Inflatable wallpaper is 'making waves' for UWE student

Issue date: 20 June 2005

Issue date: 20/06/05

New Designers exhibition, Business Design Centre,
52 Upper Street, London, N1 OQH
30 June – 3 July 2005

Final year Textiles students from the Bristol School of Art, Media and Design at the University of the West of England will be exhibiting the culmination of three years work at a special show called ‘New Designers at the Business Design Centre’ in London from 30 June to 3 July.

The show gives the students the opportunity to reach a wider audience and provides a great chance to experience showing their work in a real gallery setting.

Alex Mooney’s work is inspired by the lavish excess of the Moulin Rouge and the bawdy days of Parisian life at the turn of the twentieth century. Alex uses knitting felting and devoré to create textual pieces complemented with beads, feathers and jewel like ornamentation, resulting in sumptuous and encrusted forms. A rich variety of silk fabrics, fleeces, feathers and furs have been combined with knit and strong vibrant colours, each piece being created to adorn the neck and shoulders. The mixed media wall and paper drawings blend materials, merge inks and antique guilt frames to portray complete baroque excess.

Alex is now seeking opportunities to further increase her knowledge and experience by working alongside experienced designers and companies in London or Paris. She said, “I intend to take advantage of every opportunity and with this experience behind me I will be better placed to choose a particular career path. Through this I hope to gain insight and direction for my future work, be it further exploration into knit, fashion illustration or a new avenue.”

The work of student Emma Gray is taking the concept of wallpaper design to new heights. From a simple desire to create movement and shadow in a wallpaper design, Emma has developed an inflatable wall covering made of 36 latex covered MDF panels. The wallpaper incorporates cream coloured latex decorated with a minimal painted design referencing blue and white porcelain on the 19th century, and adapting the concept of tiles for the 21st century. Emma explains, “In my first attempt I used a car motor to create movement by stretching the latex, but the box for the mechanism was quite big and clumsy. Therefore I began looking at a more sophisticated system which would use compressed air as a means to create movement. Through the use of pneumatic equipment the latex boards act as a system of air pockets controlled through electronic sequences that create a ripple effect in numerous directions across the wall.”

Emma says she hopes her unusual design will appeal to visitors at the exhibition, “I hope the New Designers exhibition will generate some interest in my wallpaper and I would love the chance to be able to develop it for sale in the marketplace if there is enough interest.”


Editor’s notes

Visual available upon request from the Press Office. Example of inflatable wallpaper by Emma Gray.

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