It is no surprise to anyone that I am inspired by nature.
Capturing a still moment before they are gone is something that fascinates me entirely.
My process always starts with drawing and painting then gets transformed into beautiful digital prints open for interiors and fashion.
These Times and How We Maintained Focus
“Growing up in Cape Town I was exposed to so many different cultures, each one with its own vibrant activities.
I specifically remember a fascinating district known as the Bo-Kaap, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill, just beyond Cape Town’s city centre.
This area is filled with colour, culture, contrast and cuisine.
The defining features of the Bo-Kaap are its multitude of vividly painted historic houses and its quaint cobbled streets.
Throughout my life in Cape Town, there are specific memories that I have of visiting this unique place. My first memory was as early as eight years old: I remember jumping off the school bus onto the cobbled streets and being immediately immersed into a rainbow of colours. Each house is painted in a different colour making the streets look almost too perfect as if they belonged on a film set.
During this trip, we visited some local crafts people, explored the colourful streets and ate some deliciously sweet foods.
The next trip that I remember, I was about to turn sixteen and the experience was quite different from the first. Our group of school students were invited into one of the original historical homes to participate in a cooking class. We were submerged in the culture and the wonderful smells of Malay spices.
The last memory I have of the magical streets of the Bo-Kaap is just before I left the beautiful city of Cape Town to move to England. I remember standing in the cobbled streets, surrounded by colours from lime green to fuschia pink to cerulean blue and sunflower yellow. Absorbing the atmosphere and bathed in the golden summer heat, I remember looking up at the granite greys and earthy browns of the rocky face of Table Mountain and noticing all the exquisite harmonies and contrasts.
This is what makes the Bo-Kaap so magical: the rough natural textures of the mountain juxtaposed with the smooth, kaleidoscope of colours in the houses.
Today I can still remember the glow of the sun on the rainbow houses, the smell of the Malay spices, the natural rocky texture of the mountains and the sweetness of the food I ate that very first time I walked the cobbled streets of the Bo-Kaap.
From this inspiration, I will design a collection of woven samples for the purpose of fashion.”
These Times and How we Maintained Focus
Center stage today is Jessica Morgan Helliwell. Welcome to her colourful underwater world.
Thalassic is a word that is related to the sea and Botanica is a play on botanic which is related to the life of plants in this case, the plants of the sea.
Living by the sea, I have always been indulged with luscious beaches and aquatic life. When I was asked what ‘I wanted to be when I grow up’ I was torn between two careers: 1) Being a Marine Biologist OR
2)The Textile industry as an Interior designer.
Deciding between two very different fields, I followed my aspirations and went for the creative route I have always loved and thrived in.
This project is the time for me to rediscover my love for marine biology and combine it with my chosen career path in textiles.
Focusing on coral reefs the collection I’m looking closely at the textures, shapes and colourings found on varieties of coral, seaweed and species that create the architectural colonies of the ocean.
I’m incorporating the lives that exist and thrive among coral reefs and creating innovative, busy digital prints for a quirky, colourful interior setting.
These Times and ‘How we Maintained Focus’
Continuing our weekend theme with our graduating designers.
“We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not we are homesick for the places we have never known” – Carson McCullers
The Story of ‘REMINISCENT’ is exploring how my spirit and soul drives me back to the place that I call home.
With collective research derived from the “Riviera of Devon” in Torbay, I portray an essence of ‘wander’; from the cliffs leading down to the sea, to the wildflowers that surround the landscape.
The focus on the wild botanicals is a metaphor – seen through their qualities to self-seed, and change in the seasons. My nostalgic emotions can be unpredictable, yet the desire to ‘spread my wings and fly’ has me in a constant battle between the ‘once was’ and the ‘what will be’.
It’s a feeling of escapism and tranquillity – visually translated into experimental textile prints.
The spirit of my project is adventurous and organic. I have learned to appreciate my home; happy place and discovered a need to share with others around me.
There is no better time to spend at home than right now.
These Times and How We Maintained Focus
Creative soul, Millie Sandy, is in the spotlight today, as part of our weekend celebration of this years graduating cohort.
‘Putto and the Unexpected Guest’ follows the story of a little cherub who struggles to identify love within himself and amongst his surroundings.
Confused by fellow putti, who spend their lives cultivating love through flowers and song, Putto turns to the Love Giants, inspired by the different forms of love according to the Ancient Greeks, to inquire about the unnamed burning sensation he frequently felt within himself.
With no luck, Putto begins a journey through nature, enjoying the simple things in life when he stumbles across his reflection within a puddle and soon realises what he had been missing.
This feeling was love and through his quest had discovered it did not only surface from the love received from others but could be felt through the love of oneself, the surroundings and of times gone by.
This message is emphasised through research of the Renaissance, a colour scheme developed from a trip to Rome and embedded through the use of recycled, ‘pre-loved’ materials.
In a time of uncertainty, where we must remain distant but strong, love still continues to hold this planet together.
Keep up your tremendous ethic Millie, you’re winning.
These Times and How we Maintained Focus
Each weekend we will follow the progress of two of our graduating students
Working under these conditions they deserve all the glittering prizes!
Let me introduce you to Jess Game – Knitter extraordinaire
Here, in Jess’s words, is the narrative to her work
For years I had the above image of me sat on my gorgeous plastic throne hung on my bedroom wall. At the time, I was extremely enthusiastic about gardening and took great pride in my veggie patch.
However, I saw (and still see) these two funny looking pumpkins as my biggest gardening achievement. Peas please, is a knitwear collection inspired by my childhood love of vegetables.
This collection is led by colour and pattern and is intended for children’s fashion.
It is full of character and quirky details to give something usually considered to be boring (especially to children) a more fun and exciting view.
It has been created on Dubieds and domestic knitting machines to create knits of varying weights and structures.
The collection features a range of fun jacquards and intarsias along with some heavily textural pieces.
Handknitted and crochet embellishments have also been applied to create individual and unique details and trims.
These Times – How we Maintained Focus
How enterprising of one of our creative thinkers.
Jessica Morgan-Helliwell has produced an outline pattern for you to download and fill in with the colours of your choice.
It may inspire you to get more creative during these unique, home-based times.
Where will you get your colour reference from?
These Times – How We Maintained Focus.
Yes, who does work in a space like this?
Staff have shared their temporary home working spaces.
Guess whose spaces they are?
Letters below the images
Share your guesses on your facebook pages.
More images to share as we move around the house/studio in future posts.