Third-year BA (Hons) Textile Design student Amy Dance wasn't deterred by having to complete her degree at home following the Covid-19 outbreak and used her imagination and ingenuity to set up a makeshift studio in her garden.
Amy used sustainably-sourced materials including nettle fibre, hemp, and polyester made from recycled bottles for her final project, which is part of the Online Art and Design Show which is open until the end of August.
Amy, who specialises in Print, is inspired by the lost beauty in the animal kingdom and is showing extinct and endangered animals on prints for couture fashion houses for men’s outwear, including coats and jacket.
She explains how her work has come about, how she has been able to successfully complete her degree, and her hopes for the future.
How pleased are you with your final piece of work?
I am really pleased with the outcome of my final major project as, despite the lockdown situation I was still able to create a collection of prints which were very successful. I adapted to the situation and moved to a more digital print process, rather than screen printing. I visualised my prints in a variety of ways by drawing them on to men's outwear in shops such as Liberty and Dover Street Market London. These are bespoke shops where I see my designs being sold.
Has it been difficult completing your work from home and what particular challenges has this posed?
It was difficult to complete my work from home for many reasons, one being that I wasn’t able to use the photography studios to professionally photograph my final garment. However, I created a makeshift studio at home in my garden using the back of a huge poster from the local cinema (one of my housemates works there and was given it) and a white bedsheet. With some editing on Photoshop the photos looked just like they would have in a studio.
Why have you chosen to do the piece(s) of work you're displaying?
I created designs inspired by the lost beauty within the animal kingdom because it important for people to recognise the negative implications caused by human destruction. I aim to bring life back to extinct animals through my designs. My final garment was made by BA (Hons) Fashion graduate Bethany Jefferys and I was really pleased with how my prints looked on a fully functioning garment.
How excited are you about the future and which careers / areas of the industry do you intend to go in to?
I specialise in print design so intend to work as an in-house designer, preferably for a custom wallpaper company. However I’ve been offered a freelance job for a swatch company designing prints for swimwear and activewear and am very excited to start as this isn’t an avenue I’d thought about going down.
How have you benefited from studying at Bucks and what have been the most enjoyable parts of the course?
I’ve benefited from Bucks' vast facilities for printing, which include huge printing tables, screen print equipment, the Mimaki, which prints digital designs on fabric or sublimation paper, and much more. One of the advantages of going to Bucks over other universities is that you get your own desk and area. Our course leader Poppy McKinnon-Evans is also absolutely amazing, very supportive and a huge benefit to the course. The most enjoyable part of the course was learning so many new and interesting techniques because of the access we had to all the facilities and equipment. It’s also great that we share these families with all the other courses in our school (e.g. Graphics, Fashion, Creative Advertising) so the studios have a real positive atmosphere.
Finally, how much are you enjoying seeing your work on display at the Online Art and Design Show?
I'm really excited about my work being on display at this year's online show as this is an opportunity graduates haven't had before! It helps me build my online presence as a professional. I'm pleased that Covid-19 hasn't prevented my work from being on display.
Tweet about Bucks Show 20 by using #BucksShow20, follow Bucks Show 20 here and see more about Amy's work, her rationale behind it, and a vlog, here.