“Watching films is very tiring for me,” admits Rachel Fleminger Hudson with a laugh. It’s not that she has a negative relationship with movies – far from it. Digesting all of the detail is exhausting because she finds so much of it fascinating. That same curious spirit can be seen across her portfolio, which encompasses visual media, costume design, and research.
So far this has culminated in a 70s-flecked body of work informed by cultural theorists as well as filmmakers like Ken Russell and John Cassavetes. Her photography project Football Hooligans feels as though it’s been lifted from the past, the product of carefully considered hairstyles, expressions, even colour grading. La Ronde, her recent final major project at Central Saint Martins, is fashion film meets romantic drama modelled on Arthur Schnitzler’s play of the same name. Even the development shots from that project make for delightful, rich imagery.
Fleminger Hudson’s starting points can be abstract, but by the end of a project, she’ll have created a concrete world around them, first by throwing herself into an intense phase of research and writing, before focusing on lighting, costumes, sets, characters, performance. Her attention has recently been fixated on a specific pair of glasses, which to her exuded “a certain time, and this history which I felt that I knew. I hadn’t done the research on it, but I knew it was there.”