Ocular Odyssey / Manchester Deaf Centre & HOME

Over the course of 10 weeks, I collaborated with young creatives from Manchester Deaf Centre, alongside artist, Natalie Linney, to explore a range of artistic practices aimed at co-creating a series of print designs, including a bespoke fashion collection.

During the initial phase, the group engaged with Natalie to experiment with fibre manipulation in woven structures, resulting in textured wall hangings inspired by both natural and urban landscapes. They delved into botanical printing techniques, incorporating leaves and flowers to craft ethereal surface designs. Expressive mark-making and collage techniques were employed to create standalone textured samples, while discussions on garment design and silhouette selection laid the groundwork for the final collection’s aesthetic, including the choice of colour palette.

In the subsequent phase of the project, the group collaborated with me to produce a range of screen-printed fabrics, building upon the outcomes of the initial phase. Using a combination of photo and stencil screen printing, they developed a collection of surface designs, which were then co-designed into a variety of digitally printed and hand-printed fabrics.

The workshops driving this project were characterised by their fast-paced and dynamic nature, often fostering collaborative work with artists, dynamic thinking, and independent decision-making.

With guidance from garment design specialist Jessie Fewtril, the collective handcrafted a collection comprising over forty items, which were then showcased on location at HOME by photographer Joe Smith as part of Push Festival 2020. Additionally, a selection of digital prints from the project were featured in the Inspire Gallery exhibition.

This commission, part of Push Festival 2020 at HOME, served as a testament to the creative collaboration and artistic innovation of the young creatives from Manchester Deaf Centre.