Leigh Cameron: designer-maker


Leigh Cameron talks about the process of drawing inspiration from MoDA’s collections.  He is a professional designer/maker who usually works to a client brief, but here the boundaries were more open.  He initially found not knowing exactly what he was going to do quite challenging. Read about his experience in his own words.



[When I visited MoDA] I had to get past the fear and let different things happen. It was an opportunity to challenge myself outside of everyday parameters.

My background is in Japanese cabinet making, but I retrained as a concrete designer. I’m a consultant to the concrete industry as well as a designer-maker: I’m often asked to do things like develop a specific mix for a high density x-ray shield.

When I visited the Museum I was astounded by the enormity of the collection. There was so much in there that I very quickly had to rationalise what I looked at.

Chinoiserie wallpaper, 1920s, MoDA, SW810

But I gradually began to explore colour and pigment, and then the sparks started to fly – I could see close links between colour in the Museum’s collection and my own work. I started thinking about how repetition was created in the wallpapers, and I went away and tried to explore that without boundaries but in line with my original proposal.

It was about how a pattern can be created – I wanted to explore the same principles but through process. What I wanted to do was explore with no set brief and no fixed outcome; to use process to create a thing, not to have a set endpoint in mind.

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