Contemporary: roller-printed - Heidi Minshall

Inspiration details:

Furnishing fabric

Fabric

Lancashire, England (made)

1952 (made)

Groag, Jacqueline (F.S.I.A.), born 1903 - died 1986 (designer) David Whitehead & Sons Ltd. (manufacturer)

V&A collection reference number(s):
CIRC. 13 to B-1953

Artist Statement

Heidi Minshall

I’ve been inspired by a roller-printed textile pattern, designed in 1952 by the Czech-born designer Jacqueline Groag and typical of the “contemporary” style which emerged from the Festival of Britain.

I was attracted by the dynamism of the casual pattern structure, the bold and decisive line work, and the creative use of colour and semi-abstract shapes.

I’ve tried to capture these qualities in a chain necklace made from links of sterling wire, formed and then shaped in a rolling mill. I’ve used feature links filled with pigmented epoxy resin to add colour and developed a sgraffito-like resin technique to reproduce Groag’s use of hand-drawn patterning.

Studying part-time at Morley College has given me the opportunity to work through designing, prototyping and producing this necklace alongside a busy job as a Middle East political analyst.

I’ve enjoyed researching Groag’s life and work through the V&A collection and other sources. Groag was one of many Jewish intellectuals and creative artists who fled Vienna as Europe began its descent into war and genocide, who sought refuge in Britain and went on to contribute to a resurgence of new cultural ideas after the war.

Her life story has particular resonances for me: a reminder, at a time of terrible violence and conflict in the Middle East, of the creative and cultural dynamism that refugees can bring to host societies prepared to welcome and be enriched by them.

It’s also a story of inspiration transmitted and developed across decades and cultures. Groag began her career working with the Wiener Werkstatte, whose influences included early British pioneers of modernism, such as Christopher Dresser and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. In turn, she played a leading role in the flourishing of mid-century modernism in post-war Britain, a movement which continues to inspire today.

Contemporary: roller-printed - Heidi Minshall

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Inspiration details:

Furnishing fabric

Fabric

Lancashire, England (made)

1952 (made)

Groag, Jacqueline (F.S.I.A.), born 1903 - died 1986 (designer) David Whitehead & Sons Ltd. (manufacturer)

V&A collection reference number(s):
CIRC. 13 to B-1953

2015 Exhibition Guide

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