In an age where technology is shaping the human experience, it is hard to imagine a world without it. The value of being in the natural world is becoming overshadowed and the world is arguably less connected than ever before.
My project delves into the benefits of being curious of your surroundings. Noticing shapes, colours, patterns, and texture improves your observation skills and helps you to truly connect with your surroundings.
This opens up the opportunity to notice patterns repeating in different places, throughout nature and the whole world. Patterns play a major role in our lives, whether we realise it or not.
My project delves into the importance of exploring the outdoors, the benefits of being curious within that space, and the significance of patterns in shaping an interconnected world.
Using a variety of tools to create marks, using ink and water. Taking inspiration from the many forms of the river, I wanted to capture movement and character. This involved varying the speed of the mark making and the weight of line.
Mixed media study of the sea that I passed on my walk along the shore. I wanted to capture the contrast between the rough, deep waves and the delicate sea foam on top. I used a variety of mediums, including: watercolour, coloured pencil, oil pastel, and acrylic paint. To add texture, I mixed together water, glue, and talcum powder to create a thick paste. I then scratched into it, let it dry, then rubbed it over in coloured pencil.
As I made my way along the beach, through the sand dunes and towards the woodland area, I picked up lots of different items. The variety of findings was a reminder of how different each location was, but also how seamlessly they all led on to each other. The goal of this project was to be more curious of your surroundings in order to feel a stronger connection to the world around us, and collecting these items was an effective and easy way to do this.
Moving away from the sea and towards the sand dunes, I was immersed in the grassy, sandy landscape. To capture the movement of the grass, I used sweeping strokes of watercolour, and layered more strokes in coloured pencil to give depth. The speckled red dots were the clusters of Dock seed, giving a pop of colour to the scene.
Above is a mixed media collage of a bridge that I passed when heading into the woodland area. Using embroidery thread to create tufts of ferns - a softer texture to contrast with the tough brickwork.
This is a close up of the bridge and a mixed media study of the woodland landscape, using collage, watercolour and oil pastel. Then more development from the brickwork in the bridge, focusing on the repetitive, yet organic, structure.
These are mark making ink studies inspired by the patterns in tree bark and the textures in the stone.
I loved the colours in the dock seeds that I frequently saw during my walk so I used these as inspiration for my colour palette. There were seeds that were shades of green, pink and red - colours that naturally compliment each other. Below are some collages and paintings exploring the different colourways and compositions.
To capture the shades I wanted, I began dyeing my own yarn. Taking inspiration from the changing colours of the dock seeds, I experimented with ombré dyeing. This involved a lot of calculating but the process was highly satisfying and enjoyable. I tested Procion MX dyes on cotton then Acid dyes on lambswool and merino wool.
The wool took the colour a lot better than the cotton and after doing research into the yarns, I realised that wool was the more sustainable option and more appropriate for my knitwear collection.
Taking all of the visual inspiration from my walk, along with patterns extracted from the drawings and development. These designs were knitted on both the Domestic and Dubied knitting machines.
A digital illustration of my final knits as a ready-to-wear collection. Featuring cardigans, dresses, and vests, these pieces are interchangeable, making them more versatile and long-lasting. Layering items can allow for colder temperatures and can equally be paired back for warmer weather.
I wanted to design a collection that the everyday person could wear, with the freedom to dress the pieces up or down with styling. It is important to me to design clothes that are comfortable yet vibrant.