Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Kitsch and Twee, what are they?

After recently finishing a piece of writing that explores these terms and their relevance to nostalgia, I decided to post a segment of research onto here. Along with a still from my in progress animation. Again I installed within my shed, Within further research of the space it seems the clocktower I live in was home to retired war veterans, who were essentially sent here to die. In a bizarre relevance to my own exploration into melancholic feelings of nostalgia, I felt that again the space was extremely well suited to the piece I wanted to make.

'In effect it is a littering of objects I have spent a long time collecting which encapsulate the term 'twee,' I wanted to create an eerie suspension of memory, the fragility of the porcelain resonates with the fragility of a personal recollection. I was hoping to recreate the delicate nature of nostalgia and its way of rose tinting certain fragments in time.

Kitsch is used to recapture iconic images. The general appearance disregards subtlety with garish colours, it can be very tongue in cheek, camp and often vulgar. In contrast, twee describes objects of true sentimentality;’ saccharin sweet designs often described as chocolate boxy or affectedly dainty.

Commonly decorated with idyllic scenes of cosy cottages or perfect families, twee also commemorates a moment of perfection which could be referred to as another ‘stock emotion,’ yet they are images which connect with our memory in a different way. Twee reminds us of loved ones, pastimes and cherished moments by using a stock type image or design, we attach this to personal memories which do not meet up to the staged original image. Kitsch is more often a recreation of an icon or symbol with universal appeal, generally created in bad taste. The recreation fails to deliver and increments a sense of disappointment or humility.'

It feels like an enormous relief to have finally finished the writing from which this excerpt has been taken! I have an immense reading list to take this research any further but I hope someone has enjoyed reading it somewhere! here is a little of Richard Slee's fantastic use of kitsch to regale darker and mundane issues alongside a little 'Twee' which I couldn't resist.

For more fantastic creations visit his website;

Back to taking stills for my stopmotion animation, will post the finished piece at a later date :)

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