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1st December 2020
How Rottingdean Bazaar
Title of film: Dry Cleaning, Scratchcard Lanyard
Director: Rottingdean Bazaar
Creators of wildly witty and wicked visions, James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks formed Rottingdean Bazaar in 2015 with a collection of conceptual fashion ready-to-wear, accessories and art objects. Now the artists famous for their creative direction, fashion styling, installations and fine art have directed their first music video – for South London band Dry Cleaning. 1.4 quizzes the duo about their work and life in their hometown of Rottingdean, East Sussex.

Image by Rottingdean Bazaar and Annie Collinge, first published in Club Sandwich Magazine

 

Where did you first meet?

 

Luke: We both did the same courses at St. Martins, Fashion BA and MA. I am a few years older than James and we didn’t really know each other at college, but we had some friends in common.

 

James: We met properly for the first time during the making of Comfort and Joy (https://vimeo.com/127839575) by the artist Julie Verhoeven, which was shown as part of a documentary on The Joy of Sex called The Art of The Joy of Sex. Julie was one of our tutors at college and she asked us each to model in the film as she was looking for people with lots of body hair. After filming we went for a drink.

 

What was the first project you worked on together?

 

Luke: We started making badges with a machine that James had been given for his birthday and it became our first project, which we called Badge Taste.

 

James: We were seeing what different things we could squeeze under the mechanism, like balloons, socks and then a series of pube badges – using Luke’s pubic hair to spell different words and names.

 

Image by Rottingdean Bazaar and Annie Collinge, first published in Luncheon Magazine

 

Were the seeds of the art you create now in that first project?

 

Luke: It seems like maybe some things to do with concentrating on specific processes, certain objects and thinking about limitations.

 

What drives your creativity – commissions or personal ideas?

 

James: We enjoy the limitations which come with commissions and briefs. The built-in context and form immediately provide things to play with and morph.

 

Luke: Our ongoing personal work and interests generate ideas or feelings which we bring to commissions.

 

Where do you best map out your ideas?

 

James: Mainly in talking to each other.

 

Do you creative arm wrestle each other until the best idea wins?

 

Luke: More often than not we have had an idea for quite a while before it makes its way into a project. Usually it feels pretty self-evident when one of those ideas might fit in a project and by that point it doesn’t feel much like a decision made by either one of us.

 

Image by Rottingdean Bazaar and Annie Collinge, first published in Luncheon Magazine

 

Do you have different skill sets from each other or do you work completely in unison?

 

Luke: Mostly we work on the same tasks at the same time, although there are certain things which we each gravitate towards. For example, one of my favourite things is wrapping parcels, so I always do that because I enjoy it. James is great at craft tasks which need a lightness of touch, like needle punch felting, so he tends to take the lead in those.

 

What is one of your favourite if not challenging and rewarding projects?

 

James: When we have shown work at fashion week we have enjoyed the challenge and anticipation of creating catwalk shows and presentations. We found making and showing the music video gave us similar feelings.

 

Image by Rottingdean Bazaar and Annie Collinge, first published in Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin

 

When are you in a state of happiness?

 

Luke: Wrapping parcels.

 

James: In bed with a hot water bottle.

 

Fashion designers, artists, creative directors, stylists, creators of hilarious visions and now music video directors – what were the challenges of the transition to moving imagery?

 

Luke: This was our first time directing a film-based project. The main thing that was different and interesting for us was working with a larger group of people and with more technical stages to the process. When we make art objects or fashion it is just us two and when we make photographic stills it is usually just us two, the photographer and the model.

 

Image by Rottingdean Bazaar and Annie Collinge, first published in Pleasure Garden Magazine

 

The tone and lyrics of Dry Cleaning’s new single Scratchcard Lanyard is so in tune with Rottingdean’s sensibilities. What were the initial conversations like with the artist?

 

James: The band wrote to us about working together and we said that we would like to direct a music video, as it was something we had been thinking about for a while. We had a conversation on Zoom and we quite quickly thought about the club, which we found in a flea market about four years ago and had been waiting to use for something. For the video we refurbished it by adding a stage, curtains, lighting, more props, more characters, a stand and of course a hole in the back.

 

Which other artist would you like to direct a music video for?

 

Luke: We are open-minded!

 

What is your current state of mind?

 

James: Making the video was a mind-opening experience, so we are feeling curious and energised about where else the process might possibly lead us.

 

 

Rottingdean Bazaar website

@rottingdeanbazaar

Credits

Dry Cleaning, Scratchcard Laynard

Directed by Rottingdean Bazaar
Set by Rottingdean Bazaar
Director of Photography: Rik Burnell
1st AC: Matt Hillier
2nd AC: Josh Higgins
Editor: Adam Jones
Colourist: Jason Wallis
Production: Candy Artists
Label: 4AD