Students of Limerick School of Art and Design with their Gallery of Found Art showcase at Brown Thomas Picture: Adrian Butler
RUBBISH is just art waiting to happen.
This was the brief given to students of first and second year of the department of fashion, knitwear and textiles at Limerick School of Art and Design who have transformed everything from plastic bottles and knives and forks into an eye-catching window display.
The Gallery of Found Art is a sustainability project which sees artists turn trash into striking recycled art pieces. The installations are now displayed in the front windows of Brown Thomas on O’Connell Street, Limerick, providing an artistic backdrop to the spring fashions for 2016.
The students were encouraged to use items which have been discarded and might otherwise end up in a landfill.
“They have been working on it since about the start of November,” explained Mairead Neill, course leader.
“It was a great opportunity for us because it gets them to play and experiment with unusual materials that they might not come across in the course of doing regular knitwear.”
The brief was not too restrictive - the only restriction was to work within the suggested colour palettes, and materials had to be reused, recycled items.
“It expands their ability to play with materials and encourages them to be more innovative. A project like this would be great for when they go on to their personal projects because they will be more encouraged to play with materials, look around them and look for opportunities to innovate and to upcycle and to look for new materials that freshens up knitwear design.”
There was no need for any fashion recycled clothing or accessories, as the art had to be seen and not worn. The students were encouraged to use the unpredictability of found materials and enjoy the inventiveness necessary to transform them into a sculpture, installation or art piece.
This was the first time that the department of fashion, knitwear and textiles did a visual display for a department store.
“We weren’t really sure about what it was going to be and that was kind of exciting about the design process - you are not really sure at the start about what it is going to be at the end - it reveals itself,” Mairead explained.
“To sit and spend the time to do that is encouraging to see, because with design and developing anything that is unique and innovative, you have to give it the time and have that persistence and determination as a designer that you were willing to commit to develop ideas. And that feeds into when they go on to design and make their own design for collection that they understand the commitment.”