Keynote- Purple Haze

Channeling Art Nouveau within 60s psychedelia.



Here I was learning about how styles from the past can still have an effect on the present and future. Most designers will take artistic concepts from the past and experiment with them, within their own style, then they’ll portray it as their own design, into todays society. From my research the past has always had a way of re-occurring, whether its to do with art, fashion, war or even politics. There are fragments and traces with in all areas from the past that have been used for the present and will soon be used for the future.

With in fashion the key concept of the mid 6os was beyond the revolution. The revolution was all in the head, for example the occurrence of Art Nouveau, the style manifested into our heads and was then represented within clothing, buildings and cars. This style was changing the European civilization by creating buildings such as Casa Batlló, Barcelona, Spain.




This is a personal photo that I took whilst I spent time out in Barcelona. Here you can see how the building had been styled from the perspective of Art Nouveau, from the swirls to the curves. If you look closely at some of these buildings in Barcelona, you will notice that the majority of them all have women’s face imbedded in the structure of the buildings and naked statues across the streets. Art Nouveau was expressive about sex and sexuality. “Sex was a key subject of psychological and spiritual investigation. It was a potent universal force capable of subverting and transforming life.” wood and Greenhalgh, 2000:84. When it came to women around the time of Art Nouveau they were treated very diversely. They were seen as goddesses of the Earth and that’s how they were portrayed. Which is why every single Art Nouveau poster, building, clothing, has designs of them with long majestic hair and beautiful flowers cast all around them.



We as humans are very visual people, we liked to go beyond the obvious and create new perspectives. Throughout time, psychedelic patterns are forming in our brains and we liked to be adventurous with our skills and capabilities. Back in the 60s, they liked to go beyond the norm of tradition, like for example the suit jacket below is a very formal attire that we still like to step out of the boundaries and re-invent.




Learning this is beneficial for my course Graphic Communication, it shows me that it’s not always about trying to move forward in order to come up with something new. Sometimes it’s about going backwards understanding the history of art and then re- inventing it to become something modern and new.





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