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BA Textile Design x Coordonné unveil Rest Time wallcovering collection

Martha's mural 'Dungeness' with a seaside scene in pale green/grey
Martha's mural 'Dungeness' with a seaside scene in pale green/grey
Dungeness, by Martha Ashby for Coordonne
Written by
Cat Cooper
Published date
13 September 2023

Taking their inspiration from deliberate slowness, calm moments and quiet spaces in Springtime, Year 2 BA Textile Design students on the Print pathway interpreted the theme of rest in a collaboration with Spanish wallcovering brand Coordonné. Ten students’ artworks were taken into production by the design house and today the Rest Time range of wallcovering designs launches to the public.

Producing their final work, students used a range of hand rendered drawing and painting approaches using mediums such as Gouache, watercolour and oil pastels, working with either a repeat pattern or mural. Each of the ten designs have been produced in four different colourways.

Two of the students, Martha Ashby and Lâl Yilmaz, were invited to Barcelona in July to visit Coordonné and see their artwork in production. References inspiring Martha’s ‘Dungeness' mural include Eric Ravilious, Derek Jarman's Garden (book), watercolour landscapes, John Morris - Summer Reflections and Charles Burchfield - Landscape with Hills and Clouds. Lal’s reference points for her ‘Bike ride’ repeat pattern include minature art, folk art, Leonara Carrington's way of illustrating surreal narratives of an unknown world and stories with characters in her paintings, and Persian and Indian miniature painting.

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    Wallpaper design by Lal Yilmaz for Coordonne
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    Wallcovering design by Tae-eun Kim for Coordonne
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    Wallcovering design by Sofia Hogg for Coordonne
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    Wallcovering design by Boyu Jiang for Coordonne
Dungeness is at its best in the golden light of summer. The black house turns gold and casts a shadow that nearly touches the sea. The pale shingle reflects the light long after the sun has set behind the power station, turning the pink to bone. Twilight here is like no other. It lingers in a perfect calm. You feel as you stand here that tired time is having a snooze.

— Martha Ashby, 'Dungeness'

The brief

The Coordonné brief set out to explore what happens when we let creativity flow from “unproductive” moments. In researching, students were encouraged to explore their surroundings, identifying quiet places where they could find escape and create moments of reflection. They played with forms of drawing, image and mark making such as meditative drawing and drawing through touch and sound, finding objects and moments that symbolise escape and tranquillity.

The students, their projects and techniques:

Martha Ashby, ‘Dungeness View’, watercolour
Celia Caplitz, ‘Grand Canyon’, markers
Sophie Hogg, ‘Metaphoric Birds’, watercolour
Lydia Strong, ‘Moroccan Branches’, acrylic, colour wax
Lâl Yilmaz, ‘Bike Ride’, colour pencil
Arizona Forde, ‘Timeless Stones’, watercolour
Boyu Jiang, ‘My Cave’, colour pencil, soft pastel
Tae Eun Kim, ‘Diving Moment’, collage, watercolour
Ivy Cangialosi, ‘Leaves Reflection’, cyanotype, photograpy
Selina Foster, ‘Infinity Strokes, watercolour

Reminiscing the surreal worlds of miniature paintings that are free of any particular space or time. In my times of solitude I immerse myself in a similar world inspired by nature, animals and people that construct the city which I explore on my bike.

— Lâl Yilmaz, 'Bike Ride'
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    Design by Arizona Forde for Coordonne
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    Design by Lyida Strong for Coordonne
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    Wallcovering design by Selina Foster for Coordonne

Q+A with students Lâl Yilmaz and  Martha Ashby

How did you find working with a theme of rest and finding creativity in 'unproductive' moments?

"I often find rest in times of solitude, in nature and quiet. I value these times as it allows space for my creative ideas to flow. It was exciting to have a theme that is so personal which gives chance to express our authentic identity within a client based project. "  - Lal

It was an interesting experience working with the theme of rest during quite a fast paced and intense project. When we were first set the brief I visited Dungeness - the place I had chosen for my place of rest - to do some drawing and collect imagery, this was such a peaceful day and throughout the weeks working on the wallpaper during moments of unproductively or stress I’d remember the trip which helped bring myself back to the theme and reminded me of the feeling I was trying to evoke in my artwork. - Martha

What was it like to see your designs go into production in Barcelona, the home of Coordonné?

We had a wonderful welcoming into Barcelona by the Coordonné team. Seeing their studio and everything in the production process was very rewarding. It felt like a big achievement to have had the opportunity to work with such a great brand and have our designs come to life within a professional setting. - Lal

It was so surreal walking into the studio in Barcelona and seeing the design that I’d been working on for so long pasted full size on the wall. Up to that point I’d only seen it printed out at A0, or visualised in a space digitally, so to get the full effect and scale in person was really special. It was also amazing seeing my classmates work being printed in the factory in so many colour ways and remembering their initial drawings, ideas and experiments. I felt really proud of all of us! - Martha

How does it feel for your designs to go on to people's walls?

To be honest as much as I have confidence in my design and think that it reflects my artistic identity really well, it's still sometimes a scary thought. This is the first time we have had an opportunity like this that will have a widespread reach to many people, and what excites me the most is the idea of going somewhere and seeing my wallpaper on their walls without having no idea it would be there. I think all of that is very rewarding and I hope people find fragments of themselves and their ideas of rest within our designs. - Lal

It’s amazing to think of people having my design inside their houses, and I hope it can bring the feeling of rest and calm that I was working towards to their homes. I’m so grateful to Coordonné for giving us this opportunity where our work can be shown anywhere in the world and have a new life in each space it fills. - Martha

“Nowadays, time has been accelerated and productivity has become imperative. Even in moments of rest, the guilt still lurks. But, sometimes it is precisely in those ‘unproductive moments’, when the clock stops ticking and time stands still, that we find the key to creativity. At Coordonné we are reclaiming ‘the usefulness of the useless’. We want to fill the spaces with these moments of tranquillity that can stop time but activate our creativity.”

— The Coordonné team