Central Saint Martins, UAL has always been known for pushing boundaries. The halls are sanctified, and each year’s BA graduate show is closely watched by industry professionals. In this exclusive interview with COVER, recent CSM graduate Cerys Lau talks about her creative process, influences and passion for textile design.
Untitled is a collection of work that is based on ideas about crowding and density in urban areas. The idea developed through a variety of creative processes such as a laser, cutting, digital embroidery, silk screen printing and digital print. The use of transparent material interacts with wood as the embellishment to enhance the idea of layering. Research has turned into quirky illustrating, using colour and organic shapes to create playful wearable textile.
Why did you choose to do textile design?
Cerys Lau: Drawing and fashion are something I have always been interested in. I think textile design allows me to combine both of these. I like to translate my drawings and ideas into various materials.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Cerys Lau: I draw inspiration from everything: from what I see daily, to stories from my friends. I came from a different cultural background so you can often see there is a cultural influence in my collection, sometimes through colour or the way I create the drawings.
Can you talk me through the creative process of your degree project?
Cerys Lau: I started by looking at the idea of urban density and how I have been inspired by growing up in Hong Kong, a city that has a large population. I started my primary research by collecting photos that represent the idea of crowding, including shapes, negative spaces and repetitive patterns found in the city. The concepts are recorded and developed through a series of paper structures.
What would you say is the biggest influence of the collection?
Cerys Lau: I think my biggest influence for the collection is the photos I took from where I was originally from. The photos explain the crowded environment. My quirky illustrations have developed through the photos, then translated into prints.
Can you tell me about something exciting you are working on at the moment?
Cerys Lau: I am currently working on my own project in developing prints and pattern, and hopefully I can issue some of the designs on my website in October. I am also working with my sister who is a fashion photographer to produce a series of art films to sit alongside my design. I am super excited.
If you could collaborate with anyone either alive or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
Cerys Lau: This might not be the most groundbreaking choice but if I could collaborate with anyone, Matisse would be my choice without a doubt. His work has influenced me since I was at school and he continues to impact my work—the way he uses colour and the way he draws. Designer Nina Born is one of the people that I really like to meet. I would love to work with her to create a new material that can be applied in different contexts.