Imogen Dunn

Textile Designer and Artist

The River Walk

This project focuses on the changing landscape of the River Tay, and how this can be translated through knitting. I lived next to the River Tay for several years whilst studying in Dundee, so I spent a lot of time walking by it and looking at it from my window.

I was always in awe of the how quickly the landscape of the river could change. From being as still as glass in the morning to crashing deep blue waves at night. The delicate patterns of light that bounced off the surface contrasted with the deep, dark body of water below.

Drawings and Development

Taking the shape of the River Tay and creating a cut out. Playing around with layering textures to see how effective it is.

Varying brush strokes to create different textures, focusing on the movement of the water.

Using a variety of tools to create marks, including 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.

Marbling and brush strokes, introducing colour. The hints of gold are inspired by the sparkling surface of the water when the sunlight hits it.

Painting of the light reflecting off the water. Using acrylic paint and coloured pencil on an old vinyl record. I wanted to capture the delicacy of the lines and the variation in shades of blue.

Using polymer clay to create 3D sculptures, inspired by the study above. Watching how the light interacted with the negative space reminded me of the patterns in the water.

Knitting Development

A collection of knitted samples, inspired by the shapes, patterns and colours seen in my development work. I focused on how the light was interacting with the texture of the knits, creating deeper colours in the shadows and lighter ones in the highlights.

Developing further by using cotton to create sheer knitted fabric. I liked the idea of knitting a light, delicate fabric that could be layered up to create a chunkier, opaque fabric. This was inspired by the contrast between the deep, dark depths of the river and the light, delicate pattens on the surface.

Final Designs

I decided to knit a scarf for my final piece as I thought it encapsulated the inspiration for the project - a walk by the river. The purpose of the project was not only to explore the characteristics of the river, but to think about how we can connect further to our surroundings. Wearing the scarf is a homage to this particular landscape, and is a reminder of how I felt when walking by the river.

The particular pattern that I knitted is a fan lace technique, using partial knitting. I chose to use this pattern because it had a delicacy to it that could be seen when separated and held to the light. On the other hand, when wrapped around the neck, it becomes fuller in texture. I thought this replicated the contrasting characteristics of the river that I had been exploring in my development work.

To go along with the scarf, I designed a collection of knitwear pieces, using the patterns I had knitted during the project. I focused on balancing contrasting textures and weight of fabric. By combining sheer or lace fabrics with chunkier yarns, I could imitate the characteristics of the water. I also used photoshop to create a realistic visualisation of one of the designs (far left).

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