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Bronwyn Seier annouced as AER 2018 resident at Joya: arte + ecología, Almeria, Spain

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Published date 07 June 2018
Bronwyn Seier, MA Fashion Futures, LCF, has been selected for the AER residency at Joya: arte + ecología, Almeria, Spain

Set up by Professor Lucy Orta UAL Chair of Art for the Environment – Centre for Sustainable Fashion in 2015, The Art for the Environment International Artist Residency Programme (AER) provides UAL graduates with the exceptional opportunity to apply for short residencies at one of our internationally renowned host institutions, to explore concerns that define the 21st century – biodiversity, environmental sustainability, social economy, and human rights. Through research, studio practice, critiques and mentoring the AER programme is designed to envision a world of tomorrow; to imagine and create work that challenges how we interact with the environment and each other.

Read Bronwyn’s succesful residency proposal:

My name is Bronwyn Seier, and I am applying for consideration for the 2018 residency at Joya: arte +
ecología. As a current student on LCF’s Fashion Futures MA, I am driven by the notion that communicating environmental crises to everyday people in a palatable, solution driven manner is art’s greatest opportunity. I believe that art and design are activism and politics all at once, and I hope to further explore my practice this summer at Joya.

My MA thesis, which is currently in its planning stages, looks at how art can awaken the ethical and social consciousness of a hyper-consumer. My practice often exists within the pop culture space, using the mediums that my audience understands in order to distort and challenge their perspectives. My work is driven by the idea that many young women who engage in hyper consumption locate their drivers in identity and self-expression. I aim to awaken this audience to external drivers, such as the constructs of marketing and validation that feed a capitalist system.

Though my work makes use of scandal, juxtaposing popular culture with inequality, it is ultimately aimed at linking humanity with its roots in nature. I am an eco-centric thinker, and I consider nature as the grounding force behind what I do. Recently, I was able to collaborate on the Fashioned from Nature exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In a team of three, I created a film that linked a fast-fashion t-shirt with the realms of oil, poverty, water stress, and pollution. Interestingly, while the exhibit advocates for a more sustainable industry, it spends most of its real estate archiving the link between aesthetics in fashion and inspiration drawn from the natural world. The exhibit’s curator, Edwina, recently justified this story by suggesting that it is essential to remind modern humans of our artistic and aesthetic fascinations with nature, in order to remind us why we must adapt and advocate for sustainability. This notion is essential to my approach in igniting behaviour change through design.

Prior to attending LCF, I completed a BA in fashion design at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. There, I used clothing as a vehicle to speak about the social and environmental implications of fashion. As a fashion designer, I do not make clothing with commercial intentions, but consider garments as a canvas through which I can use embroidery and pastiche to make commentary about the impact of the industry. My collection has been shown at Toronto Fashion week and published in Safia Minney’s Slave to Fashion as well as in Fashion Revolution. Recently, I was awarded the as the top Canadian fashion design student by the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards.

More recently, I’ve volunteered with Processions, a workshop series run by Professor Lucy Orta at HMP Downview Prison. The workshop bridges the work of female inmates with the June 2018 march in celebration of 100 years of votes for women. Along with fellow students on my MA, we planned and delivered a screen-printing workshop to the women at Downview. This workshop facilitated conversations about their desires and opinions and helped inspire many of the banners. Volunteering at Downview, I have learned so much from the incarcerated women and from Lucy.

Residency Proposal
While at Joya, I am proposing to realize a series of garments that connect fashion consumers with the ecological roots of their clothing. I want to use the residency deepen my practice of using clothing as a canvas to celebrate the time and craftsmanship involved in apparel. I strongly believe that by exposing consumers to the labour of fashion, I can encourage a shift to slower, more valued wardrobes. By knowing how our belongings are made, and where they come from, I think that we as humans can have a heightened respect for the people that make our clothes and the environments that give us the raw materials. Working into the region of the residency, I would like to explore the Moorish tradition of silk weaving in Granada and Almería as the process through which to convey this message. I will research the whole process of the textile, from growing trees and collecting worms to processing and weaving. By looking at this process in a historical context, my outcomes will advocate for a stronger valuation of clothing and textiles, as well as link the traditions of the past with the fashion paradigm we know today. I believe that historical connections and textile knowledge can help to link the consumer with the natural roots of what we wear.

Importantly, my art must beautifully and palatably expose the outcomes of my research. The garments I
create I will translate this message through storytelling and embroidery. I will bridge traditional patterns
with thought-provoking words and messaging that use my skills as a graphic designer. As I have a professional background in graphic design, the clothing I create often mirrors my graphic sensibilities. Yet, by translating bold lines into soft materials and textures, I am able to strike a balance that sends a message. I would like to be part of this residency because I believe art is our most powerful tool to engage the unengaged and question all aspects of society that do not serve sustainment.

New Residency opportunities are being added all of the time, please keep checking the dedicated webpages for other AER Programmes available for application.  

NOTE: Applications accepted from UAL graduates, postgraduates and recent alumni (within 12 months from graduation date).

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