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Wool House: feeling warm and woolly!
14 March 2013 by Editor
“Wool is a fibre for the life we lead, the people we love, the planet we inhabit.” The Campaign for Wool
The Wool House exhibition at Somerset House, London, opened yesterday and is on until 24 March. This stylish and richly artisanal celebration of wool is not to be missed encompassing as it does the very best of what can be achieved by spinning, weaving, printing and manipulating this most timeless and enduring of fibres.
Hummingbird by Alexander McQueen for The Rug Company
The lofty and elegant rooms in the west wing of Somerset House have been used to stage a series of room sets as well as displays of fashion and accessories, including bespoke tailoring and hand knitting.
Savile Row bespoke
The importance of wool to the fashion industry is demonstrated with designs by, among others, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Raeburn; also Dashing Tweeds (Kirsty McDougall, Texprint 2002) and Alice Palmer (Texprint 2007).
Teflon-coated felted lace parka by Christopher Raeburn, headphones by Urbanears, tweed jackets by Dashing Tweeds
Knitted dress by Mark Fast, knitted chair cover, knit and fleece cape by Alice Palmer
As part of the national Campaign for Wool supported by The Prince of Wales, the project also involves a series of interactive workshops and a special educational and innovation room, using hi-tech tablets to demonstrate the processes wool undergoes on its journey from sheep to consumer. This is an exhibition designed to engage and educate as much as to enjoy.
“Wool is all about comfort and beauty. It is a fibre grown, not manmade, with an origin and integrity that has yet to be matched. Natural, renewable and sustainable it offers the most timeless and enduring quality to materials for many different lifestyle products for interiors, fashion, build and craft.“ The Campaign for Wool
Wool fabrics are used to great effect in the room installations. From the dramatic entrance hall with its chequered black and white carpet, to the modernist room by Anne Kyyro-Quinn with its brightly coloured sound-absorbing wall coverings, the fresh and charming nursery designed by Donna Wilson, to the typically eclectic and crafted bedroom designed by Kit Kemp MBE. Dream interiors that beautifully illustrate wool's versatility in use, colour and texture.
Modern Room by Anne Kyyro-Quinn
Nursery by Donna Wilson
Bedroom by Kit Kemp MBE
Event director Bridgette Kelly - working with interior designer Arabella McNie as curator, and all the participating designers and highly skilled artisans - has created a truly diverse and creative opportunity to engage with the fibre’s heritage and future potential.
We would encourage textile and fashion design students and tutors to visit and be inspired!
Wool art installation by Dutch tapestry artist, Claudy Jongstra
Wools of the World
Artisan rug weaver Jason Collingwood in his temporary studio, weaving on a table loom throughout the exhibition
Carlo Volpi at Pitti Filati, 23-25 January
23 February 2013 by Editor
Good to hear from Carlo Volpi (Texprint 2012) following his return from Pitti Filati, Florence, where Carlo was asked to create knitted garments for the Spazio Ricerca of Pitti Filati, the central research space dedicated to future vision, design and artisanal skills.
The inspiration for Carlo’s one-off pieces came from his research into cultural festivals: music festivals, folk/religious festivals like "El Dia de Los Muertos" (Day of The Dead) in Mexico, and sagras (traditional Italian food festivals). As always, the research area provided drama and focus for those visitors looking to be excited by new ideas and creativity; the mannequins lined up on the central runway, surrounded by colourful petals strewn on the floor, and screens to each side showed videos of the various festivals.
Read more on Carlo’s blog for the Knitting Industry website where he regularly posts on anything he finds inspiring - emerging or established designer’s work, new yarns and exciting stitches.
tel : +44 (0)7983 970703
Breaking boundaries: Texprint 2012’s mixed media specialists
24 November 2012 by Joyce Thornton
For a unique approach to textile design, many new designers are breaking down boundaries and embracing other media in their work. Texprint’s 2012 showcase revealed four young people who are taking this path to carve out a truly individual style.
Winner of the Texprint Space prize, Tania Knuckey explores the intersection between art and design. She uses many different types of media and techniques revealing a lively and playful attitude. Tania’s painterly and experimental work is often very graphic and evolves in an organic way, encompassing both installation and work for interiors.
Tania Knuckey: chair installation
Tania recently showed some of her chair pieces at The Stables Gallery in Richmond, Surrey: her installation changed on a weekly basis through wrapping new mixed media fabrics around the pieces. She also gave a recent talk on the subject of transforming textiles into animations at the Slow Textiles Group’s studio in Hampstead, London, as well as exhibiting a concept book, created in collaboration with RCA architecture graduate Joseph Deane, at the RCA’s Sustain show.
Neckpieces by Lily Kamper
The enormous BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple in Neasden, North London, was one of the main inspirations for Lily Kamper’s distinctive work. The hand carved totem columns taken as a reference that she combined with softer elements in her multi-layered processes. Lily creates fresh ideas for fashion accessories, including fabulously futuristic statement jewellery pieces and bags.
Case with Perspex handle by Lily Kamper
She is fascinated by the possibilities of exploring texture and colour; a favourite theme is combining hard and soft materials to create unusual outcomes, as seen in her recent collaboration with men’s footwear designer, Tariq Mahmoud, where she created the Perspex heels. Lily also recently created the bespoke, hand-made trophies for WGSN’s recent Global Fashion Awards 2012.
Knitted textile by Sarah Burton.
Sarah Burton’s exciting contemporary pieces for fashion combine her passion for knitwear with modern embellishment. Sarah loves the process of knitting and constantly plays with construction techniques, continuing to develop her samples in unusual ways. Favourite materials include fine yet strong yarns such as viscose. Sarah’s inspirational research led her to study the traditions of the circus, looking closely at costume for performance, which demands a mix of the practical and the decorative. Sarah is taking up an exciting new position with Acorn Conceptual Textiles based in Nottingham, in addition to developing a small range of hand-made mixed media accessories.
Embellished woven textile by Alix Massieux.
Finally, fantasy and surrealism are aspects that inspired Alix Massieux’s fabric collection. Although a weave specialist, Alix is driven to mix techniques and experiment with embroidery. Targeting a high-end market, she uses fine yarns such as mercerised cotton and silk, but is also intent on injecting an element of fun into her work, using flashes of Lurex to create vibrant, light-hearted effects.
Exhibition alert: London summer highlights
27 August 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Inspiring exhibitions we recommend you visit this summer and autumn.
POP! Design, Culture, Fashion - until 27 October, Fashion & Textile Museum, Bermondsey. Traces the impact of youth culture, music and art from the 50s-70s; highlights include 60’s pieces sold in Mary Quant’s Bazaar, items from Elton John’s personal wardrobe, and original pieces sold in Westwood and McLaren’s ‘80’s shop, Sex.
Fashion & Textile Museum, Lunchtime Lecture Series – 5 – 26 September, Fashion & Textile Museum, Bermondsey. A series of four lectures looking at the changing shape of fashion from 1955–1976. Using garments drawn from the Fashion and Textile Museum’s Collection, these talks are led by author of ‘The Chronology of Fashion’, NJ Stevenson.
Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary – until 30 September, V&A Museum. Heatherwick’s design explorations, whether architecture, sculpture or product, don’t start with a drawing or a discussion, but with ‘an attitude of purposefulness’ pushing the physical properties of materials beyond the expected. The exhibition tracks Heatherwick’s progress from his RCA graduation project through to a scale model of the spectacular 2012 copper Olympic cauldron.
Thomas Heatherwick / Photo credit: V&A Museum London 2012
Arthur Bispo do Rosario (1909-1989) - until the 28 October, V&A Museum. Bispo remains one of Brazil’s most recognised artists, and this display includes hand-embroidered banners, garments and sculpture. This ‘outsider’ art reveals the imaginative responses of the artist who has appropriated found objects such as bottles, buttons, card, paper and even cutlery to create complex pieces.
Fights 1938-1982 Arthur Bispo do Rosario / Photo credit: Rodrigo Lopes
Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 - until 6 January 2013, V&A Museum. Over 60 items of statement eveningwear: from the elegance of Norman Hartnell to the bold inventiveness of Gareth Pugh.
Atsuko Kudo, worn by Georgia Frost with dresses by Hardy Amies and Worth of London / Photo credit: Carlos Jimenez, V&A Images
Grayson Perry: The Walthamstow Tapestry - until 23 September, The William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow. A rare opportunity to view one of the most powerful works by Turner Prize-winning artist, Grayson Perry. This vibrant and very large tapestry “chronicles man’s passage from birth to death via the shops” – an exploration of our uneasy but powerful relationship to branding and the impact of consumerism on everyday life.
Texprint London: four prize winners chosen by industry luminaries
18 July 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Texprint London - the must-see presentation of the best new graduate textile designers from the UK – took place July 11-13, 2012 at Chelsea College of Art’s Triangle Building.
Press, fashion and textile industry guests turned out in force to support and encourage the 24 successful designers.Texprint’s chairman, Barbara Kennington said: “This was undoubtedly our most successful and buzzy Texprint London show to date, the feedback overall was terrific, which bodes well for future support.”
Judges Sheree Waterson & Paul Stamper veiw the work
Four world-renowned decision makers and designers in the fields of fashion and design selected the winners of four special prizes at the event:Caroline Burstein, creative director at Browns Fashion; textile designer Neisha Crosland; Paul Stamper, senior designer at Renault Design; and Sheree Waterson, executive vice president and chief product officer for Vancouver based sportswear company Lululemon Athletica.
Selection of work by Ying Wu
Ying Wufrom the Royal College of Art scooped the Pattern prize for her highly imaginative work. Ying’s latest pieces are fantastic visual projections of a world where the environment has been polluted and almost destroyed. Her nightmare scenarios remain beautifully colourful and decorative despite their dark content, creating fascinating and thought-provoking artistic textile pieces.
Knitted structure by Carlo Volpi
Knitwear specialist Carlo Volpi, also from the RCA, was the judge’s unanimous choice to receive the Body prize. Carlo’s great sense of colour, texture and 3D structure mixed with a light-hearted sense of fun made an impression on many visitors.
Beaded textile design by Manri Kishimoto
Also commanding much attention,Manri Kishimoto from Central St Martins College of Art & Design won the Colour prize for her bold, graphic and distinctive printed and mixed media work. Manri is inspired by nature and by birds in particular. Her work is often based on stories and features striking motifs and wonderfully detailed beaded embellishment and appliqué.
Tania Knuckey embellished leather
Finally, Tania Grace Knuckey from the RCA won the Space prize, given for the best textiles for use in interiors. The judges were impressed with Tania’s versatility and the wide variety of materials she has explored in her work including many fabric bases, leather and metal.
The prize winners each win a £1,000 prize, courtesy of prize sponsors The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Liberty Art Fabrics and Pantone X-Rite.
The Selection Process 2012 – in conversation with prize judge Caroline Burstein
04 July 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Caroline Burstein is creative director at the designer clothing store Browns Fashion and founder of the luxury bath and body range Molton Brown. Founded by her parents, the legendary Joan and Sidney Burstein, over 40 years ago, Browns is renowned for discovering new talents, such as John Galliano, Comme des Garçons and Hussein Chalayan. Browns was the first store in the UK to stock some of fashion’s biggest names including Armani, Ralph Lauren and Jil Sander through its boutiques centered around London’s South Molton Street. We discuss the value of supporting the next generation of designers and what she hopes to see at Texprint London 2012.
Browns is known as a champion of new designers. Why is it important to support new textile design graduates? Talented people in all fields are born to create - it is a gift that they possess and it has to be expressed. Their talent contributes to the pleasures of life and it has to be supported, nurtured and respected. Textile graduates are no exception, their contribution to design cannot be underestimated.
Do you think textile designers are overshadowed by fashion designers because one creates a finished product and the other may be further along the supply chain? I do believe that this is so. People generally do not consider what goes into a print or a weave, the thought, the skill, the inspiration and the love. This is no doubt because we all live our lives on a fast and superficial level. In the fashion world the media always focuses on the designer and end product when often the very thing that has made the collection strong is the textile design. You see this everywhere right now as colour and print are so in evidence.
Browns has selected the work of some of Texprint’s alumni – such as Clare Tough and Emma JShipley – what do you look for when you work with new designers, do you consider business know-how as well as creative flair? I am always looking for excellence, for an individual point of view, also the energy and personality of the person behind the work is important - right energy and attitude counts for a lot. A basic business knowledge is necessary but it can be learned and if not the artist should have someone beside them that they can trust with that knowledge to guide them through.
Why do British art and design schools produce such extraordinary talents in fashion and textiles – regardless of where they come from originally? I think that our colleges in Britain have always nurtured experimentation – they are not afraid of the new, in fact they seek it and embrace it. Our tutors are all creative talents themselves and encourage students to reach out as far as they can. Today more than ever with so many foreign students the rich range of influences is even stronger with more and more diverse cultures bringing their creative force together under the umbrella of our colleges. I have noticed and experienced that a creative person living here, and in London especially, can have the 'space' to explore their own individuality without being necessarily judged and this is not to be underestimated.
What advice would you give someone graduating in fashion and textile design this year? Keep going and keep creating no matter what. The design fields are always hungry for good work. Get as much experience as you can. Be happy in yourself above all.
As a special prize judge, what are you hoping to see in the work of the 24 designers? What excites you in textile design, is it use of technology, use of colour, texture, drawing skill or...? It is all of the above. It is what speaks to me. I am hoping to be moved almost to tears, to be delighted and excited, to have an intuitive and instinctive response to a beautiful and special piece of work whether it is through an amazing technological breakthrough or simply a perfect piece of needlepoint, if the work has that X factor to make a mark and stand out then that is what I am looking for. I just don't want to be bored!
Alice Palmer: new frontiers for knitwear
24 June 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Knitwear specialist Alice Palmer (Texprint 2007) is renowned for her desirable, sculptural womenswear. Her bold, clever shapes skim and flatter the female form – shattering the safe, cosy image of knitwear. Her pieces are sexy and youthful and perfectly suit a modern, confident clientele. Alice works from her studio in Hackney Wick, London, and shows regularly at London Fashion Week.
What drew you to specialise in knit in the beginning?
I was fascinated by making something from scratch; developing ideas for colour, pattern and form.
What particular qualities are needed to specialise in knit?
An awful lot of patience!
Alice Palmer Autumn/Winter collection 2012. Photography by Christopher Dadey.
You quickly moved into fashion after graduation and show regularly at LFW – was this always your plan?
No, it wasn’t always my plan to have a fashion business. From a young age I thought about going into architecture or fine art painting. While I was studying for an MA at the RCA I started making garments and developing innovative construction techniques. This is when I saw the potential for starting a fashion label.
What inspires you in your work?
All of my surroundings, art, architecture, films and people.
Do you have favourite materials or techniques?
I love to work with silk and viscose as they drape nicely. I use a specific knitting technique, which I love to continue developing each season.
Alice Palmer Autumn/Winter collection 2012. Photography by Christopher Dadey.
Can you describe a typical day?
Emailing, stocktaking, working on production and designing are all part of my day - with meetings here and there.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your work?
The satisfaction of a collection coming together. And seeing the garments being worn.
And the least enjoyable?
Some of the business side - such as accounts.
At Texprint in 2007 you won the Knit Prize – how did this help?
It was really encouraging and I had an incredible opportunity to exhibit in Paris and then in Hong Kong.
Alice Plamer Spring/Summer collection 2012. Photography by Christopher Dadey
Highlights of your career since then?
Showing in New York with Fashion Enter [a social enterprise organisation] and winning the Best Womenswear Award. Also being a finalist in the Fashion Fringe competition in 2010. The most recent highlight has been getting the chance to meet the Queen!This was at a recent event through the Fashion Capital organisation, celebrating 60 years of fashion at the start of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
Soon I will be delving into knitted sculpture and have an exhibition coming up in London. I am exhibiting at Schwartz Gallery in Hackney Wick - from June 27 to August 18 2012 - in a group show called Allotments.
In the future, I plan to start a menswear line.
Anyone you’d ultimately love to work with?
I would love to collaborate with [milliner] Stephen Jones.
Any advice for those about to graduate this year?
Realise what your strengths are and try to find out specifically what you want to do and achieve with your career. Then target the right companies to arrange meetings or interviews. Keep designing, carry on learning and building up your CV and remember that perseverance is key.
Exhibition Alert: Fine Cell Work, April events
17 April 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Social enterprise organisation Fine Cell Work has announced an exhibition and sale at the Rifles Club in Mayfair, London, on April 26, 2012. Working to assist in the rehabilitation of prisoners through paid, skilled, creative needlework, Fine Cell Work produces top quality, beautiful pieces of work. Prisoners are taught by volunteers, many from The Embroiderers’ and Quilters’ Guilds, and the organisation aims to “foster hope, discipline and self esteem”. Cushions, bags, quilts and other items will all be available to buy at the exhibition, and would make exceptional gifts.
The Rifles Club, 56, Davies Street, London W1K 5HR. Nearest tube: Bond Street. Opening hours 12 noon – 4.30pm on April 26, 2012
Limited edition embroidery artworks by Gavin Turk and Fine Cell Work
Also - catch it while you can – British artist Gavin Turk has collaborated with Fine Cell Work to create an exhibition at the Ben Brown Gallery in London, which ends on Friday April 20, 2012. Over 30 artworks, hand-stitched by prisoners, will be on display. In the creation of these new pieces Gavin Turk pays homage to the work of the late Italian artist Alighiero e Boetti to coincide with Boetti’s current major retrospective show at Tate Modern. Boetti is known for his fascination with words, numbers, dates and games as well as for his use of tapestry in some of his works, particularly in the Mappa pieces, where he harnessed the skills of artisan embroiderers from Afghanistan.
Ben Brown Fine Arts, 12 Brooks Mews, London W1K 4GD. Opening hours 11am – 6pm until April 20, 2012
Exhibition Alert: British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age
30 March 2012 by Joyce Thornton
British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age is a major new exhibition which opens at the V&A Museum on March 31, 2012. As Britain once again hosts the Olympic Games in London, the exhibition looks at the radical changes in design since ‘The Austerity Games’ was staged in London in1948. Three galleries are dedicated to tracking the changing shifts in the design of buildings, objects, images and ideas over the last 60 years.
The items on display reveal how British designers responded to economic, political and cultural changes, and how, from the 1950s in particular, the younger generation challenged the ideas and values of their parents like never before. Moving from reconstruction to revolution the exhibition aims to showcase some of the best of the dynamic and ever-changing spirit of British creativity.
British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age
March 31 – August 12, 2012
Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
Open 10am – 5.45pm daily, 10am – 10pm on Fridays
Adult ticket price £12
Exhibition Alert: Designing Women
27 March 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Designing Women is a new exhibition just opened at the Fashion and Textile Museum. Running until June 16, 2012, it celebrates the radical, fresh post-war style of three women artists at the forefront of international textile design in the 1950s and 1960s.
Lucienne Day; Traffic Lights textile by Jacqueline Groag; Jacqueline Groag
Over 100 works by Lucienne Day, Jacqueline Groag and Marian Mahler are featured in this must-see showcase. These modern designs were hugely influenced by the art world and with their bold, off-beat colour mixes and use of quirky abstract shapes, heralded a dramatic change in design for conventional furnishing fabrics for the home.
Lucienne Day: Olive Calyix
The exhibition is complemented by a series of displays including a series of photographic portraits from the University of Brighton’s archive and The Printed Square, a small exhibition of beautiful vintage handkerchiefs from the 1920s to the 1950s.
Designing Women : 6 March - 16 June 2012
Fashion and Textile Museum83, Bermondsey Street
London SE1 3XFinfo@ftmlondon.org
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am - 6pm
Last admissions 5.15pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
Ticket price: £7 / £5 for eligible concessions
Includes entry to FTM displays
Exhibition alert: Social Fabric at Iniva, London
17 January 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Social Fabric opens on 19 January 2012 at the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva) in London, and continues until 10 March 2012. Through textiles the exhibition explores colonial history, international trade, labour and militant politics. It features both recent and historical archival material plus the individual work of two contemporary artists, Alice Creischer and Sudhir Patwardhan.
Alice Creischer’s work, inspired by a trip to India, looks at the economic and social impact of European colonialism and subsequent globalisation - for instance, the craze for imported Indian chintz that caused protest from Spitalfield’s weavers in 1719 and was ultimately hugely detrimental to whole sections of English textile production. Her installation - called Apparatus for the Osmotic Compensation of the Pressure of Wealth during the Contemplation of Poverty - references cycles of investment, disinvestment and decline.
Sudhir Patwardhan, Lower Parel, 2001
Sudhir Patwardhan focusses on Mumbai where the textiles industry employs one in three of the city’s workers. His painting Lower Parel (2001) shows Girangaon, a mill village typical of those that transformed the city’s economy and led to the Indian industrial revolution.
Complex socio-economic subjects are examined through an extensive display of archival loans and artist interventions, including Indian chintz, original journals from Karl Marx, company paintings, films, photographs, newspaper articles and recordings of mill workers’ testimonies.
Social Fabric is curated by Grant Watson, in collaboration with Christine Checinska, Nida Ghouse, Shanay Jhaveri, Nada Raza and Karen Roswell.
A series of talks and events will complement the exhibition and a Social Fabric symposium has been scheduled for 10 March 2012 (venue TBC). Guest speakers will include trade unionists, artists and academics who will contribute to discussions, talks and performances around textile production in relation to international trade, labour and politics. The programme has been arranged by Christine Checinska and speakers include Professors Sarat Maharaj, John Hutnyk and Janis Jefferies and artist Sudhir Patwardhan.
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/
Interweave: exploring society through technology, tools and textiles
01 November 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Interweave, a free one day event exploring society through technology, tools and textiles will be held at the Sackler Centre, Victoria and Albert Museum, London on Thursday 3 November 2011 from 10:30am to 5pm.
The event is organised by Jo Morrison, Digital Projects Director at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and co-director, Leanne Manfredi from the V&A’s Sackler Centre. The day’s programme offers presentations, hands-on making sessions with artists and engineers as well as an engaging bespoke ‘walkshop’ through the museum’s collection. Jo Morrison says, “I hope the day will be an insightful, dynamic and convivial adventure – so, all curious people are welcome!”
Interweave will offer an opportunity to look at the ways in which the use of materials, such as jute, nylon, cement and iron, as well as new tools and technologies have re-shaped communities radically. It will also look at what the future challenges are for UK society. Jo explains, “Today’s nanotechnologies, energy harvesting materials and digital communications networks will transform everyday experiences in the 21st century.”
A group of leading designers, social scientists, engineers, and curators are participating in the event and will share some insights from their individual research areas. The programme offers an opportunity to learn how social science research methods are used directly in the design of materials and products. Jo explains, “While these themes may appear extremely specialised, my hope is that by presenting them in an informal and friendly way, people will be equally fascinated and challenged by the work. The day is aimed at all interested people, and I see the ideas and energy of the Interweave audience as being key to the success of the event - whether they wish to actively participate or have a more contemplative experience.”
Talks scheduled for the event include: How Living Technology Will Radically Change the Way We Design Our Everyday, The V&A’s Collection through Technological Change and, Convergence of the Real and Virtual in the City.
All events are free but booking is required. Visit the V&A bookings and information service or call 020 7942 2211.
Venue: Sackler Centre, Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL
Date: Thursday 3 November 2011
Time: From 10:30am to 5pm
Wearable Art event at Margo Selby
28 October 2011 by Editor
The Wearable Art event at Margo Selby’s London shop from October 27 until November 4, 2011, is a chance to see and buy pieces from some of the UK’s best textile and jewellery designers. Texprint alumna, Margo will reveal a new range of jackets alongside covetable pieces from 11 specially invited guests: Wallace Sewell, Allison Willoughby, Anne Selby, Carole Waller, Emma Burton, Jane Adam, Lesley Strickland, Makeba Lewis, Liz Clay, Rowena Park and Tammy Child.
Margo Selby store interior
Such an array of respected artists and craftspeople is rarely found in one place, so this is a great opportunity to see their beautiful pieces in close-up, ideal for anyone seeking a special gift in the run-up to the festive season.
Scarves by Wallace Sewell
Among many highlights, wonderful, colourful woven scarves and throws will be available from design duo Wallace Sewell. Anne Selby’s extravagantly beautiful silk and organza scarves and stoles will also be on sale. Created from her clever use of sophisticated techniques including arashi shibori pleating, hand painting and screen printing, the pieces are unique. Emma Burton’s colourful, contemporary digital prints will also feature at the event - Emma’s range includes clothing, accessories and cushions.
Bag by Margo Selby
Also included in the wonderfully varied selection are hand painted clothes by artist Carole Waller and jewellery by Jane Adam and Rowena Park.
Wearable Art: October 27 until November 4, 2011
Margo Selby shop opening times
Monday- Saturday 10am – 6pm
4-11 Galen Place,
Pied Bull Court
London WC1A 2JR
Textile highlights from Designersblock, London
16 October 2011 by Joyce Thornton
The Designersblock exhibition has been a ‘must see’ part of the London Design festival since 1998. Working with building owners, “to effectively utilise transitional architectural spaces” the organisers of this exciting showcase chose the wonderful, cavernous, Farmiloe Building in London’s Farringdon for the event in September 2011. Designersblock's exhibitors are of a high calibre, encompassing both established and emerging designers working in product and interior design, with some fascinating work by international university graduates also in the mix.
The work of three ex RCA MA textile graduates at the show was outstanding. Knitting supremo, Claire-Anne O’Brien has created some great, tactile stools. Their distinctive appeal centres on wonderful textures, vibrant yet soft colour and comforting surfaces.
Imogen Luddy, table, textiles and tableware.
Imogen Luddy’s clever, contemporary pieces span furniture, lighting and ceramics. Although Imogen is inspired by old craft processes, her vision is firmly rooted in the present. A wonderfully decorative, ‘cross stitch’ laser cut steel table was the centrepiece of her display.
Fay McCaul, cushions
Fay McCaul describes her work as “architectural textiles”. She uses the craft of knitting to create highly individual pieces. A great, large scale knitted lighting installation dominated her space, but her oversized cushions, with intricate, encapsulated Perspex decoration were a highlight. Fay’s version of high-end glamour is fresh and modern.
Jo Gibbs, up-cycled etched table
Jo Gibbs, a recent MA Textile graduate from Chelsea College of Art, showed her wonderful up-cycled furniture. Jo has explored new etching techniques on many surfaces – transforming dowdy old discarded tables, chairs and mirrors into decorative objects of desire.
Jo Gibbs, re-claimed, etched slate tiles
Jo worked for many years as a textile designer for fashion but is now fired with her passion to re-use existing products, working towards a more sustainable and creative future.
Maria Sandberg's 'Biotopia' carpet
Finally, also looking to a sustainable future, young Swedish designer, Maria Sandberg’s project 'Biotopia' resulted in a hand-dyed, handknotted carpet created from wool and nettle yarns. Her aim is to use materials that reduce the use of chemicals in the environment, with her vision of future sustainable textile design being
, “where nature and high technology live in symbiosis." Maria’s work is part of an annual travelling exhibition, Ung8, which celebrates innovative, youthful creativity.
Textile Futures highlights: Central Saint Martins 2011
03 July 2011 by Joyce Thornton
This year CSM’s MA Textiles Futures course celebrated a decade of forward-looking, experimental work created by its graduates, who continue to push the boundaries that define what textiles can be. The 2011 exhibition was held at the Southampton Row site in mid June and was organised into four sections: Probing the Future, Material Interrogation, Relocating Craft and Emotional Resonance.
Material Interrogation was one of the most impressive sections, with Miriam Ribul’s Air Momentum project perhaps the boldest concept. She explained: “Air manifests itself in its connection to something tangible; hence my textile outcomes are designed to allow or to shape air movement.” Her structures employ knotting and lacing techniques. This fascinating project has been documented through photography and video.
Marie Rouillon’s Daily Haptics took the form of a beautiful installation, focused on tactile qualities that she feels are much undervalued today. She used a simple white cup-shaped receptacle to explore her theme. She said: “Senses are just like muscles, if we don’t exercise them, they lose strength.” So, instead of familiar notices that warn, ‘Please do not touch’, Marie encouraged visitors to pick up and explore her pieces, creating a refreshing and surprising experience.
Using earth as a material, Hyun Jin Jeong’s quietly beautiful project was compelling in its simplicity. She undertook her research in a response to sustainability issues in the dyeing and finishing of textiles. She collected 45 different soils from varied locations in the UK and South Korea. The resulting creation was a rich palette of earth pigments which she used for dyeing and printing. She explained: “There are many natural materials that were once used but are now forgotten. I think rediscovering these materials and using them wisely is essential for a sustainable future.”
Amy Congdon’s Biological Atelier project formed part of the Probing the Future section. Imagining a world where “ethical ivory accessories or fantastical furs” can all be grown to order, she looked at “a new role for embroidery and textile design in our biological future”.
The Emotional Resonance section included the work of Wei Chen, who transformed commonplace objects and locations through textile based interventions. She described her work as “organic, unobtrusive and playful”. Ephemeral Blossom featured paper flowers that dissolve in the rain, releasing seeds.
In Craft Relocated, Laura Martinez’s Digicrafted project explored rapid manufacturing technologies, which are set to revolutionise the way products are designed and manufactured. Laura created some beautiful, decorative textiles that fused RM technology with traditional fabric manipulation techniques creating surfaces that can be used in numerous applications.
For more highlights from this inspiring and thought provoking exhibition visit
Collier Campbell exhibition at the National Theatre
25 May 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Sisters Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell forged an enduring creative partnership in printed textiles that lasted for 50 years. Susan’s recent death adds poignancy to a new exhibition on now at the National Theatre, London. The exhibition celebrates the Collier Campbell brand and marks the re-launch of the company’s own products for fashion and interiors.
Collier Campbell is renowned for iconic fabric designs in its trademark lively, vibrant and painterly style. Over the last half decade, the company has won many awards and has collaborated with top design houses and retailers including Liberty London, Jaeger and Cacharel, as well as Heal’s and Habitat.
The appeal of Collier Campbell’s hand-painted aesthetic has been wide and lasting. The sisters believed that good design should be accessible to all and the company’s achievements range from one of its fabrics being selected by Yves St Laurent for his very first ready to wear collection in 1971, to great success with the mass market for UK retailers such as Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser. Undoubtedly Collier Campbell’s substantial legacy will continue to inspire and influence new designers.
The Collier Campbell exhibition runs until Sunday 10th July 2011.
Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 11.00pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm. National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
A new Collier Campbell website will be launched in June.
The Chromatic Landscape at Collect
17 May 2011 by Joyce Thornton
One of the many highlights of the recent Collect contemporary art fair was the collaborative installation commissioned especially for the show, The Chromatic Landscape created by UK weaver Ptolomy Mann and ceramicist, Lubna Chowdhary.
Ptolomy is well known for her wonderfully colourful, one-off woven artworks and Lubna for beautiful, bespoke ceramic pieces. Both graduates of the RCA, they share a painterly aesthetic and a passion for the power of colour. This is the first time the pair has collaborated, and the installation on the top floor of the Saatchi Gallery was a much admired success, occupying the whole of the back wall.
Six panels took the eye on a journey from the cool serenity of a blue/green palette through to the vibrant heat of orange, yellow and pink. The high gloss and bright colour of the ceramic pieces perfectly complemented the precise, matt, graduated colour in the weave.
Collect - celebrating contemporary craft
29 April 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Collect, the international art fair for contemporary objects, is being held once again at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea from May 6 to 9, 2011. Created by the UK’s Crafts Council, this premier annual event presents the work of some of the best international applied artists, with jewellery, furniture, ceramics, glass, silver and textiles all included for an exciting and varied mix.
This is the third year that the fair has been staged at the Saatchi Gallery and the prestigious setting reflects the calibre of the exhibitors. In total, 37 of the world’s top galleries are showcasing the work of the artists they represent – so this really is an event not to be missed for anyone interested in contemporary craft. Visitors include representatives from major institutions such as the V&A, the British Museum and the National Museums Scotland, which have all added pieces from the fair to their collections in the past.
New for Collect 2011, a project space on the second floor of the gallery will showcase installations by individual artists and reveal creative collaborations. Highlights will include a ‘living wall’ created by Rosa Nguyen that will evolve throughout the fair, and a large-scale collaborative installation from renowned UK weaver Ptolemy Mann with ceramicist Lubna Chowdhary. As well as well known artists, the fair also reveals some talented newcomers including Maryrose Watson, who is showing with Sarah Myerscough Fine Art. Maryrose, a textile artist and designer, graduated just last year from Chelsea College of Art. She suspends intricate and precise thread structures over oak frames. The high sheen of the viscose yarn she uses creates what she calls “a constantly changing visual experience”.
Another fascinating aspect of the fair is Art Fund Collect, a £75,000 partnership scheme run by the Crafts Council and the Art Fund, which offers UK curators the chance to buy an outstanding piece of contemporary international craft for their museum or gallery. In its fourth year, the initiative has provided £200,000 of new work for public museums and galleries around the UK.
Ella Robinson at Talking Textiles, Milan
22 April 2011 by Joyce Thornton
The recent Talking Textiles exhibition in Milan, curated by forecasting guru Li Edelkoort, featured the work of 23 newly graduated textile designers, 18 of whom gained their degrees from UK universities and two were Texprint alumni; Ella Robinson and Laura McPherson.
We caught up with Ella on her return to find out more about her experience. She said: “We had an overwhelmingly positive response from visitors to the show; I have never seen so many people taking continuous photographs! The gallery was a riot of colour, texture, experimentation and interesting techniques and I think that visitors warmed to it very much; there was something for everyone.”
Ella thought the exhibition stood out from the work in surrounding galleries. It attracted visitors with many different perspectives and some high profile industry guests including Rosita Missoni.
As a learning experience, Ella felt the trip was invaluable. She said: “Ventura Lambrate is a very creative and welcoming environment. It was fascinating to see how the gallery was transformed from an empty space on Saturday in readiness for the show. I learnt the importance of having a press pack when you do such a big show – and to have lots of them printed. Not many of us had brought enough cards, so that was a tough lesson to learn.” However, the benefits of her exposure at the exhibition are already emerging. Apart from making lots of new contacts, her work has featured in various design blogs and she connected with other creative people with a view to future collaborations.
Ella managed to stay in Milan for the duration of the exhibition, maximising her resources by camping with a friend instead of staying in a hotel. She explained: “It's been great to meet new people with similar interests, especially those who have strong and interesting work that pushes the boundaries and preconceptions of textiles.”
Laura, too, was thrilled to have her work included, but unfortunately was unable to go to Milan. She said: “The Talking Textiles initiative was an excellent opportunity to showcase the innovative work of textile designers. I was very excited to be part of it.”