6 April 2012 - 1 May 2012
This ongoing projects intention is to examine how clothes and posture serve a communication function by decoding the messages in the wardrobe of one subculture – outdoor enthusiasts.
Henry Iddon - read more
This ongoing projects intention is to examine how clothes and posture serve a communication function by decoding the messages in the wardrobe of one subculture – outdoor enthusiasts. These are people who wish to extend their individual experiences and relationships with our mountain environment and particularly that of the English Lake District, an area that has been central to the development of outdoor recreation but also the describing of mans connection to nature.
In hiking and mountaineering an athleteʼs actions and apparel reflects changes in weather conditions and their experiences of nature and of natural forces are mediated by what is being worn. In visiting an upland area people are able to seek out nature and a wilderness experience, an event that need not necessarily require solitude but be a communion with the natural world.
Dress has a certain priority over verbal discourse in communicating identity since it ordinarily sets the stage for subsequent verbal communication.
The existence of ʻoutdoorʼ culture allows its members to recognize one another and to convey messages about themselves. This communication process is accomplished by adorning the body in appropriate articles of clothing and trinkets, which can be decoded to give specific meanings. A person may have a walking stick emblazoned with badges of previously visited areas stating “I am well travelled”; they may use an old rucksack “I have been in the game for years”; they may wear an expensive jacket designed for Himalayan mountaineering “I have achieved extraordinary things”, “ I aspire to achieve” or more likely “I am buying into the notion of extreme achievement”.
Modern outdoor clothing has now been absorbed into everyday fashion – fabrics such as Gore-tex, once used for outdoor sports wear can now be seen in articles of clothing worn on the ʻhigh streetʼ, fleece garments popular in the mid 1980ʼs are now to be found in most fashion retailers. Adventure sports, including mountaineering and climbing, are now a lifestyle used by brands to market products to all parts of society. Nature sports are not the only way to develop our understanding of the natural world but they give us a way of relating to it through play and seeing ourselves in partnership with features of it.
An extended essay about the work can be seen here - http://cargocollective.com/henryiddon/Hill-People-Statement
Additional Images here - http://cargocollective.com/henryiddon/Hill-People