We can’t work out what planet Dom Sebastian is on. The worlds he creates are weird, wacky and wonderful, and we want in. He uses silicones, thermoplastics and polyurethane systems to make futuristic designs that transport us into an alternative universe.
Dom sits somewhere between a mad scientist, fashion designer and artist. His work transverses a variety of practices, bringing them together in ways that are unique and spellbinding. He initially studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins before transferring to textile design. “I think the way that my work moves between the different areas can confuse people because they can’t define it”, he explains. “My recent project Gel Futures is not just a fashion collection, it’s more than that. I have brought together everything I have ever learnt”.
Just scrolling through Gel Futures is a pretty surreal experience; zoomed in, pixelated pictures of sticky, slimy plastic are paired with gloopy videos and strange shots of the clothing. Dom’s work is intensely tactile. When you look at it, you can imagine the feel, tight and stretchy, on your skin. “The way silicone feels on the body is sensual”, he tells us. “It forms itself to you”.
Dom creates second skins, more evocative of superhero costumes than our own dull flesh. The artist is fascinated by modifying and enhancing the body. Although technology has advanced, it seems the human form has not yet caught up. Dom’s work gives us a glimpse into our future, and how we could potentially look if we embraced experimentation.
“The creation of textiles and fabrics happens through chemical reactions”, he tells us. “I had the viewpoint of creating print within the material, opposed to the print being a layer on top of a surface”. Symbols are included throughout his work, swirls and suns blend with the plastics, suggestive of mythology and the supernatural.
“The collection is like a journey”, Dom says. “There are five main atmospheres. There’s a different mood for each set and the symbols link into that”. The colour combinations he uses evoke different feelings. Black and red swirl together like a fiery hell, clouds float next to a blazing, passionate sun. There are earthy greens and clear plastics that drip like water.
The artist is drawn to how adaptable his materials are, the way you can alter their characteristics. “When you start with raw chemicals you can transform them into anything imaginable”, he explains. Versatility is exactly what his practice encompasses. Dom longs for the human body to be able to transform, just as his materials do and as his practice does; it is a world of endless possibilities, bright colours and satisfying, oozing slime.
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