They say you should never work with animals or children. But what about working with jelly? London-based textile designer Lucy Hardcastle has tried it. In fact, there are few materials she hasn’t created something out of, making her a voracious, if hard to define young artist.
For her latest project, Pillow + Ball, Hardcastle has turned her hand to glass blowing. The idea came about when a private commissioner asked if she had ever considered converting her rendered imagery into sculptural objects, rather than 2D prints.
The result is a witty, abstract piece, topped with a vibrant velour ball, which Hardcastle has electromagnetically flocked for good measure, borrowing a technique from her textile printing days.
Whatever medium she happens to be working in, it's evident that each project stems from a true love for textures and sensual tactility. 'One of the key skills you gain from being a printer is understanding how the fabrics move and react to what you apply to them,' she explains. 'You need to know what’s going to make them show off their best properties. If you don’t respect the materials you’re working with, you’ve missed the beauty'.
This can be seen in her series Glow, 2014, which was displayed in Habitat’s flagship London store. It's good enough to eat, comprising great pastel swathes, candy-cushions and sugary-sweet fabrics. Ju-Ju + Jelly, 2014, is equally delectable. Images of luminous, gelatinous masses wobble in dynamic, blown-up prints.
This ‘try your hand at anything’ approach might be the way forward for young designers, as more and more graduates choose not to not limit themselves by a single disciplinary label. It certainly seems to be working for Hardcastle; her client list is as diverse as it is impressive, including commissions for Alexander Wang, Nike and Channel 4.