Real Dirty Blue Catalogue

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This exhibition brings together 26 designers who have taught or studied on the BA Textile Design course at Central Saint Martins. The work on display was developed between 1927 and 2016 and ranges from hand block printed textiles to experiments in knitting, weaving, printing and laser cutting as well as more recent material research. Real Dirty Blue aims to make the innovative and playful processes behind the finished pieces more visible and celebrates the constantly evolving textile culture at Central Saint Martins. Many of the works on display are from the Central Saint Martins Museum & Study Collection, which tells the story of the College’s history through archives and objects. The Museum’s textiles collection dates back almost a century and reveals a long tradition of innovative practice. The collection includes garments, textile lengths, samples, swatches, printing blocks, dye ledgers and sketch books which chart the changing face of textile design. The title of the exhibition comes from a 1930s dye book belonging to a former student. Anne Marr, BA Textile Design Course Leader Judy Willcocks, Head of Museum & Study Collection


10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 46 48 50 52 54 56 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76

Howard Asher Carole Collet Skye Gwillim Derek Lawlor George Morgan Harriet Paynter Stephanie Rolph Rebecca Skelton Anne Smith Laura Baker Philippa Brock Malcolm Cocks Rosemary House Sue Jenkyn Jones Nadia-Anne Ricketts Priti Veja Joyce Clissold Mary Harper Anne Marr & Rebecca Hoyes Lorna Smith Studio Houndstooth Marta Velasco Velasco Ann Bristow Susan Campbell Eileen Ellis Linda Florence Jessica Hymas Jaimee McKenna Elaine Yan Ling Ng Claire O’Brien Jo Pierce

Textile design has been taught at Central Saint Martins since the Central School of Arts and Crafts first opened in 1897. From the beginning, course teams have included avantgarde design practitioners such as May Morris (1897) and Joyce Clissold (1930s), artists such as Eduardo Paolozzi (1950s) and world leading researchers such as Professor Carole Collet (2000s). Their teaching has fuelled an education that simultaneously cherishes traditional skills and embraces new materials, processes, approaches and audiences. The evolution of the curriculum by course directors from the 1950s includes the introduction of the final major project (Audrey Levy, 1960s), the distinctive late specialisation in print, knit, or weave and the introduction of CAD (Jane Rapley, 1980s) and pioneering engagement with textiles as an agent for social change to improve wellbeing and economic sustainability (Anne Marr 2008). Since 1897 the course has engaged with all sectors of industry and now has an established international reputation. In over a century of textiles education at Central Saint Martins, the one constant in a world of continuous change is an ethos: to cherish the craft, challenge the norm and forge new futures for the discipline. Anne Smith, Dean of Academic Programmes, Central Saint Martins, BA Textiles Course Director, 2002–2007 With thanks to Mary Schoeser and Professor Emerita Jane Rapley OBE.


The Making of Real Dirty Blue The Real Dirty Blue recipe comes from a dye book in the CSM Museum & Study Collection. The book, written by a student who went on to run her own printing workshop in the 1930s, proved quite a conundrum. The recipe needed to be converted from ounces to grams so I could weigh out the correct quantity of dyes. The dyes were another part of the puzzle. I was not familiar with some of the ‘old’ names such as Helio, Safflower and Auramine. After a little investigation I found the Colour Index generic names for these dyes and was able to obtain a small sample of each. The ‘Reducer’ part of the recipe contained tannic acid which appears to have been used as a mordant to increase the fastness properties of the print. The recipe did not specify a total volume for the dye solution or the quantity of fabric the recipe was intended for in order to obtain a relative depth of shade for the print, so I made up a stock print paste thickener and diluted the dye solution accordingly. Having looked through many of Joyce Clissold’s prints I had a good idea of the depths of shade she used for her work, so I made several test prints with typical print paste concentrations to obtain a print that compared to hers. All in all it has been an interesting puzzle and I was pleased to be able to find a solution. Matthew Clark, Society of Dyers and Colourists

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2D to 3D

The act of constructing different types of thread into a flat length of cloth is a far cry from the work on display within the 2D to 3D section of Real Dirty Blue. The multi-dimensional textiles assembled here are the result of precise planning and boundless experimentation. Playing with repetition, rhythm, symmetry or even illustration is only a starting point for these designers. Often using highly unusual materials – from thermoplastic to timber – and even drawing on the discipline of participatory design, they are all pushing at the frontiers of what it means to be a textile designer. Using such a wide range of materials requires that these practitioners utilise their ideas to renew processes from the past as well as come up with entirely new methods on and off traditional textile machines. To fully appreciate these forms that selfassemble, self-fold and self-support, you have to actually be present. These designers and their works have changed our perception of what textile design can be. Text by students from BA (Hons) Culture, Criticism and Curation


Howard Asher Howard Asher’s body of work covers multiple decades and spans many areas of the textiles industry. He began his career designing for fashion before gradually easing into the home furnishings industry. Working primarily on graph paper of millimetre squares, he produces graphic designs of zigzags, stripes and checks with absolute precision and attention to detail. With hints at both the geometric abstraction of optical art and the more traditional craftsmanship of crossstitched embroidery, his designs traverse a broad spectrum of colours and patterns. While as a practitioner Howard initially expressed a robust scepticism about computeraided design, his work is surprisingly consistent with the geometric repetition of early digital design software. Imogen Harland

Untitled Felt tip on graph paper 1977–1988 10


Carole Collet Carole’s exciting and intricate pieces are the first examples of industrially produced paper yarn lace; she calls it ‘Pop-Up Lace’. By revisiting a 19th-century lace manufacturing process together with using a biodegradable Japanese paper yarn, she has engineered a pop-up technique within the lace pattern: tea pots that can be sculpted directly from the tablecloth or the wall hanging. The new pop-up technique was subsequently introduced into the Sakae Lace manufacturing process. Carole describes herself as a “creative explorer and an ecologist” in the field of textile innovation. She is contributing to a worldwide debate about future textiles and leading us towards a more resilient and sustainable future. Coco Zhong

Pop-up Lace Biodegradable fibre (paper yarn), nylon and starch 2009 12


Skye Gwillim Having worked as a designer in both the car and footwear industries, Skye is now a Colour and Material designer. Her pieces take the form of robustly delicate, almost architectural grid structures that evolve through a meticulous process of hand-making. The work she has in the Central Saint Martins Museum questions the mechanics of habits on the mind, linking it with the effect patterns create on mental health. Skye also examines the way that visuals combined with mechanical movements – knitting and weaving in this case – give rise to different emotions. Flow is a flexible structure made from 3D textile paper that creates a peculiar pattern that changes colour according to the way it is held. The work combines a strong industrial aesthetic with a celebration of the inherent qualities of the handmade object. Helene Jackson

Flow Paper 2014 14


Derek Lawlor Derek’s design philosophy draws on his bravely experimental approach to knit techniques. This allows him to break boundaries in order to refresh the possibilities of whatever material he is working with. Derek’s innovative graduate collection consists of intricate structures of connecting wax cords, the repetitive patterns shaping a flowing wave that gives the work a fluid sense within its solid surface. He wove together flexible elastic materials, contrasting their toughness with the softness of wool. Meticulously crafted, the dress we see here responds to body movements, revealing the philosophy that runs through Derek’s later collections. He always finds a way to play elegantly with the materials, forming them in delicate exaggeration. Yuying Yang

Black Knitted Dress (Detail) Wool and elastic 2014 16


George Morgan Reflecting his fondness for the work of Russian Constructivist artists Varvara Stepanova and Liubov Popova, George creates textiles focussing on grids, symmetry and blocks. However, his work also has an architectural quality: his ‘weaving’ uses wood and cork to construct a large geometric pattern that almost looks like a Japanese tatami mat. He soaks hemlock wood to make it malleable and then weaves it into his complex design. Not only does he impress the viewer with his neat patterns, he also plays with the shadows cast by the three-dimensional layering, and the different, harmonious shades and growth-rings of the original tree. The result is a sleek modern piece that balances perfectly between nature and craftsmanship. Tenko Glenewinkel

Untitled Plywood and hemlock veneer 2013 18


Harriet Paynter Harriet’s innovative illustration for surface pattern expresses an eclectic approach to design that draws on a combination of fine art, photography and anthropology. In her graduate collection Constructed Reality, she created narrative wall pieces for home interiors. The way she uses printing and thermo-forming plastic draws attention to her mixed-match print designs. When used to decorate a home, Harriet’s entertaining and innovative textile pattern arouses curiosity and nostalgia, altering general conceptions of ordinary domestic items. Wherever they are placed, her colourful prints have their own distinctive vitality. Dongeon Oh

Constructed Reality Moulded plastic 2015 20


Stephanie Rolph In terms of both technique and terminology, Stephanie’s use of laser cut and thermoplastic is unusual within the world of textiles. Her self-supporting work, with its almost fluorescent thread woven into rigid, dark and slotted walls, imposes its presence on the viewer. And that is exactly her purpose: not only to make us interact with her furniture, but for it to stand in defiance of the idea that, when it comes to making furniture, woven cloth is no more than an afterthought. Stephanie’s dedication leads her to undertake extensive experimentation in order to arrive at innovative processes. Her work gives meaning to the interaction and discourse between humans and surfaces. Ultimately she shows us new ways in which weave can help us express ourselves. Ben Harris

im(permanence) Weave and polypropylene 2013 22


Rebecca Skelton In her Assemble series, Rebecca uses timber, threads and plastic cabling to create a furniture collection that goes beyond the perception of furniture design as a solid and fixed idea. The interlocking pieces of wood can be arranged to alter the furniture for different purposes. Considering the different possible demands, this set of ‘instruments’ creates an infinite potential for improvisation. With the help of instruction manuals, owners are able to weave the wooden sections by hand. Even if conventional design intends to create a structure for the customers, it also isolates them by only allowing an immobile relationship with the furniture. However, Rebecca’s open-ended approach personalises the relationship by offering the users active choices. Cem Hamlicabaşi

Assemble Lino, bungee cord and fabric 2014 24


Anne Smith Besides being an established textile designer whose work has been shown in London, Paris, New York and Tokyo, Anne is also Dean of Academic Programmes at Central Saint Martins. She holds a patent for several new techniques in laser cutting and etching. In this collection, she works with light, almost see-through plastic fabrics, which she laser cuts and then layers so as to create a pattern through the interplay between them. The result is a feathery, threedimensional piece in which light and reflections bounce off the moving material. In the process they also reveal the hidden colours of the layers underneath. This is a truly unique piece that looks different from whichever angle it is viewed. Tenko Glenewinkel

Laser Moire Petal Laser cut layered polyesters 2008 26


Digital Pioneers

While the world of digital technologies might seem at odds with the tactile craftsmanship of textile production, the relationship between textiles and technology is deeprooted. The archetypal example of this is the Jacquard loom from 1801, with its punched cards and binary system providing an important stepping stone for future computer technology. While, in the early days of digital, clunky software may have struggled with translating threedimensional surfaces onto the flatness of the computer screen, these technologies still had an impact, allowing designers in the 1990s to explore and celebrate the intersections of traditional weaving, printing and knit with the new forms of technology. The relationship between digital technologies and textiles continues to provide ever more opportunities for innovation and experimentation, not only in textile production but also in design. And while digital technologies can make traditional textile techniques such as dyeing and printing easier, quicker and more sustainable, they also allow the appropriation of techniques from other industries, such as laser cutting. As today’s world is flooded with software and constantly updating technologies, the next wave of textile designers will have entirely new possibilities through which to create innovative and exciting material works. Text by students from BA (Hons) Culture, Criticism and Curation


Laura Baker Laura Baker is a 2D specialist technician in digital textile print and an associate lecturer at Central Saint Martins. Her book Laser Cutting for Fashion and Textiles is the result of several years of research and is the first in its field to focus on the art of laser cutting for fashion design. In it, Laura presents 14   projects as a step-by-step guide to laser cutting, sewing and how to upcycle already-used materials. The book offers a unique insight into how to use laser cutting as a design process for fashion, textile and accessory designers. It takes us behind the scenes to provide an insight for beginners and for professionals in the fashion field, hence opening up the world of textiles to everyone, artist or not. Helene Jackson

Shawl / Diamond Pattern Silk crepe de chine and laser cut wood veneer 2014 30


Philippa Brock Philippa pushes the boundaries of digital woven textile design. Besides being pathway leader for Woven Textiles at Central Saint Martins, she also works independently as an international jacquard artist, researcher and editor of the website and blog The Weave Shed. Her experience and talent are evident; her work focusses closely on ludic process, creating ‘self-folding’ textiles, by manipulating design, yarn and structure to form 3D structural texture. Using her developed ‘on-loom finishing’ processes, she is able to craft experimental and intricate designs. This technique was seen in Philippa’s 2012 / 13 exhibition 2D-3D which displayed her Self Fold and X-Form series, dedicated to showing these deployable fabrics. Philippa weaves at the Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company, where she explores these innovative weaving methods. Grace Morrison

1580 Silk organzine warp, paper weft 2016 32


Malcolm Cocks Malcolm Cocks was an early ambassador for digital technology in textile design within Central Saint Martins in the 1990s. As part of the two-year T3 (Textiles, Techniques and Technology) research project, which led to major exhibitions in both New York and Sweden, Cocks and his colleagues explored the many potentials of new technologies in the production of printed, woven and knitted textiles. His prints deployed the latest digital technologies in their production, through the use of atomised spray and heat transfer, but also in their design. Created using Photoshop and other early software, Cocks’s works, with their bold contrasting colours, visually deconstruct traditional patterns of stripes and tartan to celebrate the early possibilities of digital design. Imogen Harland

Vutec Panel 2 Atomized spray on vinyl, designed on Photoshop 1997 34


Rosemary House In the mid-1990s, computer technology impacted many different disciplines. As a textile designer researching at Central Saint Martins, Rosemary began a journey of experimentation that led to these unique weaves, part of her Midas Touch collection. The amalgamation of traditional, or as she playfully puts it, ‘tacit’ techniques with emerging software enabled her to create abstract interpretations of analogue subjects. Computers seemed to get rid of certain constrictions and thus presented an array of new possibilities for weaving. Imagery could now be explored in still greater detail or even be entirely digital-generated. A wise use of time would become an ever more necessary element of successful design. As Rosemary said in 1998, “The quality and innovation of the final result are only as good as the ideas put in by the designer.” Selena Mokdad

MIDAS Series Gold and silver soft annealed copper wire, dobby woven 1990s 36


Sue Jenkyn Jones Sue is a fashion designer, educator, and innovator of textile materials and digital techniques. Throughout the 1980s she was the head of several London fashion brands, and was course leader of BA (Hons) Fashion: Fashion Design and Knitwear at Central Saint Martins from 1990 to 2006, and then course director of MA Digital Fashion at London College of Fashion from 2006 to 2011. At Central Saint Martins she introduced students to the use of software in fashion design and conducted research into digital technologies and e-commerce. Her focus has recently shifted to Asia, where she is currently senior academic director of design, professor of fashion at CondÊ Nast China. Sue’s work in this exhibition represents her early, pioneering of computer-aided knit techniques. Aric Miller

Circuit Knitted textile 1997 38


Nadia-Anne Ricketts Before joining the Textile Design course, Nadia was a professional dancer. Her lifelong passion for music played an important part in her work at Central Saint Martins, and her degree project explored connections between the physical properties of musical sound and the structures of weave. Later, with the help of music and software producers, she developed a programme that could translate music into digital patterns and fuse them with weaving. Working through her company BeatWoven, Nadia continues to explore the relationship; colours and textures are chosen according to the genre, period and other elements of the musical work that inspires her. The resulting designs aim to create an emotional connection to the viewer’s musical memories. Colourful and elegant, they appear simple in their complexity. Thomas Ba

My Tribe Woven silk, wool, polyester and copper yarn 2014 40


Priti Veja Exploring the possibilities of electronic integration in textiles, Priti’s creative approach to e-textile construction combines traditional methods with innovative materials. The works displayed are the product of an iterative design process that subverts traditional conceptions of linear schematics, instead engaging in numerous transferable stages between drawing board and prototyping. She uses a manually operated multi-shaft loom in conjunction with hightech materials, some of which were self-developed. Though her samples are hand-authored, their inventive designs are fully transferable to industry manufacturing processes. Priti is based in London, and has been internationally exhibited in addition to her extensive industry involvement. India Murphy

CPLEDv2 Woven electronic textile in cotton, monofilament, conductive yarn and LEDs, 2014 42


Happy Accidents

The group of designers shown under the heading Happy Accidents have all in some way allowed an element of chance to infiltrate their textile practices. To relinquish complete control and be open to external influence can be a difficult but rewarding tactic, providing the creative spark for innovative art and design. What to some may begin as a failure or mistake can kick-start a process of playful and spontaneous innovation, especially in contrast to the highly precise process of industrial textile production. Spot the difference in the ‘identical’ block prints and their accidentally changing pattern combinations, enjoy the humorous take on 1930s dye recipe names. In addition, some of the sketchbooks on display take a bold approach to colour, finding intricate inspiration within Mother Nature; while the expressive surface qualities of the painterly sound tiles reveal a refreshingly unencumbered design journey. Some of the work invites participants to play and co-design pattern landscapes, while extreme heat accidents appear in the raw ceramic hybrid materials, which fuse the properties of soft textiles with the fragility of porcelain to create surprising new surface qualities. Text by students from BA (Hons) Culture, Criticism and Curation


Joyce Clissold Joyce Clissold joined Footprints design studio while still a student at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. She later took over the running of the studio, and it was there that she established herself as an important designer. Although the materials and garments that she created throughout her career may appear simple, they are intricate and unique. She worked with wooden block printing in such a way that uniformity was impossible, but in doing so she embraced the beauty in the everyday, accidents and all. Clissold’s dye book is in itself a thing of beauty. It offers a ‘behind the scenes’ snapshot: no two pages are the same, each colour is given an often witty name and we get a sense of trial and error from the dye splatters that intersperse the notes and dye recipes. Katherine Davies

Dye Book Index book with dye recipes Late 1920s – 1930s 46


Mary Harper Mary Harper entered the Central School of Arts and Crafts in 1946 as a textile design student; after graduation, she joined the staff at Central, where she remained until 1985. She continued to work as a textile designer before turning to etching in 1970. The fragile paper that we see in Mary’s sketchbook carries an echo of her poetic responses to nature, her sense of its beauty embedded in every detail of the delicate flowers she drew. Her highly personal sense of colour, as in the vibrant green of Pallida, lights up the scene with a subtle boldness. There is an exquisite refinement to her work, so that even a simple repeat pattern takes on the complexity of a landscape painting. Xuanye Li

Drawing for Kaleidoscope Watercolour on paper c.1960 48


Anne Marr & Rebecca Hoyes Anne and Rebecca aim to create new material hybrids which enable them to explore the boundaries between ceramics and textiles. Their interest in the raw and natural aspects of ceramics led them to test how hybrid amalgams of silica, basalt and porcelain slip would withstand the extreme temperatures required of the firing process. Fusing clay with high-tech textiles, and looking to retain the tactile qualities of hard and soft, their playful process-led approach created unexpected outcomes. The hybrid material outcomes and experiments, using direct glazing onto textiles, offer new design possibilities and applications for interiors. Grace Ahn

Hybrid Knots Basalt, silica, paperclay and ceramic glaze 2016 50


Lorna Smith Lorna created this piece for her degree show project using a thermo-plastic yarn. The intricately knitted threads take a journey of unpredictable transformation when melded together by heat, and thereby evoke a process of change and recovery. Influenced by her research into ‘outsider artists’, Lorna spoke with patients of Bethlem Royal Hospital in South East London, about the connection between art and well-being. Lorna also visited Bethlem’s pioneering gallery space and museum collection, which holds hospital archives as well as artworks by contemporary artists and service-users. Her fabrics, with their combined focus on tactility and visual imagery, bring together science, art, history and healing, as do exhibits at the Bethlem Gallery and Bethlem Museum of the Mind. Louella Mae Ogle Ward

Horror Vacui White antara yarn and navy elastane 2013 52


Studio Houndstooth Studio Houndstooth is Philippa Brock & Jo Pierce, textile and material future researchers and designers. On setting up their Studio they developed their ludic ‘Houndstooth’ methodology as co-investigators / designers, to form their studio manifesto, risk-taking and design-thinking approach. Houndstooth Parquet: 32:64 is a result of their personal method workshops. Using the ubiquitous houndstooth textile motif, The Houndstooth Project grew as their viral, playful, egalitarian launch project, becoming the starting point for making projects for everyone and anyone. Studio Houndstooth run workshops, have fulfilled several commissions and are currently working on their ‘Wallpaper Project’ database / wall.

Houndstooth project Perspex, wood veneer and denim 2015 54


Marta Velasco Velasco Marta’s piece forms part of a project she calls Windhoek, named after the capital of Namibia. At the centre of the project is The Trip Journal, a fictional diary of travels in Namibia that Marta never took. The journal guides the viewer through Namibia’s peoples, the country’s extreme landscapes, its bizarre post colonial traces and its extraordinary peoples. Inspired by the African custom and necessity of reusing, remaking and re-adapting objects and materials, Marta works with materials that are mostly recycled or have been upcycled. The final pieces were styled to form a set that recreates a taste of the fantastic world, people and landscapes. Through The Trip Journal, the accompanying photo-book, and the Windhoek fabrics, Marta builds a rich narrative that combines fiction and reality. Raffaella Florio

Windhoek Colour photograph 2014 56


Material Artisans

The artists gathered here as Material Artisans celebrate the heritage of textiles craft. The way they use traditional techniques of weaving, knitting and silk screen printing displays the love and skill involved. The textile atelier is the place where exploration begins to manifest the limitless ways in which yarn, thread and other materials can come together to evoke tactile qualities. Intricate manipulation and committed hand-authorship are essential for works that are not just decorative but also meaningful. The industrialisation of textile production makes the Material Artisan a necessary specialist in his or her craft. The techniques that once were the only way of making fabrics are now conceived to create new forms of craft futures, often opening up a dialogue between hand-made and mass-produced processes. Multi-layered reflective wallpapers are the result of labour-intensive hand-printing and have been customised for retail environments. The weave samples from the 1960s and 1970s represent an artistic meeting ground between craftsmanship and transport corporations. Other work on display surprises in the way it combines digital print, a material of the future, with traditional techniques such as foiling and intricate neoprene inlay techniques; while the knit designer’s skilful and creative knitting technique lets materials bloom in movement on a plurality of surfaces. Text by students from BA (Hons) Culture, Criticism and Curation


Ann Bristow Ann’s interest in weaving began as a young girl when she was taught by the famous teacher and weaver Ella McLeod. She went on to study at Bradford Technical College. There she received a good grounding in textiles, with an emphasis on designing for industry, which was very different from the world of craft weaving. She moved to London and in 1973 set up the design and consultancy company Weaveplan, with three other weavers, including Eileen Ellis. The idea was to design ranges for industrial production. At this time she also started teaching weaving at Central School of Art and Design. The pieces on display here – Pavo, a bright pink acrylic sample and a card of different coloured swatches – were mill-woven samples, made for curtaining. Anna Buruma, Curator, Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection

Pavo Dobby woven pink acrylic casement fabric 1967 60


Susan Campbell For Susan, the print process is about exploring new and different ways of creating pattern. She takes a particular interest in the digital aspects of print design. The piece shown in here is part of her final year collection, which she called Status Update. The project focussed on creating fabrics for sportswear that combine and reflect the status of both the past and the present. The fabrics were made out of laser cut designs in neoprene pieced back together to create works that look as though they are printed but are in fact an intricate inlaid fabric. Teresa Fogolari

Status Update Collar Laser cut neoprene 2012 62


Eileen Ellis Eileen’s extensive career began at Zika Asher’s design studio, where she worked on printed and woven textiles for the couture market and ranges for Marks and Spencer. She then went on to found her own studio, Weaveplan, in 1973. There, she began to develop woven designs for seating fabrics for several companies involved in global travel. Her work is based around earthy tones, highlighting the complex textures of her weaving patterns. When looked at closely, the intricate layers of colourful tangled lines create an almost tactile experience. The weave samples displayed here represent a harmonious crossover between meticulous craftsmanship, material sensibility and the client’s practical requirements: a great example of an artisan sharing her distinct techniques with others so as to spread them throughout the world.   Mariana Carvalho Pinto Janeiro

Moquette for London Transport Worsted wool woven by John Holdsworth & Co Ltd 1960s 64


Linda Florence An installation artist as well as designer, Linda works closely with her clients to create site-specific pieces. Kaleidoscope Blue is the result of a commission from clothing retailer Ted Baker, who wanted to illuminate a dark corner of their franchise at Selfridges. Linda intended that her work would evoke kaleidoscopes and crystals so as to create a spotlight effect. The results required time-consuming and intensely technical work, all printed by hand. Starting with a gold base, each length of Linda’s paper then received a precise application of glue, ink and foil, each layer applied in a specific order to ensure adhesion. The tactility that emerges is impossible to achieve by solely using manufacturing processes. India Murphy

Kaleidoscope Blue Screen print 2014 66


Jessica Hymas Jessica called her Central Saint Martins degree show collection Biomimicry, a word denoting the way in which her design processes seek to imitate earth’s natural systems. Her wearable, knitted shoulder-piece has its roots of inspiration planted deep within Mother Nature. Taking a playful approach to colour, Jessica knits tropically coloured threads into a stylish structure that resembles the plumage of a bird of paradise. Through experimentation with stitch structures, Jessica pushes the boundaries of her craft. She experiments with traditional knitting techniques in innovative ways, arriving at outcomes that excite curiosity and wonder through their visual aesthetic. Much like nature’s engineers – animals, plants and microbes – Jessica has worked her fabric in resourceful ways, producing a modern textile item that drapes elegantly on the body. Louise Baker

Biomimicry Knit sample in viscose, lycra, cotton, knitted mohair and card, 2006 68


Jaimee McKenna As Jaimee moved from her textile design background to a career in fashion, she took her distinctive passion for knitting with her. Her exuberant creations, exhibited at London Fashion Week in 2013, define her as both artist and artisan. Taken from her degree show portfolio, this piece, with its resemblance to chainmail, is the result of her curiosity about movement and how textiles react to it. Using a mixture of nylon and leather, she creates a play of contrasting textures. It’s interesting to note how the apparently flat look of Jaimee’s   creations is in perpetual contradiction with the multid   imensional surfaces created by her materials. Her work will surprise anyone who can’t imagine a place for knitting among textiles of the future. Rebecca Derine

Leather Ring Dress Viscose, cotton yarn and leather rings 2011 70


Elaine Yan Ling Ng Elaine’s concern for science, nature and craft animates all her work, which focusses not only on the texture of the materials but also on their environmental nature. Experimenting with diverse materials, including textiles, wood and plastic, allows her to apply techniques to create both art installations and furnishing collections. This flexibility opens up the possibility of wide-ranging collaborations: Elaine’s projects, including her experimental studio The Fabrick Lab, emerge from an encounter between modern technologies and traditional skills. Deriving inspiration from biomimicry, her pieces echo natural structures found in animals and plants. Another project called UN / Fold Guizhou brings support to local craftsmen in rural China, demonstrating the way in which Elaine’s experimental notions combine innovation and respect for the power of heritage. Yuying Yang

Sundew Swarovski crystal, bamboo, polyester, polymer, stainless steel, metal embroidery work, silver and UV printing, 2015 72


Claire O’Brien Claire’s work focusses on the changing needs and lifestyles of the UK’s ageing population. Given the likelihood of a more active older generation in the future, she intended to challenge existing ideas about the fashion aesthetic of the elderly by making experimental sportswear fabrics for this specific market. Claire trained as a knitter but, she says, “In   my spare time, I like to experiment with hand-printing and monoprinting.” The vivid swatches that we see here were part of the project. She also designed the brightly coloured, water-resistant textiles on display; in an inspired move, she placed breathable materials in panels across the back or under the arm of a garment. Xuanye Li

Knit Length Viscose and silk yarn, knicker elastic, tape yarn, and laminate, 2005 74


Jo Pierce Inspired by artisanal fabric making, Jo has focussed on reversing the process of mass-production prints so as to arrive at a kind of ‘hand-made digital’. Compelled by the loss of ten years’ worth of imagery, Jo’s collection Seemingly Random Things attempts to re-collate events to stimulate memory of real life ‘bits’ lost in an ocean of digital data. Some of her recent work involves the use of arrangement and photography as part of a collage of materials, reprinted onto a range of surfaces. The contrast of surfaces suggests how sensory memories may be revived by tactile narratives. The edges of the fabrics are intentionally raw to perpetuate the unfinished look; Jo sees textiles as a means of sharing ideals of participation and well-being, encouraging people to play a part in the story of the fabrics. Rebecca Derine

Seemingly Random Things Digital photograph 2016 76


Published by the Museum & Study Collection and BA Textile Design, Central Saint Martins on the occasion of Real Dirty Blue held at the Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, 23 February – 1 April 2016 Museum & Study Collection and BA Textile Design Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London Granary Square, London N1C 4AA Curators: Philippa Brock, Anna Buruma, Sarah Campbell, Nicola Dillon, Linda Florence, Diana MacBeth, Anne Marr, Joanna Pierce, Theresa Rarer & Judy Willcocks Exhibitors: Howard Asher, Laura Baker, Ann Bristow, Philippa Brock, Susan Campbell, Joyce Clissold, Malcolm Cocks, Carole Collet, Eileen Ellis, Linda Florence, Skye Gwillim, Mary Harper, Rosemary House, Rebecca Hoyes, Jessica Hymas, Sue Jenkyn Jones, Derek Lawlor, Anne Marr, Jaimee McKenna, George Morgan, Elaine Yan Ling Ng, Claire O’Brien, Harriet Paynter, Jo Pierce, Stephanie Rolph, Nadia-Anne Ricketts, Rebecca Skelton, Anne Smith, Lorna Smith, Studio Houndstooth, Priti Veja and Marta Velasco Velasco

We would like to thank our sponsors: Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company Ltd, Oji Fibres Japan and Textile Technologies. We would also like to thank the following people for their help and expertise in putting together the exhibition and catalogue: Nick Kimberley, BA CCC students, Jet, Billy Dickinson, Matthew Clark, Sebastian White, Eva Kellenberger and Elif Tanman at Kellenberger–White, Textiles Future Research Centre, Sakae Dentelles (Calais), Andy Allum, Simeon Featherstone, Paul Murphy, Andrew Baker, Laura McNamara, Duncan Hooson and Rebecca Hoyes. Anne Smith would like to thank Mary Schoeser (Following the thread: textiles in Making Their Mark. Art, Craft and Design at the Central School 1896–1966, edited by Sylvia Backemeyer, Herbert Press, 2000) and Professor Emerita Jane Rapley OBE.

Art direction and design by Kellenberger–White Printed by Sharman & Company Ltd

© Museum & Study Collection & BA Textile Design, Central Saint Martins, 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher.

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Texts by Anne Marr, Judy Willcocks, Anne Smith & Matthew Clark © the author and Museum and Study Collection, Central Saint Martins, 2016. All efforts have been made to trace image copyright holders but the publishers apologise for any omissions that may have inadvertently been made.


Real Dirty Blue Textile Design Central Saint Martins 23 February – 1 April 2016 Lethaby Gallery Central Saint Martins Granary Building 1 Granary Square London N1C 4AA