Lena M Á Speak

Contact:
lemaine.sp@gmail.com
University/School:
Norwich University of the Arts
Location:
Norwich
Specialism:
Award NomineeFashion DesignFashion ImageIllustrationSustainabiltyTextiles
About Me

Lena M Á Speak’s ‘The Dynamics of Disobedience’

I am a multi-disciplinary designer inspired by sociological and political concepts. With a background in fine art and illustration, my work captures the artistic expression of fashion – displaying raw emotions and highlighting important social issues.

With my perspective as a political and environmental activist and my desire to disturb the status-quo - I reject the idea that fashion has to be ‘pretty’ and instead I aim for my work to be described as ‘powerful’. My interpretation of fashion as an artform that can be used as a tool for communication and disruption instead of purely as a decorative substance is what makes my work distinctive to me. My highly artistic background as a previous fine art student allows me to design experimental and unique garments - I was a finalist in this year’s worldwide FIDA Awards.

INSPIRATION

The modern resurgence of activism-fuelled anti-fashion has been my inspiration.

I’ve concentrated my designs by playing with emotions like disgust and discomfort to explore fashion as an expression of human suffering at the hands of climate change. I have used dynamic and intricate draping to portray the complexities of biological structures whilst distorting ‘traditional’ gendered silhouettes. I consistently use sustainable processes and materials: I believe that reducing the fashion industry’s contributions to the climate crisis is essential for all designers.

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MY WORK

PORTFOLIOS

DETAIL

My work centres around the disobedient ‘anti-capitalist’ stance of Extinction Rebellion.

Both environmental activism and punk-inspired style are elements that personally are very important to me, therefore I aim to ensure that my work will correctly portray Extinction Rebellion’s motivations as well as my own personal beliefs. Having been to several climate change strikes and protests I believe I have good knowledge of the aesthetics and styles seen there. As well as my own experiences of protest and documentation, I incorporate elements from the 2014 V&A exhibition ‘Disobedient Objects’, that explored the methods and motifs of political disturbance and rioting/revolution. I have also drawn inspiration from grotesque body-horror imagery within the media. I find artworks such as the Body Worlds exhibitions to be deeply exciting and moving, as well as personally having a love of darker aesthetics and classic horror iconography. I view this collection as a love-letter to my individual style, as well as an extension of my activism.

My interpretation of fashion as an artform that can be used as a tool for communication and disruption instead of purely as a decorative substance is what makes my work distinctive to me.
Award NomineeFashion DesignFashion ImageIllustrationSustainabiltyTextiles
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