materials studies and sampling are central to my practice. as soon as i have an outline of an idea i need to get hands on. these experiments often have a large influence on the overall shape and direction of a project.

my initial idea was to work with recycled plastic, as a durable and weather-resistant material to stand up to a busy festival environment. but the brief specifies that natural materials are preferred and i would have much more control over the appearance of the finished work if i used materials that could be dyed.

the tent pattern is simple but decorative and produces a triangular shape. i hope the pattern will cast interesting shadows and have enough interest to work close up as well as from a distance.

i explored raffia and string as options for creating the basic tent structure. whilst neither would be suitable for a permanent structure i believe they would withstand the elements long enough to last the length of the festival. raffia comes in short lengths which must be knotted together. string was easier to work and should be ideal for dyeing.

string was looped around two chairs to create a long skein, which was then dyed in sections. these sections will create pools of colour in the finished work, i felt that stripes would be too literally blanket-like. the finished result was rather less intensely coloured upon drying than i’d hoped.

this is my 1:1 sample of the tent structure. this piece uses 3 balls of string, i should be able to calculate the amount needed to complete the tent from it.

my initial idea for the flags was to use ripstop nylon, but since they will be dispersed in the wider environment i decided they had to be fully biodegradable, so i switched to cotton fabric. the flags will be cut from a large dyed sheet – each will be a distinct colour but also show subtle blends and variations. dyes used are the same as on the string, creating an overall visual harmony to the work.

my 1:10 scale flag sample shows the intended effect of the dyed flags.

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