Lecturer BA (Hons) Textile Design, Leeds Art University
A reflective insight into ‘Eye Eye’, a collaborative body of work between textile design practitioner Laura Slater and visual artist Mawuena Kattah whose respective practices focus on image making methodologies across both design and visual art applications.
Throughout 2019, Slater and Kattah came together to create a collaborative body of works responding to shared connections in their practices, of image making, and narrative found in personal iconography, derived from their historical engagement with pattern and textiles.
With their initial research undertaken at the V&A Clothworkers Centre and Whitworth Wallpaper and Textile Collections, key themes of applied image making whilst investigating the nuances between practicing as ‘artist’ vs. ‘designer’ and functioning as ‘studio vs factory’ became interests, shaping how they would work together to select and interpret concepts for imagery and it’s collaborative development.
At the forefront of their research was navigating shared practice to ensure that both their narrative and individual distinctive visual language was at the center of the decision making process. Intuitive process led drawing methodologies of collage, direct screen printing as both developmental and production tools was realised through working both independently and collaboratively between both practitioners studios in Leeds and London.
The physical culmination, a series of image based, large-scale printed textile and paper works and documentary film, documenting the collaboration. Works were exhibited at Colours May Vary (Leeds) Nov 2019 and Collect (Crafts Council) Somerset House Feb 2020.
Through navigating their approach to shared and collaborative illustration practice, Slater and Kattah have established long-term project ‘Eye Eye’, who seek to challenge and explore design, product and visual art applications through applied illustration.
Supported by Arts Council England, with partners including The Whitworth, The Hepworth Wakefield, Intoart, Colours May Vary, Design Manchester, and Leeds Arts University.
Laura Slater, is a textile design practitioner and part time lecturer at Leeds Arts University on BA (Hons) Textile Design.
Her practice is grounded in image making and drawing practice, focusing on its significance in context to textile/pattern design as a vehicle for engagement with art as part of the everyday. Her current research explores the value of applied image making through pattern, as an accessible and integral story telling tool, of which its value can often be overlooked.
Underpinning this, her research investigates the relevance of design in a gallery context, exploring the nuances of functioning as a ‘studio vs. factory’ and ‘designer vs visual artist’. Accessing examples of such through museum and galleries archives have informed her own experiences of both creative collaborative and commercial practice.