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Counter Feat: raising vital funds for LPT
02 December 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Pat Albeck for LPT
One of Texprint’s stalwart supporters, London Printworks Trust has launched an imaginative initiative to raise vital funds. The campaign, called Counter Feat, was launched at an event at its Brixton base on Tuesday 29 November. The Trust is currently threatened with closure if funding cannot be raised in time – to fill the huge gap left following the shock withdrawal of Arts Council funding earlier this year.
Printing at Counter Feat launch
The idea was conceived by Lorna Dallas-Conte, LPT’s executive director, who said: “We are addressing this crisis by literally printing our own money and we have been excited by the enthusiastic response from eager art collectors. The art notes are set to be a runaway success; not only artistically but in saving a unique specialist textile resource that is vital to the creative ecology and many printmakers working in London. We hope art notes might even become an annual event in the future.”
Eley Kishimoto for LPT
Launched in time to make an ideal Christmas present for your creative family and friends, the art notes are available as a limited edition, all hand printed at LPT.
Drying bank notes at LPT
You can invest in the impressive full set – or simply choose a favourite from one of the great designs by 10 distinguished artistic friends of the Trust. Fashion designers Eley Kishimoto, Jonathan Saunders, Holly Fulton, Heikki Salonen and Zandra Rhodes, have joined forces with sculptor Bill Woodrow, illustrator Will Broome, artist and textile designer Pat Albeck, textile designer Sarah Campbell, and Hemmingway Design. This outstanding line-up has donated their time and talent to support the initiative. Spread the word and snap them up now while you can.
Bill Woodrow for LPT
London Printworks Trust was established in 1992. Their specialist facilities have recently been upgraded and offer a fantastic spacious working environment that is available with on-site industry assistance if required. The Trust offers internships and bursaries and is a vital support for emerging talent in print. Texprint’s Lauren Bowker is currently based there. Lauren, who recently graduated from the RCA, can’t yet afford to set up her own studio – and the opportunity she has been given at the Trust has been a lifeline to her.
Will Broome for LPT
As well as supporting emerging designers, the Trust runs an exciting programme of events, courses and exhibitions and has a vital community outreach remit, including programmes for adults with learning difficulties and a 14-16 engagement scheme.
The Arts Council recently recognised the value of the Trust: “London Printworks Trust has a strong role in providing unique expertise and production facilities for artists and designers. In light of the limited resources available, it was with regret that Arts Council England decided not to fund the organisation’s application through its national portfolio.”
To buy the art notes visit:
For further information on the Trust and the Counter Feat initiative contact:
Lauren Bowker: textiles, art, science
23 November 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Lauren Bowker is a maverick who works at the intersection of textiles, art and science. One of Texprint’s 24 from 2011 and a recent RCA MA printed textiles graduate, her practice is a world away from the conventional route of creating patterned fabrics. Her vision lies in the exciting possibilities opened up by advances in printing inks, new technology and techniques. Lauren is inspired by “making the invisible, visible” and her work has produced a number of exciting and unusual outcomes.
Lauren Bowker: cabinet detail, RCA Work in Progress exhibition 2011
Intriguing is a word that best describes much of Lauren’s work – her exhibit for the Work in Progress exhibition at the RCA in January 2011 caused many visitors to stop and ponder. Entitled ‘Several stages to show the release of a phoenix’, it was a precisely arranged curiosity cabinet, reminiscent of a Victorian pharmacy, which contained glass jars holding specimens of charred paper, fabric and tools. Lauren revealed the mysterious finished concept at her final exhibition at the RCA in the shape of a fictional creature encased in a vintage glass display case. The magic began with a flick of a hidden switch as the ‘bird’ began to move and its feathers dramatically changed colour.
Feather detail, printed with thermochromic inks
The science behind this fascinating work involves the use of thermochromic inks. Lauren’s exploration of the uses of these and other ‘smart’ inks and materials is where her true interest lies. As well as currently developing possibilities for use in the ‘theatre of fashion’ for shows and exhibitions, Lauren’s work also holds the promise of more serious applications in healthcare. For example, colour changing inks can be highly useful in creating visual alerts for medical staff as warning of physiological changes. Lauren has recently secured a position as an assistant at the Northumbria University’s London-based research hub, and will soon be working with leading academics on an exciting, on-going project called Active Materials for Living.
Lauren Bowker at London Printworks Trust
In addition, Lauren has been given studio space at Brixton-based charity London Printworks Trust; an opportunity made possible through a bursary from the Leverhulme Trust. This will give her access to facilities to be able to continue her personal creative work. James Bosley, Texprint supporter and senior printmaker at London Printworks Trust, has been instrumental in assisting Lauren in this crucial stage of her career.
Lauren in the print room at LPT
A whirlwind recent few months has seen Lauren exhibit with Texprint in London, Shanghai and Paris. This generated much interest and resulted in freelance commissions which have kept Lauren very busy, as well as travelling across the UK to speak at various universities about her pioneering work.
Lauren is pushing the boundaries of what textiles can be, and Texprint was quick to recognise and support the exciting potential of this young creative with her innovative and original approach.
To see Lauren speak about her work, visit this RCA video:
Website : http://www.phnx.co/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on Active Materials for Living research at Northumbria
London Printworks Trust is a registered charity, based in Brixton, South London, with impressive printing facilities. The Trust’s work spans many activities and its aims include forging stronger links between art and design, providing support for small businesses and offering educational activities within the local community and beyond. In addition, it works to provide continuing professional development and has links with larger commercial companies that also use its facilities.
Lost in Lace exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
15 November 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Annie Bascoul's installation
Lost in Lace is an inspiring, free exhibition featuring 20 international artists, currently showing at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery until the 19th February. The UK’s Crafts Council has worked in partnership with the gallery to stage this impressive array of work featuring lace which ranges from the delicate to the monumental. Curated by Lesley Millar MBE, professor of textile culture at the University of the Creative Arts, and set in the huge Gas Hall, the exhibition explores the relationship between textiles and space through a series of installations.
Bold, large scale work in the exhibition includes a piece by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, which forms a web of black thread that ‘traps’ a white staircase. Annie Bascoul’s dream-like dual installation consists of a beautiful, intricate screen which casts shadows across the floor, and a delicate, ‘floating’ bed of feathers. Atelier Manferdini, supported by Swarovski, presents a spectacular, sparkling floor-to-ceiling hanging created from 600 crystal strands.
The variety of themes and approaches in the exhibition is fascinating and includes Michael Brennand-Wood’s intriguing installation. His piece is made up of black and red roundels created from aluminium, which reveal his anti-militaristic stance. He explains: “My intention is to construct a ‘military lace’ emblematic of conflict and the annexing of resources and territory.”
A number of artists involved in the exhibition use their knowledge of science in their work. Tamar Frank’s lighting piece uses phosphorescent thread to reveal complex curves. She explains: “Like lace making I am in fact repeating the same action over and over. And, as with lace making, I am creating a work from a single thread, the pattern often defined by the space in between the threads: by the emptiness.” Alessia Giardino’s Polluted Lace piece employs screen printing and photo-catalytic concrete to create a pattern from pollution, which emerges gradually during exposure to the environment.
Alongside the Lost in Lace exhibition, BMAG has also created a complementary exhibition in its Bridge Gallery, Lost in Lace: Concealed and Revealed, curated by Gail Baxter. This new display of lace from the Museum’s textile collection reveals some of the fascinating stories and the sometimes dark history of these delicate and coveted textiles.
Lost in Lace, 29 October 2011 to 19 November 2012
Gas Hall at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH
Opening times: Monday to Thursday and Saturday10am to 5pm, Friday 10.30 to 5pm, Sunday 12.30am to 5pm
+44 (0)121 303 1966 email@example.com
For more information about the exhibition and the artists http://lostinlace.org.uk/
Texprint prizewinners take part in ComOn, Italy
08 November 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Four Texprint prize winners participated in the ComOn initiative, held in Como, Italy from October 17 to 22, 2011. Set up to celebrate and support emerging European talent in textiles, fashion, design and art, and as an introduction to the strengths of the Como textile industry, this great event is now in its fourth year. Prize winners David Bradley, Harriet Toogood, Chloe Hamblin and Emma Shipley travelled to Como for the week’s series of presentations, workshops and visits to some of Italy’s most prestigious mills.
Texprint designers visit the Como Silk Museum
Joining them in this wonderful experience were two other designers from Texprint 2011; Lok Ting Carol Pau who won an internship with Clerici Tessuto and Amy Jo Lewis who will intern at the Taiana company.
Chiara Francina, Curator at Fondazione Antoni Ratti, Museo del Tessuto, reveals samples from their archive
Highlights of ComOn this year included high profile visits to the Como Silk Museum and the Antonio Ratti Foundation where the young designers had the opportunity to see some of the foundation’s tremendous archive which dates back to the 15th Century. Curator Chiara Francina presented some of the textile treasures to the designers. They also visited the Ratti Group’s design studio to see some design work destined for top-flight Italian designers and their state-of-the-art print production processes. Texprint alumnus Andrew Boyd, winner of Texprint’s 2010 Colour prize, is happily employed by the group following his success last year.
Chloe Hamblin, Harriet Toogood and David Bradley visit a Ratti print production unit.
Inspiring presentations during the week included a dynamic and somewhat provocative talk given by David Shah, the respected owner and publisher of Textile View, and a thought-provoking presentation from Li Edelkoort, the renowned trend forecaster, on future trends for spring 2013. Texprint’s Peter Ring-Lefevre also spoke at the opening event.
Lok Ting Carol Pau creating beachwear designs for Parah during ComOn
During the week, Texprint’s Lok Ting Carol Pau won a competition to create beachwear designs organised by the Como-based brand Parah. Alongside the event, Francesca Colussi, another designer highlighted at this year’s Texprint showcase, had the opportunity to participate in an intense three-week textile course organised by the Antonio Ratti Foundation. This course is led by Tal Lancman, one of the founders of the Interweave studio in Paris, and a former creative editor of Textile View.
The Italian trade organisation Confindustria Como organises ComOn, and it represents the core 300 Como-based textile companies. Its generous support and connection with Texprint has provided an invaluable and unforgettable experience for some of our talented designers this year. ComOn’s mission to be a hub of creativity in Europe fits with Texprint’s own ethos to support and highlight some of the best emerging UK textile designers.