The title of my Final Major Project is ‘How Happy?’ I wanted to explore the concept of my own personal happiness and find ways of expressing it through my work. Covid 19 and lockdowns gave me a chance to take a step back and reflect on my happiness. I wanted to use my final project to document this period of personal development in a positive way. Textiles were a great way to explore this, because my work has a personal meaning to me, but can also be ambiguous and connect with others in a different way. Making clothing is something I’ve always had an interest in, and I wanted to use this as an opportunity to do that.
I initially looked into the way others define happiness and refined it down to ‘happy moments’ and ‘happy memories’. I took these two elements and explored them through photos I took of memories, but also a happy moment every day for a few weeks.
I used these photos to develop some key imagery from and drew some sketches to find strong imagery to use in my work. I also looked into colours and their meanings to ensure I was using relevant colours to fit my theme.
After this research, I found that festivals were a key happy memory and had a great influence. I wanted to express this so I decided to try and make a festival outfit that reflected my theme. I drew inspiration from an artist I’ve liked for a long time called Sammy Binkow. I tried using some applique on a smaller scale which I liked, and decided to scale it up and have less negative space. I used heat-transfer to get the bright colours, cut the fabric out to make shapes from my previous research and added faces to reflect the childlike idea of happiness. These shapes were then sewn onto a shirt and trousers to make a matching outfit.
To go alongside this, I made a second outfit inspired by my smaller experimentational textiles. I used heat-transfer for the background and screen printed over the top to make panels for a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.
To go with these two outfits, I wanted to make some festival accessories as well as showing my work in context. I made a bucket hat using the heat transfer and applique to match the first outfit. I also made some tote bags inspired by my previous textiles to follow my theme.
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