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Visit to India provides inspiration for textile design student
27
Nov '08
A University of Southampton art student has just returned from the trip of a lifetime to India - where she not only found inspiration for her own work in textile design, but also ran special workshops for a group of school children as part of a textile-themed art project.

Viv Philpot, a second-year textile design print student at Winchester School of Art, travelled to Kolkata as part of the British Council Global School Partnerships programme between the MSB Educational Institute in the city and Ricards Lodge High School in Wimbledon where Viv is also artist in residence.

During her trip, Viv spent four days running dyeing and stitching workshops in the school with the pupils who were aged between 11 and 12 years, teaching them new styles of painting, stitching and crafts. Together they experimented with colour on different fibres and threads and stitched the fabrics together to make individual pieces and a group banner.

Viv was also able to use the trip to support her studies at Winchester School of Art by extending her knowledge of traditional and contemporary Indian textiles. She studied Indian textile designer Darshan Shah's collection of rare and old Kantha embroideries at the Weavers Studio Resource Centre and visited the Rangeen printing, dyeing and weaving units which produce contemporary handmade textiles which are sold all over the world.

Viv says: "The trip was an amazing opportunity for me to share my knowledge and skills with the pupils at the MSB Educational Institute, experience everyday life in Kolkata, learn more about Kantha embroidery and see first-hand the production of high-quality contemporary handmade textiles at the Weavers Studio.

She continues: "I was overwhelmed by the welcome I received, the warmth and generosity of all the people I met in Kolkata, and the colours, sights and sounds of the city. I hope to visit again soon but in the meantime I'm very excited about making my own work inspired by this fantastic experience."

Rosie Cate, Winchester School of Art Pathway Leader, Printed Textiles, adds: "Students in the Textile Department are taught key digital skills as well as traditional textile skills. In addition, they are all encouraged to have wide research interests and to go on exciting and diverse placements. These are some of the reasons so many of our graduates go on to have successful careers in the design industry."

More information about Viv's trip and a short video featuring the workshops at the MSB Educational Institute are available on Viv's own web site at: http://www.vivphilpot.com

Founded in 1863, Winchester School of Art has an international reputation for research and teaching in art and design, and has links with many other institutions in Europe. WSA merged with the University of Southampton in 1996.

University of Southampton

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