Flo Spurling's project

My project explores the notions of escapism of the mind and fantasy worlds in which the Millbank prisoners could have routinely experienced due to their confined environment and restricted lifestyle. This led me to recap on Rudyard Kipling's whimsical Just So Stories that I read as I child, which features fantastical and haphazard explanations of how animals came to be.

I have chosen my three favourite stories to focus on within this project which feature; 'How the leopard got his spots', 'How the rhinoceros got his skin', and 'The elephant's child (how the elephant got his trunk)'. The surreal, juxtaposing and magical elements within Kipling's tales have provided me with an abundance of fascinating subject matter to focus on. For example, 'How the rhinoceros got his skin', explains how a native man fills the rhino's traditionally tight skin with bundles of cake crumbs, leading the rhino to run and scratch furiously causing gigantic folds of skin. This story led me to pour over images of crinkly, folded rhinoceros skin, combined with arrays of beautifully calculated displays of cakes and confectionary.

Due to the three different stories I have been inspired by, my project consists of three different elements to reflect this. Each story has it's own colour scheme and aesthetic which I have started to illustrate through fabric work. 'How the leopard got his spot's' features a range of highly decorative fabrics, influenced by the flora and fauna of the jungle environment in which the leopard earns his very unique camouflage. 'How the rhinoceros got his skin', has a more subdued and retro feel to it due to the candy coloured cakes I illustrated. Lastly, 'The elephant's child', features fabrics with a darker and more dimensional design focus.

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