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Themes / Form: Jamie Hawkesworth and JW Anderson shape the human figure

We’ve presented JW Anderson’s Disobedient Objects exhibition to you in our ‘Video Picks’ post. Let’s return to the theme of the show- the human form- and introduce you to the book and zine linked to the show.

 

Featured image credit: Page from ‘Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson at The Hepworth Wakefield’.
Designed by OK-RM. Published by InOtherWords

Across the decades sculptors, fashion designers and other creatives have played with how we represent the human figure. Our perception of the human body and its shape and form is central to how we understand each other. The way in which it’s portrayed in drawings, photography or sculpture and how we alter our appearance through our hair, makeup and clothes is crucial to ideas of identity such as gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity.

In the first set of rooms at the ‘Disobedient Bodies’ exhibition, Henry Moore’s ‘Reclining Figure’ sculptures were displayed against a series of photographs by Jamie Hawkesworth named ‘The Thinleys’. This photo series appeared in a fanzine of the same name in 2015 and you can clearly see how Moore’s sculptures have inspired the work.

Co-created by photographer Jamie Hawkesworth and JW Anderson, the images feature models in JW Anderson’s knitwear making shapes that distort the fabric and the human form. The fanzine was produced as part of the PR campaign for the forthcoming collection – search for it online and you’ll find it’s now a collector’s piece, going for thousands of pounds on Ebay.

Credit: Page from ‘Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson at The Hepworth Wakefield’. Designed by OK-RM. Published by InOtherWords.
Images from ‘The Thinleys’ fanzine appear in the book created to accompany the exhibition.

The idea of shape and form is crucial to how fashion designers draw and design silhouettes; experiment with draping fabric on the stand (mannequins) to develop ideas; or, as in the case of ‘The Thinleys’, how designers, stylists and photographers pull looks together.

Credit: Page from ‘Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson at The Hepworth Wakefield’. Designed by OK-RM. Published by InOtherWords.
Design studio OK-RM and their publishing arm, InOtherWords were responsible for the book. OK-RM also collaborated on the graphic design for the exhibition. In the book (and the exhibition) text is minimal. The focus is on the pairing of the work and their shared relationship between the objects.

The images above share some characteristics in terms of shape and form but invoke very different emotions when you look at them. They’re just one example of how you can experiment with your influences and create something completely new in a different creative medium.

Advisory note: The Disobedient Bodies book contains images of an adult nature as well as nudity.
 
Looking for more inspiration?

Check out our Disobedient Bodies-inspired pinboard for more visual references showcasing how artists play with representing the human form.

Discover more of OK-RM and InOtherWords’ work

Explore the ‘Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson at The Hepworth Wakefield’ book