Features: Alumni

Texprint connects industry to selected graduate designers just emerging from college or university - also to Texprint alumni, many of whom now enjoy high profile creative roles within the international textile, fashion and interior design industries. Their success in industry, and in many cases, the success of their own studios and brands, are testimony to the Texprint programme.  Many continue to support Texprint in a variety of ways.

If you are a Texprint alumnus, tell us what you're doing now, we would love to hear from you - info@texprint.org.uk


Rupert Newman design with light projection

Rupert Newman - illuminating textiles

06 March 2011

Rupert Newman, one of Texprint’s alumni from 2006, is challenging the traditional boundaries of print, adding sound, animation and light projection to bring surface pattern to life. His mission includes not only involving the viewer in his magical pieces, but empowering them by giving control over their experience. Rupert, who graduated with an MA in Textile Design from the Royal College of Art last year, told us, “I not only aim to stimulate and bombard the senses with a variety of colours, textures, shapes and sounds, but also to provide the viewer with the ability to choose, control and manipulate this ‘palette’ with both predetermined and unpredictable material”.

Rupert’s approach is radically modern and alters the traditional artist/spectator relationship, as he explains, “I want to give the element of control back to them. I want them to explore the boundaries of my work in their individual ways”.
His recent work has clear recreational and therapeutic benefits and his installations have had great reactions from the public, having been shown at a variety of venues; at music festivals and nightclubs, as well as galleries. He created a quite a stir for a client in Chiswick, London recently, with his beautiful projection drawing attention to a showroom during a special event.

Currently in the process of planning an exciting new exhibition, to be held in Brixton, London later this spring, Rupert plans a variety of contrasting fabrics and light projections all accompanied by individual sounds, heard though wireless headphones. He is also beginning to explore how his work might be harnessed in sensory rooms, or play a role in product showrooms, or as window installations. Rupert Newman’s future looks as bright and exciting as his innovative work.


Holly Bradley Gill’s taste of Italy

23 February 2011

Texprint caught up with 2010 star, Holly Bradley Gill this week, just before she jetted off to work in Italy for six months. This great opportunity emerged as a direct result of Texprint’s connections with some of the prestigious Italian mills. Holly was offered a paid placement with the Marzotto company following the Texprint showcase. In Italy, she will work between Guabello in Biella, a mill producing mainly menswear fabrics, and Esthehia gb Gonte in Vicenza, who produce fabrics for womenswear. She told us, “Texprint has helped me so much since graduating!”

Winner of the Texprint 2010 Weave Prize, Holly’s “beautiful colour-sense” was praised by judges. Her detailed, delicate fabrics were inspired by wartime Britain. Her nostalgic graduate collection referenced WW2 ration booklets, coupons and other old documents from her visits to the Imperial War Museum’s research area. She told us, “I love this era, - I loved the colours and the marks on the old paper; they had been used and had stories behind them. I wanted to produce fabrics that looked like heirlooms. Fabrics that are special and have the impression of having been loved - hinting at times gone by”.

Her passion for weave emerged in her first year at Central Saint Martins, she says, “When I first tried weaving, something just clicked. It felt right doing it. I like how stable it feels; once you’re threaded up and ready, you’re secure. There’s also a great feeling of the unknown about weaving” Her success at CSM included being Highly Commended in the Rosemary House Creative Weaver Award in 2009. Holly says, “I think weavers have a definite temperament - its quite methodical, repetitive work, so you need patience. It’s also mathematical, and so if you are pragmatic and enjoying solving problems that helps!”

Holly’s future plans are focused on setting up her own business as a designer-maker. She believes her time in Italy will give her an invaluable insight into how the industry works. Her own business plan is ready to put into action on her return to the UK. Holly’s talent coupled with her clear head and determination look set to be a recipe for future success.  

Designs from Jenna's graduate collection

Jenna Gibson - freelance career takes flight

15 February 2011

Jenna Gibson’s career has blossomed since exhibiting at Indigo, Paris as one of Texprint’s 2010 stars. Jenna’s distinctive, fashion forward approach to textiles has attracted some exciting recent commissions, including designing for Hugo Boss. She has recently returned from a trip to the brand’s design studio in Metzingen, Stuttgart, where she consulted with their team. Her commissioned designs will be the main print story of the Spring/Summer 2012 Hugo Womenswear line.

Jenna gained a first class BA (Hons) degree in Textiles from Buckinghamshire New University in 2008, before going on to study at the RCA in London where she graduated with an MA last June.  Jenna’s MA graduate collection was inspired by architecture and the transition of light, using gradations of colour to create the illusion of sculptural form. She is now working on her latest collection of work, and her inspirations have developed, but she says, “I think there will always be a twist of constructivism and the play of light in my work.” Her passion for print remains undimmed, she says, “I really love screen printing, as I feel it adds depth and texture to the fabric; I also find the craft of the printing process really exciting and fulfilling… well – when it goes right! My next collection will combine both digital and screen printing. This way I can add in intricate colour details with digital, and have an over-print perhaps using foil, to add texture and colour to the print, resulting in a very ‘high-end’ look to the finished garment.”

For the moment, Jenna is developing her freelance career, building up valuable experience and contacts, while honing her considerable skills. Her ambitions for the future include setting up her own label, producing print collections each season.  She feels that being chosen for Texprint 2010, was invaluable; she told us, “Having the experience from selling at Texprint has given me a mature approach when discussing the all important fees and sale of future work.”


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