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A change of perspective

Taking part in Life On The Outskirts has completely changed the way in which I produce work as a student. With invaluable help and guidance from the LOTO team, I have been able to look at the world of design from a completely different perspective. I have previously stated; Helen Storey and Life on the Outskirts has given me the chance to question my morality as an artist / designer and will inspire me to explore issues greater than my own; problems that effect the world in which we all live and breath…

I had not understood at the time, what a huge impact that first meeting would have on my mindset for the months to follow. I was very much inspired by Helen Storey’s Catalytic Clothing and the Dress For Our Time. I came to realise how much power and responsibility that we have as designers to use textiles, fabrics and garments to challenge and fight against deeply routed issues in the world including political, humanitarian and environmental factors. Helen, her work, and the foundation itself, are a credit to the creative industry. Helen breaks down the glamourised pretence of the fashion corporation and allows the clothes that she engineers to speak for themselves. This is what I have been truly inspired by.

Helen’s work allows human stories to be told by developing profound concepts that are then perpetuated through the presentation of textile and garment construction. I became heavily influenced by Helen’s use of controversy to allow audiences to develop a strong sense of questioning, and so I began to research and develop work in response to a deeply upsetting and worrying environmental atrocity.

Human greed, over consumption, and the disregard of the planet we call home, is having catastrophic impact on the environment, especially our rich Oceans and Seas, which are near to breaking point. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean then fish. Nearly 300 million tonnes of plastic products are produced each year, with half of that figure being the result of single use plastic. As a result of our throw away consumerist society, 8 million tonnes of plastic waste pour into our oceans per annum. Influenced by LOTO and in response to The T.I.P Fashion, Form and Fabricate project, I produced a series of samples and two conceptual collar pieces using plastic waste materials that myself and the students in the Benzie Building (MMU) accumulated. Along with these products, I also experimented with 3D printing software and processes; using Biodegradable plastic filaments; recreating sustainable products inspired by the shape and form of toxic plastic waste and packaging. By doing this I hope to challenge the absurd nature of our egotistical consumer habits, showing that the waste we produce can be reused to create environmentally friendly, sustainable designs and commodities. In addition, I aim to create a sense of urgency – to put pressure on conglomerate companies to invest in biodegradable materials for plastic packaging or to eliminate the use of plastic completely, where possible.

 

Warren Reilly, 2nd Year, BA (Hons) Textiles in Practice (MMU)

20 March 2018