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School of Media & Communication Class of 2019: exploring gender and identity

SMC - Irene Guarnieri
SMC - Irene Guarnieri

Written by
Alexandra R. and Fanny A.
Published date
28 June 2019

Our #LCF19 graduate season kicks off on Friday 5 July, with mode, medium, message, an exhibition of work from the School of Media and Communication held at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf.

LCF chatted to some of the featured students to learn about their projects and inspirations. They also discussed their time at LCF and shared some really good advice for future students.

In this first round of interviews, we hear from the graduates who focused their projects on exploring issues around gender, identity and sexuality.

Aleksandra Boniecka - BA (Hons) Costume for Performance

My costume design is based on the novel Orlando by Virginia Woolf. It focuses on the concept of femininity, menstrual blood and a theme of a pomegranate which is expressed through digital print and beading. Woolf's lyrical style of writing inspired me for the most part but also her questions about one's gender, identity and our relationship with time and memories.

My advice for future students: Do not be afraid to take risks and never compromise with your own ideas. Always challenge yourself and do not go with the safe options! At the same time, stay true to yourself and do not do anything to satisfy others.

Irene Guarnieri - BA (Hons) Fashion Imaging and Illustration

'Woke women aim to share female empowerment through the promotion of body confidence and women sexuality. The book I created for my FMP is a combination of illustrations, writings, images, collages and digital animations. I took a lot of inspiration from Instagram, seeing how girls self-expose themselves and their sexuality on social media.

In my country (Italy), girls are constantly pressured to reach certain standards of beauty and it's also really difficult to express your sexuality freely. Moving to an open-minded city as London made me realise how important it is to feel confident with your body and to feel free to express your sexuality and needs as a woman.

This course gave me the opportunity to experiment many different arts and topics, such as photography, printing on fabrics, life drawing classes, animation techniques and digital workshops.

Katie-Gill Harrison - BA (Hons) Fashion Styling and Production

For my project I created the online platform Dyke Digital. I spotted a gap in the market, the need to represent lesbian creatives that were not being included or celebrated in fashion. Existing platforms I found were exclusively tomboy or masculine focused, or purely meme accounts.

The most rewarding part of this experience and creating Dyke Digital was meeting and building relationships with so many wonderful queer creatives. I now have a larger sense if community and an expanded chosen family which is one of the most beautiful parts of being queer.

The best advice I received during my time at LCF was "you've got to make something personal, which means something to you." This fuelled my project as I wanted to use this time, energy and resources to make something that would positively affect my position in the industry, and possibly other queer individuals who have felt insecure in professional creative spaces.

Abbie Killen - BA (Hons) Fashion Imaging and Illustration

I've always been fascinated by faces and beauty. I love drawing, painting, taking photographs of faces, which is one of the reasons why I decided to call my project ‘Behind the face’. It explores the concept of identity and how we reveal and conceal it.

My advice to a new student is to just enjoy it, especially first year don’t focus to much on getting a good grade, focus on trying new ways of illustrating, using different media that you haven’t used before. Basically just experiment and figure out what you like doing and what you don’t, which will help you develop your work and find your style in 2nd and 3rd year.

Zainab Jiwa - BA (Hons) Hair and Make-up for Fashion

'PERSONA' is a very personal and intimate exploration of myself as a human being, exploring archetypes within my life that have made me who I am. I focused on form, lighting, soft photography, still life comparisons and beauty in order to portray a project concept of self introspection.

I am intrigued by the small details of beauty that are overlooked such as the flesh, the unplanned coincidences, nature, childhood, and the mind. The idea of the 'enchanted' aspect of life, be it spiritually or physically, makes it fascinating. Due to this, I aimed to look at myself as a human being through self introspection to figure out what makes me in such way.

Despite strictly being a hair and make-up course for fashion, this BA allowed us to delve into many other media such as photography, fine art and literature. We also collaborated with other artists through networking, which helped me to further my skills as well as to meet new people.