Project 3 – Contextual research

This first blog contains relatively brief research on each of the artists listed in my chart on the left – there are 22 in total covering a variety of sectors including science influenced art, textiles, fashion and historical artists.  The purpose of this initial blog  is to be able to narrow down this list by giving me an overall view of the work  and to consequentially create a ‘dream team’ which can influence the sketches, designs or generalised concepts and samples in this project.


This research goes against almost everything my tutors have been drilling into me over the curse of my studies thus far i.e. to keep it brief and to focus on that ‘dream team’ but through a lengthy, varied and what turned out to be highly absorbing investigative period of contextual reading I have been able to explore freely a range of ideas connected with my chosen narrative whilst also remembering that this project focuses on sustainable textiles.  The blog appears almost back to front as it was in fact the scientific inspired artists I researched first and whose work then lead me gradually into the textile artists and fashion design sectors.  By researching widely I feel this has produced potentially more ideas than perhaps I had initially considered on my mind-maps initially and a new one now needs to be formed to get what feels like a maelstrom of concepts within my mind but at the same time by writing up each investigation I have been able to also focus in on what really resonates with me either on an artistic or personal level – the stand out textile designer/scientist is undoubtedly Neri Oxman closely followed by Sue Hotchkis and Kendall Buster with the scientific art of Luke Jerram and David Goodsell also providing design inspiration.  Neri Oxman’s work I could happily do a whole thesis on in truth as has really grabbed my attention on an almost childlike excitable level and now I need to work out in more detail where that inspiration will take me – my initial thoughts are noted in the appropriate section.  I feel this research has not only proved invaluable for the final two projects but also going forward into level 3 and even into my textile practice as it has produced unexpected areas and sectors of huge interest to me and has really given me food for thought.

Note my ‘dream team’ of artists/designers are the names in bold …..

TEXTILE ARTISTS/DESIGNERS/MAKERS – working with science/dilapidation/architecture/mixed media/recycled-up-cycled-sustainable materials

  • Willemien de Villiers

    WILLEMIEN DE VILLIERS – free hanging embroideries that explore “a dialogue between real and imagine microscopic biological phenomena, reconstructing the common cellular history of all living things through atomized patterning” (, s.d.).  De Villiers explores the process of disintegration and decay which through time creates new life as one of her themes with further narratives also exploring patriarchy, gender inequality and misogyny.  I am obviously interested in the work informed by the patterns of biological cells and the use of a slow-stitch methodology which also incorporates techniques such as knitting, knotting, cutting or painting created a layered process that reveals both the banal and the areas barely glimpsed – de Villiers is also interested in showing the reverse side of her work as this is a layer and process rarely seen but is just as important as the front (think of the work of Annie Cattrell below whose sculptures show the unseen organs of the human body which are vital to our existence but are viewed only through medical procedures or disease/accidents/death).  What is perhaps more important to my current project is the artist’s use of pre-used fabrics, and often the yarns as well, with obvious signs of wear that have their own memories and narratives – this ties in perfectly with my own use of recycled sketchbooks and fabrics as sustainable materials. Aesthetically this style of work is not something that appeals to me personally but from a student viewpoint it has a level of intrigue and fascination – the domestic nature of the recycled fabrics combined with the slow stitch methodology and exploration of themes and narratives particularly those connected to my own work  warrant further investigation.

  • Sue Benner. Cellular Structure V

    SUE BENNER – quilt artist using recycled fabrics with themes often centering around her background in molecular biology and biomedical illustration.  On her website Benner states “While in college and immersed in the subjects of calculus, organic chemistry and cellular biology, I was continually drawn to the visual. I saw pattern everywhere: math problems danced in a dimensional space, organic molecules were drawn in structural diagrams, and biological cells stacked themselves in lovely arrays.  When forced to satisfy a few humanities credits, I took an art history course….” .  This combination of science meeting quilting through what are ultimately vibrant and lively art works does appeal aesthetically on a personal level but it is the depictions of cellular organisms or biological mechanisms combined with the recycled fabrics so often used in quilting historically that really draws me in – her work on a surface level reminds me of the watercolours of David Goodsell (noted below) as there is obviously considerable artistic licence but you also realise there will also be a level of scientific accuracy for the same reasons due to both artists either having a science background or still being directly involved (Goodsell and Benner would make for an interesting blog comparing the two).

  • Kendall Buster. New Growth

    KENDALL BUSTER – one description immediately comes to mind i.e.  ‘futuristic’ but this futuristic aesthetic juxtaposes with the source influence of the forms or apparent landscapes seen under a microscope ….the large scale installation pieces that are often site specific re-imagine or interpret the forms seen through the lens into fantastical three dimensional shapes that invite the viewers own perception and undoubtedly induce conversation.  Buster often uses polycarbonate panels which are commonly used in greenhouses but my initial research informed me that it was a thermoplastic and with the term ‘plastic’ your immediate assumption is that it will not be eco-friendly or sustainable but that is not the case at all as it in fact a sustainable, 100% recyclable and consequentially eco-friendly material.  This type of material has highly insulative properties as well as being incredibly tough through the absorption of minimal water – I confess to not having heard of it although its use is common in the aforesaid greenhouses (and I am a keen gardener). Other materials Buster uses include opal translucent honeycomb panels and semi-transparent shade cloth for which I can find very little information at this point in time – further in-depth research is needed if appropriate but I can only presume that these materials are of a similar quality or type to the polycarbonate and will serve their purposes to construct the cellular style sculptures.   The semi-transparent knitted shade cloth is apparently used in the agriculture industry of South Africa where Buster lives and varies being opaque at night to semi-transparent and translucent during the day so there is a very distinct play of light on the forms.  As a further note an interview with Buster informed me of the fact that these large scale sculptural works may be a series of organic and complex curves but they are also highly geometrical and with elements of a diagrammatical nature and order of play that mean they operate as “drawings in space” (Buster, 2012) and that I feel is an important phrase as it for me sums up each of the site specific installations almost perfectly. From my own projects point of view two main points are of interest – the use of sustainable materials, the large scale (I tend to by nature work in smaller scales) and also the narrative of cellular or microscopic forms and yes I do feel I can take forward very direct inspiration through these factors but thought needs to be given to exactly the how I can use this work.

  • Karen Goetzinger

    KAREN GOETZINGER – mixed media stitched works depicting themes of urban landscapes and architecture hence my inclusion here as my preferred metaphor is decaying or dilapidated architecture as a metaphor or analogy for chronic illness.  I like the work of Goetzinger from an artistic point of view particularly the palette, use of hand stitch and acrylic paint and her passion for abandoned or decaying buildings – her work is representational without being abstracted and evokes memories of vanishing buildings or times gone by and again this is appealing.  My issue here is that although my work will continue to involve architecture this project is more concerning biological cellular imagery but the  hand stitching, use of layers of paint or again stitch, vanishing imagery are all small elements that could be useful to explore in some format – something to keep a note of on a mind-map or in my sketchbook.

  • Kim Thittichai. Experimental Textiles 7

    KIM THITTICHAI – mixed media textile art …. worth a mention due to her use of hand stitching and use of innovative materials such as Tyvek and lutradur and experimentation with laser cutters or cross disciplinary tools and media.   I do note that many of Thittichai’s works appear to have elements of decay and dilapidation and hence may warrant further investigation as I work through the sketching and sampling phase of this project.

  • Patricia Casey

    PATRICIA CASEY – cross-disciplinary photograph/textile/artist who uses digital imagery printed onto prepared fabric and with added embroidery investigating themes of memory, dreams and imagination.  Included in this research primarily as I have considered the inclusion of remembrance or memories as part of my chronic illness narrative as they are very much a part of the journey but what does intrigue me more is the use of digital print on fabric plus added stitch – I have discovered printing on Tyvek can produce some interesting results particularly if machine stitched over before heat treatment so for me this artist reinforced my continued investigations into using digital print rather inspires new ideas directly at this point in my studies.

  • Sue Hotchkis

    SUE HOTCHKIS – a textile artist who is without question a series influence on my current work due to her mixed-media approach creating heavily layered, distressed works that show her passion for surface, space and texture.  The resulting textile art works are intricately stitched using a variety of hand and machine stitched processes including Trapunto, free machine and embroidery with digital printing, painting, dyeing and crucially heat distressing coming into play – there are distinct themes of decay and dilapidation in the heavily textured and vibrant pieces with this narrative or effect being at the very heart of my theme and what I want to become my specialty.  I cannot help feel that Hotchkis’s work will continue to be a major influence on my own and there is no doubt as I go into level 3 that I need to purchase her two books as in effect text books  – for now the combination of imagery and online resources will provide any further research needed to inspire this current assignment.

  • Neri Oxman

    NERI OXMAN – the game changer …. by this I mean the discovery of this scientist who has created a photosynthetic wearable ‘costume’ with hollow channels that house microorganisms to photosynthesis and then more than that she has created a death mask which contains microorganisms that produce pigment and is literally a design that produces life after death – every cell in my body is saying I should detest those masks due to living with for 20 years with a rare cancer but every artistic cell is doing cartwheels of what I can only describe as joy and excitement!  I am not even going to try and be academic here as hells bells I absolutely LOVE everything about her work …. is it textiles? not directly no but  I am including it in the textiles section due the fact that masks and wearables are at the very basic potential textiles even if the link is somewhat tenuous! Is it innovative and exploratory? this professor, as one interview has stated, “Her projects often present solutions for problems that do not exist yet, a research-based approach shot through with both speculation and uncanny beauty” (Quinn, 2018) ….. she has even created a synthetic apiary for bees to be able to produce honey all year around!  I digress through sheer excitement at her work – without the need for further research, which will be forthcoming, what excites me is those masks as they have reminded me of the radiotherapy masks  used for head and neck cancer patients including myself and this is forming an idea of combining a series of methodologies and my narratives to look forward to level 3 to create wearable textiles including masks depicting dilapidation and decay based on my preferred architecture and/or cellular imagery of viruses or drug.  I feel at this point I need to write a second blog purely on Neri Oxman which can go into more detail and depth – is the very definition of sustainable materials? …. well if life is being created through death it is definitely sustainable!  As a final thought in a second interview in 2018 Oxman states that “Textiles will in the future be designed as extensions of our bodies; they will be made of engineered living matter and will embody functionality unlike anything that exists today. Notions of textiles as skins have been around for many years but the way of getting there is only now emerging. 3D printed wearable living matter will become a reality in the years ahead as we discover how to control material properties using 3D printers on cellular length scales.” so it is clear that her work is at the very forefront of textiles innovation and it is clear that everything she does the machinery or materials themselves needs to be invented first.

    Neri Oxman


I think it is clear from my notes above that the textile artists/designers I listed have produced some work that I really feel I can take forward into both projects in this assignment – the stand out ones being Kendall Buster, Sue Benner, Sue Hotchkis and of course Neri Oxman.  For the first time in a long time I feel incredibly excited and want to delve further into their work and really look at imagery and see how it can influence my work and what I can take out of their methodologies, techniques or even just influences and then how I can combine and in particular tame the abundance of thoughts and ideas now swimming around my mind.


  • Julie Waibel. Enfaltung

    JULE WAIBEL – geometric shapes used within fashion contexts including the use of Tyvek to create a dress, umbrella and bag under the title of Entfaltung (unfold/expand/develop) with the dress taking on differing shapes and forms as the body moves.  Waibel intrigues me purely due to her use of origami style pleats and patterns which my samples in Exercise 4.4 were beginning to move towards.  I am fighting a slight battle in my head whether to consider organic forms or geometric shapes to create three dimensional forms or how I can use these mathematical shapes to produce something that is organic.

    Macrame samples from Contemporary Context module

    As an example of how differing materials can affect the narrative or visual aesthetics the macrame samples from my previous module although inspired directly by architecture took on a softer and very purposefully organic form due to the yarns used and hence this consideration as I seek to convey my underlying narrative.

NOTE:  I do not feel I am being confused by looking at the wide range of artists/designers but rather they are enabling me to vocalise questions I am asking myself but have not been able to put into words …. Waibel’s work really is making me think as I love that use of origami to make wearable and usable objects that move and almost shape shift.

  • Yung Wong

    YUNG WONG is a male fashion designer whose use of geometry again was immediately inspiring.  Wong’s designs are inspired by the architecture of Zaha Hadid and the shapes created using chiffon which is interlined to create a juxtaposition between soft and stiff fabrics that is sometimes further enhanced with the addition of wood detailing.  As said the reason for inclusion was the use of almost origami like shapes and innovative techniques which is making me question whether to explore a heavy weight Vilene as an additional material – very brief research does inform me that eco-friendly Vilenes are coming into the market they often expensive and my feelings are this will take time to filter down to the dress-making market.  My issue with this product is with regards to sustainability and the ecological or environmental side does need to be questioned BUT it would allow for experimentation with recycled or up-cycled materials that may not hold their shape without a lining of some nature.

  • Iris van Herpen. Extreme Organicism F/W 11/12

    IRIS VAN HERPEN – an fashion innovator who is not afraid to use  technology and 3D printing within her work to explore new forms which when transformed into garments cross boundaries between art and fashion.  I have looked into van Herpen’s work purely due to the almost futuristic or fantastical forms that both move with the body and give an illusion of movement even when there is none.    Throughout differing collections there is evidence of use of highly innovative techniques which are combined with traditional silks, satins and ancient silk moire weaving techniques whose use creates clear evidence of a definitive interest and passion for sustainable materials which is obviously the basis of this assignment.  I am fascinated by the differing shapes and forms that her collaborations with differing technicians or sculptors such as Anthony Howe produce. This multi-disciplinary approach in collaborating with experts from differing fields is something I have seen repeatedly during this wide contextual research and this consequentially makes me question and note possibilities for future work so again van Herpen’s work may not have a direct influence on my current projects beyond exploring differing shapes and in particularly those that create movement but it may well have a direct influence on my textile practice either during level 3 or beyond …. this a designer to come back to and keep a clear note of. One further note is that van Herpen is someone who is very much process led and apparently rarely uses a sketchbook but translates her ideas to her team or plays with the fabrics directly on mannequins – I am aware of my own preferred process-led approach which takes an exploratory and experimental methodology and which I am only taming primarily for the purposes of my degree studies and my own long term intention is the continued use of sketchbooks but perhaps like some designers and artists these may take the form of journals with notes and brief sketches of what works and what doesn’t.

  • Raf Simons. Cassina feltri armchairs

    RAF SIMONS – a fashion designer for Calvin Klein whose work has used quilts both in terms of fashion accessories and as part of garments themselves plus also on Cassina feltri armchairs – the latter consisted of a limited edition of just 100 chairs which used vintage American quilts.  My interest in quilting is well documented throughout my studies in part now due to quilting being almost the ultimate use of recycled fabrics and hence to see patchwork and quilting appear on the catwalk runways is bringing a technique into the modern day and in effect to a potential new generation in an innovative concept.  I confess I have mixed feelings about the use of the vintage quilts on the chairs – I am not sure I personally like the cutting up of those beautiful items but at the same time the stylistic qualities of the iconic chairs mean the quilts almost naturally envelop the sitter which is in effect what quilts are intended to do so from an aesthetic and artistic viewpoint I understand and appreciate what Simons intended.  It is also interesting to see something that is very much a part of everyday life for me used in an innovative way whilst still respecting the history and tradition that goes before it.

  • Issey Miyake. Spring Summer 2015

    ISSEY MIYAKE – this designer I have mentioned in my Research point 1.3 with regards to the development of her Three Dimensional Stretch Seam fabric which she subsequently used to create origami-like garments for her Spring Summer 2015 collection.   With regards to sustainability this designer does not have her own factory and is apparently fully aware of the fast fashion of the modern world which relies on the cheap labour available in less economically or technological developed countries and hence the way that the fashion house can maintain both quality and sustainability is through the partnering of factories over periods of 5 or 10 years or longer – I do find this worthy of note as you often assume that all fashion houses are in-house in terms of owning their factories and hence do not always consider the sustainability issue if that is not the case.  By partnering with the factories the brand is able to produce pleated garments for instance that will last for say a decade or longer.  The innovations by this brand and designer are continuing and through this brief research I have discovered the Baked Stretch fabric which has come out of the Stretch Seam and involves literally baking a glue into the fabric which then molds the pleats into the fabric – the resulting fabrics are soft and undulating according to information available.  From the point of view of my project again it is the geometrical nature of the pleats and fabrics which intrigue me and how they are used as garments – there is movement and yet softness that contrasts against the stiff pleats but at this point I question am I interested due to the innovative new materials or the geometry and how much in reality can Issey Miyake’s work inform my own with this project?


Much to my surprise only one designer really stuck out for me and that is the work of Julie Waibel and her use of Tyvek for her origami style pleats and patterns but each of the designers also have elements and ‘snippets’ of inspiration such as the use of an interlining to create stiffness and defined pleats or shapes.  There is an overall impression of wanting to explore these geometric origami forms which create movement and plays of light and this is something I feel I can take forward as a generalisation rather than any specific individual ‘gem’.


  • Luke Jerram. Glass microbiology series.

    LUKE JERRAM:  developed since 2004 with the intention to remove the artificial colour of media representations of viruses.  By removing the colour the glass sculptures take on a jewel-like almost fantastical quality which aims to change our perception of viruses and bacteria and “a complex tension has arisen between the artwork’s beauty and what they represent” (Jerram, s.d.). Art has met science in these glass-works to an extent that photographic images of these pieces are used in scientific journals, medical textbooks and media journals such is the accurate representation of virology – so is this art or is this science?  either way I am fascinated by the differing clear forms that have an infinite number of variations due to the infinite aspect of disease itself.  Luke Jerram works collaboratively with scientific institutions and the glass blowers themselves according to his website and whose names are Kim George, Brian Jones and Norman Veitch

  • Jen Stark

    JEN STARK – mixed media work using wood, paper, metal and paint and is influenced primarily by the microscopic patterns of nature, anatomy and wormholes.  The style of Stark’s work is her “interest in conceptualizing visual systems to simulate plant growth, evolution, infinity, fractals, mimetic topographies and sacred geometries”.  Although I like the sculptural and vivid designs I feel it is too abstracted and too psychedelic .   I can see the influences of nature and all its intricate patterns and the mesmeric optical mixing that invites engagement but I feel it is reminiscent of art from the 1960’s pop music and LSD drug inspired imagery …. as a point of note further reading informed me that one of the influences on Stark’s work is are the Finish Fetish artists of the 1960’s so from a personal point of view I happy to have seen that influence!

  • David Goodsell. The Machinery of Life.

    DAVID GOODSELL – structural biologist/artist.  I find myself really drawn to the watercolours of this scientist as he seeks to portray both cells and viruses with scientific specifications.  As with Luke Jerram Goodsell’s work has also appeared in scientific journals due to its illustrative nature which although kept simplistic also demonstrated the complex and crowded world of a cell or molecule.  It is interesting to note that despite the fact that the cells and molecular structures Goodsell paints are colourless he has chosen a deliberately vibrant palette to indicate the various differing sectors and structures within whilst often removing either partially or totally outlines to indicate the physical interactions with gesture lines only being added to create depth and life.  I do question if the colour palette and use of colour to determine the differing areas within the cells has been inspired by the use of dyes often used on biopsied segments of tissue or even cellular structures to show up their various parts or in the case of biopsies  diseased areas.  However, I am really intrigued by this work due to both the incredible detail and in all honesty that artistic license taken with the use of colour – there is no question of the scientific accuracy but that artistic palette demonstrates to me that although I am working with decay I do not necessarily need to stick to ‘traditional’ colours that accurately represent the original source or even textures or lines. I feel that this work gives me ‘permission’ to experiment and explore in order to obtain a desired end result which speaks clearly of my narrative.  The use of various forms of x-ray crystallography, electron microscopy and nuclear magnet resonance spectroscopy does not escape my attention – I have a long personal history of MRI and CT scans which may be a totally differing form of medicine or science but I am fascinated by how this scientist/artist uses these very specialised  and highly technical x-ray machines as direct and important sources for his artistic pieces.

  • Annie Cattrell. Capacity. HUMAN+ The Future of our Species (2018)

    ANNIE CATTRELL – a sculptor meets scientific artist for want of a better phrase whose work seeks to re-represent what we know is there but we don’t necessarily see unless in scientific diagrammatically sketches or imagery.  By using a variety of specialised techniques including Pyrex glass (scientific glass), amber resin or something called rapid prototyping Cattrell is able to work in conjunction with specialists across the meteorology, engineering, psychiatry, history of science and neuroscience sectors to create physical representations of processes or even organs within our bodies in highly innovative sculptures.    One example of Cattrell’s work is seen on the left and is of the human lung – it was created by blowing air into Pyrex glass and in essence “the organ of air was made by using air” (Cattrell, 2018).  I am undoubtedly fascinated and intrigued by Cattrell’s work but am unsure going forward how it can inspire me at this point other than its use of innovative techniques that take the traditional art form of sculpture forward in a highly scientific form – this is an artist whose work maybe needs to be kept in mind for future reference as opposed to being of immediate inspiration.

  • Lisa Nilsson. Tissue series

    LISA NILSSON – this artist uses the ancient and traditional technique of quilling to create anatomical cross-sections of the human body with strips of Japanese mulberry paper and the gilded edges of old books.  Through the work the artist has eventually been able to connect not just with patients but with scientists including dissectors, anatomists, surgeons etc and hence is now able to gain access to scientific imagery she would otherwise not had.  From listening to a talk on TEDMED she states that the work has also connected people to the internal landscapes of our bodies through her art which has both been termed beautiful and creepy!    Quilling is not a technique I had ever considered or to be honest thought about in my studies but I do feel it is almost reminiscent of the slow-stitch movement in that it is a slow, meditative craft/art form that simply cannot be rushed – this slow art however allows Nilsson to methodically build up using differing palettes highly detailed representations of cross sections of our bodies  which are reminiscent of medical slides or MRI images.  Again I have to question how I can use this work to influence my own or whether it is purely of artistic and scientific interest – yes the palettes are undoubtedly beautiful as is the detail but does this invite exploration into the technique even in combination with others in a mixed media approach?  I am not ruling it out at this stage in the project as it is intriguing me even to try on a basic level.

  • Klari Reis. Petri dish series

    KLARI REIS – Petri Dish art …. this is what it says on the tin i.e. art inspired by the biological cultures and cellular reactions seen within the confines of a medical petri dish during medical investigations.  Reis uses an innovative UV resistant plastic, epoxy polymer, which over the course of multiple layers is dyed with a variety of powders, acrylics, or dyes which have been allowed to blend, blur or spread creating infinite potential for one-off pieces of work.  I have one major issue here – the epoxy polymer is a plastic ultimately and hence not environmentally friendly. although there are ecological friendly resins or bio-resins available.  This raises a question in me wanting to use resin in my own work at level 3 i.e. availability of an eco-friendly resin and the financial cost which if prohibitive to me at this point means compromises on ethics may need to be made at this time which in truth do not sit comfortably with me if I am determined to move forward with the concept in mind – this is clearly an issue where I need to do some further research and consider very carefully.  In terms of artistic critique however, I do really like the nature of these Petri Dish works and how they are built layer on layer plus on first glance there seems to be an unpredictability in how the dyes and differing resins that Reis uses will react but an interview suggests that experience has enabled her to gain a level of control over her media – it is this control I seek to gain experience of using Tyvek and Lutradur so that I can at least predict my required results to a reasonable extent although still allowing for the element of surprise.  An interesting note is that Reis was inspired very early on by her own medical investigations into Crohn’s disease and my own similar condition is further inspiring my ongoing work – it is a small connection but one I cannot dismiss.  Again I do question whether this artist’s work is one to keep in the library as I do feel she may be highly beneficial at level 3 and worth further investigation.

  • TAHANI BAAKDHAH – scientific art meets crochet.  Baakdhah has specialised in studying stem cells in the retina and through her passion for science resulted in the creation of amigurumi inspired crocheted scientific ‘models’ of organs, neurons, cells or photoreceptors which are often connected with her work. I do not feel I am going to take Baakdhah’s work forward as a source of inspiration but still feel it has been worth including as it is textile art using science as a primary source – there is an obvious and distinct blurring of boundaries that enables Baakdhah to communicate science with the general public, science lovers and also children.

My instinct here is that two artists really grab my attention – Luke Jerram and David Goodsell due to their very differing depictions of viruses and cells and use, or lack of, colour.  Both men take almost identical inspiration either through direct collaboration with scientists or through their own scientific work to create two and three dimensional scientifically accurate works and further investigation or reading is now required. However the work of Lisa Nilsson I feel is very much in a reserve list potentially to take forward into level 3 or as backup inspiration for Project 4 – the use of quilling by Nilsson is certainly intriguing as it creates both form and texture with incredibly attention to detail whilst appearing meditative in its execution.  I find the pictorial quality of Nilsson’s work is aesthetically pleasing whilst it translates to the viewer a clear and defined narrative using what is a centuries old technique but in a contemporary setting which for me almost pays tribute to the anatomical sketches you see in text books or journals or even the work of Leonardo da Vinci.


I do not feel my contextual research would be complete without including some archival or historical research as ultimately science and art have been connected throughout the centuries.

  • Leonardo da Vinci. Detail – the bones of the foot and the muscles of the neck c.1510-11. Black chalk, pen and ink, wash. Leonardo da Vinci – A life in drawing (exhibition – Derby Museum and Art Gallery 2019)

    LEONARDO DA VINCI– any scientific art research cannot ignore the work of one of the Old Masters whose scientific studies were almost light years before their time.    There is no question about his mastery of his subject and it would not be unreasonable to say the anatomical works are the foundation of modern medical science.  From a student’s point of view seeing a selection of da Vinci’s sketches in an exhibition earlier this year was awe inspiring and if the crowd’s had allowed I would have dearly loved to have spent considerably longer studying each piece.  There is obviously a direct connection  between da Vinci’s work and my theme of chronic illness and in fact my photograph of this particular sketch was taken due to my original location of my rare cancer being in my neck. Although I do not know how at this point I would really love to incorporate some elements or influences from da Vinci’s anatomical sketches but as my fiance reminds me I am working on a project of sustainable textiles so my link needs to be through the narrative of chronic illness – I feel strongly this archival research has its place but at the moment feel it is floating outside of a conceptual ‘bubble’.

Georges Seurat. A Sunday afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Oil on canvas. 1884

GEORGES SEURAT – Pointillism, Impressionism, Divisionism, Post Impressionism.  I first studied this 19th century artist during my art history module and was drawn to his use of optical mixing of tiny dots of paint that lead to the stunning luminosity created by his technique of Pointillism.  By studying Divisionism or the science of colour and optics his developed technique created a gentle shimmer across the painting works.  My issue here is that I am including a note of the scientific work of Seurat purely due to his scientific studies which created his art rather than scientific art itself – the optical mixing of colour is something covered in my very first module of these degree studies however and it is worth doing some short refresher studies if it would enhance or again refresh my use of colour theory.


I stated right at the beginning of my degree studies that I wanted to include historical influences on my work although at that point I did not realise I would come to love art history quite as much as I have done and this is why I am desperate to include at least an element BUT I am feeling at this point and for this project any links between either da Vinci or Seurat would be tenuous and possibly included out of pure stubbornness.   I did briefly look at David Hockney due to his collaboration with the physicist Charles Falco and their conclusion that many of the Old Masters did not create their works due to skills and techniques but rather relied on camera obscura and curved mirrors – this collaboration for me may be scientific but it is not of the ‘right sort’ although private research into their theory is of definite interest.


11 Fascinating Artists Inspired by Science (2017a) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
11 Fascinating Artists Inspired by Science (2017b) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
About (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
About | Karen Goetzinger (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
About – Glass Microbiology – Luke Jerram (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
About – Jule Waibel (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
About Me (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
admin (2016) Karen Goetzinger: The flood of memories. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
admin (2019) Willemien de Villiers: From conception to creation. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Amory, A. D. (s.d.) Georges Seurat (1859–1891) and Neo-Impressionism | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art. At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Annie Cattrell (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Annie Cattrell | The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, Scotland (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Are you ready for a new slice of reality? (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019a).
Are you ready for a new slice of reality? (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019b).
Art & Science Journal — Sense by Annie Cattrell The five senses become… (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Artist Kendall Buster creates ‘drawings in space’ for Cummins Inc. (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Baked Fabrics By Issey Miyake give textiles new form (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Balmat, N. (2015) PFW | Teching up the pleats at Issey Miyake | Clausette. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Binlot, A. (s.d.) Issey Miyake Designer Talks Technology, Sustainability And Fashion’s Overwhelming Amount of Cycles. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
BioArt, C. R. F.-30/06/2018 3 mins- (2018) Glass Microbiology: From the Microscope to the Art Gallery. At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Braithwaite, M. von (2011) Extreme Organicism: Iris van Herpen’s Brilliance. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
CohenApr. 11, J. et al. (2019) Meet the scientist painter who turns deadly viruses into beautiful works of art. At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
CREATORS – David Goodsell (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019a).
CREATORS – David Goodsell (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019b).
CREATORS – Lisa Nilsson (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Design at the intersection of technology and biology (s.d.) Directed by Oxman, N. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019). (s.d.) Klari Reis. At: (Accessed 19/11/2019a). (s.d.) Lisa Nilsson. At: (Accessed 19/11/2019b).
Entfaltung collapsible paper fashion by Jule Waibel (2013) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Faces of U of T Medicine: Tahani Baakdhah (2017) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Georges Seurat – The Complete Works – Biography – (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
home (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
HUMAN+. The Future of Our Species | Palazzo delle Esposizioni (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Illustrating Ebola – David S Goodsell (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Interview with artist Kendall Buster (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Iris van Herpen (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Iris van Herpen Fall 2019 Couture Fashion Show (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Issey Miyake: 3D Steam Stretch | Stylus (s.d.) At: rqrrrk (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Issey Miyake’s focus is ‘being innovative with technology’ (2014) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
jane513155 (2019) Exhibition visit: Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Karen Goetzinger: From conception to creation – (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Kendall Buster | LAMAR DODD SCHOOL OF ART (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Kendall Buster About (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Klari — Klari Reis Artist’s Bio (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Lisa Nilsson: Spell-binding Art in Paper (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Marletta, D. (s.d.) Art, epoxy plastic and bacteria. Interview with Klari Reis • Digicult | Digital Art, Design and Culture. At: (Accessed 19/11/2019a).
Marletta, D. (s.d.) Art, epoxy plastic and bacteria. Interview with Klari Reis • Digicult | Digital Art, Design and Culture. At: (Accessed 19/11/2019b).
Mora, E. (2014a) Installations by Kendall Buster. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Mora, E. (2014b) Kendall Buster’s Installations. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Nast, C. (s.d.) You Can’t Even Wear the Most Covetable Thing From NYFW. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Origami dresses by Jule Waibel designed for Bershka stores (2014) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Out of the Ordinary – Spectacular Craft at the V&A: Annie Cattrell Installation (s.d.) At: (Accessed 19/11/2019).
Polycarbonate – what it is and why you want it. – EcoVision Sustainable Learning CenterEcoVision Sustainable Learning Center – Educating a Greener World (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
raf simons upholsters 100 cassina feltri armchairs in vintage quilts for calvin klein’s miami/basel debut (2018) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Shaw, S. (2019) The History of Quilting in Fashion. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
SSENSE (2017) Conceptual Quilting with Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, Eckhaus Latta, and Junya Watanabe. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Sue Benner | Art Quilt Tahoe (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Sustainable building design with Multiwall Polycarbonate Sheets (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Vilene Eco-Interlinings Make Debut (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
What I am thinking: architect, designer, inventor and MIT professor Neri Oxman (2018) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Willemien de Villiers (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019). (s.d.) Issey Miyake comes up with new Baked Stretch fabric. At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
YUNG WONG (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).
Yung Wong: Winding Surface (s.d.) At: (Accessed 20/11/2019).

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s