A few weeks ago I visited the MA Expo at the School of Art and Design, Nottingham Trent University. This is where students show key pieces of work made during their Masters degrees. It’s always interesting because there is a great variety of work being displayed, which reflects the range of MA courses offered at NTU.
Here are a few of the displays that caught my eye.
Elaine Bell was inspired by pattern cutting techniques used for 1940’s garments. Rather than cutting the garment pieces from lengths of knitted fabrics, Elaine knitted hers as fully-fashioned pieces on modern industrial knitting machines to minimise the need for cutting knitted fabric. I’m going to be interviewing Elaine, so there’ll be more about her work soon.
I love this elegant knitted dress by Lin Gao. The fabric is a plated rib; this is a machine knit technique in which two different coloured or textured yarns are knit simultaneously, but one shows on the knit stitches and the other on the purls. There is not really an equivalent technique for hand knit. Lin has chosen two low contrast yarns to create a sophistcated effect. As you look you realise that it is not a simple shift dress, in fact it is difficult to tell whether there is one piece or two or more! The wrapping is cleverly done; the back is particularly attractive. Sadly my photograph does not do justice to Lin’s dress, so take a look at her Pinterest board to see some fantastic images.
This menswear knit collection by Delores Oblitey was inspired by the Caribean migrants who arrived in the UK on the SS Windrush in 1949. Her garments are colourful, but it is the textures that I like. She writes about her MA journey on her blog.
I love the effect of the layers of fabric on these garments by Gu Zhuo. It took me a while to notice that each layer is the silhouette of a face!
Anna Piper specializes in woven fabrics; I like her subtle use of neon, and how she has designed her fabrics with the garment in mind. You can see more of her work here.
Katie Rose Nicholls has explored how embroidery can be used without a fabric base to create striking three-dimensional pieces.
Japanese designer, Sayaka Saito, made the “Harvest Walk” collection. Don’t you just love those colours and the way they are displayed? They are made with natural fabrics and dyes.
I was clearly loosing concentration at this point because I didn’t note down who made these textile samples. They look lovely and show a wide range of processes.
I always enjoy looking at the work of Graphic Design students. They choose interesting ways of displaying their work; Fuling Chang has chosen to show use mugs; don’t they look gorgeous? I love the colour palette!
It really is worth visiting degree shows or MA Expos to look at students’ work. You will see a lot of inspiring displays!