Elvie Daws specialises in art direction- forming concepts that tackle issues of passion and importance. With a profound approach, they reach innovation through combining personal experiences with an awareness of the industry. During final year, they empower positive change by appreciating the miracle of the inner body to combat society’s appearance-obsession.
My time as a fashion communication student has placed me within the heart of the industry. Here I recognise the ways in which beauty norms are enabled, as well as the severe repercussions this has on those influenced. I personally feel this need to conform and have compromised my mental and physical health to achieve a model of beauty. Through my final year project I thus combine my skills in art direction, styling, writing, videography and marketing to peacefully protest this issue and instil a mindset that is genuinely productive. Creating meaningful, constructive work is always my priority.
Through time, I became aware of how we- as a society- evaluate ourselves and the subsequent behaviours that this inflicts. As someone with disordered eating and body image, I often struggled with the conflict between an awareness of the issue, and a perpetual need to conform. Gradually, I learnt that this feeling is widespread; my friends and family too suffered greatly because of it. Forming this awareness urged me to ascertain how the industry that I am contributing to is involved in this conversation.
Doing this research allowed me to conceptualise how creative mediums can also be used to initiate positive change. My final project is thus informed by my own struggles and recovery; what I feel is truly helpful in diminishing both the desire to conform, and the power that it has over us. To me, this means turning anger into positivity- into celebrating our inner body and its capability. I created a zine/story, photography series, concept film and exhibition event to communicate and promote this ideology.
My final project- ‘Residence’- urges people to protect, nurture and value their inner body as opposed to disregarding or compromising it to conform to the beauty standard. My zine ‘Residence: REM’ is written as a creative story- following a person’s dream. Within this dream the narrator is guided through different phases- learning something new in each so that they may reach the mindset of self-celebration. The Residence film also communicates this through celebrating bodily movement, features, contours and creases as visual manifestations of the inner body. The two phases of the film show an intense realisation of strength and capability, and the inner calm provided by this. My concept holds much symmetry with nature, as- similar to the human body- each component enables an overall existence. Therefore, the audio uses sounds of nature to mimic a journey through a nature trail- symbolising the path to this epiphany. ‘Residence’ empowers all; it encourages a true appreciation of the body that we reside.