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Norwich School Blog

Ellie Hobden (U6) on her award-winning art piece 'Restrictive Design'

3D Design pupil Ellie Hobden (U6) recently won second prize in the Norfolk Art and Design Competition 2021. She has written a blog about the inspiration behind her piece, a body adornment piece entitled ‘Restrictive Design’. Her entry was praised by the judges as "a remarkable piece of fashion and jewellery that demonstrates incredible sophistication and maturity."

'Restriction causes both physical and mental effects. Emotionally, we create barriers, to protect ourselves from being hurt by other's actions and our own vulnerabilities. This guard acts as an ‘armour’ from people. We mask the vulnerabilities of emotion through poise. We express confidence and freedom to others, portraying an unbreakable and strong persona which we all aim to have. We hold ourselves with assertiveness and command respect from all, in order to protect ourselves. My project as a whole intended to research deeper into the effects of our negativity and how this source of everyday restriction can lead to barriers between our own expression, self-love and identity searching, due to societies expectations.

My design process was a rigorous and challenging series of learning new skills, vast refinement through drawing and paper models, as well as using new materials to create the piece I am very proud of. I was able to create this interesting shape by heating copper and using a variety of tools to bend and shape the piece into what is now finished. It was a long process, which used copper as the main chest piece, stained wood for the spikes, and a leather strap.

My project intention was to make a piece of body adornment that meant something personal to me, as well as combining historical repression of society, (which we still see today) in a physical form that lends itself to feeling self-conscious. I see the colour choice as an atonement to armour, mimicked through dents and loss of its original colour. My wooden pieces are in the shapes of spikes to mimic something jarring, which attaches itself and wraps around the body like it's suffocating, similar to that of corsets.

I wanted my design to link to an idea of taking back control and to allow a freedom that comes with the acceptance of ourselves. My project explored freedom and liberation in many ways; with my final piece allowing the model to sympathize with the idea of a restrictive item becoming a form of freedom.  I believe I achieved my overall goal, and through my second-place award at the Norfolk Art and Design Competition 2021, I was extremely grateful to know that alongside myself, others were able to appreciate my work from both a structural and emotional aspect.'