Waterfall tunic and skirt - Jane Beckley

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London View Inspiration Details

Artist Statement

Jane Beckley

I chose a woodblock print by Hokusai entitled 'Kirifuri Fall in Kurokami Mountain. I was inspired by the dramatic perspective, the sense of movement and pattern. I have always loved Hokusai's work and the Japanese aesthetic which draws strongly on nature and incorporates both pattern and the random and unexpected. Hokusai created this powerful and dynamic image using a medium that was quite constraining. This has a parallel with machine knitting where the outcome is limited by the technique and materials and the basic building block is the stitch.
I started machine knitting a year ago as a short module during the textile foundation course which I took at Morley college. When the foundation finished I chose to focus on this technique as I am drawn to the materials and I found it to be a medium in which I could experiment freely.
My submitted piece comprises a tunic and underskirt.
I initially created several knitted samples using different techniques including knit-weave, short row shaping, fairisle, hemming and felting. I used lambswool, cotton and mixes of synthetic fibres in combination. I decided to make a garment after arranging my samples on a manikin and enjoying seeing them in 3 dimensional form enhanced by the body shape. I made some preparatory sketches and chose which samples to work up to create bigger piece. My course tutor was very supportive, challenging but above all enthusiastic! The work could have gone in many directions and I have many ideas that I hope to use in the future.
The photographs demonstrate an example of my samples and the finished piece.

Waterfall tunic and skirt - Jane Beckley

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Inspiration details:

Kirifuri Fall in Kurokami Mountain, Shimotsuke Province

Print

Japan

ca. 1827

Katsushika Hokusai

Woodblock print

V&A collection reference number(s):
E.653-1901

Exhibition Guide

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