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Soft Systems

Alice Chamberlain

Alice's practice is built upon an underlying interest of sustainability in relation to consumer culture. This is matched with a desire to challenge current conventional production models, utilising craft processes, as part of her methodology. With a background in print design, Alice employs the use of colour, composition and pattern as fundamental elements of her practice.


Sponsors:

Coats Foundation Trust

Battersea United Charities

Awards:

Envisage Ltd. Award (2019)

REVISIT // The Ceremony of Connecting Craft

The Ceremony of Connecting Craft is a celebration of: Craft heritage, craft production and the craftsperson behind the process. This set of work portrays the formation of Alice’s own cottage industry, commemorating the tools and rituals of her making process.

The final outcomes of the project are a collection of ceremonial costumes and abstract ritual artefacts.

In the creation of the ceremonial costumes, Alice aimed to embody the ritualistic preparation which she undertakes before starting her craft. The imagery and print design featured on the garments further encapsulate an autobiographical reflection, with forms and colours inspired by Alice’s home landscape, the Peak District.

The series of ritual artefacts are abstract representations of the tools used in her own craft process, and are also fabricated utilising numerous craft processes which Alice has learnt throughout her development as a maker. 

The Ceremony of Connecting Craft, has an underlying intention which highlights craft as a contemporary method of production, which truly challenges convention.

Ceremonial Costume // Millstone
Ceremonial Costume // Millstone Close Up
Peak District // Sketchbook
Peak District // Sketchbook

The sketchbook displays a series of abstracted paintings, of the Peak District’s rock forms and fissures, spliced with its undulating landscape.


Ceremonial Costume // Froggatt Edge
Ceremonial Costume // Burbage Edge
Ritual Artefact // Woven Paintbrush
Ritual Artefact // Tri-Brush
Ritual Artefact // Squeegee
Ritual Artefact // Wobble Brush

The craft processes that Alice traditionally used, were challenged during the pandemic, due to her migration from the RCA’s studio and workshops, to working from home. In the formation of Alice’s own cottage industry, hand-painting with dyes became the most suitable alternative to her most experienced process; screen printing.

Every painterly stroke which marks the ceremonial costumes is unique, and can never be fully replicated. The obscure rock formations and boulders, which are synonymous with the Peak District, are rendered with this labour intensive process, forming the imagery and colour palette of The Ceremony of Connecting Craft.

The Ritual in Motion — Song Credit: Beech by Cosmo Sheldrake (All rights Reserved) https://www.cosmosheldrake.com/