Visit to Central St Martins (Kings Cross, London). At this moment in time the area around Kings Cross is undergoing a huge transformation into a new, dynamic part of London which promises to be very lively. At the moment you can just see a mass of construction cranes which frame a number of older buildings. This photo was taken from the new Granary Square towards the emblematic”Post Office Tower”.
What’s this got to do with textiles you may ask? Well, obviously as a weaver I was interested in visiting Central St Martins, one of the best art colleges for studying constructed textiles in Britain.
I had the chance to listen to a talk given by Caroline Till, course leader of the MA in Textile Futures at CSM. Very inspiring, and it left me feeling energised and very excited about the different collaborations students have the chance to participate in during the MA, the excellent facilities for visual communication, the focus on trend forecasting, and the intellectual rigour which lies behind the whole teaching philosophy at Central St Martins.
CAA / Contemporary Applied Arts (metro: Tottenham Court Road)
I always try to get to CAA when I’m in London and this time I was drawn to some particularly subtle and painterly felt wallpieces by established maker Heather Belcher. Framed pieces by textile artist Mathew Harris also attracted me for their rich colouring and strong graphic composition. Gloves are not the first thing that comes to mind when you think woven textiles so I found the fingerless mittens by Jennifer Shellards quite fun.
SCP (metro: Notting Hill)
It was good to visit the Notting Hill store of this very British design company and find a really good range of woven blankets and cushions. Neither the colouring of Donna Wilson’s new range of cushions and blankets nor some of the finishes really convinced me, though and I preferred the classic design from Welsh textile mill Melin Tregwynt, who celebrated their centenary last year (see cushions in left photo). Hay was the Danish company whose designs I found the most stylish, though, and the quality was the highest of all the work I saw.
Well, that’s my “fix” of London textiles and galleries for the moment, I’m off to Paris for Maison et Objet next week and then return to my textile studio in north Spain at the end of the month.
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