Yves Saint Laurent: Missives of Love

Of the whole Morocco trip, I felt most inspired at the Majorelle Gardens. The vibrancy and diversity of colour and texture was overwhelming to observe; the intensity of the blue and yellow paint of the house almost too difficult to comprehend. This colour and texture is something I was instantly inspired to use more of in my work which is so often monochrome, or a limited palette. Colour can tell stories and send messages just as imagery and symbols do, and this is something I want to begin exploring. Thanks to my research prior to the visit, I knew there was a Berber museum and YSL gallery hidden at the back of the garden amongst the palm leaves. A small room with a wide range of posters from the span of his career, the Majorelle Gardens exhibit some of the posters Yves Saint Laurent sent to employees as a New Year gift, using mainly collage to create them. Like the gardens they are vibrant in colour, using flat shapes and the word ‘LOVE’ with the year of creation on each poster.

Each poster is different, the only theme being that they are inspired by things important to him. Inspired by these posters, I would like to create the ‘LOVE’ posters for the years post the death of Saint Laurent, from 2009 to present year. Yves Saint Laurent encouraged change, and is credited as  introducing the tuxedo suit for women, as well as using non-white models and being a supporter of marriage equality. For this reason, my poster will include topics which address a progression or change in the world, that year, which capture the essence of the word ‘LOVE’ in one way or another. I will experiment with collage, graphics and fabric printing to experiment with this idea.

I have been researching events over the past eight years to include in the poster. My main focus of this project is to experiment with techniques that are unfamiliar to me in order to expand my knowledge of possible techniques of creating vibrant and exciting work. The events themselves are less important, and so I have chosen the ones that I will be using and can now begin experimenting with techniques.

2009 – Barack Obama inauguration: A sign of progression, first black President of the United States. 2010 – Goldilocks zone discovery: a new galaxy with new planets. Advancement in technology and more intelligent insights into space. 2011 – Royal Wedding: a sign of love in front of the whole world. An event which united the nation to come together and enjoy for the pure and innocent reason of love. 2012 – Blackfish documentary: the beginning of lawsuits against SeaWorld to stop the fishing and kidnapping of orcas from the wild for entertainment purposes. 2013 – The death of Nelson Mandela, the appointment of a Pope from outside Europe: progression in all areas of life, the progression of religion. 2014 – Emma Watson’s speech at the UN: a young woman speaking about gender equality and feminism. 2015 – Gay Marriage legalised in USA: a huge progression and change for many people across America. 2016 – the ozone layer begins repairing itself, glasses are created to help colour blind people see true colour, tigers, elephants, manatee numbers go up.

I hope to develop the visualisation of these ideas over the coming week and have outcomes to show in the Pecha Kucha presentation.


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