UTS Library

Embroidered Relations: From India to UTS Exhibition

UTS Fashion and Textile, practice-based academics, Cecilia Heffer, Armando Chant and Donna Sgro will be exhibiting the collaborations they have undertaken exploring contemporary embroidery forms with Master Artisans from India. The works on display, although diverse in content, speak to the strong cross-cultural relationship between the UTS Fashion and Textiles program and Master embroiderers from India. The partnership was initially established by Julie Lantry, Director of Artisan Culture, with the development of the Global Studio program for UTS Fashion and Textiles students and is now extended upon by the three exhibiting artists.

On display
1 - 21 October, 2018
UTS Library Foyer - Level 2

Opening Event and Public Talk
Tuesday 9 October, 5-8pm 
Talks start at 5pm in the UTS Library Event Space 
All are welcome, refreshments will be served.  
Free event (non-UTS staff/students should sign in before entering Library) 

The exhibition opening event will be accompanied by a public program where textile artists Cecilia Heffer, Julie Lantry, Alana Clifton-Cunningham and Donna Sgro will discuss their research. Both the exhibition and the artist talks will highlight the importance of international partnerships and the promotion of the artisan industry in order to sustain historical crafting traditions. 



Guest speakers:

Cecilia Heffer is a Senior Lecturer within the Fashion and Textiles program at UTS where she combines her teaching with research and art practice. Cecilia gained her Masters in Textiles at London’s Central Saint Martins and has spent a number of years working in leading textile studios both in London and New York. Now based in Sydney, Cecilia has shifted her practice from client-based briefs to research and exhibition work, focusing on innovative textile concepts and commissions that explore the integration of the handmade with emerging technologies. Her work is in both private and public collections including Centralne Muzeum Wlokiennictwa, Lodz, Poland, Art Bank, The Powerhouse Museum Sydney, The National Gallery Victoria, Tamworth Regional Gallery, Wangaratta Regional Gallery and the William Dobell Foundation. 

Donna Sgro is a fashion and textile design practitioner, and academic in the interdisciplinary design program at UTS. Her research investigates how designers produce unique responses using studies of nature, and how these responses may reframe contemporary ecological issues. In particular, she uses practice-based research methods to experiment with observations using insect processes and ecologies to innovate pattern cutting methods such as "Dynamic Cutting" in fashion and textile design. Her practice involves developing creative pattern cutting research through spatial and material investigations, focusing on the interior volume of the garment (3D) and relationship to material surfaces (2D) garments are explored in-process as performative objects. This practice-based research aims to reframe the value of fashion garments beyond issues of identity. Donna's fashion and textile works have been exhibited around the world, including Australia, USA, Japan, France, UK and South-east Asia.  

Julie Lantry is a designer, researcher and the Director of Artisan Culture. She has over twenty-five years of experience in the garment industry as a designer for large and small scale business (including her own label Bulb). During this period she had the opportunity to build connections and partnerships with textile artisans and ethical manufacturers in India. For the past seven years, she has been sharing these connections through fashion & textile tours for emerging designers to find ways to collaborate with traditional textile artisans and ethical manufacturing partners in places such as India. She holds a Masters of Design. Her thesis was entitled Artisan Culture: Rethinking Sustainability through Collaborative Exchange between Emerging Australian Designers and Indian Artisans in Fashion and Textiles. She is currently undertaking a PhD project in the same field. 

Alana Clifton-Cunningham is a professional designer of fashion and textiles who is interested in alternative techniques and methodologies. Her practice-based research focuses on the social, political and symbolic significance of knitwear design within a traditional and contemporary design context. Alana also examines perceptions of knitting and its relationship to the human body as a second skin. Through challenging assumptions of knitted clothing structures and traditional knitting techniques and new technologies and materials, Alana creates wearable forms that mask and disarticulate the human body. She is intent on documenting Australian fashion and textile histories, specifically the Australian knitwear industry. She currently lectures at UTS in the School of Design. She has lectured at UNSW’s College of Fine Arts and presented conference papers at RMIT Melbourne, Curtin University Western Australia, York University Canada and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong.

UTS Library curates a series of exhibitions each year that showcase works produced by UTS students and staff. The Library is a point at which the entire University connects and these exhibitions create opportunities for cross-disciplinary encounters, encouraging the exchange of knowledge, ideas and research between academic groups and faculties.

Artwork image above: Cecilia Heffer, Lace Geometries, 2015, silk, natural dyes, machine stitching, hand embroidery and lace.