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Transmutation was the word that came to mind the first time I saw milliner Sahar Freemantle's Magpie inspired Ugly Lovely collection.
A narrative of claws, animal horns, feathers, shredded snake skin, fossilized beetles, dried butterflies, bird skulls, etc, gave me the impression that if I wore one of her ingenious creations, I could morph into this intelligent bird.
The Magpie is the only non-mammal species to have the ability of self recognition in a mirror test.
And they are are also the ultimate recycler known for thieving and collecting found objects for their nests.
Raised on a farm it was commonplace for Sahar to see animal carcasses, skulls, rotting fruit and vegetables and it is in this milieu of birth, death and decay that she discovered beauty in the extraordinary.
While studying at Edinburgh College of Art she found passion in high drama, Schiaparelli hats, insect art and taxidermy receiving her degree in Costume Design and specialising in Millinery.
As well they tell a story of fearlessness allowing whoever wears these objects of art to be transformed; bringing out inner confidence and strength.
Gisela Torres Photos: Gisela Torres Hats: Sahar Freemantle Makeup Artist: Sara Sorrenti Hair: Jack Merrick Thirlway Model: Danielle Ifra Yuval Atzili was my student. I have known him as a teacher knows a beloved student.
There is a limit to what you can know about your students. I have taught him 2 years in Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. I have met again a few months ago, we sat in a coffee shop, he doesn’t like coffee shops. Even people who eat everything don’t freeze that kind of birds.
He spoke about dead birds, I remembered birds interested him back then as well, in Bezalel. See, those are birds that people don’t usually put inside their freezer, long winged, magnificent, fragile. He told me about the freezer, the cooler where a dead bird is each time carried into the club he photographs in, waiting for the right, crucial moment.
I was immediately sorry I hadn’t thought of it myself, that I hadn’t stolen him from life, into my story.
A young man with burning eyes (that’s the way it is, sometimes similes flares in your head, later it softens).