Issue 30 Chromatic (digital only)
Please note this issue is only available digitally
THE ENERGY AND EXCITEMENT of the graduate season may be ebbing away but I would like to wish all graduating students future success. It was another strong year with some lovely
work on show. The students I met seemed thrilled to be on the brink of new opportunities and, hopefully, careers. There were hundreds of smiling faces but in some cases the smiles masked the intense pressure students are under – a textile education has never had a higher cost.
While most students cope by working extremely hard, others seek an easy way out. It was shocking to discover that a student selected as a Texprint star had plagiarised the work of several designers, most prominently the work of Chicago-based illustrator Lauren Nassef. Texprint is a charity with a wonderful history and an admirable aim – to link the best newly graduated textile designers with industry, launching those selected at prestigious international exhibitions. It is a great shame that they were taken advantage of in this way as the textile industry needs the support of such organisations now, more than ever.
Textiles students must deal with the abolition of grants, staff cuts and vastly increased student numbers. I feel privileged to have been able to study in a small group with three full-time tutors and numerous technical staff on hand. It wasn't a wasteful period when students spent more time in the bar than in the studio; it just takes that much time, hard work and money to develop creativity. The right educational environment can help a fledgling talent to flourish, a fact demonstrated by Gunta Stölzl, and the Bauhaus.
I graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a class of incredibly talented people. Timorous Beasties, among them and in this issue they share their affection for Scotland and their fellow designers working there. There are many people dedicated to helping the current crop of textile talent; this year’s London Design Festival, for example, is bigger and brighter than ever but even as we celebrate I am alarmed to hear that the MA Textile Course in Norwich has closed with immediate effect. The ability to think creatively and to invent is a rare and precious gift. It should be cherished, nurtured and respected. The continued closure of textile courses, and the pressure on those that remain, makes me wonder if we can honestly say we are doing that...
Polly Leonard, Founder