City Lit Blog

Artists selected for 2018 'Inspired By...V&A' exhibition

Story added 10th May 2018

Images: Artists and makers Greet Blom, Sally McCullum and Athena Brook


2018 'Inspired by...V&A'

We are delighted to announce artists and makers from City Lit basketry, jewellery, sculpture and textiles courses have been selected for the 2018 'Inspired By...V&A' competition and exhibition by the Victoria and Albert Museum. Students were asked to create works inspired by the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collections and were selected by a respected panel of V&A judges.

Visit the exuibition at Morley Gallery until 24 May 2018
Morley Gallery, 61 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HT
Mon-Fri 11.00-18.00 Sat 12.00-16.00.




Greet Blom, Magic Platter
'Inspired by the museum of childhood, the piece consists of three cane platters of basketry.'


Kishi Yamamoto, Pelt Necklace
Athena Brook, Ringform


Viv Pert, Bird Bowl, (carved in cherry wood, dimensions are: length 33cm, width 26cm, and height 16cm)


Sarrah El-Bushra, Calligraphy
'The work takes inspiration from the middle eastern calligraphy on objects displayed in the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art at the Victoria and Albert museum. Sarrah has developed an abstract calligraphy by fusing and distorting Arabic and English calligraphy to illustrate her dual cultural heritage and ideas about mixed cultural identity, belonging and dual personality. The work is a digital print on calico: an original ink drawing on paper was scanned and then mirrored and repeated digitally before being printed onto fabric. The original drawing used inks made from natural pigments - henna and charcoal'.

Rose Chapman, Griffin meets Andy Warhol, (materials: felt and stitch)
'I have always been delighted by the V&A Museums textile and tile collections so made a beeline for these on my visit to find inspiration for my textile practice. Reviewing my drawings and photographs after my visit I was captured by the ‘personality’ that immerged for some of the motifs that I had recorded.  This piece emerged from manipulating a line drawing I had made; the result put me in mind of both Andy Warhol and Central Asia carpets, thus design and technique were signposted.

The Shyrdaks felt carpet techniques from central Asia is an area I have explored before in my work.  I love the bold patterned effect you can achieve and the fact that with the ‘sister’ method (cutting the same design in different coloured pieces and swapping the pieces around) nothing is wasted.

Traditionally the stitching used in the carpets is purely structural and is hidden.  Here I have chosen to make my stitching a visible part of the work.

I am pleased with the resulting piece and intend to explore this idea further with different motifs, scale and colours.'

Karen Byrne, Caged Venus
It was entered for the textiles section of the Inspired By… competition and is a sculpture made with sublimation printed satin, stitch and random weave basketry.  My work explores female body image and objectification.

Chantal Vouillemin, Bundles
'Asked to identify a piece or a group of items at the Victoria and Albert to inspire us, online I came across bundles of rags, textile fragments, temple detritus, found on the silk road by Marc Aurel Stein at the beginning of the 20th century.  Dating back as far as 100 BC they are amazing.  To capture a sense of bound bundles of fragments I am mixing stiff textures with soft, paper twine with wool, wire with thread.   The modern influence is Sheila Hicks.  The bundles are becoming smaller, tighter and more controlled.  It is a very addictive process with no end in sight.'

Sally McCullum, Stitches from a Rodin Fangirl
'Rodin’s “The Muse” has always had the power to draw me to it, fascinated by the contrast between her calm beauty and distorted and damaged body. I cannot contemplate a visit to the V&A without spending at least a few minutes in her company and have photographed and sketched her more than any other piece. I like that she evolved over time as Rodin re-worked the form removing her arms and leg and contorting her frame. Yet, she appears oblivious to the horrors and retains an inner strength.

Although I moved from a bronze sculpture to a textile piece I wanted to retain some of the characteristics of the original - the shiny surface, the decomposition retaining only part of the whole. I chose to work in 2-d to avoid a soft, stuffed appearance that may result from a 3-d textile piece. Found and hand painted fabric was layered to provide a working surface that could be cut away to mimic the original. The piece focuses on the breasts as these are intact in the original and emphasis the female. The cast lines are retained and the stitching is reminiscent of the texture on the bronze. The flash of magenta the reflected light from an exhibition anchoring her to the V&A. 

The textile will be mounted on watercolour paper, held to a flattened cardboard box with bulldog clips retaining the imperfect, decomposed nature of the piece. I took phographs and used these as reference for drawings and paintings prior to working the textile. The course at CityLit provided an environment to explore the combination of ideas and techniques and my aim is to make a textile piece that balances both.'