Ceres: Artists in Residence 2019

Textile collective ‘Ceres’ were our Artists in Residence at MoDA in 2019, bringing an eco-conscious approach to textile design and inspiration.

The aim of the residency was to use objects from MoDA’s collection as a starting point for exploration of natural prints and dyes, in order to raise awareness of sustainability issues in design research.

Three textile artists make up the ‘Ceres’ collective: Zoe Burt, Florence Hawkins and Lara Mantell, who each drew inspiration from objects in MoDA’s collections.  They combined this inspiration with expert knowledge of dyeing and printing natural dyes onto fabric and paper.

Read more about the research processes, work in progress and final outcomes of all three textile artists on our Figshare site.

Zoë Burt

Zoë Burt created a number of colourful fabrics dyed and printed with natural dyes and print pastes inspired by the MoDA collections.

Zoë used a mixture of bio-waste and natural dye extracts, mordants and modifers. Dyestuffs included: avocado, lac, weld, madder, tannin from gall nut powder, madder, Persian berry, lac, Saxon blue and onion skins.  She printed her designs onto various fabrics including silk, hempsilk, wool and linen.

Zoë was particularly inspired by some of the katagami stencils in the MoDA archive. She often presses botanical matter as a source for design inspiration, and she made direct link with a pressed leaf in decay which had a lacey effect correlating with the katagami design.

Read more about her inspiration, processes and outcomes on our Figshare site.


Florence Hawkins

Wavy leaf design by Florence Hawkins is a repeat textile pattern composed of two main layers: the stylised shape of a leaf as a block colour and as a half tone.

This design was inspired by a sample of textile by Herbert Croft, and a Japanese katagami ‘ Waves’, both from MoDA’s archive collection.

Lara Mantell

Lara drew inspiration from a 1930’s Christmas card design, called Winter Afternoon, by the artist Gwen White, in MoDA’s collection.  She was inspired by strong shadows, the furrows of the ploughed field, and the stark shapes of the trees.

Lara’s textile designs were hand screen-printed, using natural dyes and printed in three different colourways, on linen and wool.

Find out More

Find out more about the beginnings of the project and watch a video of Lara discussing her working practices here. Read more about the work of all three artists on Middlesex University’s research repository, Figshare.

A podcast featuring Zoe, Lara and Florence in conversation with MoDA’s Curator Ana Baeza Ruiz will be published in early 2020.

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