Irreverence in context as a student

When first seeing this word used in Karen Nicol’s book ‘Embellished’; I had to research it to understand it’s meaning.

The Oxford Dictionary defines it as:  ‘A lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously’ – in this case Fashion and Textile design.

Why am I interested in this word and her usage of it?

Simply, because I see it as a way of taking risks, which is something I want to keep pushing within my own practice.

Looking at You Tube films and interviews of her work, we find that she will incorporate anything in her samples.  She is not precious; she uses anything from raffia to plastic bags.  In other words, I begin to understand that bravery is key.


Used in this context, this word is not negative, rather it is a driving force, something which will motivate the user to push the boundaries.  Nicol does not disrespect the traditions or elements that we hold dear surrounding textiles; rather she twists mediums to her will, rather than letting them control her and her use of them.

This aura of freedom is one which must be exercised, it may not come naturally as at times it can be hard to break free from our comfort zones.

Yet I see it as a vital skill to implement, especially if I want to grow as an artist / designer.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s