This exhibition at the V&A showed how fashion has always borrowed from nature – both in terms of the materials used, and in terms of design inspiration. It also looked at the impact of the fashion industry on the environment and some innovative ways of developing this in the future.
I was fascinated by the huge variety of natural materials which had been formed into fabrics, threads and embellishments: pineapple leaves, beetle wings, glass, tree bark and more. It was also interesting to read about the international trades which had enabled these developments, such as the rubber industry.
I went on the OCA Study Visit to the Knitting and Stitching Show with Priscilla Edwards. Due to the terrible weather, there were only a handful of students there. I’ve been to the show before but not since becoming an OCA student. I was hoping to get some guidance on how to make the most of visiting an exhibition, which didn’t really happen. It was still, however, worth viewing several of the exhibitions and we had some interesting conversations about textiles, OCA study, and the life of the designer-maker over lunch.
In this video, Sanders talks about the way that she focusses on colour, shapes and patterns. She describes the flowers she paints as erotic and voluptuous, and explains how she uses backlighting to examine the colours and veins in the petals in a different way. There’s clearly an emotional response to the flowers in Sanders’ work, rather than merely the descriptive representation associated with standard botanical paintings.
In this video Sanders explains some of the technical aspects involved in her painting. The close ups of her work show the subtleties she captures of colour gradients. I love how the large scale she works at (the one in the video is 7 times life size) allows her to really explore these colour shifts.
“I want them to feel the sensuous quality of it… I suppose I want them to feel what I’m feeling, the passion of it – to be excited by it.”
I’d love for people to feel something similar in response to my work. The tulips that I’m working with have the sensuous quality Sanders describes. The colours and the textures of the petals, especially as they dry and twist into incredibly complex forms, are tempting and sexy and demand to be touched and stroked. They are exciting and I want to find ways of conveying that excitement and passion somehow.
I found Cari Morton’s post on sampling at WeAreOCA incredibly helpful as I began thinking about Assignment Five. Following the drawing, the next stage in the process will be creating samples and I want to make the most of that stage.
She also linked to this great post: An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. I particularly like the fourth point about loving your experiments and enjoying the fun of failure.
Most traditional spun yarns are more or less round in their cross-section. Flat yarns can be made in a number of ways.
Kirsty Whitlock is a mixed media artist. From her website:
Kirsty uses recycled and reclaimed materials as a response to the throwaway culture of consumerism. Her work is concept led and exploits the overlooked qualities of the selected printed materials.
She challenges the preconceptions of embroidery and explores the potential of communicating a social message through the use of discarded household items, including plastic carrier bags and newspapers, using them as a format for embroidery.