Back in November, six BA Surface Design students presented their London-themed wallpapers in an exhibition at the Art Workers Guild. It was a live brief that ran in conjunction with The Wallpaper History Society (a committed Surface Design collaborator) and Zoffany Wallpapers; with prizes up for grabs at the end.
Overall winners were announced two weeks ago when the exhibition closed and HoC caught up with two of its stars.
Clare Marshall, who based her design around Jewish Orthodox colours and iconography, came second-place and earned an internship with leading wallpaper designer, Karen Beauchamp. She spoke to us about her experience of competing and what she thinks she might get from her forthcoming work placement.
Having to work more competitively brought out a side of me that I didn’t realise I had and really helped to look at my work critically in order to identify where and how I could make it that little bit better.
From the placement with Karen Beauchamp I hope to learn a variety of printing and painting techniques as well as building on those that I already use. I hope to learn about how to compile a competitive collection for industry based on the knowledge and experience that Karen has from her time as a freelance designer and working at Cole and Sons.
Emma van Diggele impressed the judges enough to win first place, and an internship at Zoffany Wallpapers itself along with it. Her work was heavily influenced by children’s toys and books, which led her to think out of the (Jack-in-a) box and invent an interactive fantasy land. She describes the experience and why she feels the judges chose her work:
It was amazing to find out that I had won, I really felt like all of us had done well and we all deserved to win. It was difficult for us to judge the competition ourselves because we had no idea what the judges would like.
I think they liked that my wallpaper is very personal and it can also adapt to however the owner wants it to look depending on their mood. I can’t really remember what Liz Cann (design director of Zoffany) said when she announced the winner because I was so happy and it’s all a blur now! But the letter I got from Zoffany said it was “an outstanding, well researched and well executed project” – so I was very pleased with that!
I haven’t started my placement at Zoffany yet, but I have been invited to work with them in their design studio for 4 weeks anytime in the next year, I think I will do this in the summer after I graduate. Hopefully I will be helping produce wallpaper designs in the studio and I’d love to find out how they produce and print their designs. It is a great opportunity for me to learn about working for a prestigious design company.
Congratulations are also due to Kate Duggan who was awarded 3rd place and won book vouchers, and CJ Pidloan, Emma Trussler and Miriam Shahabadi who were each given wallpaper design books. See Emma van Diggele’s website for more of her work. We look forward to hearing more from them in the future!