Back in 2014, Fine Cell Work ran a competition for LCF students to design a cushion for them to put into production. The winners were BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration alumnas Laura Avey and Gabija Razanskaite, and earlier this month the two winning designs were launched at an event in a Fine Cell Work pop-up shop. The evening also featured a talk by LCF’s Director of Social Responsibility Claire Swift, who commented:
“The project was an amazing vehicle for people from such different walks of life to come together and through the creative process create a high quality and beautiful piece of work. This interaction breaks down barriers, broadens horizons and challenges how we view each other and society. It is so valuable for us to be able to have projects like this within our curriculum to create a new learning experience for our students.”
Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells to foster hope, discipline and self-esteem. The theme and the brief of the competition was inspired by the word ‘release’, and students explored and interpreted that in their designs. The two winning designs are now available to buy online.
Laura Avey, designer of the Hands cushion told Fine Cell Work:
“I explored many ideas and came up with several designs, but this particular design explored the idea of the human hand being an object of release. I have always explored patterns and colour in my work, and henna tattoos was something that I loved the idea of. I actually based the design on my own hands, creating different henna designs and then putting this together as a tiled pattern, rather than one single image.”
Gabija Razanskaite, designer of the Balls of Wool cushion said:
“My design was inspired by metaphorical meanings and symbols found in ancient Greek myths. Ariadne’s thread, which helped Theseus to escape the Labyrinth, was turned into a graphic image with hidden meaning of finding a way or solution in difficult situations. First of all, I wanted the design not only to be visually attractive, bold and colourful, but to encourage the viewer to explore and interpret its meanings.”
Since graduating from London College of Fashion Laura now works as a visual merchandiser for Harrods, and Gabija works as a print designer and fashion illustrator.