An Investigation into the Design and Construction of an Aerialist Costume
(2017) An Investigation into the Design and Construction of an Aerialist Costume, no. 50.
This project is an investigation into the design and construction of an aerialist costume. Literature research into the context of aerialist performance and its costume highlighted a lack of documentation into this specialised art form with texts such as Tina Bicat's Costume Design for Devised and Physical Theater focusing predominantly on the wider context of physical performance. This study explores the traditional purpose of costume, defines physical and aerial performance and uses a survey and interviews with performers and practitioners to investigate if there is a need for a specific process in creating a costume for an aerialist performer. The practical element of this project used the research findings and the collaboration with a professional aerialist to formulate a costume design and construction process. The practical project could then by used to evaluate the effectiveness of the study as a whole. Through the practical process, I produced a sketchbook outlining the research and process for the creation of a costume for my aerialist. The combination of the theoretical research and practical project suggested that the traditional costume process acts efficiently as a basis for aerialist costume design with an understanding that health and safety requirements should take president over aesthetic. This investigation proved the need for an informed study into this specialised discipline for the use of other practitioners to create a practical costume that prioritises the wellbeing of the performer. Additionally, with further exploration into the art form and personal development as a practitioner, this investigation begins to provide a refined process that could lead to successful results for both designer and aerialist performers.