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LCF x LCW: A community of makers with MA Fashion Artefact

Colourful sculpture
  • Written byJ Tilley
  • Published date25 May 2022
Colourful sculpture
LCF x LCW 2022 - Work by Keping Yan. Photography by Ana Blumenkron
“I believe craft practise is the combination of idea, perspective, actioned skill, and material understanding. It’s in the looking, listening the knowing and questioning that we find collective consciousness in creative communities.”

— Naomi Filmer - MA Fashion Artefact Acting Course Leader

London College of Fashion, UAL is hosting LCF x LCW, an exhibition of footwear, accessories, jewellery, tailoring and fashion artefacts, in Fashion Space Gallery as part of London Craft Week’s 2022 programme of events. We're delving deeper into the craft of each exhibiting course, starting with MA Fashion Artefact,  LCF x LCW will take place at Fashion Space Gallery between 9 May - 8 June 2022.

We're speaking with MA Fashion Artefact acting course leader, Naomi Filmer, as she discusses the intrinsic link between jewellery and objects for both the body, and for display. Naomi highlights 'The ball in the small of my back' as an object for discussion, highlighting the significance of this work throughout her career as a designer, maker with a background in contemporary jewellery.

A colourful glove with face on
LCF x LCW 2022 - Work by Sijie Li. Photography by Ana Blumenkron

Naomi Filmer - MA Fashion Artefact Acting Course Leader

Can you tell us what traditional key craft and design concepts are embedded into the course?

On MA Fashion Artefact, we have always followed a culture of learning and thinking through making. This is a long-term tradition seen in contemporary craft: practise accumulates experience, and experience applied with focus and consideration leads to excellence. This focus on the making through playing, testing, exploring as a way to learn also falls in line with the pedagogical method of action research. So, we encourage students to DO in-order to understand, and in the process to work out what they can achieve as both makers, designers and thinkers.

How would you summarise the breadth and variety that students from MA Artefact produce?

Our graduates have produced a rich body of work that covers a confident and personal spectrum of making skills and design concerns. The works embody materials, ideology and social context that take us from the natural world to digital technologies, from cultural identity to cognitive behaviours, from traditions to innovation. This selection of work represents a generation of young creatives who are thoughtful, considerate, and talented - suggestive of a changing landscape of design purpose.

How does the course encourage responsible and sustainable design practices?

On an immediate level we encourage students to be conscious of materials they work with - to inform themselves on the sourcing of and the path it takes as waste, to be resourceful not wasteful, to be responsible. Moreover, we stress the importance of designing and making work that has long term worth and potential beyond the MA program - to make work with justifiable value. We encourage students to explore their skills as transferable across various contexts so to make work for a wide audience and remain open to share knowledge with the aim for collaborative communities in design and practise.

In what ways does the course enable students to develop their distinctive, creative voice and individualistic expression?

The students are given a lot of freedom. Much of the course is self-directed, as students are expected to arrive with ideas, intentions, curiosity and concerns/questions on the MA. We encourage play and experimentation, but also students are required to substantiate their thinking with critical and analytical research. We help to direct their individual learning plan with support from a team of staff with a broad spectrum of expertise. Most of all we ask them to identify the context of their thinking, because while their work may come from a place of personal voice, it is made relevant only by how it resonates with others and the contemporary world we live in. By default their experience on the course as makers paralleled with critical thinking aids the development of personal voice, opinion, understanding - students have to make decisions to achieve their goals.

What does ‘craft’ mean to you?

Craft practice is the culmination of idea, perspective, actioned skill, and material understanding. It’s all about the looking, listening the knowing and questioning. Craft brings collective consciousness in creative communities.

As an extension of the craft cluster as part of London Craft Week. Naomi has also written an exclusive feature for Goldsmiths Fair, highlighting Sotheby’s exhibition which comprises of four makers of contemporary fine jewellery in London today.

A black hanging artefact
LCF x LCW 2022 - Work by Yanci Chen. Photography by Ana Blumenkron