Exploring the past doesn't have to mean stagnating there - as proved by the resurgence of subcultures spawned by nostalgia. One such trend, steampunk, mixes elements of Victorian life with fantasy and science fiction.Steampunk, so called because it centres on a time when steam was a major source of power, features futuristic innovations based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style and art."It's a fantasy on being back in the Victorian era: you're looking forward to the future but you've got extras, so you're contemplating life in a different way," says Rainey J Dillon, who first became interested in the genre in the late 1980s after reading science fiction works by Jules Verne and HG Wells.
She incorporates the concept into her art and jewellery-making - vintage pocket watches and pendants with collectible dolls inside, about a quarter-inch in height. Encased in glass and pewter or hanging as talismans are tiny ruby slippers and stars; mechanical monkeys, geckos and clockwork rabbits. Bird wings and old springs and bolts are inset against glitter, antique lace, paper or pearls. Her paintings are reminiscent of a Tim Burton production - with monocle-wearing gorillas, mustachioued bunnies and Christ depicted as a "Honey Boy". The look is sometimes grotesque, sometimes controversial, but always thought-provoking. "Words are important to me, so I might use one word in an old font, or an antique typewriter key for the initial of someone's name," she says. "I use antique wallpaper - some from as far back as the 1890s in my art - falling apart but beautiful. I've made wedding set pendants for brides and grooms too."
The Irish Times magazine. Article by Tara Brady
Link To Master of Steampunk Article
Cara Magazine (Inflight Aer-Lingus mag July 2013