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Punk Activism and Art Textiles: How a Student Found Their Voice

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Overcoming Challenges

Billie* came to me as an online student who had been out of school due to personal issues. Her aims were to overcome these challenges and proceed to study art textiles at college.

I could see immediately that she had huge potential and was highly motivated. She was, however, lacking direction and confidence. She needed a boost. So, we began with a lot of positive reinforcement, attentive feedback and some serious planning!

*name changed for anonymity

What Matters to Me

A mind map is an excellent way to start any exploration of ideas for a personal project, whether it is art or writing. Billie showed me this (left) and I understood her reasons for wanting to do art textiles were highly personal, emotional and value-driven.

'Motifs of Rebellion'

Billie collated a wealth of apt material on the theme of punk, activism and fashion. She presented it in an engaging way, moving seamlessly from critical observations to personal reflections. The quote from Vivienne Westwood on 'motifs of rebellion' was a particular highlight from the fabulous double page below.

Vibrant and Urgent

Billie's independently completed sketchbook work was of an exceptional standard: rich, vibrant and well-researched. Her chosen topic of protest and civil rights came from a totally genuine and good-natured place, which was complemented by a clear, burning desire for social justice.

Experiment / Inspire / Explore

These sketchbook pages show in-depth development of initial ideas. Billie's artist research was relevant and original. Her mixed media work incorporated her influences, the results of technical experimentation and observational drawing.

Pages to Lose Yourself In

The presentation of Billie's development work was consistently exceptional. Her pages were rich, carefully considered and visually exciting. The accompanying notes provided insights into processes and ideas, and useful critical evaluation.

Uncompromising Attitude

The outcome that Billie created was a real tribute to the thoroughness and quality of her preparatory work. The modified vintage denim jacket she created was a robust, uncompromising piece that merged Billie's interests and views perfectly with the techniques she had mastered. I can imagine this jacket either being worn with a punk attitude, either on the street or on a fashion runway.

Young People are the Future!

Billie had created a project with flair, authenticity and contemporary relevance, and it was clear that she would take that forward into her college studies. It is students like this, who care about important issues and aren't afraid to speak out, that give you hope for the future.

An Update from Billie

Billie recently let me know that she is now in her second year of her course in art textiles, and flourishing. She is looking at options for progressing her creative studies at university. A real sucess story, and I couldn't be more proud!

With thanks to the student for their permission to share their work.

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