Fighting the elements

Caitlin Evans

Fighting the elements

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My childhood years were exciting and adventurous, partly due to my parents’ beautiful garden, designed and created by them. Playing in the garden allowed my creativity and ideas to flow, which has carried on in my artwork with the desire to become a textile designer. Some fond memories of the garden include; tea parties in the summer house and treehouse, my dad wheeling me and my brother Ben down the garden in the wheelbarrow, playing in the stream with friends and helping my mum grow (or eat) the tomatoes.

Therefore, I decided what better way to celebrate my childhood and love for plants than to base my final project of university on my childhood garden. I combined this with a recent visit to the Eden project, Cornwall. Here I was inspired by the densely packed plants in the tropical biome. Being the largest indoor display of tropical plants, the Eden project tries to make the experience in the dome similar to what it is like in the rainforest. Therefore, the atmosphere is hot, humid, and has the scent of a rainforest. The plants exhibit fascinating shapes, structures and patterns which are not found in your typical English florals. Indoor gardens like the Eden project allow us to view these wonderful plants which require a climate different to that of the UK.

For this project I have recreated my childhood garden, incorporating tropical plants into it to create a jungle fantasy. I have included architectural elements from the garden alongside illustrations of myself, my parents, my brother and my two cats. I have created a collection of fourteen fabric prints and four silk scarf designs. Alongside these digital designs I have made a collection of painted clay pots and a mosaic style table. My main drawing medium is acrylic paints, however I have also incorporated oil pastels and drawing inks to give a more textural finish. These paintings are then scanned into Adobe Photoshop and edited to create fun, colourful and quirky print designs.

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