Hello! Claudia Brown and I make up the Portland-based surface design studio Pattern People. We opened up shop fairly recently after many wonderful years working in-house for clients. We’re paying a visit to What Women Make (formerly Girl on the street) to share a list of a few of our favorite influential women in the arts –– from painting, film, nature and textile design.
The artist, Vanessa Bell, is considered to be one of the major contributors to British portrait drawing and landscape art in the 2Oth Century. She was a member of the Bloomsbury Group, along with her sister, Virginia Woolf, and also a part of the Omega Workshops established by Roger Fry in 1913. The Omega Workshops produced painted accessories for the home, such as lamps and furniture, in addition to decorating walls and textiles. Her home, the Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex, is an inspirational example of her work and the other members of the workshop. A short trip from London, the Farmhouse is worth a visit to experience the art in its original environment.
If you haven’t seen the work of Lotte Reiniger, add it to your list immediately. Originally from Germany, Lotte is a silhouette animator who gained recognition in the 1920s for her expressive and imaginative moving cutouts set against color backdrops. Her film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, is claimed to be the oldest surviving animation of all times. Her delicate craft has inspired many and appears to have influenced the work of modern day artist, Kara Walker.
Nature is a constant source of inspiration. One of our favorite gardens is Lotusland in Montecito, California, which includes a variety of exceptional plants. Opera singer, Madame Ganna Walska, who owned the property from 1941 until her death in 1984, created the 37-acre botanic garden. Madame Walska had a colorful history that included marrying six times. She bought the estate while married to her last husband. After divorcing him, she christened her estate, Lotusland, named after the lotus growing in one of the ponds on the property. She spent the next 40 years transforming her grounds into a fantasy world of botanical wonders.
A British fashion superstar, Zandra Rhodes, has been creating amazing hand drawn textile patterns since she graduated from the Royal College of Art back in the 60s. Each season she selects an interesting theme as her inspiration. A few collections have been based on her travels to the Grand Canyon, Mexico, Japan and Australia – each incorporating elements specific to the region. Still a practicing designer, Zandra has recently launched a handbags line in addition to her eponymous clothing label.
Demonstrating ingenuity and strength in their fields, each of these women continues to inspire – a true testament to their originality and creative genius.
Thanks Chauncey for letting us guest blog! To read more about influential designers, visit here.
-Jessie Whipple Vickery1 Comment
- Design Thinking
- Friday Diary
- London Design Festival
- Maison Objet
- Milan Design Week
- Motivation Monday
- Sunday Discovery
- Technology Tuesday
- Topical Thursday