My latest studio practice project was centred around William Morris, the Victorian Era and the Textile Industry. This is the project I will take forward to present in the forthcoming exhibition for my creative enterprise unit.
My first port of call was to decide what was the nature of the work I wanted to actually show in my exhibition. The work would have to make sense with everyone elses work however I wanted to bring across a strong message in my pieces.
From my previous work I have looked in depth at the Arsenic Poisoning and Morris’ ignorance towards this and along with this the Victorian Era and the social occurrences of this period.
I knew going on from this I wanted to look at drawing, watercolour and screen printing.
From my tutorials I knew my idea was strong and that I could take it forward to make it of an exhibition standard. The problem was there is such a range in the way I can present these pieces in a textile context.
I started off my discovery by seeing what I could do using drawing and Illustrator. My design here is a simple flower which I drew and imported into illustrator. From here I image traced it so I would get a vectored image. Using the paint tool I used different colours to create a design. I then made two wallpaper designs. The first one is the simple flower pattern and the second incorporates grass as well which I also drew.
After having success in these designs I chose to have a look at drawing one of my own designs using primarily the style of artist Charlie Billingham. I attempted to use his style of mark making to see what effect I would get, I used watercolour pencils on watercolour paper however I never added water to my design. When I imported it into Photoshop the edges were not neat I decided to use the smudge tool to neaten them. However I ended up using it on the whole shape and blending all the colours togethers. The overall form stayed the same but it was a more interesting design.
Just as I have done previously I made my designs into wallpaper designs. It was an interesting experiment to conduct and I want to do some more of this drawing design style, however I do not feel that the one is of quality to make into an actual design.
I quickly moved on from this task deciding what would be an appropriate place to start for my exhibition work. In the past I have been highly encouraged to do Screen Printing, I wondered if I could make my 2D ideas into a 3D piece of art. I have been extremely inspired by interiors and what are the components of them. This led to me looking through more resources to pull ideas for how I could potentially set up my work.
These images are taken from the Ikea Catalogue. I like how the image works and how the components of the room are broken down. These showed small sections of a room and also products within them.
Next I studied the Debenhams Home Catalogue. I was intrigued about the range of patters and how well two opposing patterns and colour could still work together within one space. The way in which images look commercially are very different to how they would be set up in a normal room. I knew I would have to colour match my products well because I would find it difficult to control my outside setting due to the fact I could not know how it would look.
Finally I looked at the Tesco Home and Furniture Catalogue to gather inspiration of how furniture and home products can sit within a room and a setting. I started to become increasing interested in how chairs could sit within a room.I also looked at what kind of colours matched with each other and how they filtered in as a whole.
This lead me to doing some preliminary sketches on how I though I could set up my new piece in an interesting and exciting way.
Before starting any work I looked briefly at Interior Color by Design (Poore J (2005) Interior Color by Design, Rockport Publishers). This is where I started to look more at interior settings for the home something that I had taken an interest in. This book helped me to look at what colours worked well together and also gave me further ideas about how I could set up my installation piece. The book looked at the phycology of colours and also periodic rooms and well as showing colour palettes. This was an extremely helpful resource as someone who has not really previously studied interiors as an art form.
My first idea was to create cushions through screen printing. I did not know how I would go about doing this. Having a rough idea in my head I decided to create a design of how I though my cushions could look.
From here I went to the mall in order to choose the fabric that I would print on, I selected a white fabric that had substance to it in order that it could support the ink. I brought my fabric from the Market.
I then organised a printing session with Rose and Joe to expose and print my work.
Here are some images from this session.
I chose to select a marble effect for my orange colour lungs to show the concept of the disease attacking the lungs. I thought the orange colour was appropriate because it was bright and brought a more modern view to my old concept. This took several tries to get right and to actually create an outcome I was happy with.
The next ones I did was the cushion with several lungs. After trying several times to get a blue colour I liked I had a go at changing the direction of the lungs and reprinting on top and seeing the effect this would produce. This gave me an exciting modern pattern that did not look like lungs. I thought this could be interesting to mix up my design a little. This took me a long time to get exactly how I wanted with both the inks being bold and standing out.
Having cut out the front of the cushions to print on, I also cut out some backs. I had decided to have a go at printing a whole colour across the back so it would match with the front. This was more challenging that the patterns as I had to have a full covering all the way across the back. However I came out with two backs for my cushions whilst keeping a white back in case of any issues.
I had a vague idea of how I wanted my work to look. I knew I wanted to create a room setting that I had designed myself. I felt however this room needed more in it. I had the chair with my two cushions but I wanted to add more to make it fill up.
Pulling inspiration from my research I decided to create a vase that could stand on a table. I wanted to paint this vase with my lungs pattern so it would all tie in and make a collection. To go with my vase I have brought some half dead flowers that I have placed in blue water in order that their veins will turn blue. This will revert back to my idea of however aesthetic the wallpaper and designs look, they are still extremely dangerous to us.
Along with this I have cut out some of my practice screen prints that I completed on paper before printing on my fabric. I have placed them on canvases and tried many different set ups before completing a set of two simple designs complimented with a more complexed design.
These are all my components of my “collection” that are ready to be put into a display for my exhibition.
This is my final outcome for the work in its exhibition setting.
I am really pleased with how my installation has turned out. The cushions and patterned products help the room to feel modern however the chair drags it somewhat back to the past. The dead flowers add greatly to the theme of death in a setting of beauty just as Morris’ wallpapers have done. It just proves as aesthetic the outcome actually is, if it was tainted with poison it would still kill. I thought the way I have set up my piece is interesting and quite welcoming as a setting.The person viewing would be draw closer in with their exploration of the overall pattern. If I had to create the piece again I think I would make it entirely modern or entirely periodic by taking and adding furniture. I feel my design could have been improved by this. My struggle to find a chair could have been avoided by planning before hand however I do appreciate the chair as part of the look. Overall I am very happy with my outcome and how it fitted into the setting of the exhibition. I am proud of myself for experimenting further with different skills and really stepping out of my comfort zone as a practitioner.