“In this project you are asked to collect, then visually observe, explore and record a group of textiles and materials.”
Stage 1: Gathering Materials
My theme – Nature’s Larder
Some of the words I came up with while brainstorming my theme:-
harvest celebration, autumn, mushrooms, juicy berries, purple, red, juice stained fingers, fungus, mould, iridescent beetles, beech mast, acorns, nuts, fruit, rotting wood, wheat, crop, natures cycles – spring, summer, autumn, winter, living and dying, food webs – a dead animal is a food source for insects – smaller animals are a source of food for larger.
The materials I wanted to gather needed to reflect some of the qualities of this theme. My first thoughts were rich colours and textures that we would look for when choosing fruit or vegetables to eat. Suede is like a mushroom, shiny silky material reminiscent of the skin of fruit and wool or threads remind me of the fibres in fungus. Also I wanted to incorporate textures that reminded me of the earth and wood such as rough and gritty.
I started with the loose, knitted lacy scarf, not only did the earthy colours work but the texture reminded me of bracket fungus or seaweed. The pale brown suede fabric a resemblance to mushrooms and the black shiny square of lycra made me think of the little black beetles you often find crawling over the woodland floor looking for rotting vegetation or animal matter. The actual mushroom is a wooden carving but has a shiny and smooth surface and added interest to the assemble in terms of shape and colour. The cushion has a satin sheen to it and detailing of seed pods embroidered on it. The background is a brown heavy canvas and a faux leather headboard. I chose objects of nuts and fruits, a piece of bark and a leaf to also contribute to the variety of shapes and textures.
I tried a variety of arrangements, initially trying to convey a bountiful harvest idea, then focussing on an autumn scene and finally arranging in a more structured style which I thought better displayed the qualities and structure of the fabrics and items I had chosen. I also played with the backgrounds but feel the dark browns were the best to convey the heavy, gritty earthy texture that I wanted.
My favourite arrangement is this one.