Artist Interview: Grace Faichnie, Batsford Prize 2022 Applied Art and Textiles Winner
The final addition to our Batsford Prize Artist Interview series is from textiles student Grace Faichnie, who won the prize for the Applied Art and Textiles category with her piece Beneath the Surface.
Grace is currently finishing her third year studying a BA (Hons) Textiles degree at the Arts University Bournemouth. Her winning creation Beneath the Surface is an under the sea themed textile collection for fashion, inspired by the beauty found beneath us. Created using digital print, fabric manipulation, laser cutting, crochet and stitch, the concept Grace wanted to achieve was bringing this hidden beauty to the surface in response to this year’s theme of ‘Communication and Connection’.
Hi Grace, what was your piece about? Can you tell us what initially influenced it and what it means to you?
My project was influenced by the hidden beauty found under the sea. I took lots of primary photographs of fish to help kickstart my inspiration. Being from Jersey in the Channel Islands I am surrounded by the sea which is where my initial ideas came from. The concept I wanted to achieve was bringing this hidden beauty to the surface.
What mediums or materials did you decide to use, and why?
Throughout my three-year degree at Arts University Bournemouth I was given the opportunity to explore a wide range of techniques. By doing so I was able to discover which techniques I preferred and was most successful in. Paper manipulation was one of the skills I gained. I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with ideas using paper that I could later translate into fabric to create something more visually exciting. This technique is one I have carried all the way through my degree as part of my development process for each project. Other techniques I used included sublimation print, laser cutting, crochet, stitch and fabric manipulation.
What made you want to study textiles?
I have always had a love for textiles. I’ve enjoyed drawing and painting from a young age and my grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet. I studied textiles at GCSE and A Level which I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to explore further at university.
What are your biggest artistic inspirations? Are there other artists who you admire or who inspire you?
There are many artists who have inspired me through my textiles journey. Artists and collections that have particularly inspired me include Bella Tela because of their innovative designs and use of iridescent fabric, Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2013 collection for his fabric manipulation, Versace’s Spring 2010 collection for his laser cut, reflective fabrics and influence of origami. I admired Prada for Miuccia’s Fall/Winter 2018 collection inspired by Las Vegas lights and uses a neon colour palette, Issey Miyake’s Spring/Summer 1997 collection that used sublimation print, fabric manipulation and fluorescent colours and Mary Katrantzou’s Autumn/Winter collection that uses print, appliqué and graphic shapes. Tatty Devine is a company that specialises in laser cut jewellery pieces which particularly inspired me during my third year.
How would you describe your style? Would you say that it has changed over time?
I would describe my style as high end women’s fashion that has a playful, contemporary feel to it. My style has definitely changed over time. It has matured and improved and become something that best represents me as a designer.
What does winning the Batsford Prize Applied Art & Textiles Award mean to you?
When I began my textiles course at university I remember being shown a PowerPoint of awards that previous students had won. I was so impressed by their variety of achievements and thought it must be amazing to achieve an award. It was a wonderful surprise to hear of the award during the same week I received my degree results. It has been a challenging few years adapting to working during the pandemic so it feels extra special to be recognised for my work.
I want to thank my tutor Anne Marie Howat for pushing me to enter competitions throughout the year as I could not have done it without her. I am so grateful for winning the Batsford Prize especially as my university experience comes to a close!
After you have completed your studies, what do you see yourself doing next?
I would love to work for a women’s fashion brand as this is something I have specialised in from GCSE level and I am currently applying for jobs within this industry.
About the Batsford Prize
The Batsford Prize is an annual award open for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of applied art and textiles, fine art and illustration. View the winners and runners up of this year’s award here. The theme for the Batsford Prize 2023 will be revealed shortly…
So there we have all of our incredible winners from this year’s categories, and we are looking forward to inspiring you for the Batsford Prize 2023!
Interviews for the other winning categories are available to read here:
Artist Interview: Wuon Gean Ho, Batsford Prize 2022 Illustration Winner
Artist Interview: Annie Booker, Batsford Prize 2022 – People’s Choice Award Winner
Artist Interview: Nelson, Batsford Prize 2022 – Fine Art Winner
Artist Interview: Justin Worsley, Batsford Prize 2022 – Children’s Illustration Winner