South Essex College is primarily an FE college offering provision across a wide range of subjects and courses.
Media and creative arts are directed under the faculty of media and creative arts. The student that has been nominated for the school prize competition is a second year A level Fine Art student ( Michaela Bannon) the piece submitted is a work in progress for their current unit 3 contextual studies project. The theme for this project is â€˜Transienceâ€™.
The student has written a contextual blurb about her work as follows:
Within modern western society, the importance of religion has begun to steadily decline with the consumer culture society has adopted seeming to be one of the causes. Where as in the past many were happy to live minimalistic lives with the promise of a happy afterlife, todayâ€™s society instead wants instant gratification and a life with luxuries which are obtained through consumerism. Within my piece I explore the decline of religion and its replacement with consumerism but particularly fashion. The piece is of a stained glass window style and features not only images of the staple consumer fashion item of the lipstick but also the image of Kate Moss, due to her position in the fashion industry, as the Virgin Mary, an instantly recognisable religious figure in order to do so. As a feminist, the piece mainly deals with the effects that the elevated status of fashion has on Western Women with the image of Kate Moss and the Virgin Mary presenting the change from importance of a woman being pure and God fearing to being fashion conscious and beautiful. The main media within the piece is that of magazine cut outs that have been collaged together which were used due to their link with the fashion industry and as a way of commenting on commodity fetishism. Although the magazines are worthless, their aestheticism within the piece makes them seem of a higher value linking to commodity fetishism whereby the products/fashion we buy have no real worth but because of their beauty we see them as being important in our day to day lives. Handmade stencils were created for the outlines of the images and the text used. The images are in the style of Banksy as I felt that his use of stencils in public places to infiltrate public areas where art isnâ€™t normally seen linked well to the infiltration of fashion, e.g. the magazines, into the position once held by religion in society, e.g. the stained glass window imagery/style of the overall piece. With regards to the text, whilst â€˜Blessed Kate Mossâ€™ is purely a mixture of the two figureâ€™s names, â€˜Ego spondeo vos nusquam tamen superficial populousâ€™ meaning â€˜I promise you nothing but superficial popularityâ€™ is written in Latin to relate to religion in Englandâ€™s past, such as Catholic Mass being given in Latin, and also presents my view that fashion is an instant form of transient gratification that has now replaced the need for spirituality or following religious doctrine in order to ensure a happy afterlife.