Emily Topping BA (Hons) Textiles in Practice

Emily Topping

Pattern and materials have always been a passion of mine and this has been reinforced in the time I have spent studying at university. My practice is predominantly in repeat prints as I enjoy working in interior contexts, however, more recently I have been exploring larger scales for commissions with 3D elements. I enjoy taking older processes such as lino-cutting, illustrative drawing and screen printing, then combining them with new technological techniques. The combination of the methods allows textures and depth to be seen on the flat prints I design.

A large part of my influences comes from architectural elements. I find it fascinating that different buildings in the same geographical area can express the changes of the art movements throughout the years. Natural forms and the world around me have also had a large impact on my work, not only from a design point of view, but also from an environmental one.

My first major project of the year was my Royal London Commissions. This focused heavily on natural forms and took inspiration from Royal London’s company values. Royal London are proud to be associated with the conservation of animals at Edinburgh zoo, therefore I used this imagery within my large-scale commission to represent their morals and values. Walnut 3D elements were incorporated in my pieces to further align with the large quantities of walnut inside Royal London’s new offices. The techniques involved include Drawing, Screen printing, Laser cut, Foiling and canvas stretching.

My final project was based around architecture, in particular the Art Nouveau movement and was based around the Grand Theatre in Blackpool. I wanted to portray the Art Nouveau style in a progressive, modern way. I created a collection of 12 repeat patterns which are all suitable for theatre chair upholstery. After choosing my 2 favourite designs, I upholstered a chair that could be seen in a theatre environment.