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Sustainable Practice & Environmental Awareness

We're featuring another trio of students whose work deals with the environment and sustainability. Geraldine Leahy, Karen Allen and Katherine Pilling.

BA Hons Painting student Geraldine Leahy

Geraldine Leahy's practice is concerned with coastal erosion and involves an awareness of the entanglement of organic and manufactured debris on the coastline. The artist works with shoreline materials, both natural and manmade, embedding monoprinted images of items such as dune grasses, pieces of plastic and fragments of rope, into her surfaces. Adding and erasing layers of media references the erosive forces at play on the coastline. Observing how manmade materials often assume organic characteristics during the painting process, Leahy's work results in intriguing evocations of the entanglement of mankind and the natural world. Her paintings demonstrate the mutability and fragile beauty of a littoral environment under threat and they encourage viewers to reflect on their place in this endangered world.

BA Hons Textiles student Karen Allen

I currently volunteer at Orinoco Scrap Store in Banbury. This is an amazing shop solely interested in recycling craft, art and textiles which otherwise would end up in Landfill. A running total is kept. I am on Year 3 of the OCA Textiles degree course and obtain all the materials for this course from Orinocos.

I also like to use sustainable materials in my work and attach three images using dried pondweed, horsehair and rusting fabrics and found objects.

BA Hons Textiles student Katherine Pilling

I am a Stage 2 BA Textiles student with OCA and I am always conscious that my working practices and the materials I use are sustainable. Wherever I can, my work is made from recycled and upcycled materials, and I usually find a way for my samples to be solely made from sustainable methods. My images of my work include a final piece from second hand denim that is recycled into new pieces using patchworking techniques, a knitting sample constructed using my own yarns made from fabric scraps and my own printed material made from patchworking material fragments together. At the end of each project/assessment, I break my larger pieces down to reuse and repurpose again. Nothing is wasted in my textiles work, I use the contents of my recycling bin often, I save every scrap for making my own yarns/threads and old clothes are turned into patchworking potential!

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