Textile student Ashleigh Hudswell has won an international textile design competition, with four other RMIT students highly commended.
The competition, created by Caroline McNamara, Vice-Chair of Texere and Founder of Red Strand Design, asked entrants to interpret a classic piece of wallpaper from 19th century designers.
More than 80 entries were submitted from Europe, Australia and India, with RMIT students particularly congratulated for their outstanding and inspirational work during the European Textile Network conference in Leiden, The Netherlands.
Hudswell, a Diploma of Textile Design and Development student, said she felt absolutely speechless on learning she had received the award.
“Winning a competition like this gives you a greater sense of confidence, making you want to keep doing bigger and better things,” she said.
She was motivated to enter the challenge after seeing pieces from previous graduates.
“I loved how they took simple, classic wallpaper and turned it into something modern and contemporary.”
Her winning wallpaper was inspired by the harsh reign of Napoleon Bonaparte the Third.
“Rather than just re-creating the wallpaper I was given, I wanted to create a piece of art that would look contemporary while still classic, on someone’s wall or in a museum.”
RMIT excelled in the competition with four highly commended entrants – Abby Craig, Sharelle Ernst, Patricia McCarthy-Henry and Natalie Ryan – out of the total of 14.
Program manager for Vocational Education Fashion Design Technology and Textile Design and Development, Mandy Penton, said she was very proud of the students’ achievements.
“I have received direct feedback from textile industry staff and other international educators who are amazed at the high level of skill and creativity demonstrated by the students in only the second year of the textile design and development program,” she said.
“The success can be attributed to our practical, studio-based program which is committed to providing our students with a collection of sophisticated skills required in a real-world, professional environment.”
Be true to you: Study Textile Design and Development in 2016.
Hudswell highlighted the opportunities that she has been given while studying at RMIT.
“I love learning directly with the machines and equipment in the studio as it give hands-on experience and great practise for the industry,” she said.
“Not only do my teachers inspire when producing my work, they also drive me to think about the type of person and designer I want to be.”
The strength of the Textile Design and Development program was recently emphasised in the 2015 Victorian Craft Award, the state’s largest exhibition of craft artists, where graduate Nyssa McCullough was a finalist for her hand-woven work Ordered Chaos.
Story: Emma Morgan