Bethie Helliwell Portfolio

Summer 2010

Doing my Foundation Year at Plymouth College of Art, has got me ready for the years to follow at Cardiff School of Art. This is a Photograph of my Final outcome,

‘Secretive Undergarments’

When viewing this work I’d like you to think of the words…

Innocence, Femininity, Vulnerability, Beauty, Purity, Transparency…

In order to portray the words above and ideas of the history of shapewear I felt I needed a symbol, something I believed to represent the true meanings behind them. When walking past a blossom tree in mid may, the petals were falling to the ground and they had a sense of vulnerability and purity. Blossom to me exposes the significance behind innocence and transparency however it’s just what happens before the summer fruit, showing that they have a short-lived beauty. I felt this really symbolised the position I am at in my life, as though the blossom is my foundation and my degree will be the fruit.  I feel I have created a garment structure, which allows femininity to flow through the layers of fabric, giving protection and inspiring beauty. I came across a nightgown from the ‘Jane Austen’ era; which inspired the shape of my garment, for me it gave across a sense of vulnerable femininity. When going to sleep you let all barriers down and are completely exposed and pure, this is the state of mind I’d like you to encompass when viewing my work.

I am really proud of this piece, as I feel it is empowering while still being elegant and delicate.

I also did a project over the summer called:

‘The Traveling School of Art’

…in conjuction with Plymouth Arts Centre

While working as a member of ‘Young Plymouth Arts Centre’ we recieved funding to run a project which would get young people in Plymouth involved in Art and creativity. The outcomes of this project were, workshops in the community, a trail with hidden boxes one of which is in the current exhibition at PAC where you can pick up a map and do the walk yourself. Also a book has been published called ‘START HERE’ in order to document the whole project and allow people who own the book to carry out the tasks and walks set as homework by The Traveling School…


Other than exhibitions, this summer I traveled to both Morocco- Marrakech and France-Brittney.

These locations had such a high constrast, but were both beautiful in their own right.

Marrakech, is like no where I have ever been, the colours, smells and sights are very intense and it is sometimes to much to take in. I can remember standing in Djena El Jna Square (the main sq) and saying to my boyfriend Alex, we need to remember this. The smells are of earth, horses, food, spices and the heat. You have mopeds with whole familys on them coming at you from all directions in places that would be pedestrianised in the UK. I went Quad biking in the desert in the rural parts outside Marrakech, this gave me a completly different view of the country. The people were poorer but seemed happier. I really enjoyed the experience but felt uncomfortable riding though the villages as our quad bikes kicked up alot of dirt and made alot of noise. However the company we did the trip with was owned by a local man, so thus we were giving money to the community. Half way through the ride we were taken to the owners house, which was a mud hut with chickens and children running everywhere it was amazing to be immersed in the culture by being in someones home. We were welcomed by the owners wife washed our hands using beautiful smelling oil and water then their 4 year old son bought around a tray of flat bread and we were also given Moroccan Mint tea. While in Morocco Alex and I also visited Essaouira, which is a real contrast from Marrakech. All the buildings were white, where Marrakech buildings are orange. It is located on the coast so is alot cooler and the stall holders didnt push you to buy things. There was a relaxed vibe to the place quite unlike the rush of Marrakech. Our time in Morocco was by far the most unique experience I have had.

Below are some photographs of our trip:



While in Brittney I traveled around different towns and beaches to really get a feel for the place, the weather was 30’c in the first week and cooler with rain in the second. So I really got a feel for the different types of things you can do in a place weather permitting. I took inspiration from shells that looked like butterflies I found on the beach and tea cups I found in an antique market where they owners lived in a english red bus all year round and kept the stock open to the air 24/7. So the tea cups I photographed were filled with water 🙂 which added something different. My accomadation for the 2 weeks was in a refurbished cider barn, the owner told me that he thought it was cider as the doorway was straight and looked like it had curves to fit barrels though, which I found intersting. The building had an open plan downstairs and a spiral staircase leading to two bedrooms. The beaches in France were beautiful as I hope you can tell from the images below:

This entry was published on October 4, 2010 at 12:59 am and is filed under Exhibitions, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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