Saturday, 20 August 2016

Saturday 20th August: Notting Hill Carnival Mas Camps - UCOM

Following on from my previous post at M2K Mas, to one of the next generation who originally trained with their education programme - UCOM (United Colours Of Mas).  Designer Paul O'Donoghue  swept up last year's Notting Hill Carnival award for a spectrum of hues across the costume band culminating in a rainbow queen.  The success of this colour palette has left an inspirational wake in its path with other groups incorporating multi-colour into their themes this year.  Therefore, if you want to see future trends in Carnival art direction, UCOM is the name to watch.  
Attention to detail is perfected for each look.  As you see here, Fred is dismantling a silver chain and re-mounting it's azure crystals onto gold links to match the rest of the midas concept that celebrates the 50 years of Notting Hill Carnival.  "MythOdyssey" is the 2016 story for UCOM, split into many subsections including "Sirens", "Flights of the Phoenix" and "Pandoras Box".  For that reason every spare piece of space at the HQ is used as storage for completed pieces ready for collection and previous samples.  To add to that, Paul also takes on commissions of production for other Mas bands, so it's literally the most feathers per square foot that I have ever seen.  Each ceiling is dripping with lines of headdresses and corridors of rails of shoulder pieces....... not to mention desks for all hands on deck to construct more.
UCOM will have a presence all over this year's Notting Hill Carnival from their purple pigments at the Sunday morning "Jouvert" opening ceremony thru Sunday's family day and Monday's grand finale.  Keep an eye out for large glittering gold wings sailing down the parade to spot these Masqueraders appearing en mas.     

1 comment:

Stephen Spark said...

You're doing a grand job showing us the mas camps, Fred. I'll look forward to your report on mas on the road at carnival itself.

The only trouble with playing mas (as I will be this year, with Sunshine International Arts) is that you only get to see your own band and have no idea what's going on along the rest of the route.