Eve Harris

Costume with Textiles BA(Hons)

For my Final Major Project, I drew inspiration from Rosie Hewlett’s ‘Medusa,’ a contemporary, feminist retelling of the myth told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. I decided to create Medusa and Athena’s costumes for a dance performance influenced by The Royal Ballet’s production ‘Medusa.’ This promotes movement especially in principal dancer Medusa’s costume, reflecting the snake-like, twisting motions. My project’s key theme is the use of snake imagery. The combination of textile processes explored for Medusa’s costume spanning knit, print, fabric manipulation and beading show the way she is corrupted by Athena’s curse, transforming from mortal to monster. Athena’s colour palette of red, black, and white draws upon the colours of a milk snake or deadly coral snake showing her as both a virgin goddess and war goddess. The textures in the laser-cut leather armour further reflect a snake's skin. I cast a black performer as Medusa to highlight diversity issues in the performance industry. I dyed the bodysuit’s mesh a bespoke colour, matching my performer’s skin. This was due to the lack of available colour matches for the fabric as well as in dance costumes generally. I hope to continue exploring a range of textile techniques like this in the future.