27 Mar 2017

Decluttering -objects

With much of my university work focused on objects and consumer behaviour I have spent more and more time reflecting on my own items and trying to understand my connection to them. Why do I keep certain things and throw other things away more readily? I thought it would be a good time to go to a decluttering workshop and see how my organising skills could be improved and also learn more about the habits of others. At the workshop we went through the Marie Kondo method of decluttering which is famous for decluttering by category rather than location. At the workshop I was lucky enough to win a personal decluttering service for my clothes.  

The session involved gathering all of my clothes, shoes, handbags into a pile so that I could visually experience the volume of what I had. I then went through all of my clothes one by one and asked myself  whether they 'sparked joy' and were absolutely essential. When I got to an item of clothing I wasn't quite sure about, Jane would ask me what I was unsure about and why. It was things like the length, fitting or price. The idea is that you learn from those reasons and become more conscious of your purchases and make better decisions moving forwards. It was quite an experience to understand what made things valuable to me and what made something more difficult to get rid of, whether that be nostalgia or the price I paid.  

Putting the clothes back that I decided to keep involved some folding techniques. You even fold your socks! The folding techniques encourage you to touch your clothes, almost to that you value them more. Apparently, folding also takes up less space than hanging. My wardrobe is no longer the over crowding mess that it was. Every item is now visible and easily located. Each box is categorised and located based on its frequency of use. I can honestly say that when I opened my cupboard it 'sparks joy'. 

This session has encouraged me to think about display, use of space and how this can impact our emotions positively and negatively. How the display of something in all areas can completely change how it is viewed and how much it is appreciated. I also think that the experience has been educational and will influence my future consumer behaviour - I don't want to mess up my nice neat space now do I?

6 Mar 2017

Caroline Bartlett - Behind the Wall

Caroline uses swatches and samples from the Standfast and Barracks archive and then layers, folds, stitches and manipulates to create these amazing pieces.   Reference is made to the complex processes of manufacturing printed textiles and to innovation in dye chemistry. I especially admire the reference to design processes such as repeat systems and grids and the use of handwork.

The marriage of digital print and hand stitch is emphasises the use of traditonal techniques as well as celebrate modern ones. The disruption in pattern and the creases create faults challenge the perception of what pattern is, was and will be.  

For me, creases give the feeling of something being old and emphasise the aging process. The pieces are celebrated by being put into frames and hanging on a gallery wall, valuing what we have as well as what we had.