Nora Fok, designer
Nora Fok is a designer who graduated from and later taught on courses at Brighton Polytechnic/University of Brighton.
On the occasion of the College of Art’s 150 year anniversary in 2009, she wrote:
“Fishing line is an uncommon material to use for body adornment, and they certainly think so at the fishing tackle shop. Nylon monofilament, however, has been the unique material for me to capture my ideas with. It is delicately lightweight, can be dyed into many colours, is warm to the touch and kind to the skin. It is a brilliant catalyst for light; sparkles like diamonds in the sun. Traditional techniques like knitting, knotting, weaving and tying are ideal for this material, and they suit the imaginary world that forms the essence of my work.”During the 27 years since graduation, I have spent my time experimenting and transforming this material into a personal vision of wearable sculptural forms for the female body.
“Latterly, after research into the plant world I began to realise the relationship between plants and insects. I started my collection of imaginary bugs made out of dried plant materials.
“The three year wood, metal, ceramics and plastics course at Brighton Polytechnic was possibly the best thing that ever happened to me and changed my life for the better. I had worked as a graphic designer in Hong Kong for several years and was determined to seek improvement in all aspects of my artistic skills.
“Most significant during my study was the introduction to visual research as an important part of learning to be an artist. I was very much encouraged to be free-thinking and an individual. It was unfamiliar territory as I was used to working as a team member on advertising projects and now I had to make my own decisions about how I approached my art.
“I was introduced to the ‘new jewellery’ movement where the experimental use of unusual materials, ideas and expression were more important than the intrinsic value of materials. From then on I was determined to become a ‘new’ jeweller.
“Several years later, I was offered the opportunity to teach plastics for a period on the WMCP course. I was also invited to exhibit at the St Peters House Library and gave a talk at the School of Historical and Critical Studies. These were valuable experiences that enabled me to gain confidence to work with people. Part of my current practice is developing and presenting talks and running workshops.”
Nora Fok, 2009