By Hannah Ringkamp- BA Costume and Performance Design
For many years I’ve been fascinated by the work of the Brontë sisters. I wanted to illustrate the way they portray their personal desires and emotions in their writing through costume and Scenography in a theoretical theatre piece.
The play ‘Brontë’ by Polly Teale captures the essence of the three sisters beautifully in two acts.
Based on my research I have created a series of costume designs which interpret each character by using different colours, structures and patterns, keeping it historically accurate. It is said that Charlotte, Emily and Anne were quite plain and unfashionable; I therefore used neutral tones and plain patterns. I tried creating Emily’s love for nature and freedom in the way the dress forms around her body and through the patterns of the fabric, Charlottes strictness and devotion through straight lines and a more structured garment and Anne’s youth and view on reality through a more fashionable style and darker colours.
A lot of ideas came from objects that have been found in the Bronte Personage like lace cuffs, collars and garments. It was very important for me to create realness in their character with a touch of romanticism to set the right atmosphere for a modern audience.
It has been a very interesting journey for me as I have gotten to know important people from history a little better understanding them has given me an insight into their writing and life. It has not only inspired me as an artist but as a person, emotionally; Seeing such strong women defy their gender at a time where females where considered less than a man, not even being able to visit a library has given me a lot of inspiration to follow my dreams and make the most of my life.