At MADE09 textile designer Juliana Sissons, was commissioned by the Brighton and Hove Collects Award to produce a piece of work for the museum's collection. This commission is now complete and the result is beautiful.
Since then, Juliana participated in the V&A’s Artist in Residency programme between July and December 2010. During this time Juliana used the V&A’s Medieval and Renaissance galleries for research and was particularly inspired by the armour collection and by images depicting armour within the many paintings, tapestries and sculpture.
Sissons' new collection was displayed in the Galleries in February 2011, it showed a range of developmental knitted pieces inspired by the research, skills, exploration and textile experimentation gained during her residency. Like armour, these pieces can be worn separately or can be worn in conjunction with other items from the collection to make up whole outfits.
The links between historic armour and fashion are extremely close. To complement Juliana's collection, a selection of armour from the Museum's collection was displayed and available for visitors to examine. Juliana says;
'The Residency Programme gave me a unique opportunity to have a studio in the Museum for six months. As well as working on my own practice, I created individual programmes of events and activities involving collections and visitors. Using my studio as a base, I had access to the V&A's unique resources including the extensive collections, curatorial and conservation expertise, practical art, design and digital media workshops and experienced educational and outreach staff'.
The work that Juliana recently showed at MADE11 followed on from this period of research.
In the development of this work, Juliana tried to bring historical design and pattern shaping into a contemporary context by the exploration of innovative methods of cutting and knit structure. Juliana says;
'I gravitated towards the pattern drafting and construction of garments as inspiration for knitwear and was fascinated when I came across an album of armour designs. I was interested in the components and how they fit together to form a suit'.
Juliana can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.