Beauty in the Bugs
During lockdown, I began to spend most of my days exploring the outside world with an affinity to notice details that I previously took for granted or were unnoticed. Through these regular walks, I noticed so many bugs around me. The colouration and the vibrancy of bugs inspired me to explore more into the world of insects. I was mesmerised by their colours, textures and patterns, it was like beauty in the creepiest forms. They are amazing and contribute so much to our environment, sustaining our ecosystems through pollination. As we live such busy lives, we don’t often get the time to stop and observe these bugs up close. This is because most of them are very small in scale, so they do not catch our eye so easily. As a result, I wanted to magnify their designs by using both methods of hand screen printing and digital prints to create this collection which stands out more. I had hoped that by completing this project, I would be able to change the creepy perception of bugs and make people feel less scared and disgusted by them.
To begin, I started conducting research into colourful insects, I was shocked by the range of beautiful and vibrant bugs that exist in our ecosystems. Seeing such a range of colourful bugs inspired me even more to pursue this project and experiment with colour further. We often associate dirt, mud, creepy legs, strange sounds and unusual forms to insects, but do we give insects the chance to show their true beauty? We think of dark colours such as brown and black because of the habitats they live in which are often dark and underground. I wanted to create a collection of patterns to show people that these types of striking bugs do exist and that we can learn to admire them more, if not love. There is a lot more to them than just their appearance. By realising their benefits to the environment and the textiles industry, it further motivated me to bring attention to them.
Adding to this, I was also very much inspired by my own African & Indian cultural background. Being surrounded by colourful textiles and ornaments at home, it made me want to celebrate who I am and where I come from. As a result, I chose to also conduct research into African prints and designers to give my patterns an African aesthetic, using bold abstract and geometrical shapes/marks as well as bright colours. By combining these ideas together, it allowed me to create a range of different prints, taking on both an abstract and literal approach. This gave me the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate bugs, as well as my culture by showing people their beauty in these forms. My main aim was to create a bold statement showcasing how extraordinary our environment is and to remind people to take the time to observe their surroundings and embrace it more.
Instagram: @bnitavaghela_textiles- https://www.instagram.com/bnitavaghela_textiles/
LinkedIn: BNITA VAGHELA- https://uk.linkedin.com/in/bnita-vaghela-2a30521a4
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