Bit of a different type of post today!
I was approached a few months ago by a GCSE art student who was preparing for her final project. Her teacher is a family member of mine. When the student said she was interested in exploring notions of the body in performance, “Miss” suggested she get in touch with me to see if she could take any inspiration from my bodybuilding and stage photos.
Remember when a primary teacher friend asked if I’d help her class of 7- and 8-year olds with a school project about fitness? I was really pleased to help them, and equally pleased to help this GSCE student with her project. (It has to be said I really didn’t do a lot – allowed her access to all my prep and contest photos and answered a few questions via email – she did all the hard work!)
I thought you might like to see the photos I’ve been sent of some of her final project. I think they’re amazing. Grace (who is 15) is just taking her GCSEs at Ardingly College and will continue into the sixth form next year, to continue developing her artistic skills for the next two years within the brilliant art department my relative runs 🙂
Some of the images have little bits of the student’s text – here’s what she wrote:
“I explored the artist Edward Muybridge, because I loved how he used multiple images to illustrate movement. He inspired me to look into the movement of sports such as bodybuilding and ballet. It also helped me to realise the similarities of both sports. In the judging process of bodybuilding, some of the poses are very elegant and dance-like, similar to those of ballerinas. Therefore, I’ve used Muybridge’s monochrome, old-fashioned style to highlight the elegance and beauty of bodybuilding, which is not very often considered as it is stereotypically more of a manly sport.”
“Although my mannequin has the 1950s shape, I am going to make it appear to have very big muscles, like a bodybuilder. I chose to collaborate these two extremes of a ‘perfect body’, because it emphasises the huge steps that we have gone through with regards to fashion. Having a bodybuilder as a mannequin, instead of our size-6 models, would be very controversial. Recently, the makeup brand M.A.C released a new campaign called ‘Strength’, in which they had a bodybuilder as the model. This raised a lot of controversy, as people aren’t used to bodybuilders becoming role models, which they are.”
Compare these pieces of GCSE artwork with the children’s drawings 😀
Love it! Well done, Grace – and thanks for asking me to help you 🙂
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.