‘Militaria’ flag/kilt project

This is a catch up post after my long silence… The flag/kilt above was my final piece for a college project with the theme ‘Militaria’ in May 2009. My starting point to research the Black Watch so naturally the kilt was a strong formal influence. Other notions such as ‘make do and mend’ also informed the aesthetic of the flag, and in using strip patchwork I encouraged fraying of the rough seams. All fabrics used were either silk, cotton muslin or cotton cord and all were hand-dyed to go with the colour palette. Textural variety was added by plastic bags which I heatpressed to melt them and then wrote on to imitate handwritten letters from the front. The smocking replaces the pleated section in a kilt, and the appliquéd panels in the top left and right corners are drawn from research into Ghanaian Fanté flags. I also looked at Jilli Blackwood‘s work as well as having the pleasure of meeting the artist herself at the Meet Your Maker exhibition at the Museum of Scotland. A Scottish artist, she has frequently used the kilt and other garment forms as a canvas for her richly textured dyed, woven and stitched surfaces. I have tried to achieve something of this rich texture in my work – not quite there but I’m happy with it as a start!

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