It was during the RCA summer shows 2014 that curators Double Decker, came across the work of upcoming textile and print artist Gemma Kay Waggett. Creating textile pieces which combine processes of stitch and screen print, she produces artworks with a new, unseen depth and fascinating explorative approach. It's no wonder Double Decker were quick to commission her for two unique pieces for the suites of PURO Poznań.
Gemma spoke to us about her whirlwind summer and exciting commissions for PURO Poznań:
What have you been up to since graduating from the Royal College of Art this Summer?
Since graduating from the RCA in July I have been working on several exciting projects. Including my collaboration with Double Decker for PURO, I have designed a range of kitchen and table linen for ‘The Poundshop’ (for their upcoming pop up at Au Pont Rouge in St Petersburg (thepoundshop.org) and have been planning for The London Design Festival where I will be showing my graduate collection (with some fresh developments) at Ventura, Design Junction and also a ‘Making Exhibition’ at Material Lab on Great Titchfield Street (material-lab.co.uk)
Your work takes on several different processes - can you tell us how this developed within your practice? Where will it go next?
My practice predominately combines print, embroidery and material collage -drawing, mark making and pattern exploration are key elements and the process of screen printing (which is at the heart of my work) enables this perfectly. I first learnt to screen print at sixth form college almost ten years ago and before studying at the Royal College of Art completed my BA in Printed Textiles from Central Saint Martins. At the Royal College of Art I was introduced to the digital embroidery machine and I began to draw and create compositions through stitch, often layering embroidered panels with screen-printed surfaces and backgrounds. In my work I strive to merge traditional and modern techniques and also recreate and explore digital techniques by hand. I hope to purchase my own machine and continue to explore the potential of stitch within my work and will continue to screen print.
The two exciting pieces you have created for PURO show off your signature style. How have you found working on a commission for a hotel brand?
The commission by Double Decker for PURO Poznań was a fantastic opportunity for me, especially because it enabled me to create my largest ever piece of embroidery scaled up from one of my development samples for my final collection ‘Beyond Woven’. I also developed a complimenting screen print design to layer on top of a vintage Polish Poster that Double Decker had sourced. As a young designer I am keen for my work to be seen and this modern environment and the design concept of PURO really appealed to both my work and aspirations.