Camouflage Prints (@copyright Laura Miani)
"Dress as though your life depends on it or don´t bother"
The concept of "CAMOUFLAGE" permeates human modern history.
With the help of colour, pattern combination, and material, something can be hidden or disguised as something else in order to be protected. Crypsis, a concept related to this, exposes one of the main reasons and objectives of using camouflage techniques, that is "predation strategies" or an "anti-predator adaptation" playing with the way one or it looks or as the famous zoologist who studied animal colouration techniques Poulton coined as "a general protective resemblance".
Also, camouflage is aimed to CONFUSE.
Humans, inspired by this method have used camouflage effectively for war purposes and hunting since around the XIX when the evolution of weapons demanded this. Many artists, military, designers, scientists have been involved in the designs of these patterns. The patterns respond to different characteristics but mainly geographic, weather and landscape are the most relevant.
My camouflage designs are a reflection of Colombian territory in the sense that they reflect its people, its history of violence, the colours of the exotic resources such as colourful flowers and fauna but also the clichés, folkloric, and kitsch urban landscapes associated with it.
These camouflage designs have not only got into shape by sophisticated textile processes such as Devoré, Cross-dying, screen-printing, foil, flock...but also and most importantly by the reverse appliqué technique that I have used throughout inspired by the thorough study of Kuna Colombian Molas.
Molas are also a kind of camouflage design, a reflection of the territory of the community that makes them.
The approach of fashion to Camouflage, quite the opposite of hiding wants to call attention upon the user. Seen as tacky it also sets a statement, the wearer is supposed to be a rebel, in this case, "safe". It is less about going unnoticed and more about showing off.
"APOSEMATISM", a scientific term also associated with animal and natural techniques for protection that go along with "Camouflage" could be related to this notion. In this case, aimed to call the attention of the predator by saying something in the lines of
"STAY AWAY OR YOU MIGHT REGRET IT"
The technique is quite intriguing in regards to colour, it is a technique that is designed to prevent both the prey and the predator from harm. Apparently aposematic creatures enjoy more freedom from their predator because, by having tried once and learning, they will leave them alone...
My prints and constructed textiles are aimed to PROTECT civilians from conflict and enable them to PROTEST. In these prints, like with camouflage, one would get a sense of our landscape, our weather, geography and our people. He/She who has the courage to accept and confront its historic memory and identity will have tools to somewhat overcome war and conflict. The more who use it, the more will be able to protect themselves.
My prints use bold colours as a symbolic statement. Tackling critically concepts of TASTE and sometimes unhelpful TROPES and CLICHÉS existing towards Latin American culture, they represent an “in-your-face” shout about a subject that can no longer be ignored by this Colombian "sophisticated elite” as well as by the international community that has an active responsibility (bananas, avocados, palm oil...cocaine, gold, wood...maybe even water...among others...).