For my final major project I decided to continue to focus within the pathway of surface pattern and textiles as it has allowed me to experiment across a wide range of processes such as embroidery, fabric manipulation and felting with the combined use of materials such as vanishing fabric and procion dyes. I chose to base my subject area on marine life due to the fact that there are some very interesting and unique textures and patterning on coral reefs and more so within other aspects of marine biology such as fish, turtles etc. Personally, I felt that choosing something with such a broad base would prevent me from limiting myself in any way. Referring back to my proposal and my workplan during this project has ensured that I have fulfilled the targets I set myself.
Despite the fact that I didn’t dive into this project with a strict set of intentions I knew that I wanted to push myself to experiment within the processes that this pathway has to offer as previously transgressing from an illustration background I have occasionally found myself limiting my work to two dimensional outcomes. I feel that throughout my final major project I have achieved this goal because a lot of the work I have created has been done with the use of embroidery and fabrics that I have layered in order to create a textured look. Furthermore, the artists that I have researched during this project such as Margaret Werthiem and Christine Werthiem have helped to give me new insights into just how much can be achieved through the use of these processes and this in turn has pushed me to create a final outcome that combines vibrant and colourful three dimensional aspects within surface pattern and textiles.
During my final major project I feel that there has been a slight change in direction with the way in which I have developed my final outcome due to the fact when I was presenting my pitch I discussed a lot about an industry based outcome given that I am soon to start an apprenticeship in a fabric printing company. However, I drove myself away from this initial idea and created a wall hanging that combined a range of processes in order to create a unique and built up textured piece. I feel that this change took place after viewing the installations that the artists I researched had produced. For example, Courtney Mattison, despite the fact she used clay for her three dimensional installations it gave me the idea to research into fabric manipulation techniques to see how I could create outcomes similar to her work.
I feel that there has been many strengths and weaknesses throughout the duration of my final major project. The weaknesses that I have encountered have helped me to learn new ways in which I could overcome and improve my work which has also led to my strengths. One of the problems I encountered was the fact that there isn’t any coral reefs on the shorelines of the UK to gather primary resource photography therefore I have had to visit sea life centres and fish mongers in order to gather images. I felt that although these photographs were fantastic to base my work upon they didn’t do the real view of a coral reef justice. Therefore, I used photographers such as David Doubilet to help inform me and refresh my memory on the previous snorkelling expeditions I have been on. Furthermore, I have found that my lack in knowledge on different fabrics and materials has sometimes impeded my practice as there has been occasions in which I have made the wrong choices and things haven’t gone to plan. However, all these decisions have helped me to learn and through experimentation and discussion with fellow students I have been able overcome these weaknesses. I do feel that I have improved with my knowledge on the use of sewing machines and embroidery work as I have done an extensive amount of this with my final outcome.
If I was to have more time I feel that I would have produced more fragmented pieces for the wall hanging so they could have been exhibited on a larger scale, perhaps with a variation of colour to create contrast. Furthermore, I would have like to have added some different additional pieces with the use of fabric manipulation techniques to create more built up texture.
Overall, I am very happy with my final outcome as I feel that considering I hadn’t had much time in surface pattern and textiles before I started my final major project I have successfully managed to combine embroidery, felting and fabric manipulation processes to create a bright and colourful wall hanging that is noticeable to viewers as an under the sea representation. Furthermore, I feel that this has been a fantastic opportunity to be creative before I go into my technical role as a colour separation artist.