The Hampshire Cultural Trust have commissioned Claire Gaudion to develop original artwork inspired by objects and buildings in their Iconic Collections. This project, which is due to complete at the end of March, has been an exciting design journey thus far. The brief, to create original surface pattern designs, inspired by some iconic places and artefacts in Hampshire, has been both interesting and diverse. The amazing historic spaces and artefacts include; The Round Table in the Great Hall, Winchester, Bursledon Windmill, Basing House Great Barn and Jane Austen’s Pelisse Coat and Beaded Purse.
The design process began with the gathering of information. Visiting the sites, viewing the artefacts, and beginning to document the concepts and ideas on our Storyboard – where every new design process begins. Through the process of building a storyboard, Claire identifies key concepts that form the beginning of a visual narrative for designs. This project has two distinct narratives which have been best followed as two paths; The Jane Austen story, and The Hampshire Treasures story, and so one storyboard became two.
The storyboard, or design board, is a curated collection of images, ideas and reference points that have connections to the design concepts. These images include the places and artefacts themselves, but also references artists, current collection swatches, weave structures, colours… all of the things which help Claire to articulate and visualise the design ‘story’ which is developing. It’s an organically evolving visual display or mind-map, which ebbs and flows with the design journey. Many reference points fill the board to begin with. Then, through abstraction work, sketch, weave and collage these ideas are explored, each storyboard is edited and refined, again and again, and design concepts and patterns begin to take shape.
The Hampshire Treasures Storyboard
The Jane Austen Storyboard
Whilst there are many organic and experimental elements to Claire’s designs journey, her overall process is quite methodical. First, gathering lots of information by looking, listening and questioning, and then making sense of it through images and words, and repeated editing. And, all the time continually referring to the brief and considering the end-use of the designs. With an edited selection of design concepts, and Claire can begin to explore these in more detail, working with the patterns and re-designing these, experimenting with colour, as well as scale and proportion.
The designs will be revealed in due course, but meanwhile, you may enjoy a glimpse behind the scenes and seeing these design concepts and Storyboards.