The Fabric of the City Exhibition I organised in July 2015 reflected the ongoing textile industry of the East End of London, by taking the idea of contemporary designers using inspiration from the 17th century Huguenot ‘Spitalfields Silks’ to produce new work.
My contribution was this rug in which the reverse sides of the traditional silks are the starting point for the semi abstracted images. The rug was hand woven in Nepal.
Peeling Paint fabric shown as a panel for Hidden Art Cornwall.
This design is available as fabric for curtains and upholstery, and as wallpaper, in a range of colours
The starting point for these fabrics are the Huguenot Spitalfields Silks,looking at the reverse of the fabrics.
The metallics used are a reference to the precious metal threads woven into the originals, and which appear semi abstracted, as do the coloured yarns.
This is an experimental hand print with a repeat of approx 40cms.
Revelation, red on linen/ramie
Revelation, blue on cotton
Revelation, blue on linen/ramie
Digital and hand printed cotton satin showing old street maps, parts of an old tube line and peeling walls combined with the 'Stairway' design which appears to be worn away to reveal the maps below.
Research exercise based on a Parker Knoll fabric sample labelled 'Tulip'. A paper stencil was used for a simple print inspired by a design that occurs in the collection as both a print and a weave.
The fabric has been cut into sample size pieces to reflect the size of the original sample and the fragmentation of the overall fabric and repeat.
Bedford Hospital Maternity & Paediatric Wards
The Aldgate Project
This area of London where the City meets the East End holds a fascination for me. It is where I originally studied- at the London College of Furniture- and where I have taught for many years.
The architecture, streets, history and people have an ongoing presence in my design work.
Shown here are various experiments and ideas, taken from disparate starting points including local weeds and the wonderful decorative frieze in the theatre of Wiltons Music Hall.
Samples of digital print, hand print and laser etching on ply and leather.
Lost Street Names
Fragments of printed maps around Aldgate, into the City and towards the docks
Lost Street Names
On the reverse of the map fragments are the names of streets in the area that no longer exist
Stairs, Commercial Road building
A small selection of designs sold through Alistair Boyd to furnishing manufacturers. These large scale designs, in repeat, were all hand painted on paper- a process which although these were produced within the past ten years, seems to be slipping into textile history.
This Exhibition was held during the European Textile Network Conference at London Metropolitan University
All the fabrics produced relate to the local area around Aldgate, some with personal associations, for example, to my mother working as a nurse at the London Hospital. The pieces shown were later developed into several different design ranges.
'Stairway' fabric in laser etched velvet on Rocking Chair, designed and made by David Gates
'Kittens and Puppies'
Wallpaper and fabric design from collaged ephemera