Ailish Henderson - The Open College of the Arts
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Ailish Henderson

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 16.03.01In her Textiles 1 Exploring Ideas unit, OCA student Ailish has been looking at ‘”Reworking” lingerie, lace, and vintage findings into new garments.

Previously featured for her playful vegetable patch inspired work, in comparison this new work is delicate and sensitive, equally tactile but in a fragile way.

Final piece - 'The people who piece me together' (6)

Ailish has an understanding of materials and experiments and explores possibilities through making. To progress the work;

“I have then been using these garments as inspiration to draw from and create stencils to screen print and create machine embroidered pieces” In the work below she has reproduced the delicate lacing of a corset into a tough, bold print on denim. I love this twist on a vintage feminine fashion into something for a contemporary ‘strong’ woman.

Back of garment, editied to show my print in a bolder light 2

I asked Ailish to expand further on her inspiration and the almost binary opposition of the work, is it an expansion of herself?

“I think the answer is yes! I have always felt that Art must come from the heart, or it just isn’t real. I do use personal life experience or emotion to influence and inspire my work. The first idea that came to me was to reuse my lingerie and lace that no longer fitted me, making new pieces from it. In other words creating a positive from a negative point in my life. This idea took over my whole body of work and I expanded it and developed it in so many ways.

When visiting the Alexander McQueen exhibition at The Victoria and Albert Museum recently, his comments about creating garments that were sometimes fierce in style, in order to protect women really struck a chord with me.

I think subconsciously, with my denim screen printed garment, that’s what I was conveying….a silent and figurative “protection” with the lacing being printed rather than being able to be “unlaced” as literal lacing would be.

However you will see through my latest work that I again do come back to my original ideas of a more delicate form; producing dresses made out of lingerie lace again for my last assignment for this course. However they are improved and stronger in structure than the previous.

I like to tell stories through my work, so maybe within my body of assignments as a whole, I have shown that yes, I can be fragile, yet I have a tough core and will use it when needed!”

'I see no black' dress (6)

Visit Ailish’s blog here
Students wanting their work featured on WeAreOCA should email blog@oca.ac.uk
All submissions will be acknowledged and reviewed but we cannot promise all work submitted will be featured on the blog.

Final developed samples images (31)

Final piece - 'The people who piece me together' (2)


Posted by author: Joanne
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