Upon being given the project theme, I was extremely excited, as I have always had an interest in Indian textiles, art and fashion. My particular favourite Indian designer, Manish Arora, is extremely famous for his Indian contemporary garments, which involve over-decoration of beading and patterns. My starting place for inspiration was the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum in London. I looked at everything relating to India between the British Raj time period (Late 19th Century – Mid 20th Century) and discovered jewellery, sculptures, fabrics, furniture etc. and got a strong feel for the traditional yet growing culture.
Throughout the project I began to learn the crossover between Britain and India also and how they strongly influenced and reflected upon each other. My strongest inspiration for this was a book titled ‘The Last Empire’ which is a collection of photographs from the British Rule. From this book I enjoyed looking at interiors, archways, architectural ruins and palace/imperial objects. My drawings began to develop from simple ink, pencil and marker drawings to my own personal style, incorporating influences from artist Cate Parr also, which then created beautiful watercolour compositions.
Once the drawing process was complete, I then experimented with my drawings and designs on Photoshop. I enjoyed doing this as I could make the colours I had created even brighter and manipulate my drawings accordingly. It was during this process I decided I was going to focus on the interiors side and create the cushion and wallpaper piece. I looked at imperial wallpapers and furnishings as well as contemporary versions to influence my final designs. I wish that my final extended collection incorporated so much more of my personal style, as my final choices were influenced by a visiting tutor who was concerned that my pieces were either too ‘precise and typical’ or ‘too busy’. However, I added to my extended collection with the dye sublimation process, creating watery/inky paint lines over my work.
For my final cushion piece I used an ink design and manipulated the colours within it on Photoshop, then I composed repeats of it to create different shapes and sizes all pieced together. The ruffles on my final cushion consist of digitally printed text; with extra text dye-sublimated over the top and it reads ‘GOD SAVE OUR EMPRESS OF INDIA”. I visualise my cushion as a decoration on a wooden swinging chair (preferable painted navy to allow it to stand out) and I discovered this inspiration from Urban Outfitters. My final wallpaper is constructed through manipulated colours and crafted textures to represent old/cracked walls with a contemporary twist. As it has the chandelier central, the background (the oranges, pinks and navy blues) would be repeated to create mural style wallpaper with the chandelier central on the wall.