Easy to dismiss the world of fashion as a trivia plaything of the rich and famous , a image the industry itself does little to discourage, but it is by far the most important form of creative expression today, It cannot be overstated that no other art form comes even close to fashion design in its ability to engage with its audience. This is art that covers the blank canvas that is you, art to change or define , art that is so intimate and sensuous you wear next to your skin. Art that projects and protects the inner you, that says you belong but you are different. But the art of fashion is also a fickle mistress, a ever changing entity in a constant state of betrayal to its faithful followers, a drug habit that needs constant feeding ,it is classless and yet elite, it has no respect for status, even the rich, famous and the powerful worship at the feet of the gods of fashion.
Fashion is a art but its also the largest industry on the planet, the statistic up until 2010 state the textile industry, clothing, footwear, textile and luxury items reached a staggering 2,560 trillion US dollars. British fashion alone contributes almost £21 billion to the UK economy and is by far the largest industry in the country directly employing 816,000 people or 2.8% of the UK workforce. indirectly this estimate goes up to £40 billion when other factors like tourism are taken into account. London fashion week alone generates £20 million a year for London and another £100 million in advance orders.
So who would undertake the task of defining the trinity of Women Power and Fashion in one exhibition and not end up with a display looking like a department store before opening time.
You take a world renewed architect Zaha Hadid and choose a venue who’s very existence is based on good design and you have the perfect ingredients in which to showcase the inter-relationship between 26 successful women and their interaction with power fashion A fine balance between sexuality and emancipation that at times has come into conflict with feminist issues. 150 years of female fashion laid bare under stark operating theatre fluorescent lighting, the displays backed with mirrors for a 3D effect and plain white walls takes the viewer on a journey of one hundred and fifty years past the milestones of the suffragettes Margraret Thatcher’s to Vivienne Westwood.
This exhibition sets out to define how women have used fashion to enhance their success in a male dominated world and how in a way fashion has also dominated them, but the exhibition is enhanced with enough information and photographs to give a truly educational and entertaining experience.
Exhibition dates 29th October 2014 till 26th April 2015
Ticket price £12.40 adult £9.30 student £6.20 child
open daily 10.00 to 17.45 last admission 17.15
28 Shad Thames
London SE1 2YD
Words David Coomber
I spend a great deal of my time around art,artists and art dealers, so I get a well rounded view of what’s hot and what’s not in London. I tend to listen out for names that are repeatedly popping up in conversation.one such name that seems to be trending at the moment is Syvia Batycka. Now I remember meeting her at a art fair in Chelsea at the beginning of summer when I was not only impressed with her work but also with the large audience that was viewing it. I remembered when I photographed her at the time the stubborn determination and sincerity in her manner, so six months down the line I go to meet her at her London studio.
Sylvia Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself
SB “I was born in Krakow but I am now based in London. I work across a wide range of media with a focus on painting and drawing, developing what to me is a personal journey of development of expression and applying both traditional and innovative techniques: exploring transition from representational forms into abstract one”. “The themes of my work evolve around female identity, sexuality and the urban environment
“you have had a good selling year around the art fairs but can you tell us what else has been going on in your life”
” Yes I am please with selling to private collectors including Lambeth Council and it was nice to be shortlisted for the British Women Artist award. I also won first prize in the Brix Art 2010 which seemed to kick start my career, this year I have been busy with the Urban Art London exhibition and the Portico Gallery London artist group exhibition and to finish a wonderful year two of my works have been shortlisted in the EWAAC competition UK meets Japan venture”.
“So what are you working on now”
SB ” The two projects I’m working on at the moment Twisted Nude series are carbon and graphite drawings on semi-translucent paper. These are sensual works intended as a tribute to the female form influenced by Egon, Schiele and Lautrec. The other series I DONT LIVE HERE ANY MORE is based on the theme of departure, reflecting and attempting to capture fading memories”.
I leave Sylvia with the feeling that in 2015 the London art scene will be seeing a lot more of her work.
words and pictures David Coomber