I love it when people create work that is not only visually attractive but also makes a statement, and the Patterns of Science project by Ian Addison Hall fits this remit. Inspired by the similarities between human DNA and retro imagery, Ian created a series of pictures that used catalogues from the 50’s as a starting point. You get to see a large amount of nostalgic prints with a twist, as Addison Hall has re-imagined classic images by extending the print of the clothes to cover the whole of the models body. He says this is because ‘Using vintage catalogue imagery, each piece in this series explores the relationship between the patterns that exist in fashion and the patterns that comprise human genetic’.
The idea is that by replacing the models skin with textile prints, you get to re-imagine the models whole body as if looking at their genetic makeup, and there is a certain resemblance between DNA prints and the way that these retro flowers cover up the female forms.
Hall says, “While a clothing pattern is designed to make the wearer look and feel different than everyone else, when expanded over the model’s exposed skin it instead represents the common biological and emotional framework that we all share.”
I like the premise that by placing everyone into the same category we can acknowledge that we are all essentially the same, though you have to wonder what images we might get using catalogues like Vogue vs. Woman’s Own and the like. The idea came from a program created by Unesco after World War 2 designed to promote intercultural understanding. Whether or not this is accurately envisioned in these images is debatable, but they do create discussion and are worth a second look.
To see more of Ian Addison Hall’s work check out his website here.