Project description

My first project entitled ‘Working From Home’ is a collection of 4 embroidered illustrations, made for exhibition, reflecting a year spent studying during the pandemic. Approx. 14.8 x 21 cm is size, they each provide commentary on the consequences of the past year. 

Embroidery is historically known for being a domestic craft so I felt that it would be the perfect vehicle for my creative expression. I wanted the lengthy, time consuming process of producing them to reflect the tediousness of working in lockdown and to rebel against the digital submission format by creating something fully crafted by hand, without the use of technology.


This year I teamed up with a fellow illustration student, Jessica Birdsall, to establish LOUD EYE Collective. This is an on-going collaborative project aimed at exploring the combination of illustration and textiles with a focus on mythological folktales and visual story-telling. 

Below are some examples of the digital illustrations I created to be printed onto textiles this year. 

'AMATERASU' digital textile design

This digitally printed textile design is inspired by the Japanese mythological deity named Amat-erasu, goddess of the sun. Her name directly translates as “Shines from Heaven” as she is known for maintaining harmony and order throughout the natural world. I chose to depict a woman’s body as a landscape scene as I was particularly inspired by an excerpt of a tale which read “After she spat fish into the sea and game into the forests, she proceeded to pull crops from her rectum.” Each of these elements can be found in my design.

'Amaterasu' digital textile design
by Alison Laing for LOUD EYE Collective
'Dance 'Til You're Dead' digital textile design

This design depicts the Norse pagan Midsummer tradition of dancing around the maypole. The tradition originates from a folk legend which tells of the time that the devil disguised himself as a fiddler and put the citizens under a trance that makes them dance to their death. In modern midsummer this legend is celebrated during the summer solstice where participants will dance around in circles holding hands.

'Dance 'Til You're Dead' digital textile design
by Alison Laing for LOUD EYE Collective
'Creation of Man' digital textile design

This design was created in direct collaboration with Jess Birdsall. It depicts the tale of Odin creating the first humans. Not too long after the world was created, Odin was walking along one of the coasts in the new land where he found two pieces of driftwood shaped like a man and a woman lying on the shore. He decided to give them what they lacked, blew them the breath of life and made them true humans. They were given the world of human civilisation and became the mother and father of the entire human species.

'Creation of Man' digital textile design
by Alison Laing and Jess Birdsall for LOUD EYE Collective
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