Occasions Of West Street are a bridal and occasion-wear boutique based in Fareham. Known for their affordable exclusivity, they offer a huge selection of wedding dresses to suit all kinds of to-be brides.
However, they currently have a couple of outfits on display that are unlike any they’ve held before. Except, these ones aren’t for sale.
Olana Light is a Hampshire-based artist whose new project titled ‘Searching to Belong’ currently takes pride of place in the boutique window. Originally born in Belarus, Light has been living in the UK for 10 years now moving between installation, performance, film and sculptures like these.
Enjoying the more immersive, otherworldly side of her art, the two wearable sculptures set out to “liberate herself and explore the self doubled and camouflage as well as trying to understand what it means to be human.” Expression plays a huge part for artists, Light in particular and many set out to find where they belong, questioning and challenging social norms along the way.
Light described the piece and its message as: “With the flow of time, the couple metamorphoses into a singular organic being. This coming together suggests that love and compassion for our fellow creatures is the pathway to creating a ‘we-world’ – an inclusive environment at the intersection of all systems, a realm in which everybody belongs.”
Housing the project at Occasions Of West Street not only welcomes the bridal theme of much of their range, but it reflects the message of togetherness and inclusivity every visitor and client experiences at the boutique.
The bridal shop was excited to have the opportunity to display work from a brilliant local artist and even more shocked to find out that the artist and her now-husband even wore these pieces to their own wedding!
Light explained: “During lockdown, I decided to take my wearable sculptures out of the installation-based environment to the real life. It was a time when my future husband and I were planning our wedding ceremony. I proposed to make special costumes for our special event and for an art project simultaneously, and he replied: ‘why not?’.”
With Covid-induced cancellations, Light had time to invest in this project and wore the sculptures in 2021 as lockdown lifted and they were able to celebrate their marriage! The original film and wearable sculptures included in the wider project ‘Search to Belong’ were presented for the Lucky Dip Exhibition at God’s House Tower in Southampton in 2021.
Now, these particular pieces are being marvelled by plenty of locals already who live nearby to the salon. The team have a multitude of brides with varying tastes coming in and out every week. But this takes individuality to another level!
If you’re in the Fareham area, pop by to take a look for yourself and have a chat with the lovely team who will be able to tell you about it!