It’s been there, at the back of my mind the whole time; the philosophy and culture of punk. Breaking away from structures, connecting with a community through individuality, and the process of making (DIY), were prominent parts of punk culture; aspects that also link to emotional well-being and art therapy. Punk fashion is also an excellent example of dress and clothing being used as a medium for storytelling.
I started searching for things related to 70s punk and the philosophy behind punk culture, and came across an article about using elements from postmodern punk rock in art therapy – Creating a Culture of Connection: A Postmodern Punk Rock Approach to Art Therapy by Jessica Masino Drass. I have been wondering if the philosophy of 70s punk DIY culture could be a potential source of inspiration for my project, and I had a gut feeling that something like this must exist out there. The concept of ‘punk art therapy’ links to my previous ideas about using costume, clothing customisation, and performance as therapeutically expressive tools.
I also saw a link between the embroidered jacket by Agnes Richter, created when she was a patient at German mental institution in the late 1700s, and the heavily customised jackets of the punk era.
In a way one could perhaps say that punk was trying to express emotions in a world that felt like the confinements of a mental institution with an uncertain future. Much like Agnes Richter and her embroidered jacket?
And yes, the title is two Buzzcocks songs put together.