Evaluation of part 4

To conclude Part Four, I need to reflect upon what I’ve learnt through the project. This is about my approach and management of the project more than the work itself. I considered the following:
How my understanding of the art textiles context has developed during the project: I found this project very different from the previous three projects as it was a lot looser in its brief. For example the first three projects we were given boundaries in that project one was to create a trend book, project two had to be for use in fashion therefore the fabrics needed to be wearable and comfortable. Project three was to design interior fabrics which meant that one inevitably created fabrics that could be used successfully to add warmth, comfort and style to an interior setting. This project was quite broad, there was no guidance on what sort of art you should create. My samples lent themselves towards creating a hanging or panel but could easily have ended up with something more sculptural for example, that is the thing with the art side of textiles, it is so wide that really anything goes. I found myself not only influenced by my original trend which was based on the destruction of towns in Syria but also by other conflicts closer to home. Changing the buildings from those found in Syria to buildings that I know well and are part of my natural surroundings mad me alter my route slightly which I think is why I ended up with war torn ruins that reminded people of Ypres. With the commemoration of the 1st world war and remembrance day coming up it seemed to blend with my original ideas, changing them ever so slightly but making them more relevant to me.
My handling and application of colour through both drawing and sampling. I must admit I struggled to keep the colours on track throughout this project mainly as I took a photographic route to create the images for my project to be based on. As with any photograph the colours are far more varied than my original palette and I ran into trouble with varying qualities of inks and disparity between what appears on a computer screen and what actually prints onto the fabric.
• The quality, diversity and playfulness of my practical sampling: I was very playful with the samples for this project, far more than I had before in the other projects. I was pushing the ‘what if button’ regularly and tried lots of different methods of transferring the images before settling on the most successful one.
My use of drawing throughout: I consciously chose to take a more photographic route for this project and although I used some drawing especially in the early stages I chose photo manipulation to develop the theme. I am really interested in the effects achievable using photo editing during designing but also through to digitally printing fabrics. it is something I would like to do more of and gain in proficiency.

Over all this project took a very long time to complete. I put a lot more effort into the visual research part at the beginning of the project and set strict parameters for the sampling stage which I feel helped me to create a very interesting set of samples and ideas for further development into an art piece being either a hanging or panel. I hope to eventually complete the piece as a wall hanging as I was really pleased with the final sample and have had some interest in it going on display in a local museum as part of their 1918 WW1 remembrance exhibition next year.

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Research 4.2; ongoing contextual research


Richard McVetis

Richard McVetis work ‘units of time’ is shown in our course notes. I had not come across his work before this but the small (6cm x 6cm) stitched cubes each named after the amount of time he spent stitching each one inspired me to think about using cubes or rather sections to convey my theme of  ‘deconstruction’. His website says: ‘Richard McVetis is a British artist, known for his meticulously embroidered drawings and sculptures. His artistic practice centres on his training as an embroiderer through the use of traditional hand stitch techniques and mark making.’ richard mcvetis. 2017. About – Richard McVetis. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.richardmcvetis.co.uk/about-2. [Accessed 25 October 2017].

blank1Image result for my grey pencil case richard mcvetis

His work entitled My grey Pencil case (above) also shows a deconstructive style. I like the way that he leaves the threads hanging from the deconstructed stitches.

Faig Ahmed

This artist is known mostly sculptures using traditional rugs. The rugs and their motifs are deconstructed then re-used in alternative ways creating a new form such as in the above image ‘Gautama’ from 2017 which is 285x380cm and made of a handmade woolend carpet. I really like the way that this form flows almost as though it has melted leaving puddles on the floor.

Christina Hesford

Christina Hesford - Repaired Rag

This piece by weaver Christina Hesford (repaired rag) heavily influenced the way the background of my piece looks. I wanted to try and recreate this kind of worn look. Christina’s influences encompass many Japanese craft concepts including the repair aesthetic of kintsukoro.

Cas Holmes

Counting Crows

Counting crows 200 x 240 cm

work by Cas Holmes

Red bowl, wall hanging

Always an inspiration of mine, English textile artist and embroiderer Cas Holmes’ machine sketched embroidery and patchwork like backgrounds provided a lot of inspiration for this project as well as her way of free hanging panels. Often comprising of natural subjects such as birds she has a very distinctive style and exhibits widely.

Hinke Schreuders


Dutch artist Hinke Schreuders is best known for her altering and deconstruction of images by stitching into old photographs and advertisements. Distorting yet embellishing images became a large part of my project  and although I altered the images and printed onto fabric so influence was taken from using photographs rather than drawings to start from.

Maggie Grey, Gwen Hedley

I have always admired these two embroiderers work and used their books (Gwen Hedley’s ‘surfaces for stitch’ Batsford, 2000 for surfaces and textures and Maggie Grey’s ‘from image to stitch’ Batsford, 2008 for image transfer) extensively throughout the sampling stage of the project for ideas to create innovative surfaces backgrounds as well as transferring the image to fabric.

Cecile Dachary

The City 2012 – White cotton and pebbles

Cecile Dachary is very much a multimedia artist one of them being textiles. She likes to use worn fabrics as they have the feel of time, something I have been very much looking at during this assignment. She leaves threads hanging and uses various forms of needlework to explore her themes One being crochet (above). Her ‘city’, crocheted and hanging is not perfect and is not meant to be so. It has a life of its own and a lovely almost ghost like feeling to it.



References and further reading

About – Richard McVetis. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.richardmcvetis.co.uk/about-2. [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Fabric – Richard McVetis {ONLINE] Available at: http://www.richardmcvetis.co.uk/fabric.  [Accessed 25 October 2017].





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Assignment 4, Exercise 4.5 – Evaluation

Above is a photograph of a design image taken from my sketchbook which shows a final design idea for this design. It has two options for hanging: A panel stretched over a canvas around A2 size or as a hanging that could be hung either on a wall or in front of a window or light source. The design lends itself to being repeated to create a larger design either horizontally or vertically. I explored this in my sketchbook and decided that a third option was to extend the design vertically and make multiple pieces which would be suspended or free hanging  from the ceiling and which the audience could walk through to experience walking through ruins. These would work in a similar way to Cas Holmes’ Imperfect Plant panels (below).

work by Cas Holmes and Anne Kelly

The panels would be made using the techniques employed below. If hanging in strips as in the third option I would omit the blue background as the design would then be two sided.


Overall I am pleased with the outcome of this assignment. My trend was based on photographs taken during December 2016 depicting the civil war and the destruction of Aleppo in Syria. The images of this terrible event that it really struck a chord with me. Particularly the idea of the deconstruction, dismantling, and the destroying of the fabric of this urban environment struck me in the pictures. In this country we are more used to construction, constant building, improving and extending. Very rarely do we suffer destruction on a large scale, particularly the man made destruction of large cities such as during the ‘blitz’ during world war two. From a textile point of view this starting point offered a lot of options for dealing with the theme; whether from a figurative viewpoint or a more process led approach, literally disassembling or distressing textiles.

The original issues and narrative which underpinned the idea of the trend were the destruction of the urban environment during war, the ruin of cities and buildings and therefore lives and the perseverance and hope of the people who remain in that environment or flee from it. In war municipal buildings and civilian dwellings receive the same harsh treatment as military targets. The populations have to decide whether to stay or flee, some hoping for a better life elsewhere, some choosing to stay in hope of liberation or that someone will save them. All leaving their belongings, memories and past lives behind and entering a new, altered reality. I decided to explore the theme visually by looking at my own environment, taking pictures of the buildings familiar to me where I live to make the project more personal to me. I feel that I have been successful in conveying the trend and theme. Others who have looked at the samples immediately said that they reminded them of the Blitz or the ruins at Ypres without me first saying what the theme was so I am confident that  I was on the right track.

Colours play a large part in creating the atmosphere of distress, sadness and sorrow. The colours in this trend are earthy colours that heavily suggest materials used for building. They have a sadness within them yet with some accent colours like the blue I have used they could convey the feeling of hope. I have struggled throughout the project to keep the colours within the palette but I am pleased with the results in the end. If I were to do it all again I would perhaps look to have the images printed professionally, as printing them at home was not easy and also limited the size that I could work at.


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Assignment 4, Stage 3, Exercise 4.4 – Refining

I completed a wide and interesting set of samples in the last section but some stood out to me more than others and I chose to refine these in an attempt to find a final visual response to what has been quite a difficult theme to interpret.


This sample was made using the same printed brown paper ironed over hand dyed blue cotton. I had attached it using some printed bondaweb and ripped out sections to expose both the bondaweb and blue layers. The surface was very stable as it has been ironed onto the cotton and it has lost it’s papery feel which makes it ideal for further stitching and development. I felt that picking details out or over stitching with machine embroidery would undoubtedly add more life to this sample which feels a little flat at the moment. It reminded me of a very old tattered photograph which makes it fit well with the memory side of the trend. The architectural details fit the trend really well as the original idea was taken from war torn ruins.

To develop and refine the sample I recreated it in a larger scale drawing and stitching into the surface to revel more detail and giving a sense of ruined buildings. The blue has come to signify hope for the future, rather like the sky’s clearing after a storm. The reddish brown in the bondaweb layer reminds me of fire and smoke which so often accompanies war.

During the process of making the smaller samples I had decided that my favourite background was the patch-worked layers of different fabrics as I liked the deconstructed look they create, especially once printed and worked into. I was particularly pleased with the printed inkjet transfers and applied tissue paper over the patch worked background. Over all the T-shirt transfer worked better for my needs for this project as although it did have a slightly shiny surface, the texture from the patchwork was not entirely lost. The tissue paper obscured it a little too much for my purposes. The colours were not quite right but the texture and over all feeling of a deconstructed surface was present. I felt the transfer printed sample needed to be redone in a larger scale and further distressing of the surface attempted which I did (below). After stitching had been added I attacked the surface with a stiff brush and a heat gun to remove more of the image and create an even more distressed look this worked well and even the stitching looks a little melted. This sample almost has the look of an old acetate or photograph that has been melted when it was left behind near a fire.

I decided to do the sample again but this time to print directly onto the patchwork. I hoped that this would remove the shiny surface and choosing fabrics for the patchwork that could be melted or frayed I wanted to see if I could still distress the surface without the plastic coating of the transfer. Kim Thittichai’s innovative surfaces and hot textile techniques guided the way that I used a heat gun throughout the exercises. I was pleased with the result as it conveys the feeling of ruins very well.

Refining, A final sample

I wanted to remake the sample above in a slightly larger format and with more detail, concentrating on the making. I also wanted to see if by modifying the fabrics slightly and removing the stable backing layer would create an even more interesting piece. Again it is only a section of what could be a much larger panel, a fragment if you like, to demonstrate how I see the final piece being made.

This time I chose the lighter weight fabrics that I had used before but as I wanted to create a severely deconstructed surface I opted to use a water soluble background which would stabilise my patchwork whilst it was being stitched together and then be completely removed. This created a much more worn and delicate surface. The pieces were machine stitched together and using very loose stitching to resemble mended textiles.

The piece was then dyed with tea and rust water to create the colouration I required. This also removed any remaining water soluble film

I then allowed the piece to dry thoroughly and ironed it as flat as I could and securely taped it to a piece of A4 paper to enable it to pass through the printer for the design to be printed onto the surface.

Once printed U then worked into the surface with a heat gun, more stitch and oil pastels to really age the surface and backed it with the hand dyed blue cotton to signify hope beyond the ruins. I intentionally left all edges rough and unfinished, to tidy the edges would have detracted from the theme of deconstruction.


The final sample

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Assignment 4, Stage 2, Exercise 4.3 – sampling

My final ideas for samples are as follows:

  1. Section of design printed onto brown paper then crumpled
  2. Section printed onto bondaweb then applied to crumpled paper / brown paper or patched fabrics.
  3. Section inkjet printed directly onto patched fabric
  4. Using bondaweb wet to transfer the design leaving some of the paper to further work into or removing all of the paper background
  5. Transfer paper printed and then ironed over a textured surface
  6. One plain sample patched from many types of fabric for reference including different strengths of tea dye.

My first sample is made of patched fabrics. In an aim to create a worn and distressed background for the piece, I have stitched into the layers and ripped and torn away areas. I followed this by attempting to iron on a tee-shirt transfer printed with the chapel design. Unfortunately the tee-shirt transfer I used was quite old and did not release from the backing paper properly, leaving a very plastic coating which did not adhere well at all. I have ordered some new transfers to try the process again but in an attempt to experiment further I took a heat gun to the sample to see if I could distress the surface further; even though I had lost the pictorial detail I was interested to experiment with this the resulting sample is below.

As you can see there is still a slight pattern and colouration and the distressed, deconstructed surface works well to add texture and age. I am going to try the sample again when the new transfers arrive to see if they can be distressed in the same way.

Above is the remnants of the transfer that did not transfer. I really like the worn surface effect. I am going to try and capture this by photocopying and developing it further into a design for a panel or hanging. I will try printing it onto a transfer as a comparison. I am also going to look at my printer to see if the raised patched fabric can be printed straight onto. I am pretty sure that it won’t work as I have only had success with thin, flat fabrics before. The other option is to print onto a very fine fabric like chiffon which might allow the background texture to come through. The colours are more subtle and more closely related to my original theme than I am achieving with the other methods.

My second sample was made using the same fabrics this time more roughly patchefd then dyed with rust and tea. This would work well as a background to the piece but the tyvek would need to be dyed or coloured in another way as it didn’t take the tea very well. I will need to try different ways of adding the pattern as it has such a raised texture.

Holding up the sample to the window with the reverse towards me has a very interesting effect: the textures show though really well whilst the uppermost layer is flat which opens up some possibilities of stitching on the reverse and hanging in front of a light source to create shadows. Perhaps the shapes from the design could be stitched rather than printed or the design itself could be created using patch-work? I tested a small sample using lace and paper pulp to see what effect it would have. It certainly made an interesting texture but unfortunately was too unstable, when I tried to colour it with the tea it disintegrated. A small amount of pulp would help to raise the surface slightly but I would need to find an alternative way of colouring it.

Lace & pulp sample

Brown paper

For my next mini set of samples I thought I would try following Maggie Grey’s method of printing on to brown paper and then scrunching and re-scrunching it to ‘weather’ its appearance. I cut my piece of printed brown paper into 3 pieces and tried using it in different ways:

Inkjet printed crumpled brown paper sample

This sample is left as is, not attached to anything else as a control. Obviously it would be quite difficult to stitch without tearing but it does have a wonderfully aged feel to it textually.

Inkjet printed brown paper over non woven sample

When ironed onto a non-woven, tea dyed background it almost took on the feeling of leather with a very worn and subtle,soft surface. As it is backed with a non-woven backing it has a more substantial handle and would be easily stitched. The backing can still be torn if needed to further deconstruct the sample

Inkjet printed brown paper over blue cotton with printed bondaweb sample

This sample was made using the same printed brown paper ironed over hand dyed blue cotton. I attached it using some printed bondaweb and ripped out sections to expose both the bondaweb and blue layers. Again the surface is very stable as it has been ironed onto the cotton and it has lost it’s papery feel. Picking details out or over stitching with machine embroidery would undoubtedly add more life to this sample which feels a little flat at the moment. It almost reminds me of a very old tattered photograph which makes it fit well with the memory side of the trend.

Inkjet printed tissue paper

My next set of samples concentrates on using more or less the same techniques as those used with brown paper but using tissue paper instead. This was also crumpled after printing to add texture.

Inkjet printed tissue on brown paper

This little sample is one of my favorites. It has a real aged look and feel to it almost like a really old oil painting. The tissue paper takes the print really well. So well that if I were to repeat this I would have to lighten the picture and adjust the saturation. This design has the tendency to take on a purple hue when printed. I think this is down to my printer but the colours I see on the screen are altered a lot when printed. The purple hues of the brown seem to become more prevalent than the yellow. This has caused me trouble all the way through this assignment. I have found that printing on a tea dyed background and adding a yellow wash over the top adjusts the colour sufficiently to conform with the palette but on a larger scale I may need to adjust the colour palette slightly.

Inkjet printed tissue over patched background sample

Again this sample has taken the print really well. I definitely prefer the textured background that the patchwork provides. This samples background was made using the lighter weight fabrics and is slightly transparent when held up to the light. This adds another dimension and could be used to good effect to make a hanging to go in front of a light source. It also has a very fragile feel to it which fits well with the trend.

Inkjet printed tissue over blue cotton

This sample was made in exactly the same way as the brown paper sample above and has very similar qualities. The tissue paper does rip more easily and can be removed in a more controlled way even after ironing on with bondaweb.

Using Bondaweb to transfer designs

This is a technique that I had never tried before. It involves printing the design onto paper and ironing it (face down) onto a backing using Bondaweb. The paper is then dampened and rubbed to remove the paper leaving, (hopefully) the image behind on the backing.

As you can see from the samples below this creates a very delicate almost water colour effect. the first sample worked quite well leaving a very slight impression of the image. The second however did not work so well. I had over wet the paper which blurred the image completely. Neither are the effect I was looking for but it is a useful technique to add to the tool box as it were to colour backgrounds.

Bondaweb as a transfer

T-shirt transfers

After my disastrous first attempt I had ordered some new transfers which would hopefully release from the backing. I had the same trouble with saturation as I had had previously with the tissue paper which means that the colours would need adjusting in the final panel but overall the samples worked well. As with the previous sets of samples I applied them over various backgrounds to see what effect they would have.

T-shirt transfer over tissue paper

Applying the transfer over tissue paper produced a very aged and delicate, fragile sample which would need to be applied to a backing if it were to be stitched. Sections can easily be removed by tearing which would be useful in further deconstructing the surface. The surface itself is very smooth with little or no texture. This could be changed by scrunching and stitching into the sample. The t-shirt transfer also leaves a slight sheen even though I followed the instructions to create a matt surface so this also needs to be taken into account as I feel the surface needs to look old and weathered not shiny and new.

T-shirt transfer over teabags

I have discovered a real love for the use of teabags as a material during this project. They are strong and liable and patched together, create a slightly textured surface. I really enjoy recycling and I do drink A LOT of tea so they may well become a favourite material in the future. The t-shirt transfer worked well although the colours were a problem again. This time I went over the sample with an orange oil pastel which I don’t feel worked very well; it covered what little detail there was in this part of the design and is too obvious. A cream coloured chalk or pastel used with slightly less vigour might have worked better.

T-shirt transfer over blue cotton

Again the colours were an issue with this sample as the brown looks far too purple. The technique itself work relatively well but it did not achieve the look or feel that I was wanting. it does not have the age or deconstructed feel of the other samples and really does not fit the trend because of this.

T-shirt transfer over patched background

Again this background works really well. Although the colours are not quite right the texture and over all feeling of a deconstructed surface is there. I think this sample needs to be redone using a slightly darker tea dyed background but it is definitely one to take further in development.

Experimenting further


Next I decided to develop this (my original) patch worked sample a bit further to refine it. I overprinted the dyed background with an inkjet printer using of the images I had made previously then worked into it with oil pastels and basic stitching to give a feel of how it would look. The aged texture and muddy colours certainly remind me of ruined dessert buildings and I am glad the detail did not really come through. The overprinting adds some colour and texture to the background without being a main focus. This gives the sample a desolate look and accentuates the aged rag-like texture and feel of the sample. It almost looks as though it has been buried or left out in the elements for a very long time, left behind and forgotten. The loose threads of the unfinished fabric edges and stitching also add to this aesthetic. I think that this may be an exciting idea going forward rather than the more pictorial route that I am following at the moment and it is something I would like to investigate further, perhaps with more precise stitched architectural details as a contrast to the random nature of the back ground. If I were to stick with the pictorial design, dyeing it with a weaker solution of tea and rust would possibly enable the print to be more defined. I may try this later as a more refined sample to test this.

Evaluating the samples:

  • Am I successfully translating my visual research into sampling? I have strongly based by samples on my visual research particularly a loved local building and how I would feel if the building was ruined due to war etc. I have tried really hard to stick with the palette which was based on the original Syrian buildings and towns ruined by war and translated that into ‘ruined textiles’
  • Am I capturing and communicating the nature of my concept well successfully? I hope by using deconstructed techniques throughout such as those deconstructing and distressing the surface, loose, sketch like stitching and loose threads to create the nature of deconstruction throughout the piece.
  • Does the colour palette work well? Does it effectively communicate my concept? The colours are all very earthy and communicate the dessert and architectural feel nicely. I am really struggling to create the correct darker brown as the ink in the printer has a habit of going purple when printed on some materials. If I were to make the panel and still wanted to adhere strictly to the colour palette I would need to explore ways of correcting the colour.
  • What else can I do with this material or technique? What haven’t I explored? The materials I have explored have been quite varied and I’m sure I could go on indefinitely using different combinations but I needed to set parameters which i think I did quite successfully
  • What are the most exciting / unusual parts of my samples? I think the most exciting and unusual parts of my samples are the surfaces created especially by the patched background with the transfer or inkjet printed design. I had based the trend on the idea of war torn ruins and feel that this texture really does convey it well. I also feel the blue background makes them unusual. I could have left the tattered rag like background as was but decided to use the blue breaking through to signify hope for the future.
  • How could the audience view or interact with textiles like these? Most of these designs I feel would work best as hangings or panels either hung on walls or in front of a light source. Some however could work well hung in multiple large scale long strips hanging from a ceiling so the audience could walk through the ruins.


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Assignment 4, Stage 2: Exercise 4.2 Gathering materials

Gwen Hedley’s book ‘surfaces for stitch’ (Batsford, 2000) offers some really good ideas for creating textured surfaces on which to stitch using unusual fabrics and material combinations. Suggestions include: Tyvek film, Tyvek fabric, Puff paints and Bondaweb. There is a particularly interesting section on ‘Disintegrated layers’ on page 34 which will come in useful.

I am going to try some of these materials to create background texture for my samples.

Maggie Grey’s book ‘from image to stitch’ (Batsford, 2008) has some wonderful innovative ideas for creating textured backgrounds using inkjet printing onto papers and transfer papers. I am going to follow some of her suggestions to create my samples to find out which gives the best worn, aged and deconstructed backgrounds.

My ideas for samples are as follows:

  1. Section of design printed onto brown paper then crumpled
  2. Section printed onto bondaweb then applied to crumpled paper / brown paper or patched fabrics.
  3. Section inkjet printed directly onto patched fabric
  4. Using bondaweb wet to transfer the design leaving some of the paper to further work into or removing all of the paper background
  5. Transfer paper printed and then ironed over a textured surface
  6. One plain sample patched from many types of fabric for reference including different strengths of tea dye.

All these could be applied to a felt or heavy cotton background to add stability and enable easier stitching.

Materials needed for samples

  • T-shirt transfers – To transfer design over top of the textured surface to see if the surface is altered; eg. can the surface still be seen, is it changed in anyway (for instance is it left with a shiny / matt surface).
  • Muslin and scrim – both can be altered using stitch and ripping / tearing to help age and distress the background to create a ‘deconstructed’ look.
  • Lace and Netting – to add detail, texture and holes in the background
  • Lutradur – This can be manipulated with heat to add texture to the background
  • Tyvek fabric – Again manipulation by heat to add texture and interest and ‘deconstruct’ the constructed background
  • Bondaweb
  • Plain cotton and non woven backing fabrics – to add strength and stability and aid stitching by providing a stable background
  • Expanding medium – to add final texture where needed
  • Fabric paints – for adding colour / colour correction
  • Oil pastels – as above and adding detail. Can also use to further age the surface

General tools and supplies needed for samples

  • Sewing machine
  • Heat gun
  • Pyrography tool
  • Iron
  • Protective mask
  • Pva glue
  • Masking tape
  • Baking parchment
  • Computer
  • Printer
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Assignment 4, Stage 2 – Development of visual research

As I come to the next stage of this project I feel it is time to select some of the most successful drawings, ideas and imagery to focus on.

I had originally been drawn to the photographs of semi ruined buildings in Aleppo, Syria and the loss felt by the local population for not only their families and homes but also the loss if their way of life, their city and their history. The possible hope held by those who had chosen not to flee but remain in their shattered homes holding out hope of the prospect of re-building and re-constructing a town or landscape mostly destroyed by war had also been of interest. To this end I had focused a lot on my own environment and the buildings within it. The imagery and drawings surrounding this aspect of the trend (above), I felt portrayed my vision better than the subsequent investigations into natural decay which I felt was not as successful as a line of inquiry in demonstrating my trend (below).

It had developed in to more of an investigation into decay or remnants of life rather than deconstruction. I almost felt that to become deconstructed the subject would need to have been constructed or be a construction of some kind in the first place. Some of the altered and eroded surfaces and textures were very appealing and may be of use in a different way. For example I enjoyed looking at the layers and intricate structures created as nature is breaking down an object. These, I felt could be used to inform further investigation into surfaces.

I really liked the look and sense of decay and altered surfaces. They tied in very well with some of the artists work looked at in my research point. I do feel however that surfaces themselves don’t quite show the trend as well as the built environment idea although working in conjunction with the original idea they could well add some interesting embellishment or surface design to a piece.

My most successful further developments were as follows:


I particularly like this idea it is so striking visually and with development could be very interesting; the re-arrangement of the architectural detailing reminds me very much of a dreamlike memory of what once was; a sketchy recollection. It also is how the building could look if deconstructed and re-constructed in a different way. Rather like the way that old houses or churches were dismantled then salvaged to create new dwellings and buildings. I can see this being developed into some kind of wall hanging perhaps.


The deconstruction of the original image continued throughout this part of the project and I particularly became interested in not only the altered image but also if spatially it could be deconstructed. For example the strips torn and re-spaced could lend themselves to be hung as a large scale hanging either in a room or indeed in front of the original building itself; altering the appearance of the building to viewers. The torn ‘squares’ could possibly be interpreted as cubes or ‘building blocks’ which could either hang or be wired to radiate out as an exploding sculpture. Any gaps could also be filled with gold stitching in the same way as the repaired Japanese pottery or darned back together as an attempt to mend or reconcile and rebuild.


Changing the look of building using overlaid pieces, as if the building were being rebuilt using remains of an older one in an altered design.

I am not sure that the changes are not obvious enough to demonstrate the theme successfully it seems more reconstruction than deconstruction.

Above: Again trying to change the look by using overlayed pieces I feel it is not altering the image enough to demonstrate the theme of deconstruction but does create a weathered and deconstructed

All these ideas, embryonic as they are offer some exciting avenues to investigate and are great starting points for further development.

Whilst I am happy with the ideas and the basic techniques that I have used to deconstruct the image I am not entirely sure about the image image have used. It is not inspiring me as mich as I had first thought which is affecting my progress.

It is not quite correct in colour (although this can be altered) and I am not sure it creates a strong enough image visually once deconstructed as all the architectural detailing apart from the arches is very rectangular in shape.

I wonder if on further reflection, the chapel that I also studied would make a better subject:

  • It has a more varied architecture and shapes which would add more interest visually
  • The loss of the chapel (especially a school chapel with its joint purpose of educating it’s congregation) would I’m sure cause more grief to the community than a school alone.
  • Churches are also seen as a place of refuge and sanctuary so to destroy one by an act of violence would be more hard hitting somehow.

For my next step and to start to develop my ideas into a more refined final visual response I am going to re-work some of my more successful ideas using the chapel as an image to see if that sparks more of a creative response for further development.

I revisited the chapel and took some more photographs which were then digitally manipulated using some photo editing software. The results if which are shown above. The pile of photos reminded me very much of the chaotic layered pages earlier on in my sketchbook and have a similar aesthetic to the rubble and skipfulls of rubbish I took pictures of in the way that they are disjointed, jarring and angular.

To this end I tried to layer up the photographs to create a collaged background that I can then distress and further deconstruct using the same techniques as before.

Above: Layered and manipulated photographs

Above: Collage after being scanned into photo manipulation software and filters applied

Above: Further manipulated section trying to achieve a worn ‘memory or dream like’ effect.

These images are a little dark but the image is better with more variety of shape and texture I really like the layered ‘rebuilding’ idea.

The above illustration could be hung as a hanging in front of a light source or window in strips or stitched back together with more holes and Stitch to allow light to shine through from behind.

Checking these colours against the trebd they work much better but may need to be adjusted as the design is being enlarged as enlarging on the photocopier tends to change them.

Above: The collage mirrored and layered to make a larger panel or wall hanging could be further distressed to add texture. If made of different layers of fabric patches all remnants it could be cut back or melted.

Idea one: This idea could be interpreted in lots of ways individual panels on a wall making one larger design hung from the ceiling with wires in between. Hung with stitching between, made into 3D cubes that could be hung or used like building bricks as a kind of 3D puzzle. Stacked and restacked to further deconstruct the design

I like the idea of the 3D cubes which could be stacked and rearranged they could also be strung together like beads to create a hanging sculpture.

Idea two: Two slightly more refined versions of a layered panel or hanging. A collage of differently textured fabrics, digitally over printed, then further distressed using different techniques like melting, ripping, sanding and unpicking. Stitching could then be added on top to accentuate details like the windows.

I like both these designs but slightly favour the lower version as it is slightly more focused on the building and details of the Architecture. It is a slightly looser design which lends itself to stitch more readily

Idea 3: Fragments of the whole, frayed and torn. Hastily stitched back together in the hope that they hold. This could be made in the same way as the panels above but distressed to the point that little remains apart from small glimpses that remind us of what was once was. This could be just a small fragment, a series of fragments, or part of a larger hanging similar to the above-mentioned but more distressed and worn around the edges in a similar vein to the work of Elana Herzog. This is the idea I am going going to take forward into the sampling stage.

My ideas for samples

  1. Explore ways of printing background
  2. Explore ways of constructing background
  3. 2 x smaller sections torn / distressed & stitched
  4. Larger refined section sample

Materials needed for samples

  1. T-shirt transfers
  2. Muslin
  3. Lace and
  4. Netting
  5. Lutradur
  6. Tyvek fabric
  7. Bondaweb
  8. White cotton
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