Thursday, 17 January 2013

New year with memories of past times.

Finally managed to catch up with  Midge Ure's 'My Vintage' on Vintage TV where he chose a selection of his favourite videos over the years. Most enjoyable and I was delighted and surprised to see myself on it! It brought back a lot of memories.

 Way back in 1985 I went along to an audition and was lucky enough to end up in what is now considered to be a ground-breaking and iconic video.  'Cry' by Godley and Creme. One of the videos chosen by Midge :)

I fade in at approx 2.04. It was quite an experience to do.  All of us who had been selected at the audition were given a tape of the song, which we had a couple of days to learn. When it came to the actual filming we each had to sit in an adjustable chair with our heads held in a sort of clamp. This way we could all be put at the same height  and held still so that our faces were filmed in the same place ( then the faces could be morphed into each other). We then just had to mime along to the song as it was played back. It seems so simple and yet created a video which seems to have really stayed with people :)

From the video my face ended up on the 12" sleeve and on the promo posters, and it seems like the remixes as well from this picture I found. It was all very exciting  :)

Seeing this video again just got me thinking about the make-up that I used to do. I was experimenting with mask-making then, tentatively finding my way and exploring techniques. But most of what I made was purely for myself, I didn't yet have the confidence to share it with many people. My main  form of more public artistic expression was via my elaborate make-up designs. I rarely went out without being painted up, even just to go shopping locally! I even shaved off my eyebrows to give me a wider canvas to explore!  I always tried not to repeat a design, it was a challenge to myself to create something unique each time.

It was a most interesting period. People's reactions when they saw me was quite something to experience. Most simply stared, some wanted to chat and find out more about my creations, tourists took photos and then there were the thankfully rarer incidences of violence and abuse, both physical and verbal. The way I looked just seemed to make some people so angry!! Didn't stop me doing it though ;)

I learnt about exploring and expressing yourself. I learnt about masks and the power they have. I learnt about the use of colour and design. I learnt so much about myself, and I learnt not to worry about what other people think of me.And I even ended up on a London postcard  :))

'Fashion Change' postcard front & back

For a time I began to explore and work with full body-painting and also using make-up to create very short pieces of stop-motion animation. Then as I became more and more involved in creating masks I drifted from the make-up. Now I really don't wear it at all, not even basic foundation. The only time I do put any make-up on is if it's needed in connection with a mask I'm wearing or being photographed in. But I loved it when I did it and it's a time I look back to with a great deal of fondness :)

Photograph:Toby Arnold

Photograph:Toby Arnold
 Just a couple of examples of my creations back then. That's me in both piccies, and I went out and about in both those make-ups :) The photos date back to the early 1980's I can't remember exact dates. I apologise that the quality is not too good but I had to scan in the original photos.

More wonderful 80's madness here ;)


  1. so you also sung !and ona cover of a disc ....!! what else are we going to discover next ;))) I didn't know this song I have to confess, but probably one of the first video clips with this special effect!I adore this last photo of you , you look like a twelve years old girl;)
    How excited you must have been !hope to see you one day wearing one of those ;) !!

  2. Not really sung, that's something I really think you wouldn't want to hear! But mimed to, which is much safer I think :)) It's strange I never really mentioned it much over the years and now it's a video that everyone seems to know and like. It's lovely to have been just a little part of something so special :))

    Pleased you like the make-up piccies as well, I loved doing these make-ups though sometimes called for very early morning starts ;) xxx

  3. EEEk, loved this post, and it bought back soo many memories for me too! Back in the early 80's i used to do the same, express myself through my make-up, clothes & crazy hair. I lived on the outskirts of Birmingham and had to travel to the city daily, it took alot of courage after some of the "feed back" but i loved being a part of something different & the experimentation too.

  4. Glad you enjoyed my little time-travel, ruthie ;)It was such a creative time wasn't it! I think it's brilliant that you could let you imagination run wherever it would. I know that eventually you tended to end up with a load of Boy George type cloanes, but at the beginning the idea was to be different, to find your own look and style so that you stood out amongst a sea of peacocks ;) As you say the 'feedback' could be very interesting but I loved the fact that it just seemed to encourage you to rise to the challenge and go even wilder!! :))