How to put on a Bra - Paul Helm

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London View Inspiration Details

Artist Statement

Paul Helm

The inspiration for this work was sparked by the announcement and publicity for the forthcoming exhibition "Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear".
I had recently made one of my regular visits to a car boot fair where I bought a box full of old letterpress printing blocks. Among the advertising and alphabet blocks I found this set of four which made up a sequence of a woman putting on a bra.
I took them to my weekly printmaking course at Morley College where they caused considerable interest and hilarity.
We had been given a class project of making an artist's book. I tried various formats and settled on one which a fellow student had shown me. It involved printing a single sheet of paper and some clever folding to make an 8 page book.
As the style of the images is very 50s I experimented with printing various background shapes and colours in order to convey the feel of that period.

How to put on a Bra - Paul Helm

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Inspiration details:

Corset

Corset

England, Great Britain

1890-1895

Unknown

Satin, hand-made bobbin lace, metal

V&A collection reference number(s):
T.738-1974, E.3712-2004

2015 Exhibition Guide

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