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Lady with Ankh Cross (4th century A.D. portrait)

Harris, Jane (2006) Lady with Ankh Cross (4th century A.D. portrait). [Art/Design Item] [Fashion > Fashion History & Theory
Creative Arts and Design > Textile Design]
Creators:Harris, Jane

I was commissioned by the Whitworth Art Gallery at the University of Manchester to work on a textile fragment, part of a linen tunic, from its collection of First Millennium A.D. Egyptian dress. The Whitworth is internationally recognised for its textiles scholarship; curator Jennifer Harris (no relation) approached me as a result of my research into the use of computer graphic (CG) tools in the interpretation of historical dress.

I made a 3-minute digital animation that showed how the fragment was part of a whole 4th century AD garment. This was a key interpretation tool for the Whitworth exhibition ‘Clothing Culture’, 2006.

Drawing on unique expertise developed through earlier research, this work is significant in achieving new digital methods of textile interpretation in the representation of dress and body. Textiles and dress in museum/gallery environments require gentle handling for conservation reasons. In this case the mummified garment pieces were brittle and incomplete due to absorption of body fluid, necessitating their flat 2D exhibition, without reference to a 3D body via a mannequin or other interpretation methods.

Digital portrayal of the linen tunic entailed: historical research on the textile fragment and original garment; development of specific CG construction/animation processes for the garment; design of a narrative through mime, defining the ‘portrait’ of the ‘wearer’ (‘Lady with Ankh Cross’ derives from a portrait mummy of this period, which inspired the character/ choreography, for the digital body linked to the tunic); sampling of motion capture technology to achieve body data; intervention of 3D props during motion capture.

Type of Research:Art/Design Item
Your affiliations with UAL:Colleges > Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
Colleges > Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
Date:01 May 2006
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
‘Clothing Culture’ Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester 2006UNSPECIFIED
ID Code:889
Deposited On:07 Dec 2009 12:33
Last Modified:16 Sep 2010 16:24
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