This visit could be perceived as overwhelming; thus it is key to take it in small chunks. I spent my time there, talking to students and taking photographs, as well as writing down key points in my sketchbook.
It can feel very disarming, as suddenly you are walking through masses of other students work and of course…you do compare yourself. I found myself feeling lacking, as there was so much new technology and so little time and resources to try it all. The only way I could deal with it, was to remember that we have to take each student as an individual. Most concentrated on one idea, or up to three. I.E. Screen printing and putting this into digital form as a repeat on fabric.
Looking at the displays on a individual basis, makes their outcomes look achievable.
Within this post I will concentrate on the areas I feel I could possibly use and implement, I will arrange these for order sake in bullet points:
- I notice each year that my observational eye has changed. I take this as a good stepping stone, a development of myself as an artist / designer. My knowledge and understanding increases each year I attend, thus when once I was in awe of a screen print design, I now understand the technique and have implemented it in a variety of forms myself.
- This year, more than previously, I noted an excitement around rarely used materials. I found carpets, clay and resin used within textiles or as mixed media. This gave a freshness to the show its self, as previously I have noted much more digitally designed fabric, lots of florals, many similar. Irreverence of material choice was a notable feature.
An example of irreverence. I interviewed this student who used carpet, paint transfer and binding to create her collection.
- Professional display seemed to be key. I had noted messy display or little or none background work, such as sketchbooks and mind maps in previous years. This time I noted leather bound display books, digitally printed photo books, showing their pieces as fashion items, and large sketchbooks, many filled simply with space between each piece. This provided an aura of clarity, both for the student and professional viewer or student, whoever was looking at the work.
Students presentation illustrated, leather bound portfolios along with fabric swatch books
- Some students had worked in a 3D manner, where they had laid out heavily beaded pieces, sample pieces which then even became part of a digital print.
- Embroidery (by machine in the main) was set against fur like thick fabrics; thus a contrast which was bold and obvious.
- The way sample pieces in fabric were held together was interesting. I liked the hangers and the way they hooked to the display walls.
- Embroidery hoops used as frames. This can be looked at as “last year, been there done that”, yet one girl, the only one in the show who had used it, had used it in a new way to my own viewing experience:
- Items which inspired the fabrics created were often housed around the local area; providing a view of the designers mind and a clarity from understanding their basic concepts, the grounding points of their initial ideas.
Seaside objects “staged” to convey source material for the fabric print above.
- One girls work I really took to, as her work seemed to go deeper than the others….
I was able to interview her about her methods, and she explained to me how she used transfer paints to add the same prints she had created digitally onto fabric, onto clay and resin forms. They are seen illustrated above and were about “coaster size”.
My intention is to now use the above within my own work; in a personal context to myself.
Expanded notes, drawings and mood boards surrounding this exhibition, can be found within my physical body of work, clearly labelled.