Im­bued with lush, painterly strokes, pati­nated tex­ture com­bined cel­e­brated 30-year prac­tice.

Belle - - Cloth -

HOW HAS YOUR WORK AS A PHO­TOG­RA­PHER IN­FORMED YOUR DE­SIGNS? When I first started I was paint­ing fab­rics and mak­ing clothes. I be­came a fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher in the early 80s be­fore mov­ing more into life­style. About a decade ago I started ex­per­i­ment­ing more with my pic­tures. This co­in­cided with the end of ana­logue and I was re­luc­tantly forced into the dig­i­tal world. I felt re­bel­lious and started think­ing about how my pic­tures were re­pro­duced and wanted to see them as fab­ric or ce­ramic. At first I was un­der­whelmed with the re­sults, but then I saw they had a cer­tain mar­riage of the con­tem­po­rary and an­tique – a sense of ‘Is it new? Is it old?’ – and I love that. I like things that have the patina of age, a qual­ity of be­ing lived in. But at the same time the tex­tiles felt mod­ern. HOW DID YOUR NEXT SE­RIES COME ABOUT? I had a se­ries where I’d taken pho­to­graphs, had them re­pro­duced on can­vas and then splat­tered paint all over them. It wasn’t a suc­cess story, but then I looked at the ground that was cov­ered in splat­tered paint, and thought “But that looks good!” I pho­tographed paint-splat­tered card­board and made still-life pic­tures, and those be­came the be­gin­ning of The Ac­ci­den­tal Ex­pres­sion­ist. HOW DID THE RANGE EVOLVE? I’m not ap­proach­ing col­lec­tions with the idea that one re­jects the other, more that they can marry to­gether. I was on a job in Greece and looked into the wa­ter and saw all these pat­terns and thought they looked like fab­ric. I took pho­tos, which ul­ti­mately be­came the Rock Pool col­lec­tion. HOW DO YOU DE­VISE YOUR PAL­ETTE? With Rock Pool I re­moved stronger blues and greens be­cause I wanted to take the wa­ter’s move­ment and shapes but didn’t want a pic­ture of the ocean. HOW DO YOUR IMAGES TRANS­LATE TO FAB­RIC? The tech­nol­ogy that con­verts an im­age into a pat­tern with the jacquard loom is about 10 to 15 years old, but my fab­rics look dif­fer­ent be­cause I work with painterly images in the first place and have ways of mak­ing them look more painterly, so they trans­late into some­thing much softer than a pho­to­graph made into fab­ric might. spence­and­

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