“The course has helped me bring my love for fashion and fine art together… The technicians are incredibly knowledgeable and great at problem solving, and the academic staff take a great interest in each students interests within the specialism. Together this has made the learning experience at Brighton one of a kind.”
Hi Bianca – please tell us a bit about your work and your influences
“I am an Artist-Maker, studying Textiles with Business Studies. I use knitting to create garments based around comfort. My Final Major Project is an exploration of emotional and physical comfort, titled ‘Comfort: Poiesis’.
“I have a background in painting and drawing, and I like to translate this into knitting throughout my designs, using imagery from childhood, and abstract painterly imagery. I have ‘hacked’ an old Brother knitting machine to be used with open source software to be able to create multicoloured full size jacquards to reimagine imagery I create into knitting. This process is also really interesting to be able to ‘trick’ the knitting machine into creating interesting quilts and padded pieces. I dye most of my own yarns naturally, the care taken throughout the whole process of the craft is important to my process. I love utilising knit’s ability for form and structure, and when it comes to creating for comfort form is incredibly important.
“I have a great interest in the meaning of garments and objects to people. In particular ‘Transitional Objects’, which I wrote about for my dissertation, ‘The comfort of Objects, Garments and Knitting: Objects that conspire to create comfort.’ This interest is due to my own Fibromyalgia and Endometriosis diagnoses, which impact my day-to-day life, so comfort (physical or emotional) is incredibly important to me. I have recently been experimenting with quilting using the knitting machine, and filling with merino tops, and or weighted beads to create weighted garments to be worn in the way which I use my weighted blanket. The artistic and technical sides of knitting are equally important to me, in the same way which physical and emotional comfort are, and I think finding that balance makes for interesting outcomes, which take fashion and garments further than just aesthetic.”
How have you found your course and time at Brighton?
“The course has helped me bring my love for Fashion and Fine Art together and knit in particular has made given me so many possibilities to explore my interests. The technicians are incredibly knowledgeable and are great at problem solving, and the academic staff take a great interest in each students interests within the specialism. Together this has made the learning experience at Brighton one of a kind.
“I have also really enjoyed the Historical and Critical Studies modules. As someone with dyslexia and dyspraxia I have been really well supported and I found myself engaging with the written/academic sides of the course much more than I would have expected, to the extent that I want to pursue an MA to explore more of the academic side of the craft. The Business modules are also very informative and a great basis for anyone wanting to come out of university and start their own brand/business.
“Being a mature student I was of course worried about making connections with the other students, but I can say I have made some amazing connections and friendships throughout my time at Brighton.”
How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Textiles?
“Applying as a Mature student made me more conscious of what I was choosing to study, and I was torn between Fashion and Painting. I went to one of the open days at the University, and was just blown away by the Textiles department, and the way the course runs from a rotation to decide your specialism. It made me realise I could combine my two passions.”
What are your plans after graduation?
“I am applying for some awards/scholarships, but my main aim at the moment is to find the right MA programme to study on and build my portfolio. I will be taking a years break before I do this and am currently working on small collections to release throughout the year through my brand ‘Bblandest’.”