Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Walking Through Camulodunum

Our new studio module is called Camulodunum (The Roman name for Colchester). During the module we will design, cut and construct a shirt and explore knit, print, dye, embroidery and embellishment processes to be included on our shirt. Charlie and Val arranged for us to go on an historical walk around Colchester in order for us to draw inspiration from the architecture, landmarks, open spaces and people of the town in which we are studying.

I found the walk quite interesting as I don't live in Colchester and although I study there, I have only ever walked into town a handful of times, just to go to the shops. Although the walk and talk was mainly about the history of the town, we did manage to fit in a quick visit to Firstsite (Colchester's contemporary visual arts centre).

Originally I was hoping that I could use the mini project that we were asked to complete over the summer. After a trip to Mersea I was inspired by the fishing boats and nets, and you can see my visual research for this here. But although Mersea is in the district of Colchester it is not in Colchester town itself, and although I maybe able to loosely link it in with the project brief, my research is very much textile/knit lead and I can't see how I would be able to apply my ideas to a shirt. I think I need to talk about this more to Charlie and Val next monday.

In the meantime I will try and draw inspiration from the photos I took on our walk. I think that the straight lines and angles used in and around Firstsite could work really well in textile design and a fashion construction context e.g. pintucks and pleats.

Can I draw inspiration from the strong history of textile production in Colchester?

I am really drawn to the curly rococo architectural detailing that can be found around Colchester. Obviously, these could be easily be recreated in a textiles design, but I could also research the clothing fashion for the period, and try and include some historical construction details in the shirt.

Then of course there is the Ancient Roman history of Colchester to consider, but this doesn't really inspire me as much as my other ideas.

This was my favourite photo I took of the day, I saw the couple sitting on the bench in Castle Park and thought it looked quite romantic, although the picture I saw with my own eyes was in colour, the picture came out almost in silhouette. It reminds me very much of a Rob Ryan paper cut. It also came to me that the Park theme could also be linked in with the famous Colcestrian, Damon Albarn, and his song Parklife

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