points in dream symbolism for example boxes represent the fear of something being hidden from you or keeping a secret from others; Teeth can be a sign of worrying about appearance. Hair is a representation of looking to fix some personal relationships or to embrace one’s sexuality. By including ambiguous prompts and accessories within my shoot it aids my concept.


An artist that I find particular interesting is Tim Walkers fashion photography. His work is very fantasy based, in his Alice and wonderland work and Babes in the wood (see fig 1.) the surreal overtones are vast. His images can portray and create memories, that show a fairy tale world associating with Irving Penn’s observation that ‘Fashion photography is about selling dreams and not clothes’ (Penn, I, 2014). Surrealism is all around in Walkers work and he will be a big inspiration to me in this project. His use of life sized dolls, coloured animals and floating dinner party scenes are extravagant and something I wish to create myself. He creates visual puns and creates a distorted reality which is similar to the surrealism by Rene Magritte.


What I find interesting about surrealism is the idea to reveal a story within photographs that allows the audience to feel an emotion and can create their own story or experience a view in to another’s ideas and dreams. As I mentioned I would like to create a series of photographs but also create a short fashion film.


Surrealisms connection with the subconscious mind has vastly influenced to creative world, through fine art and literature to photography and fashion designers. In order to create a Fashion film, I started to explore short fashion films.

Anna Radchenko is a photographer and visual artist that I found when researching Fashion surrealism films. Her film ‘Nice Lies’ allows you to discover a surreal Landscape, with set designs of cotton cloud installations, She used extensive set design and post production skills which is something I will want to do. This video shows an artistic visions of fashion from a young generation. Showing the originality of a creative mind. (Fig. 2) shows some photographs of hers that I find interesting from an article in Trend Land. There are elements that I want to create within my work to emphasise to idea of surrealism, showing the weird and unusual. They include, Extensive clothing (Which I could look at collaborating with Fashion design/atelier students) makeup, prop and set design.


Nick Knight is another huge influence to creating surrealist films. His film ‘The Elegant Universe’ and ‘There’s something about Mary’ amongst others show extravagant designs and out of the ordinary imagery. His collaboration with Katrantzou in ‘There’s something about Mary’ showcasing her collection. The prints and design of her work can be subtle yet surrealist which is made apparent in this video. Included is 3D animations. What I like is the weirdness and confusing vibe from his videos that make them mesmerizing and hard to look away. The colours used and designs of patterns aid this (See in Fig 3.).


Surrealism has been hugely influencing the fashion world since its break through. Surreal Chic at Valentino’s 2010 catwalk, had projected surreal film montages on to the backdrop of the catwalk. Alexander McQueen has dressed women n feathers, shells and butterflies. His 1997 show ‘La Poupee’ was directly dedicated to photographer Hans Bellmer. McQueen explored notions of manipulations of the body on his runway, shown in his accessorising his model with a cage like contraption (See fig. 4).


I would like to film agency models in the studio as well as on location. I will need to look into interesting environments to film in that will aid to the unusual. As mentioned using over the top clothing designs and makeup. Things that you could only imagine in your dreams. Showing the incorporation and influence from psychological theorists on the subconscious mind into the world of art, photography and fashion and how this can relate to everyday life and events.


Mood board of Images:

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