290°: DJCAD Degree Show 2013
18 May 2013 - 26 May 2013
With the loss of the Weave Department, the Textiles students’ work now covers two areas: print and knit. Print work tends to focus on pattern and shape, whilst knit is perhaps self-evidently more concerned with structure and texture. There appear to be a number of common, but diverse, themes running through this year’s show: sustainability, nature and architecture, learning and change, and Scottish heritage. These may predominate, but they are by no means the whole story. There is a tremendous body of work on display, from knitted screens, designed for work environments, to fabrics embedded with flashing lights and coloured with heat-reactive dyes; then, there are hand-printed fabrics, embellished with laser-cut acrylic, printed wallpapers and wall coverings made from reclaimed wood, which also employ laser-cutting. The Textiles Department Degree Show has a great deal to offer.
Dorothy Arnott’s Bringing the outdoors in is one collection particularly based on the natural environment. She has produced a series of interior accessories and fabrics which take their inspiration from the organic shapes and patterns found around us. Her collection features hand-printed and laser-cut fabrics in beautiful shades of indigo, plum, and olive green, and a selection of cushions and fabrics that would fit perfectly into a contemporary home. In so doing, Arnott very effectively achieves her stated goal of bringing the outdoors indoors.
Vivienne McGregor has designed a collection of lovely knitted structures which just cry out to be picked up and played with. The idea behind her project is to help young children learn and communicate with adults through play. Her pieces are made to encourage social interaction and connectivity whilst simultaneously teaching in a new and non-threatening way. McGregor took inspiration from both natural and man-made forms and surfaces. She manipulates solid blocks of colour and creates structures which move, flow, and actively encourage playfulness.
Sarah Drain’s luxurious womenswear is based on images of decaying bone matter caused by osteoporosis. These delicate knits, in light, neutral tones, are very evocative of fragile skeletal structures and decaying organic matter. Drain’s high-quality pieces are designed with sustainability in mind – her colour choices and use of natural fibres are timeless rather than trend-based. In challenging today’s “fast fashion” attitude Sarah hopes to encourage consumers to value what they have and to discourage impulse-buying, especially of poor-quality, cheap garments.
Another student focusing on sustainability is Alexandra Hornyik, who has produced a collection of dresses and fabrics using “upcycled” materials, such as second-hand bedsheets, which she hand-prints onto, creating designs that combine elements of natural pattern and imagery to be found in the urban landscape. Hornyik’s colour choices are bright and fresh, and she combines both organic and geometric patterns with areas of solid colour. In this way she conveys her idea that flora might be found hidden among buildings. More than that; she succeeds in making people aware of nature as ever-present in their surroundings – even in the most urban of environments.
If you want to get a real feel for the work that goes into producing a Textiles Degree Show I would urge you to visit the sketchbook room. Any sketchbooks not included in the students’ show space are displayed on stands, just begging to be explored, page by page. This is further enhanced by the supporting fabric samples hung along one of the walls. The Textile display room is a truly enlightening space that allows the visitor to gain a deeper understanding of all of the projects on display. So, if you imagined textiles was only about clothes, be prepared to be challenged. Just go!