Textiles 3: Personal Specialism- Assignment 5

Final Personal Proposal-Printmaking & Tapestry-Weaving

Gillian Morris

Student No 511388

Investigation and experimentation with making and materials in process: Using and reusing repurposed and reclaimed textiles to produce environmentally conscious contemporary artwork through deepening levels of enquiry and emotional connection


To investigate and experiment with materials through the making process, of creating increasingly inter-connected relationships through action and reciprocity. Of deepening the level of enquiry through multi-levelled environmentally sound creative practice and processes using print and weave. To use and reuse materials which promote sustainability and reduce waste to highlight key themes of fragility, disintegration, fractured and broken depletion to emulate and reflect endangered marine and coastal environments with multiple ecosystems threatened with extinction. To use nature as the initial source of inspiration but to break apart such component parts from the literal to distil down to the basic elements through heightened investigation and increased experimentation, to use the materials in the making processes to develop new ideas and deepening relationships to elicit meaning and to evoke emotion. To work with a range of reused, repurposed, and reclaimed materials, to use materials in different ways to create increasingly large scale alternative visual narratives for the environment.


The concept of material and making has been considerably widened to encapsulate a multitude of materials across different specialisms and disciplines including technology, engineering, art/design, and science. Of interest are the relationships created through the material use and making in process, of the interactions with the textiles, of the relating and responding to the reactions of the material through print and weave. Of sourcing materials and using materials in environmentally friendly ways within the print and weave processes while also acknowledging the materials which symbolise an enormous use of resources, to utilise the materials and the making processes to say something about the delicacy and fragility of the environment.

The relationship we have with materials is changing away from what has been known and from single use to reuse which has triggered an altogether different way of relating with materials. For example, the use of bio-synthetics consists of polymers made from renewable resources which aim to mitigate climate change as they are biodegradable and marine degradable including seaweed and algae. The need for environmental sustainability has also triggered different relationships with the petroleum-based counterparts including plastics and textiles to produce responsible alternatives which can support the environment and minimise waste. 3D printed bioplastics can now be made of 100% renewable plant-based polymers and recycled plastics can be deployed in the making of building materials like programmable cement to set harder, stronger and to be less porous. Hydro-ceramics with an insoluble polymer can absorb humidity from air and has the capacity to cool to save energy use. Bio-mason bricks are grown which eliminates the need to fire them. Instead of concrete and plaster… molten aluminium infused with air has the capacity to be used throughout interiors and is suitable for covering buildings which is 100% recyclable (Williams 2019).

That said new ways of relating with materials does not necessarily mean that new materials are needed, wanted and always the best way forward. To make new there must be a proven environmental need to do so as new ideas and creative ways of making can evolve from materials that are already available and have been used. New manufacturing processes can be used in the recycling of plastics for a range of composites if there are only environmental gains from doing so (Shrestha 2019). Relating with materials in creative and integrative ways, understanding and being sensitive to the properties of the materials ensures best use of all their qualities to make environmentally conducive decisions and statements. Pradissitto (2019) goes further as both a physicist and sculptor as she created installations through in-depth investigation and experimentation, through making, materials and meaning. Dr Jasmine Pradissitto used both science and engineering to create her most recent exhibition entitled Breathe with NOx-absorbent material through being in tune with making and materials (Doyle 2019).

Pradissitto (2019) ‘Breathe’ is made out of an inorganic geopolymer that absorbs oxides of nitrogen from the air.
Eszter Bornemisza (2016) Wounded Gown (Detail) Recycled mixed media wall hanging with newsprint and string

Such development of environmentally relevant themes by Eszter Bornemisza through the relationship of delicacy and fragility of print, weave, and stitch on, in and around the found and recycled mixed media including paper has continued to influence me.

Val Britton (2006-2008) Ways to navigate through what we’ve built and what we’ve destroyed II with ink, pencil, charcoal, tape, collage, and cut-out on paper. Dimensions varaible. http://valbritton.com

This artist has helped inform my creative practice through her work on paper and card, of making installations whereupon she creates abstract collage work using mixed media with reference to the environment through reclaimed and recycled paper, card, and cardboard which has helped to extend my own material use especially paper use.

Susan Beallor-Snyder- Crossroads Large Scale Manila Rope Sculpture which is made from Natural Abaca Fibres
http://Susan Beallor-Snyder.com

Susan Beallor-Snyder uses a ‘free weaving’ technique to create sculptures that reflect and express emotional struggle… She sees the power of the work in its scale, and in the narrative embedded within – its swirls of chaos, layers of inner turmoil, and endless knots of stress. These one-of-a-kind sculptures allow her to infuse simple materials with thought provoking depth and profound emotion and as such has widened my thinking concerning print and weave including the use of more environmentally friendly materials as weft and warp.

Mira Schendel (1964-66) Droguinhas…Little Nothings. Twisted and Knotted Rice Paper-Sculptural Forms

In addition to my ongoing research enquires and influences I was struck by the work of Mira Schendel and how she used materials to convey fragility especially her series of Droguinha or Little Nothings (1964-66) which were made from twisted, knotted and braided delicate rice paper to elicit fleeting ethereal effects.

Through extensive research processes including a significant range of contemporary textile artists my creative process has been widened to integrate an increased range of materials, processes, tools, and techniques. My own focus on material relating and communicating environmental decline and breakdown, delicacy, vulnerability and fragility within the making processes involving print and weave has been significantly expanded… the textiles selected include a range of reused, repurposed and reclaimed materials like MDF, cardboard, sheer muslin, different paper types, threads and rope. Such materials and their use will have the capacity to represent these themes through the immersive and respective interplay with screen printing, weaving and myself. Extensive sampling processes aid the development of such relating with materials through increased scale.

Morris (2020) Inkjet print sampling with weaving: Personal response to environmental fragility and beauty on sheer cotton muslin and cardboard
Morris (2020) Inkjet print sampling with weaving: Personal response to environmental fragility and beauty on sheer cotton muslin and cardboard
Morris (2020) Inkjet print sampling with weaving: Personal response to environmental fragility and beauty on sheer cotton muslin and cardboard
Morris (2020) Inkjet print sampling with weaving: Personal response to environmental fragility and beauty on sheer cotton muslin and cardboard


Given my interest in materials and environmental sustainability I aim to experiment further with used, reclaimed and repurposed materials like sheer muslin and fine paper types through a process of deep enquiry, critical dialogue and rigorous investigation within the making processes. I hope to continue to be informed through being in conversation with the material in process so new related ideas can emerge with enhanced experiencing, understanding and the continued development of meaningful narratives from the making processes. My own creative practice will be deeply influenced  and embedded within the environment and material to take cues from both. Homage to the environment  and material will be evidenced through relating with the material and its use through increased scale, texture and colour with continuing contemporary interpretations, intertwined meanings and material connection. Larger scale textiles will be created as a form of rememberance, as a trace, imprint and remanent to acknowledge, mourn and process environmental loss and change through print and weave. From extensive sampling processes larger scale options will continue to be focused upon, to further integrate weave and print. The physical properties and qualities of sheer printed materials including cotton muslin and fine paper types will be increasingly investigated through a more in-depth amalgamation of the materials including the deconstruction of muslin and the construction of weave. The visual appearance of such fine light weight muslin and paper lends itself to further separation, disintegration and fragmentation, the deconstruction will be used to highlight the materials beauty and fragility alongside the related environmental context as it is transformed and translated into larger scale printed and woven textile narratives.


Achterberg, E., Hinfelaar, J. and Bocken, N. (2016) Master Circular Business with the

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Cali, J. and Dougill, J. (2013) Shinto Shrines. China: Golden Cup Printing Co. Ltd.

Cotterill, W. (2015) Inkjet Printing on Fabric-Direct Techniques. London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.

Dobson, K. (2013) Conversation: Materials In: The Art of Critical Making: Rhode Island School of Design on Creative Practice, Rosanne Somerson and Mara L. Hermano. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 138-163.

Doyle, S. (2019) Jasmine Pradissitto: Breathing Art into Environmental Issues. Available at https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2019/05/breathing-art-into-environmental-issues/  (Accessed 1st May 2020)

Garaba, S.P. and Dierssen, H.M. (2018) An Airborne remote Sensing Case Study of Synthetic Hydrocarbon Detection using Short Wave Infrared Absorption Features from Marine-Harvested Macro- and Microplastics. Remote Sensing of Environment. 205, pp.224-235

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HM Government (2018) A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment. Available at http://www.gov.uk/government/publications.  (Accessed 28th March 2020)

Keane-Cowell, Simon. (2013) Looming Large: Innovation in New Textile Design. Available at   https://www.architonic.com/en/story/simon-keane-cowell-looming-large-innovation-in-new-textile-design/ (Accessed 17th February 2020)

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Shrestha, P. (2019) The Graphene Company paints a green future. Available at https://www.energylivenews.com/2019/07/08/the-graphene-company-paints-a-green-future/ (Accessed 1st May 2020)

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(Accessed 17th February 2020)

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