Image: Nicola Donovan (c) Marko Dutka.
With sadness, we share the news that artist, academic, writer and friend Dr Nicola Donovan has died. I met Nicola in the queue for an Eley Kishimoto show during London Fashion Week sometime in the late nineties. We bonded as we waited outside for almost four hours on a freezing cold February afternoon; the show was worth it and we were firm friends from then on.
At that time Nicola was making sculpture, using steel pins to make representations of fur stoles and other wondrous comments on feminism and the fashion industry. So, in 2004 when I launched Selvedge, I called upon Nicola to contribute to the first issue. On that occasion, she wrote about Fashion at the Edge, Spectacular, modernity and deathliness. Since then she contributed to almost every issue including the current Issue 93 in which she wrote with her familiar pithy prose on the work of Eileen Fisher's No More Waste initiative. Her familiar contributions, acerbic style and gentle wit has undoubtedly shaped the personality of the magazine and contributed to its distinctive voice; I know she will be greatly missed by all our readers.
Image: Nicola Donovan, 2008.
Personally, it is Nicola’s passion I will miss most, the way she reinvented herself and threw herself into her many and varied projects from leading education sessions at the Fashion Museum in Bath and La Cite de la Dentelle in Calais, her academic research into Nottingham Lace, her Chocolate making business, where she produced divine treats embossed with lace patterns to leading banner-making workshops with community groups prior to the Women's March in 2018.
We have made a few of Nicola’s articles open access so that you can enjoy her words. From Issue 43, Nottingham Lace, A tale of mechanically twisted textiles; from Issue 82 Curtain Twitchers, The democratisation of Lace and from Issue 86, TEXT-ILE MESSAGING Banners are a great way to make a Statement in Stitch.
Image: CryptoCephalus, Nicola Donovan.