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Life at Chelsea: Steffy-Luise Dyer MA Textile Design


Written by
Natalie Anastasiou
Published date
08 August 2018

In the lead up to the MA Summer Show opening on 7 September, we interview graduating students about their life at Chelsea and how their learning experience has shaped their practice.

From Romford, Essex, Steffy-Luise Dyer has been studying at Chelsea for four years through BA Fine Art and now MA Textile Design.

In Chelsea’s state of the art Textile Design studios and workshops Steffy is working with the archive in order to aid learning and development by experimenting with the presentation of textile documentation.

A white. round sculptural object

Steffy tells us about her practice and life at Chelsea:

“Chelsea ‘changed me’, for the better I should add.”

“I started off a messy, random, colourful, creative person who experimented more than anything. Now I am a concept based textile artist, using neutral tones. If you would speak to any of my secondary school teachers now, they would be amazed how far I have come.”

“For the degree show I have created an archive of textile documents. What are documents? How do we create documents? How do we perceive them to be documents? The archive pushes these questions through an array of experimentation. Documents are integral to learning and developing, if we don’t experiment with the way we create documents, we won’t expand the information provided to future learners.”

“My inspiration derives from the cloth I use and although my practice is also inspired by artists and designers, the main focus and inspiration is the material in conversation. In my case this is muslin, a very fine textile.”

A piece of black hessian textile

“The studios are a generous size at Chelsea, which is why I love it here. I’m not limited to a specific size, which is great for experimentation. The studios are also a great place for students to have a sense of community on campus. Someone is always in the studio and it’s great to share and expand on ideas with my peers. Sometimes you need to step back with fresh eyes and get someone else’s opinion, it is always insightful.”

“I also had the opportunity to work on an external group project for the 4th Istanbul design biennale, where a group of weavers depicted imagery from google of Syrian refugees from the google search ‘textile labour turkey.’ We all wove our images in the rya knot style, pixilating the image at the front of the work, with the back revealing a true image.”

A white and black stone sculpture

“Studying in London has been amazing, everything you need is here, right on your door step. It takes half hour max to get from anywhere/ to anywhere on the tubes, which run frequently. There is also so much to do in London, with bars on every corner and museums/galleries on the next, it really is a great city for a creative person to learn, grow and enjoy making art.”

“My biggest influence whilst studying at Chelsea has the people I’ve met. Networking and communicating with people is crucial to survival in the art world, even if no one admits it. You learn this really quickly, but you will also soon realise everyone is just like you, feeling like you, and has the same worries as you. And then it clicks, as you finally feel you belong somewhere.”

“I’m proud to be a Chelsea student because it has widened my view and allowed me not to end up a stereotype down the path that was already set for me. Chelsea has allowed me to be myself.”

A white stone sculpture on a brown hessian bag

“After Chelsea I am hoping to apply for residencies and internships, after a long needed break first!”

“The next project is the continuation of my archive, I want to push this idea of expanding the range of documents we learn from as I believe this is the future.”

“My advice to students joining Chelsea is to do more than you think you need to do. I have seen so many people on both my courses scrape by or do the bare minimum. Don’t be that person. Thrive, allow creativity to flow, take criticism with a pinch of salt. Attend everything, speak to everyone and learn all you can from the people you meet as that is what going to university is all about.”

A hand holding a glass slide

Click here to find out more about the MA Textile Design course.

For information on the Postgraduate Summer Show opening on 7 – 13 September, click here.

To see more work from our graduating students, head to