Monday, 1 September 2014

"WANTED" in FEAR

The Lavender Hinge is "WANTED" in The Laboratory Arts Collective magazine FEAR.




Wanted by The Lavender Hinge

Also featured in FEAR are Alfred Starr Hamilton, Anna Laurent, Diederick Van Eck, Elizabeth Delgadillo-Merfeld, Gavin Bowden, Gisele A. Lubsen, Jack Rutberg, James Minchin III, Jemma Jaques, Jim Burklo, Jerome Witkin, Joel-Peter Witkin, John Alan Simon, John Lee Bird, Ken Merfeld, Kristin Ellingson, The Lavender Hinge, Kara Walker, Oliver Frost, Marilyn Minter, Martin Scott Powell, Maud Larsson, Miriam Dehne, Pia Dehne, Rachel Howard, RA Friedman, Renee Hlozek, Satoshi Komatsubara, Steven Poster, Susan L. Williams, T.V.M.R. and Tziporah Salamon.


Saturday, 16 August 2014

Red Camellia

A new piece continuing the exploration of the buttonhole is now complete. This version was sewn into a trucking blanket although the beautiful shell pink seems more reminiscent of a 1940's eiderdown than a blanket created for packing.

Red Camellia (Bound Red Slit on Shell Pink), 2014

Friday, 1 August 2014

Style and Talent - an interview

Another nice interview although this time with Style & Talent.



The Erotic Art of Designer Lisa Z Morgan



strumpetandpink
Introducing Lisa Z Morgan, artist, author and master of luxuriously provocative knickers. As one half of Strumpet and Pink, Morgan has been inspired by her exploration into desire and uses the seductive intricacies of womens’ underwear to express her thoughts on femininity and sensuality. The product – a series of astonishingly beautiful couture panties, blurring the line between fashion and art with their delicate hand knitted structures and elaborate silk silhouettes.
Strumpet and Pink’s whimsical vision of couture underwear romanced us all at Style and Talent, so we leapt at the opportunity to ask Lisa a few questions about her work.
Your work is both art and fashion. When you design your knickers, which comes first, or is your approach a combination of both?
My work has always straddled art and fashion or fashion and art in some shape or form. Even before STRUMPET & PINK I was exploring this crossover and have always been fascinated by the body and how it connects and relates to the work. So to my mind there is not a difference in the way that I approach my work, the concept or idea. It comes from the same place. The difference, I suppose, is how the works are ultimately experienced because you have to build the body into the final vision. Art tends to be viewed at an objective distance and we are generally denied the tactile consummation. Fashion on the other hand is all about touch and the body becomes integral in bringing the idea to life.
Many of the names of your knickers are reminiscent of fairytales and whimsical characters, is this where you find the inspiration for your pieces?
For a time it certainly was. When Melanie Probert and I began working together (she left the business in 2011), it was the irreverent play around the ideas that we enjoyed the most and there were particular affinities and sensibilities that we shared together during our formative years. Even though we didn’t know each other as girls there were parallel experiences taking place. We were both enthralled by wild flowers, and certain fairy tales and characters. We read The Brothers Grimm and those by Hans Christian Andersen, which explored dark-ness and other-ness. Fairy stories in their original form can be very frightening, challenging and often there is a tenuous struggle between the dark and the light and all woven into an immersive narrative. This is what inspired us and many of our pieces were filled with an equal contradiction i.e. the pieces often ‘appeared’ to be very delicate and beautiful, but on closer investigation/exploration an undercurrent of a different nature was revealed.
How important is the use of fabrics, textures, tailoring in conveying your artistic message?
Lisa Z MorganThey are the foundation and touchstone. Textures and fabrics are what we connect with on a sensuous level. I believe that whenever or wherever the body is concerned there needs to be a respect for how we treat it; how we touch it and how we engage with it. A fabric that is made of wonderful materials and fibers has a life to it. It breathes and moves and shifts in response to the body’s temperature. Cut is also invaluable because if a garment is cut well you can feel amazing. A good cut flatters and forms the body and in return the body responds to this by feeling wonderful, which does affect us psychologically. It becomes a reciprocal exchange.
In the work that we are creating within The Lavender Hinge we are exploring ‘cut’ and fabric as the main concept behind the work. The intricacies in tailoring are amplified and exaggerated and yet the finished work is displayed/articulated, in the two-dimensional.
Your pieces are very powerful and visually stimulating, what are the specific emotions you want to evoke in people, whether wearing them or looking at them?
Definitely a sense of beauty and wonder but the looking makes you long for something more. I liken it to wanting others to see or feel what I am thrilled by when I look into a flower. On the surface you can be blown away by the beauty, the colour or the form, but in taking the time to explore the flower more closely you find and discover something else entirely. Flowers are supremely wonderful because they completely disarm. On the outside they can ‘appear’ to be pretty, sweet or beautiful but on closer inspection they become outrageous, grotesque, brazen and bold. They exude sexuality and with every part of them being ‘designed’ for a very specific purpose. The knickers, I believe have something of these qualities. Their beauty is one thing and their story reveals something more but it is the hidden details that take you on an entirely different journey. Some people will find the ideas bizarre and odd while others will find them utterly exquisite. I think specific pieces tap into very particular sensibilities. But what I would always wish to evoke or invoke is a story for the wearer.
You authored a book entitled, ‘Design Behind Desire’. What was the idea behind it and how did you realise that idea?
My work is concerned with emotional and sensuous perception and how we might access, explore and embody these emotional dynamics. Over time, these findings and explorations developed quite naturally into a personal Philosophy of the Sensuous and which, by default, spilled over into desire. Desire has thus become the palpable constant within my work both as a concept and motivational force.
It was through a presentation about such findings, made manifest as a perfume ‘Pink-ness No.6’, at Kiki de Montparnasse in New York in 2009 that I met Patrice Farameh. She was already aware of my work through STRUMPET & PINK but was taken with the sensuous discourse that I was engaged with and it was from here, and over a period of discussions, that she commissioned me to author and curate a book about desire. Design Behind Desire was the concept I developed.
I believe that desire is a fundamental part of life. It is the drive or motivation, which propels us towards our goals/dreams/ideals and ideas. Desire draws us to that ‘something’ beyond ourselves but there are also the small-scale desires, which are crucial to our tacit daily experience. To taste, to touch to smell, to listen, to speak, to engage with something which resonates with us. But we can certainly cultivate our desires, by tickling and tending to them. You can have an internal desire but generally we require a catalyst to ignite the spark whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual.
Design Behind Desire has the erotic and sexual facets of desire as the focus and explores the interplay between this energy and the value of the imagination as a potent fuel. Realizing the idea was pretty seamless as the subject of desire connected so directly to all the preoccupations within my work and research. My aim was then to create a book whereby the imagery and ideas set ones own personal narratives in motion. I did not want to create a book about desire, which was simply a fait accompli. I wanted the reader/viewer of the book to be enticed into an immersive experience with their own mind imagery.
Do you intend to explore other creative avenues in your career?
Lisa Z Morgan3I have and I do, such is the attribute of having age on my side. In 2011, I Co-Founded The Lavender Hinge with artist Eric Magnuson. We create works, which straddle fashion and art as well as the erotic and cerebral, and therefore life and fiction. Although these works are not generally wearable, (having said that we are currently creating some beautifully tailored sandwich boards and assisted garments) the concepts and ideas that we are exploring use traditional tailoring techniques or are inspired by traditional quilt making techniques but the final works take the form of a painting or are made through “the lens of the History of painting”. To us they are sewn paintings and sartorial gestures.
I also have the pleasure of creating a written or visual piece for the Laboratory Arts Collective’s Biannual. Desire is the theme of the next edition and currently I am still ruminating about the form my contribution will take.
I think I would certainly like to do more with the written word.
What kind of woman do you envisage in your work?
A woman who has a unique sense of self and embraces all that she is.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

LOVE Magazine Interview 6:49am 23 July 2014

A nice interview by Jack Sunnocks for LOVE Magazine around the subject of knickers and desire and how it has been a preoccupation in my work for many years.


Lisa Z. Morgan is the artist behind Strumpet & Pink, a collaboration with Melanie Probert to make the most fabulous pair of knickers. What this means are extravantly ruffled, knitted and laced numbers which whilst not ideal for everday wear (obviously), would be ideal for an elaborate seduction in a Fellini film. We got Lisa to talk about her obsession with desire, the best songs about it and what makes the perfect pair of pants.

Your work is quite multi faceted to say the least – if you had to describe yourself in one phrase, what would it be?

An artist.

Why is desire such a preoccupation for you? When did that start? What was the journey to where you are now?

I believe that desire is a powerful and fundamental force, which propels us in a myriad of ways. It pushes us to move forward, to search, reach, develop and grow. If we fall down we must have the desire to get up again, to strive for a goal, explore a concept or fulfil a dream. It is our hearts desire and also, naturally, the foundation of our sexual selves. Desire in so many ways is the defining energy, which drives us as sentient beings.
In terms of a journey, I have always been drawn to and driven by desire. I have been filled with all sorts of desires and these desires appear to have grown incrementally as I have developed both as a woman and a Mother. But the beauty of this ripening is that it has grown in tandem with my work. However, there have always been key moments, people, conversations, books and experiences, which have awakened something other inside.
From being small I was obsessed by flowers, collecting them, pressing them, making posies however, the strongest desire was to immerse myself into the flower, take in the colours and then take in the scent. At 16 I remember reading Joe Orton’s Prick Up Your Ears and my imagination was ignited at the thought of Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell carrying out such irreverent and subversive creative acts with library books.
Another defining moment was when I first saw Meret Oppenheim’s Luncheon in Fur and then the discovery of Victorian bloomers. Laughter is also highly desirable and then there is also my Love. So in terms of a journey my preoccupation with desire or rather articulating desire and the internal impulses of the feeling of ‘feeling’ has been innately connected to and with my life.

How did the idea for Design Behind Desire come around? Where did you seek out your content?

In 2009 I was giving a Salon at Kiki de Montpanasse in NYC and was speaking about ‘Pink-ness No.6’, which was a perfume I created as an art piece in an attempt to explore the colour as an internal sensation. Patrice Farameh was in the process of researching a book about the world’s most inspired lingerie designers and she wished to speak to me about an interview for the book. After my talk Patrice was supposedly taken by my ‘intellectual approach with a wink of an eye.’ A series of conversations developed from our meeting and she invited me to curate and author a book about desire. Design Behind Desire was the concept I developed.
The moment that desire was handed to me as a subject it was surprising how seamless it was to develop the book. All of the ideas and thoughts had already been brewing inside for a very long time and they all revolved around desire inhabiting the imagination combined with an acute connection to materiality. I knew immediately who I wanted to interview, people with a very particular approach toward desire and/or who were motivated by desire, such as Sam Roddick, Betony Vernon, Fleet Ilya, Mark Brazier-Jones. I was also inspired by The Cabinet of Love, an 18th Century book of sex poems which was a book hidden inside a book of everyday verse.
Friends of mine were creating remarkable works connected to eros and I explored fashion, design and art bloggs along with magazines and the books on my shelves. I also have friends with varied and specific fascinations so many suggestions and leads developed very fluidly through conversations. Quite simply, Design Behind Desire flourished in every direction and began to develop a momentum of its own.



Alessandra Ambrosio wearing Strumpet & Pink's 'Willow' design in LOVE 11, photographer David Armstrong, fashion editor Panos Yiapanis. 

Can you explain the book’s chapters Generating, Contemplating and Fulfilling – sounds a bit like an orgasm.

There was certainly an element of play involved in the division of the book into these three distinct stages/phases. Predominantly because I believe that the journey to the orgasm is one of the most glorious and desirable experiences. You are absolutely in the moment, fully present and yet entirely lost, open and surrendered. You journey to a place, full and complete, and within that moment there is utter abandon combined with a still-ness. To my mind that seemed to be the moment one would wish to reach when desires are fulfilled. But on the way to this ‘destination’ there are ebbs and flows, variations and undulations and differences in heat. I wanted the book to have a visual tempo, which embodied these fluctuations and grew incrementally as one travelled through the ideas and images. My hope was that this would encourage people to slow down and savour the book page by page. In other words to…. take…. time…. i.e if you flick through the book you really miss the essence of it and like the orgasm the rewards are so very much more when you slow down and explore with purpose.

Knickers! What sort of knickers do you wear? Or would you classify them more as pants.

They are definitely knickers, as I would define knickers. But that is all that you need to know.

Tell me about what your design mission is at Strumpet & Pink.

Strumpet & Pink now exists as a living and breathing art piece i.e only the bespoke or special commission pieces are now being made. However, the pieces continue to be exhibited and photographed and so even though many of the designs are no longer being made, they are still ‘alive’.
At the height of ‘production’ Strumpet & Pink was rarely, if ever, approached as a design mission. It was more of an emotional mission fuelled by stories and feeling. The motivation being the exploration of the contradictions and complexities that one can have, as a woman, with regard to one’s body and sensibility; laughter and eroticism, innocence and seduction, the hidden and the overt. There was always an inter-play between different emotional experiences. The question that we always asked ourselves, as an idea developed, would always begin with ‘how does/would it feel if…….?’ For example ‘How would it feel if your lover wanted to bite your cheeks but you wished to remain covered? How would it feel to be entirely buttoned up and held by hundreds of silk peony petals, and then for the petals to spill out as you are unbuttoned?’ How would it feel to wear warm knickers that are fashioned as an eiderdown and yet would be as charged as the most barely there slip?’ The pieces were sexual in a slow burning way i.e the closer one becomes the more one will discover. The designs were never just a visual exercise. There was always purpose behind the aesthetics.

What components make up a really fabulous pair of pants?

Emotion, narrative, materiality and cut.

Who are your lingerie heroines?

I think my lingerie or rather undergarment heroines are those whose minds I would like to inhabit, Anaïs Nin, Annie Oakley, Marguerite Gautier from Camille and Vivienne Westwood. And if I am allowed a hero/ines it would have to be Mr Pearl and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Is there someone, either real or fictional that you’d love to see in your creations?

This can probably be answered in the previous question although I would like to add PJ Harvey and Queen Elizabeth I.

What are your three favourite songs about desire?

Love to Love You by Donna Summer, The Ship Song by Nick Cave, Superstar by Sonic Youth.

Thanks Lisa! 

Words Jack Sunnucks


Thursday, 5 June 2014

BT&C Gallery, Buffalo, NY


The Lavender Hinge's Doubting Thomas (AKA Golden Caravaggio) and Eleven (Buttoned Painting) are now residing at the BT&C Gallery in Buffalo, NY.


Doubting Thomas (AKA Golden Caravaggio) by The Lavender Hinge, 2012. Wool, Silk, cotton, 30 x 42 inches


Eleven (Buttoned Painting) by The Lavender Hinge, 2012. Linen, covered buttons and cotton, 36 x 42 inches


About Me

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Co-founder and Creative Director of STRUMPET & PINK. Co-founder of The Lavender Hinge.

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