Much of my illustrative work is inspired by folk art and craft from around the world so I wanted my characters to reflect this. But many traditional costumes follow the norm of skirts or dresses for women and trousers for men. The main exception to this seems to be India where, in many regions trousers are part of traditional dress for both men and women. These styles have remained popular and also influenced contemporary Indian clothing so that they do not appear unusual or novel even here in the UK.
My female characters are inspired by Odissi and Bharatanatyam dancers with their ornate jewellery, head dresses and trousers with pleats which open and close during dances. By contrast my male character is inspired by Kathak dancers and in particular the simpler Mughal style of costume.
All twenty four finished characters were printed onto self adhesive vinyl and installed on eight wooden blocks along with mirrored vinyl so one side of each block is reflective. The wooden blocks were the work Joseph Welden www.weldensheed.com who always seems to be able to make even the most challenging ideas a reality. Just as required he made the blocks in sections so they can be turned and also put things inside so the make a noise when moved.
The characters can still be seen and heard in the Who Wears the Trousers? exhibition at the Royal Shakespeare Company until August 31st 2014.
Who Wears the Trousers?Swan Theatre
Stratford upon Avon