We celebrated the work of six professional textile artists at a private view exhibition in October. The exhibition – entitled ‘Rejuvenating Craft’ – was held in the brand new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops.
The exhibition was the result of a two day Expert Workshop held earlier this year for textile artists, and saw seven expert designer-makers from around the UK visit us to develop and prototype their technology-pushing products over the course of a week.
The makers – Liz Clay, Clare Crompton, Alison Harper, Frances Stevenson, Sara Robertson and Sarah Taylor – returned to the college to show off the products they had developed.
These workshops were one of many programmes initiated as part of the 3 year international textiles project Crysalis.
During the project we collaborated and partnered with La Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode Calais, TI03 Ronse and the University for the Creative Arts Rochester.
We were proud to present the collection of artwork on its return from the Crysalis closing exhibition at TI03 Ronse.
"Working at Plymouth College of Art was the starting point for our collaboration. Without this opportunity Sara and I would not have had the impetus, environment and focus to complete the project." - Sarah Robertson, textile artist.
The event suitably coincided with the celebration of the opening of our new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops.
With a speech from Sir John Sorrell about the importance of arts education and numerous VIP guests in attendance, it was a great opportunity to show the guests such an innovative event – which is part of Making Futures and the international Crysalis Project scheme.
The two day workshop enabled artists to investigate how new technologies can improve craftwork processes rather than replace them.
"The international dimension of the project illustrated Plymouth College of Art’s textile design stature in the creative world." – Paul Singleton, BA (Hons) Printed Textile and Surface Pattern programme leader.
Clare Crompton, textile artist, describes the experience, “I experimented with digital production for the first time in my practice at Plymouth College of Art as a means of creating a repeatable product.
"My print patterns evolved and I created a stylised collection of interior furnishings that can be mass produced and introduced to a wide market.”
During the workshop, textile artists Sara Taylor and Sarah Robertson collaborated on ‘Digital Lace’ – exploring traditional textile techniques and digital technologies through making – the result of which was showcased at the International Symposium of Wearable Computers and won the 2014 Design Exhibition Jury Award for Fibre Arts.
Sarah Robertson describes the experience and the future of the project, “Working at Plymouth College of Art was the starting point for our collaboration. Without this opportunity Sara and I would not have had the impetus, environment and focus to complete the project."
The success continued with the work becoming part of the showcase at Microsoft’s Studio 99 in September.
"We are presenting the project at the Crafts Councils ‘Make:Shift Conference, Maker Breakfast’ in November 2014 and the piece will also hopefully feature in an exciting new exhibition at the beginning of 2015,” says Sarah.
We asked Paul Singleton – our BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern programme leader – for his view on this innovative event, “This has been a very inspiring project to be involved in. From the outset we had a great deal of interest from all corners of the UK and from as broader skill base as you can imagine.”
“The diversity of the projects developed also reflects the incredible skill base of the creative staff at the college and the wealth of technology and facilities on site.
"The international dimension of the project illustrated Plymouth College of Art’s textile design stature in the creative world. We are delighted that these artworks have been exhibited in Ronse as well as Plymouth.”
Photographs by Dom Moore and BA (Hons) Photography graduate Andy Ford