Friday, 18 May 2012

Where's the Flamingo?

I get asked now and again why I called my business Flamingo Amy. There is a story behind this, not rivetingly exciting but a story all the same. I thought it would make a good blog post, because I realised that it's not actually documented anywhere. The story meanders through my time at art school in Norwich, so have patience!

Take a seat and I'll tell you how it all began...

I came to Norwich in 2003 to do an art degree. It was around this time I started getting into the whole rockabilly thing and realised my appreciation of 1950's imagery and general stuff.

At the time I was really influenced by artist Antony Gormley's 'Field for the British Isles'. I first saw this piece at The British Museum and was totally blown away by its size. When you stood in front of this mass of clay people you had a feeling of what it must be like to be a singer on stage at a massive concert, sounds a bit clich├ęd but I can't really describe how amazing it was! I still remember the way I felt when I first saw the piece in real life and haven't really stopped thinking about it since.
'Field for the British Isles' By Antony Gormley.

I realised that one of the things I loved about this piece was repetition. I wanted to create something kind of like this, but knew I didn't have a) the space or more importantly b) the money.

But what would I use to create my Antony Gormley inspired art work on a smaller scale?

The story takes us now to Greenwich. I honestly can't remember what I was doing there. I do remember seeing the Cutty Sark and going into a shop that sold retro homewares. This is when I first saw 'Don' the plastic garden flamingo. Love at first sight is all I'm saying. I embraced that handsome fellow and knew that at what ever cost he would be mine. Fortunately it turns out it was only about a tenner.

We then boarded a boat together and sailed away up the Thames. See how happy we look together? You can't really see that we are on a boat here. The little girl in the background is my best friends daughter balancing some plastic fruit I had bought at the same place on her head. As you do.

The beginning of a love story (2004).
Sorry about my awful hair, it's much better now I promise.

So answer to the above question. Flamingos. I was going to use Flamingos to create my art work.

My original, and quite frankly, mental, plan was to aquire 500 of these garden flamingos and display them in Chapelfield Gardens. How amazing would that have been!?

I even looked into funding by going on an Arts Council funding application course in Cambridge. I called the head office that made the flamingos in America to see if I could get them shipped over in a massive container. I was in contact with directors at several Zoos to see if they would allow such a display - one even agreed!! I was very serious about it.

For whatever reason it didn't work out. And I was left alone with just my dream (hear the violins in the distance). I realised I was going to have to downsize. If I couldn't get these flamingos in real life I was have to settle with just their image. And so I created the image below.

'Flamingo Field' by Amy Taylor (2005)

It was infact a very popular image. The BBC featured it on their website and the art school used it in their prospectus, it even got featured in the local paper.

So really, I hadn't failed completely.

From then on I had flamingos on the brain.

The next part of the story is fairly boring, but the sequence of events became the inspiration for my name.

One day not long after 'Flamingo Field' was created I was setting up an account on the internet for yet something else, I don't remember what it was, probably myspace or something. I had to think of a username.

Flamingo Amy. That'll do. But this name struck me as quite good (if I did say so myself!) and thought I should keep it in mind should I ever have a business. And, well, later on I did, so used it.

So why love flamingos but not have any on your website or in your logo I hear you ask?

It's another story really. I just wanted to show you some fun pictures and take a trip down memory lane. But if you do want to hear more then let me know and I'll blog that too.

If you have a business how did you get your name?

P.S You'll be glad to know Don is still alive and well. And should I come into a fortune Flamingo Field will grace Chapelfield Gardens.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Little Vintage Lover Fair

I'm totally shattered from a very busy week - I wanted to put these up sooner but haven't had the chance. Everything I will be posting over the next week is going to be lagging behind the times I'm afraid - but I hope you enjoy the photos all the same.
On Saturday I got to attend my very first Little Vintage Lover Fair at Dragon Hall. For all you non-locals they don't keep dragons there. That would be ridiculous. Dragons simply couldn't be kept in a hall could they? They would need a much bigger space. Anyway, enough of my rubbish jokes, on with the hair!

I was fully booked up before the day started, which was great, but kind of not at the same time, becasue naturally I wanted to go and look at all the cool things for sale.

My first client of the day was the lovely Davina; she had won the competition to come and get her hair done with me. Although she had time to pop in and have her hair done she had to go straight off to work - Davina, if you read this let me know what your colleagues said!

Competition winner Davina and myself
Side view of the classic Hollywood set
I was lucky enough to have Make-Up Artist Sherrie Sparkes come down and assist me for the day. Thank you Sherrie - your help was fantastic.

Photo by Stephen Plumb
It was Antonia Rose's 9th Birthday - cute!