Every summer, breakthrough talents in fashion, textiles, surface design, jewellery, furniture and more converge under one roof in Islington, London. Over the years since its launch, New Designers has heralded many emerging designers who went on to become household names. This year's event was no different: over three-thousand new graduates of the top UK Art and Design universities wowed visitors with their creativity and ingenuity.
One such exhibitor was Alice Percy Raine, a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art with a BA (Hons) in Design Textiles. Describing herself as a "material driven designer", Alice creates textiles for the interior using traditional and non-traditional embroidery techniques. She juxtaposes contrasting forms; for example, light and dark, heavy and light, solid and void, and transparent and opaque. Her work engages with materiality in a bold way, allowing the viewer to interact and connect with her pieces through their sensory property of touch.
When beginning the design process, Alice visualises her designs as objects within an interior space, such as a partition wall divider or an accessory within a room. She likes to create a playful yet active environment in which she believes "the surroundings around us affect our physical emotions and our well being". Shaping her textile designs around the themes of architectural structures and objects has allowed Alice to work with a combination of materials, some of which would not necessarily be associated with textiles design, including silicone cords, organic seagrass, waterproof cotton, cork and neoprene. Experimenting and exploring with these unusual materials through traditional and non- traditional embroidery techniques creates a tactile, rhythmic and playful surface.
Blog post by Jessica Edney