Graduates 2020: Bronte Simpson-Little: 3D Design and Craft

Immersing myself in nature and embarking on journeys where I experienced the joys of the natural world has been the main source of inspiration for my work this year.

At the beginning of research, I explored the natural environment across Sussex and realised that I am intuitively drawn to the natural aesthetic of nature. Whist researching I found myself in awe of the astounding beauty and saturation of colour which captured a sense of calm and peacefulness within, and I aimed to reflect the feeling and impact these journeys had on me into my work and practice. 


During all of my journeys, the impact of humans on the natural landscape became apparent. Wheat is a natural occurring plant but can be controlled and shaped by human influence. This is similar to the way craft behaves. Materials found in the natural environment work in tune with the landscape but with human connection those materials can be made into a functional, purposeful object or a purely aesthetic one. Every fragment of my research involved human connection and my project symbolises the process of hand-making, hand-building and working with the landscape by reforming it into a physical object.


Capturing the essence of my journeys through organic materials and objects, such as seaweed, cuttlefish bones, leaves and so on, led me to investigate how organic materials are being incorporated into craft practices. I explored how these crafts are being defined by the landscape and the heritage of the area; making that particular craft unique to that specific location. One of the local crafts I researched was the Sussex Trug; an elongated shallow carrier. The Trug evolved from the Anglo Saxon ‘Trog’ that was used to pick low fruits. Trugs evolved to prevent bruising to the fruit and to suit the local surroundings and therefore became a part of the local heritage.


 I wanted to expand my knowledge and gain more insight into traditional craft practices. To achieve this, I actively engaged myself in heritage craft environments, attending workshops and work experiences that develop my understanding of heritage crafts. I aimed to celebrate those traditions, raising awareness that some of these craft traditions are at risk of being lost. 

At the heart of research, the experiences of craft traditions that I immersed myself in, have been extremely important to my research. I have been able to reflect on the heritage of those enriching experiences and incorporate them into a modern aesthetic. The journeys I made at the beginning of my research were vital in establishing the foundations of my investigation into landscape, botanics and horticulture. I aimed to integrate both research investigations and reflect the progression of my journey in the crafted pieces I made. 

How have your found your time at Brighton?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the last three years on this course. It has been a privilege to share the amazing studios and facilitie with some talented, creative and like-minded people. My 3D family have been a constant source of support throughout the course and a joy to be around every day. I have learnt a huge range of skills and had the opportunity to specialise in ceramics and metal learning from kind and patient teachers. When the end of our final year stopped so abruptly it was incredibly upsetting but as a year group we remained in constant close contact, encouraging one another to complete our work which highlighted the close bonds we had formed. The support and guidance from the 3D staff, was exceptional over the whole 3 years and I would not have made the achievements I have without them. The experience I have gained at university has allowed me to expand my skills and practice both professionally and personally. 3D design and Craft has encouraged me to explore a variety of pathways, enabling me towiden my knowledge, skills and passion whilst developing my own style. Overall, I have not only grown as an artist but also as a person.


What are your plans after graduating?

After graduation, I plan to continue with further study. I intend to apply for an MA at the Royal College of Art to develop my practice to a professional standard. 

Watch Bronte work

Follow Bronte on Instagram

Bronte’s website

See Bronte’s work at the Graduate Show 2020

Find out more about BA(Hons) 3D Design and Craft


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