ATV - Pt1 - PJ3 - Picking & Portraying · ATV - Research Points · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

Floral motifs, fabrics and paintings. 3 of the best. Research Point 2.

1. William Morris

Where else would an exploration into the world of floral decoration start other than with William Morris. His fabrics are a perfect combination of reality and motif. I chose the pink peonies because I love the symmetry of the design and the way the leaves overlap with the little yellow flowers as an extra element and complementary detail. I was immediately drawn to the other 2 pictures because they show the outlining and laying out of the design before the colour was added.


2. Tord Boontje.

I’ve chosen 3 very different examples of design by Tord Boontje that I feel demonstrate his ability to work with the overlapping and layering of flowers and plants in nature. 


3. Jane Askey.

The more I look at Jane’s Floral Summertime the more I like it, at first I thought it was almost too simple but my eye gets drawn back to it again and again. Jane’s choice of composition layout is calming and gentle. I really admire her ability to express complex shapes with bold brush strokes and simple colour selecctions.


4. Marni

This OCA degree broadens my horizons all of the time and this research exercise has taken me down a route I rarely follow or consider. High fashion is not my thing and I’d never heard of Marni before. To me these 3 garments are works of art. They are beautiful and I love the use of floral themes and motifs in such prominent ways.

5. Timorous Beasties.

Very, very yummy and expensive wall paper and fabrics. It was difficult to chose just 3. The more tropical design makes me think of Victorian glass houses and tropical heat and the Bloomsbury Garden is just like having the garden inside. I think the use of the blotch technique is very brave, it’s very dramatic and I’m sure everyone will see something different in the details. Is is wallpaper or a psychology test?


6. Elizabeth Blackadder

My parent’s lived not far from Falkirk in Scotland and my Mom had the most beautiful ‘black’ irises in her garden. They had come from a nursery of rare flowers and flourished, loving the damp conditions in the Glasgow peaty soil. Irises and Flags are delightful flowers and Elizabeth has really done them justice in my eyes.  I chose the other 2 paintings because of the delicate layout of the different elements. In False Palm I can see both Scottish and Japanese influences. The paintings look simple but it’s clear that a lot of skill has gone into their construction and into deciding what should be included and very importantly what should be omitted.


7. Takashi Murakami.

This for me is heaven; I love Japanese design and art and I love ‘Superflat’ paintings, drawings and doodles. These 3 pieces very cleverly mix traditional and contemporary influences. In High Five I like the use of white as an outline, almost as if the colours have been inverted. 

8. Erdem

More art to be worn. These garments are very very beautful. The fabric is a soft and fluid painting. So often floral fabric uses stylised repetitive motifs, sometimes almost doodles but Erdem use patterns more akin to the watercolour and oil paintings usually seen in frames. 

It was difficult to chose just 3 favourites but I couldn’t resist the white dress, it looks so comfortable whilst being very beautiful. I liked the photograph of the detail of the skirt because it demonstrates how Erdem don’t just drape stunning fabric and expect it to speak for itself, they also employ clever tailoring tecchniques.


9.  Zoffany

I have assumed that the name Zoffany, for the purposes of this exercise refer to the Zoffany fabric and wallpaper company. They use flowers and birds as the subjects of many of their products. It’s not my favourite, I appreciate how they are using archives of traditional documents to influence their designs but I find the patterns lacking in tone and dramatic punch. 

As an alternative I have chosen a section of one of Johan Zoffany’s 18th Century paintings, he often included a bouquet or a vase of flowers in his paintings much like tv documentary makers now put an arrangement of flowers in the background of a talking head interview. 


My research for this exercise has been done using Wikipidepia (what else!) and Pinterest and the original links can be found on my pin board OCA-Artists-Flowers/research.


3 thoughts on “Floral motifs, fabrics and paintings. 3 of the best. Research Point 2.

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