Body & Soul 2015 – Monsters, Myths & Mexicans

This year, I decided not to put in a proposal to Body & Soul for an art installation and instead decided to concentrate on enjoying the festival and having some fun with costumes. Even though I had the greatest of intentions to spend loads of time creating these costumes, I left it to the last minute and ended up rushing around, using anything that I had to hand to create them. This actually worked out quite well as I ended up feeling liberated by my lack of time and materials. Also, because I had not spend hours upon hours racking my brain trying to think up ideas and creating a finished piece, I was not so uptight about how it turned out and even less concerned about damaging it during the festival. Once I had photographed my creations I was then able to let them go.

At previous festivals, I have worried about what would happen to my artwork when people start interacting with it. They have been damaged and I have had to repair them. But this year was different! I was able to wear my creations and witness first-hand how people interacted with them. I loved this so much!

Here are the fruits of my labour. 


This was a real rush job! Looking through my dress-up box, in desperation for the slightest bit of inspiration, I came across an old sombrero. The cone shape reminded me of a nose, so I simple painted the whole thing pink and drew big screwy face on it!

The above photo was taken at the Absolut ‘Midsummer Nights’ bar, which was a wonderful new addition to the festival. I loved it’s overall design and atmosphere – bright, colourful and airy. We spent a good bit of our time here.


Costume number two, was a box over my head!  A cute little androgynous creature who loves to dance and run around the place. I think I enjoyed wearing this costume the most! The perfect second day festival outfit (no need to worry about hair and make-up).


My third (and final) costume was the lion. Taking a second hand sheepskin coat (that I had hanging up in my wardrobe for years) as my starting point, I began to create my creature. On Pinterest, I had seen a lion mask that was created entirely from cardboard; I decided to give this a go myself. I loved working with this readily available material and my trusty glue gun was an essential tool in this operation. I was tempted to paint it up with bright colours and patterns, but I fell for it’s simplicity.

I have such a good group of friends that share my love for dressing up and having a giggle. At this stage, I don’t think we will every grow up and I hope we never do.

My friend Carrie Lynam has created some amazing masks through the use of crochet, some of which she wore during the festival. Check out more of her creations here –  THREADSTORIES


My friend Catherine Jordan also created a magnificent sea creature, for the festivities. I was tempted to ask her if I could keep the mask as a ridiculous hood ornament for my car. Seeing Mad Max the week previous definitely had an impact on me.

This years Body & Soul festival did not disappoint and continues to be my number one favourite.


© All photos shown have been taken by Rachel Kiernan and are not to be used without permission.

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