Joshua Cartmell

Contact:
joshknitwear@gmail.com
University/School:
Nottingham Trent University
Location:
Nottingham
Specialism:
Art DirectionFashion DesignGender NeutralIllustrationKnitwear DesignTextiles
About Me

Hi I'm Josh a Fashion Knitwear & Knitted Textiles Design NTU graduate.

Josh's background in illustration, graphic design and photography has influenced a mixed media design process. His sculptural approach to design focuses primarily on tactility, colour and pattern, which has developed through his studies at NTU.

Applying the signature multidisciplinary style to fibre arts and textiles, he has started to create wearable art. Josh has applied his knowledge of knitwear, working for smaller knitwear brands and for some larger fashion brands alongside his studies, to broaden his experience within design development, visual and contextual research and domestic knitting in professional, creative environments.

INSPIRATION

Smalltown Boy is a social and personal exploration of growing up queer in a small, rural town.

Social opinions of my hometown where I grew up reflected the wider judgement and criticism of queer people in the 1980s - hence the heavy inspiration of the 80s club kids: creating wearable and unexplainable art. It was important to stay true to the club kids throughout my development, especially being able to make everything from home like they would, which also benefited me during the pandemic.

I wanted to explore hiding my own identity growing up, constantly battling between obvious camp and hidden messages throughout my textile exploration. From the beginning of the project I had an image of creating 'queer warriors', which is what I perceive club kids as. I wanted to erase any facial and bodily features, to create something that isn't insecure or fearful, but confident and feared.

MY WORK

PORTFOLIOS

DETAIL

Fair Isles Knitted with Elastic Yarn.

After reflecting on my 2D and 3D visual research I noticed textures appearing in an unexpected and haphazard way. I started to experiment with ways in which I could replicate this within my knitting. I worked with a lycra/elastic blend yarn and a mercerised cotton in fair isle designs. This had really successful outcomes, so I thought of how I could push it further and portray my message. I designed my own fair isles using visually warped queer iconography - such as the pink triangle - and slurs used against queer people. Once knitted and taken off the domestic machine the fabric ruched and hid the messages, making an interesting fabric, while reflecting the way in which queer people and myself as a queer person hides in certain environments.

"He (Bowery) was experimenting with his body and his sexuality, challenging how people thought about, reacted to and perceived this vision in front of them" - Valerie Steele (2013)
Art DirectionFashion DesignGender NeutralIllustrationKnitwear DesignTextiles
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