Artist Gwen van den Eijnde of France creates these sculptural costumes for his performances as bizarre fantasy characters.
Created using a range of materials including paper, wooden piano keys, plastic bags and toothpicks, the Baroque-inspired pieces feature pleated ruffs and dramatic headpieces.
Here's some more information from van den Eijnde:
By means of sculptural costumes that I create piece after piece, I turn into fantasy beings during performances. The human body is the central point of my stylistic research. I am fascinated by the multiple ways that the natural silhouette of the body can be accentuated, exaggerated and distorted with clothes and accessories.
My costumes are constructed during a long process, organised in different stages: At first they are shaped with a “toile”, a prototype of the costume made out of cotton, pleated paper and cardboard.
I try to transform the body into a kind of sculpture, by composing with different volumes. The “toiles” are photographed, and then rectified and improved during several fittings sessions.
The photographs document the creative process and show the different stages of modelling the costume’s silhouette. The prototypes are then dismantled, since they will be used as patterns for the realisation of the definitive models.
The costumes are constructed in order to immediately create a strong visual effect. They are beautifully made with a special concern for colour and detail.
I improvise with a variety of materials: vintage fabrics, paper cut-outs, wooden piano keys, Christmas garlands, toothpicks, table sets, plastic bags… these are assembled by means of different techniques.
By using simple materials with a maximum of inventivity, I try to create sumptuous garments. The costumes then serve as mediums to incarnate and perform a gallery of imaginary characters. Artificial beings, androgynous creatures, that evoke a dreamlike world where the border between the human realm and the supernatural is blurred.
Combining stylistic elements from Mannerism and Baroque with contemporary and organic elements, I also play with court and ecclesiastical costume elements, along with masculine and feminine forms.
My characters are brought to life during performance pieces, where the main focus is the representation of the moment when imagination is “embodied”, and when the material world accesses the fantasy world.
I like to invite other artists from different disciplines on the setting of my performance pieces; for example, I have been collaborating with the past few years with the sound designer Jae-Ho Youn. The hypnotic effect of his music perfectly suits to the atmosphere I aim to convey during the performances. Moreover, I often work with a dancer/choreographer in order to develop the posture and the movements of the beings that I incarnate.
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