Design notes from Niela
Drawing with time, in wool
Have you ever heard the phrase 'deep time'? I hadn't, until I made a visit to Ness of Brodgar in Orkney, which is the site of a fascinating archaeological dig.
That visit was the catalyst for my new collection, Inklines. I was awestruck to stand (literally) on thousands of years of human history.
Stone found at Ness of Brodgar, the Neolithic markings were made with stone tools
A source of intrigue to archaeologists at the Ness is the proliferation of marked stones. I saw memories made in marks, mark-making as creating memories. The term deep time began to resonate within me. How could I express this idea of deep time, or our own smallness? How do we mark time?
My own marks made with stone on stone
I made marks on stone, using another stone. And I began to think about simple, inked, linear marks as a measure of time.
A drawing of time
Instead of horizontal layers of time (observed at the Ness), vertical lines marked time, marching from way before us…into infinity, into the future.
The pattern develops
From this, I developed a number of overlapping motifs which I then used as patterns within the textile.
As a knitwear designer, of course I pondered how would people in these ancient civilisations would have clothed themselves.
It felt appropriate to base the contemporary designs of my Inklines pieces on simple shapes, sometimes ingeniously arranged: the cape is made up from two rectangles.
Inklines long squint cape
Inklines is a reaction to a very particular place. Through this deep time is interpreted in knitting. Positive and negative spaces are created with overlapping shapes, hidden layers of ink lines merge and emerge to reveal patterns.
I do hope you like it.