Contemporary textile designs inspired by the traditional fabrics of Western India are part of a student exhibition at COFA.
Fourteen COFA design students travelled to Gujarat in Western India earlier this year to study textile production in the city of Ahmedabad, dubbed the ‘Manchester of India’.
The techniques the undergraduate and postgraduate students learnt, including the production of block printed, tie dyed and embroidered textiles, have been incorporated into contemporary designs for the Cultural Textiles exhibition.
COFA’s partner institution in India, the National Institute of Design, hosted the students who also visited museums, specialist textile companies and local artisans as part of the educational trip.
“India can be a chaotic and confronting place and I think the textiles the students have produced reflect their engagement with the people and their design processes,” said Liz Williamson, head of the School of Design Studies.
“Some students have created designs that can be produced by the local artisans they met in India. The trip has played a crucial role in helping the students develop and maintain professional relationships,” she said.
Sophia Pearce, a final year Masters of Design student, designed Unfinished India, a large hand-made quilt. It was created using needle work and starch method appliqué and showcases the handmade fabrics Pearce sourced during her travels in India.
“I was inspired by a 70 year old piece of fabric made of Indian ralli embroidery and hand-woven cotton. The quilt itself reflects the clashing of India’s traditions and beliefs,” said Pearce.
The educational trip was funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Cultural Textiles is currently on display at COFAspace.
Media contact: Fran Strachan | 9385 8732 | 0429 416 070