Free Spirited

Shivani Pillay

Free Spirited is a creation of textile designs based on my heritage of both past; present, and intertwining of the two. My knowledge of my history goes from five generations ago in India where my ancestors were born and raised. As generations went by they moved to South Africa and as such, many aspects of the culture and traditions diminished. Free Spirited acts as a tribute to my heritage and the beautiful traditions India has to offer. Within this project I wanted to create a large scale painting and a range of co-ordinate textile designs, drawing inspiration from the intricate architecture in India.

Free Spirited is a unique collection inspired by the Ted Ten Environment Design Table as it represents the idea of storytelling within a textile collection. This project had also been inspired by the ‘design to reduce the need to consume’. This, in turn, helps give products and or garments a longer life span while making it more bespoke, giving the consumer the satisfaction of a reduction in waste through the post-consumer stage. 

40 x 40 cm Gouache on 300gsm Watercolour Paper

My final outcomes, ‘design that takes models from nature and history’, this strategy looks at how designs draw inspiration and reflect upon habits and society from the past and create a modern futurist version of it. This strategy I had the most connection to and wanted to develop this into my practice. 

Throughout the process of creating the play-types and final croquis, I wanted to try and use a variety of different mediums. Initially, I worked mainly with natural dyes, specifically avocado and tea-based. But I soon realised that this process wasn’t the best. Following this, I decided to use gouache on paper, and CAD to digitally modify elements this process worked well for me as I was able to make more intricate and unique composite overladed patterns. The patterns were all inspired by the intricate architecture in Rajasthan, India, and through the temples which were adorned in floral and oriental patterns across the walls and ceiling. The colour palette consisted of a warm palette of crimsons and dusty roses with hints of deeper browns. 

This project was designed to honouring the use of a more sustainable and slower society when it comes to the textile design industry. As well as tell a story of my heritage both past and present and the intertwining of the two. 

Gouache on
Watercolour Paper