Although she is only just finishing the second year of her BA (Hons) Contemporary Surface Design degree, Alice Fox is already gaining a reputation as a talented textile artist.
Alice produced all the images for an innovative collaboration of textiles, music, technology and performance, Fifteen Images (Le Jardin Pluvieux) which was shown at Bradford University’s Gallery II on 10th May. It was first staged in Sedbergh and will be seen in Dartington, Ruthin and other venues still to be confirmed.
Fifteen Images was the vision of Nigel Morgan, developed from his drawing of a Quaker garden viewed through fifteen window panels one wet summer evening.
Alice explained, “I met the composer, Nigel, at College when he was a student on the HNC Handwoven Textiles course. We got talking one day about mutual interests of textiles and music. I am also a musician and I sing in various different choirs. When he envisaged this project, Nigel intended to make the textile pieces himself but then he didn’t have time and he liked my work, so he asked me.
I created the images in layers so that they can be animated. As music plays, the image changes. The technology used means the performer has more control than when they are just playing someone’s composition. Matt Robinson is working off a computer screen with fifteen different movements and different variables he can change to alter the order of the music and the degree and speed to which images are changed. It means that compared to a normal composition the performer has more scope to interpret. Matt is actually a jazz pianist so this complements his style.
All the images are textile based. I have used a mixture of print and styles. I wanted to make the textile version as well as the images which are projected, so people could see the physical as well as the digital versions, which were built up in layers. I printed the background, scanned it and then built up the various stitch elements in little samples layer by layer. I couldn’t have done this without the course work I did last year which was very CAD based. Phil Legard has done all the programming to animate my images and I feel that this is what is really special. This is the beauty of bringing people together with different skills to have a part in something bigger.”
This has been a complex undertaking for Alice, but a challenge she has relished. “This has been time consuming and totally outside my degree work, but this project has given me an experience that most people at my level just don’t get. I have studied part-time so far, though I plan to complete my final year as a full-time student starting in September. I am hoping this professional experience will lead to other cross-disciplinary things.”
You can take a closer look at some of Alice's images here