Celia was influenced by her great aunt's rare craft of handmade Ganutell flowers, and wanted to find a way to reintroduce handicrafts in an age where we are always escaping into an electronic device, transcending into a screen. This led to her focus on transcendence blending baroque churches with rave culture, inviting espacpism to support positive wellbeing.
As a designer I would like to continue to find ways to connect with the wearer and deliver concepts that make people feel something. My collection is about having the hope and faith to push forward through times like lockdown. When I first saw Ganutell flowers I was in awe at their beauty, I wanted to bring this affect into the collection, appreciating their intricacy frees the mind for a moment as you get lost in the details.
This collection was influenced by the effects of lockdown and how we use escapism to free ourselves of anxiety and depression through the use of film, social apps, meditation, prayer and more recently virtual reality. Escapism means to escape unpleasant realities through the engagement of fantasy for example, but considering how long and monotonous lockdown was for all of us it felt like it would never end.
The baroque ceilings of churches transcend the viewer into an experience beyond the physical level taking the idea of ‘escapism,’ one step further into a state of another reality. The commitment required to adorn religious statues with Ganutell flowers is so time consuming the maker's faith is unquestionable. In a similar way we all had an unshaking faith that lockdown would be over one day.
In researching how transcendence was presented in churches I began to look at church ceiling paintings which explicitly reflect transcendence; as the meeting place of reality and belief. These paintings reminded me of Carravagio paintings where the subject would be looking up to Heaven in despair. From here I started to practice the same high contrast of the colours and lighting in my textile designs. I connected the transcendence of church architecture with the strobe lights you would see in rave culture and clubs as the meeting place between reality and celebration; of monotony and excitement. As technology rapidly progresses we will reach a new epoch where virtual reality is commonplace, and how if used appropriately, it could support health and wellbeing offering a virtual place where reality meets belief. The garment shapes were inspired by 2000s club culture, the era at which a new technological dawn could be seen coming into existence