Life At Chelsea: Gina Dimakopoulou – MA Textile Design
In the lead up to the MA Summer Show opening on 7 September, we interview students about their life at Chelsea. We caught up with MA Textile Design student Gina Dimakopoulou, to see how her learning experience at Chelsea has shaped her practice.
“My work for the MA Summer Show comes from the fact that I was always interested in the sense of touch as a way of communication between people. A few years ago, I attended a summer school to learn the Braille system. Since then I have been experimenting on how to perceive the various tactile Braille stimuli, whilst constructing different kind of surfaces for it.
“At Chelsea my work has developed in a more professional way. The open-minded environment, valuable advice of my tutors and the tools that have been offered to me over the year made me think and create from another dimension, which I couldn’t imagine before. I strongly believe that this is the point of a successful education – not only to nurture talent, but to infuse the potential with a new breath.
“The aim of my practice is to create simple and practical clothes designed for blind and visually impaired people. The main characteristics of these clothes are that they are double sided, have easy fastenings and are accompanied with special tactile care labels. The braille system is used to describe the colourful world we live in, trying to connect the blind or visually impaired people more easily with their surroundings.
“These garments consist of a symbol of embracing and raising awareness about blindness and visual challenges in society, introducing at the same time the sense of touch, as a common base for communication. Through this, an aspect of alienation can be avoided, fighting potential loneliness, whilst improving wellbeing.
“I’m inspired by everything from a simple touch, to a walk between people in the streets of London. Helen Keller’s book The Story of my Life has been one of my main sources of inspiration as it reminded me that we need to appreciate the simple things in life.
“During my year on MA Textile Design I had a lot of stimuli, which gave me inspiration to continue my practice. Chelsea’s well-informed library, frequent tutorials and accurate feedback helped me the most to develop my work, especially on a theoretical level. I had a great chance to participate in the I-Skool project, in which I combined textiles and fashion, while I developed my own recycled denim fabric. “I am very proud of the good memories and the skills I gained at Chelsea.
“London is an ideal city to study, especially for art and design. I love visiting the museums and the galleries here. My favourite is the V&A.
“After Chelsea my aim is to continue my practice through collaborations with other designers on improving the lives of blind and visually impaired people. I will also set up my brand.
“My Chelsea in 3 words? Diverse, inspiring, creative.”
See more work on Gina’s website
Find out more about the MA Textile Design
More information on the MA Summer Show opening on 7 – 13 September
To see more work from our graduating students, go to chelseadegreeshow.com