Tuesday, 21 October 2014

VIDA scarf design launch

January this year I started to make a concerted effort to turn my art into pattern design.  It was during a week when I was bedridden with bladder stones and a very long and particularly debilitating migraine.  At the time I didn't really imagine much would come of the patterns, I was probably too delirious and in pain to actually think at all.  Anyway in my feverish Yeats like death-delirium (''can I please see Isabella one more time before I die?'') I managed to produce vast amounts of patterns, all derived from the various collages and drawings I've been producing over the last ten years.  I've been really surprised and pleased with the amount of opportunities my week long migraine has produced. 

The large amount of interest and the amount of productivity has now been verified in physical form by the complimentary scarves I received in the post a few weeks ago.  They are sample scarves that I designed for a new company called Vida who are based in San Francisco. Vida are a very nice company who's objective is to sell printed fabric designs using artists from a wide variety of countries, giving them a worldwide cultural aesthetic.  Also they are very generous and caring and ethical in regards to their workers in Karachi and Pakistan where they are teaching them literacy courses and skills leading towards better career opportunities.  Anyway it all sounds very nice and you can read more and look at all the other scarves here: http://www.shopvida.com/ - at the moment the website is in preview stage but you can request a code very easily and still make a purchase.  Also you should like them on their Facebook page. I'll be posting more on Vida as it occurs.  

Onto the actual designs themselves:  this first one is derived from a notebook drawing I made whilst working at the Manchester City Council's contact centre (quite a loathsome place). The drawings are very architectural but also very, biological, medical and tooth-like.  I like that it has been drawn on graph paper and you see the subtle outlines of squares within the pattern.  So it's like the mess of our lives is all organised into some painful hell like geometry.....  Hmmm....  perhaps a normal person would have a nicer way of analyzing it.  

This next scarf is derived from a section of a collage produced from my own notebooks interspersed with colored card and highlighter penned sections.  It's a very sharp and fractured image.  All the text is completely cut up which allows for new meanings to emerge in a very counter cultural collage fashion.  Despite this the pattern itself somehow intuitively takes the shape of a junkyard or perhaps the ruin of a building, you can see the skeleton of a support structure poking out through the wreckage.  Or perhaps it's a broken bridge leading nowhere.  This one does look outstanding on the actual scarf and what is very striking on the physical product is the way it inverts halfway up the image.  It's a very startling and eye catching contrast when seen in print and I wasn't expecting it to be so bold but the wonderful thing with collaboration is that it opens up all new pathways of surprise.

I think that each scarf has managed to represent some separate and important aspect of my work over the last 10 years.  The first is drawing, the second the integration of written text and image, then this one takes on the qualities of work that I actually sell the most of - ie. work which has a recognizable landscape.  As in a sky and terrain and some kind of correlation between the two, but also a visual defiance and illogic so the images still portray in an intangible, unvisitable null space.  Voids reclusive of actual reality and therefore escaping the trap of being representative but also drawing in the viewer to build their own interpretation through what is prompting the imagination.....  hmmm.... this paragraph has probably been one of my most sustained and lengthiest attempts at ''art speak''. Although perhaps my longest and most sustained period of art speak has actually been the last 10 years of my life.  

Apologies that I've not as of yet taken any photographs of the scarves received.  The friend I was going to ask to wear them has been away on holiday so it's not something I've gotten around to.  The selfies I've taken of myself in them are pretty rocking but the problem with those is that I'm worried that my big, slack jawed head would likely detract from the greatness of the craftsmanship and designs of the scarves themselves.  Anyway as mentioned above I'll be posting more news as it occurs.