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In The Studio: Abigail Fletcher – BA Textile Design

Embossed and cut fabrics in soundwave patterns.
Embossed and cut fabrics in soundwave patterns.
Embossed and cut fabrics in soundwave patterns.
Written by
Gavin Freeborn
Published date
17 June 2016

Our undergraduate summer show opens within hours…at 6pm to be exact! Abigail Fletcher whets our appetites with her In The Studio feature, where we can clearly see she has really made the best of her time studying BA Textile Design in London with us for the past three years. We’re sure her summer show is only just the beginning of a very exciting career!

Describe you experience at Chelsea in 3 words.              

Inspiring, challenging and inclusive.

Please tell us about what you are working on for your final show.

My final project is Good Vibrations:

I have been exploring how sound can be made visual, Cymatics is the study of visible sound through vibration and frequencies. From this I have created my own Cymatic plate which, with selected soundscapes, causes different patterns to emerge in the excitatory medium, depending on the geometry of the plate and the driving frequency.

From these patterns I have created a series of fabric prints and digital embroidery samples.

I have also worked on this concept of fabricated sound by hand dyeing fabrics which have the ability to be played in a pianola, so the fabrics act like Leabarjan music roll perforators.

Alongside this will be a film of the developed patterns showing the process which will be featured in the show. A Theremin sensor will create the sound, therefore, each individual has the opportunity to create their own pattern, completing the circuit making each print bespoke.

What has been your greatest challenge so far in working towards the degree show?

My greatest challenge so far has been the execution of each idea and visualising it in a space. As I have been living and breathing this project for months now, I understand the ins and outs of each technical idea. However, for an audience, this may not be as coherent. Therefore, the most challenging thing for me is making sure my ideas and designs are understood. However, I am excited to see how different people interpret my project and what it means to them.

Studio in progress - hanging fabrics, and dye samples.

Studio in progress – hanging fabrics, and dye samples.

What do you see yourself doing after you graduate, what are your career ambitions?

I am fascinated by the future of textiles. My dissertation questions the relationship between technology and craftsmanship which has led me to explore the intersection of craft, science and technology to look beyond existing boundaries to anticipate future needs, desires and challenges.

I discovered that collaboration within the arts could be a potential solution to this fear of technology and this is something I want to challenge.

So, after graduation a few friends from UAL and myself hope to re-imagine this conventional artistic partnership through our collective Noble People. We describe ourselves as a concept label and Noble People aims to place itself at the forefront when it comes to using various types of creative disciplines to complement one another.

What have you enjoyed most about studying at Chelsea?

Studying at Chelsea has enriched my knowledge in not only textiles but also graphics, fine art and photography to name a few. Experiencing university with friends on these courses made me realise the importance and excitement behind collaborating emerging talents. This sharing of ideas among so many young creatives has made Chelsea the most inspiring place to be.

As well as this, having the opportunity to study in London. It is full of creative opportunities with a vast amount of museums, galleries and events happening all over the city. It’s great for project research and motivation, providing creative opportunities within the industry.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing your course? Any advice?

Make the most of it and have the confidence to make your work your own. I have had the most inspiring three years of my life so far by putting in the effort and taking time to listen to the people around you.

Take every opportunity and enjoy living in London! There is so much to explore and so many people to meet who have experience in the art world, you never know until you ask. It’s important to have the confidence to speak about your work and get yourself out there. Don’t be afraid!

Follow Abbi Fletcher’s Instagram.

Follow Noble People’s Instagram.