Davina Thomas attended the end of year degree show at Goldsmiths University of London in summer 2005 and discovered Bine Choi, a wonderfully talented student from South Korea. Bine was exhibiting the work that had been part of her BA (Hons) Textiles course, which she had just successfully completed after three years of study.
 
 

Starting Out

I began making textiles at high school. The embroidery of 18th century Korean wrapping cloths caught my interest at an early age and I was determined to study textiles further. My parents bravely encouraged me to move abroad and study in the UK to achieve my dream of a degree in textile fine art.

Inspiration

 
My first textile project was related to William Morris and he became one of my favourites. The William Morris Gallery in London is a fabulous place which I find very stimulating, as they exhibit a collection based on all aspects of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. Some of his prints are rather exotic and were inspired by the near east.

Working Progress

 
I’ve used a whole range of machines to produce work and have a passion for both hand and machine stitching. I really enjoyed using a digital sewing machine attached to a computer. This enabled me to draw illustrations on the computer to be stitched onto my patchwork. My favourite fabric is hand-dyed silk, it is great to work with especially for stitching patchwork quilts. Although my principle technique is patchwork, I also like making cushions with cross stitch, tapestry and weaving.

Current Collection

 
In my current series of work I am exploring the cultural differences between Korea and England. To achieve this I am creating pieces using silkscreen prints and computerised stitching, juxtaposing European architecture together with Oriental colour pattern. For me, this shows a conflict between my nostalgic memories of Korea and my current experiences in England and travelling round Europe.

Full of Colour

I adore colour, particularly the subtle graduation that can be achieved when mixing dyes and paints. My favourite palette is based on the Oriental colours of the natural world. I use warm colours representing the sun, fire and blood and blues and greens suggesting trees, grass and elements of weather, as well as birth, oceans, growth, prosperity, and the universe.

What Now?

Now that I have achieved my BA Textile degree, I plan to continue my studies in the UK and hope to gain a masters degree in the near future. Textiles are my life and I hope to earn my living from my work. My advice is that much patience and care is an absolute necessity. Nothing can be achieved without lots of effort.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 14 Issue 3 March 2006